Valley veteran shares PTSD battles, mission to help others

Sep 22, 2020, 4:25 AM
(KTAR News Photo/ Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News Photo/ Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News Photo/ Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – A Valley veteran is taking his experiences with dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and using it to help other veterans.

David Campbell II, a former Army combat engineer, talked about his mission during a discussion focused on addressing veteran suicide with Second Lady Karen Pence in Phoenix on Friday. His experiences have led him to dedicate the past eight years of his life to helping other veterans who face the same struggles he has overcome.

“Military runs in my blood, so does PTSD,” Campbell said.

Campbell was among the first military personnel in Iraq when he was badly wounded in 2003. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost one of his legs.

“I have no memory of what happened, so when I got out of the military, I had a lot of denial, a lot of anger, a lot of depression – trust issues, you name it,” Campbell said.

Following his exit in the service, the next 25 years Campbell self-medicated and attempted to keep his struggles from coming to the surface. He described the only time he would leave his house would be to go to work or drink.

He expressed hating everyone around him, except for his wife. She was the reason he worked to change his life after abusing alcohol for over two decades.

“I finally decided to put these down,” Campbell said, lifting his fists, and that’s hard for a combat veteran to do, but I said, ‘Okay, I’m done fighting.’”

That’s when he decided to get sober. After a challenging chapter of his life at a recovery center in Utah, Campbell came back to the Valley and decided to help other like himself.

At Friday’s roundtable discussion, Campbell described his volunteer service in coordination with Scottsdale’s Heal the Hero foundation as well as The Mesa Veterans Resource Center.

“I’m here to get the word out and to show that it doesn’t matter how bad off you are – you can come through this,” Campbell said. “I consider myself the worst of the worst and I’m here to stand as a walking, talking miracle – with one leg, that anybody can do this.”

If you are a veteran in crisis, the Phoenix VA has multiple options for assistance, including a crisis hot line at 1-800-273-8255, online or by text to 838255.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Fiery crash over the weekend leaves 3 dead, 2 injured in Phoenix

Three people were killed after their vehicle set fire when it was rear-ended by a vehicle with two men inside on Saturday night in Phoenix.
12 hours ago
Rain in the West Valley, via Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera...

Weekend storm sets new daily rain record in Phoenix

Recent storms passing across the Valley set new rainfall records at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Saturday.
12 hours ago
An American bald eagle flies over Mill Pond on July 29, 2018 in Centerport, New York.  (Photo by Br...
Alex Weiner

Arizona Game and Fish takes measures to avoid disturbing bald eagles during breeding season

Bald eagle mating season is here, and wildlife officials in Arizona are warning recreationists and pilots to avoid disturbing breeding areas. 
12 hours ago
(Federal American Grill Photo)...
Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Houston restaurant to open first Arizona location in Scottsdale

Federal American Grill, a restaurant concept based in Houston, will open its first Arizona location in Scottsdale in the coming weeks.
12 hours ago
FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
2 days ago
(Photo by David Inderlied/Getty Images)...

Repeat sex offender sentenced to 20 years in Arizona prison

An Arizona man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for class three dangerous felonies and will be registered as a sex offender after release.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Valley veteran shares PTSD battles, mission to help others