HOUSTON – When military men and women come home from war, and settle back into civilian lives, many battle post-traumatic stress disorder, making a normal life hard beyond words.
Statistics now show 22 veterans take their own life every day.
Here in Houston, there is a one of a kind facility helping veterans facing PTSD.
Camp Hope has a mission to make the lives of returning soldiers better. They say it benefits all of us.
"Now he can be a part of his son's life anytime he wants to be," David Maulsby, executive director of PTSD Foundation of America, said. "That's not just a win for the dad and for that son, it's a win for the whole community because we all know the results of father's being out of the child's life."
He's talking about dads like Ben Greene, a Navy corpsman who served in Afghanistan, and first arrived at Camp Hope when he says he was at his worst.
"To put it simply, it's the absolute worst day of your life, worst thing you can possibly imagine, worst thing that you've ever experienced - ever - playing on repeat in your mind and you can't find the remote," Greene explained what it's like to live with PTSD.
He says flashbacks led him into isolation and self medicating.
"I wouldn't even be trying to think about those things but they would come and just wouldn't stop and then nightmares when I was sleeping so I wasn't sleeping well," Greene said.
Everyone at Camp Hope has similar stories. They're all former combat veterans, and they live here to get peer level support from the people who know exactly what they're going through.
"Everyone here has deployed, everyone here has experienced those same things," Greene said.
"Generally speaking it's a five- to six-month program but it depends on a lot of things, if they have other mental health issues, other physical issues, things that may speed or slow down that track," Maulsby said.
Nobody pays for this.
Nobody who fits the criteria is turned away.
No government dollars are used.
"We're great with flag waving and all that but come out and write a check, come out and volunteer," Maulsby said.
There's no doubt it's going to a good cause, with an estimated 22 veterans committing suicide every day nationwide, Camp Hope says they have not lost one yet.
"I don't know what my life would look like, but it wouldn't look like what it does now, which is being an active part of my son's life and development," Greene said.
Camp Hope says they have combat veterans ready to answer phone calls on their crisis hotline. If you need help with PTSD, call: 877-717-PTSD (7873).