Veterans suffering from PTSD symptoms find refuge at Camp Hope

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Craig Schrader's path begins as member of the Marines.

He served his country for four years, some of that time deployed to Iraq.

Like many who served, Schrader returned home with many battle scars, some unseen.

Thursday night, Schrader was front and center, graduating from a program he says saved his life.

"It's about giving back," he said. "I got to a point where I didn't know if I wanted to go on."

Schrader became suicidal. He said he hit rock bottom one day in January.

"I was having some depression issues. I was isolating a lot and withdrawing from normal society because of depression and PTSD and all these things ... anxiety," he said.

Sgt. Steve Cruz, with Harris County Pct. 5 helped Schrader get to Camp Hope in northwest Harris County.

Sgt. Shane Hawthorne is Schrader's mentor. He is an alum, too, of the six-month-long program.

"Our main priority here is suicide prevention of combat vets," Hawthorne said. "PTSD is alive and well. I have it. He has it. A lot of combat vets have it but we don't seek the support upon ourselves."

Camp Hope, and those who partake, aim to change that.

Schrader is among them.

"It's everything behind these gates that goes on that really makes a difference," Schrader said.

They're fighting the fight long after the battle may have seemed to end.

"I'm helping. I'm just one voice, one person. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make it happen," Schrader said.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from PTSD symptoms, please follow this link to find help.

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