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Sutherland Springs victims trauma similar to that of soldiers on battlefield, VA chaplain says

VA mobile clinic helps counsel mass shooting victims, families

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – A VA mobile clinic rushed to Sutherland Springs after the church shooting massacre to help counsel mass shooting victims.

Sutherland Church Shooting Victims

VA chaplain Juliana Lesher explained that the victims involved in the shooting suffered the same trauma as soldiers on the battlefield.

When she heard about the Sutherland Springs shooting, she said she sat down at her piano and prayed through music. She then headed straight to the small town with three other staff members
to care for shooting victims and their families.

"We were there through the official death notification process," Lesher said.

Seven families talked to Lesher about pain, loss and the fear of moving on.

Complete coverage of Texas church shooting

"Some (shared) that they wish they had the strength and the faith of their loved one," Lesher said.

Lesher said those who survived the shooting, and even family members, will need the same type of counseling as soldiers traumatized by battle.

"There will be lingering horrific images in their minds," she said.

She hopes continuous therapy will help the victims understand those images and process and replace them with safe and peaceful images.

"There may be days when you find yourself experiencing joy and then the next day you're very, very depressed, and to know that's all normal and that there's no one right way to grieve," Lesher said.


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