Friend of Soldier Speaks Out - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Friend of Soldier Speaks Out

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PTSD is an affliction that is difficult for many to talk about, including loved ones of those who have suffered from PTSD and lost the battle.

Kelli Volk caught up with on Iraq veteran who is helping shed light on this condition that is often underreported.

(David Young, Iraq Veteran)" I just thought it was going to be a normal day type of deal until I got a call."

Iraq veteran David Young woke up on April 26th, 2007 thinking it would be an ordinary day. However, it turned into what Young describes as a nightmare. It was the day, his friend and fellow soldier Joe Biel took his own life.

(David Young, Iraq Veteran)"They said 'Yeah, Joe, he's going to kill himself.' I didn't really think that he would."

Young served alongside Biel in Iraq as a combat engineer. Both men worked to uncover improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

(David Young, Iraq Veteran)"We were a trailblazer unit--basically route clearance. You know, go out and clear the roads for IEDs."

Upon returning to Camp Grafton in 2006, the soldiers struggled with getting back into the swing of day-to-day life. However, Biel didn't seem to show any of the symptoms related to post traumatic stress disorder.

(David Young, Iraq Veteran)"Up until the day that he took his life, I didn't really notice anything different."

In honor of Biel's service to his country, Senator John Hoeven and former senator Kent Conrad chose Biel's birthday, June 27th, as PTSD Awareness Day. However, Young says he thinks about biel every day.

(David Young, Iraq Veteran)"It was kinda...it was tough. It really was and it still is, obviously. It's something you never forget."

From Camp Grafton, Kelli Volk, KX News.

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