War veteran's widow directs her anger at the VA - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

War veteran's widow directs her anger at the VA

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Amy Miner (left) Amy Miner (left)
Kryn Miner Kryn Miner
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - "He was the type of guy that we would walk in somewhere and an hour later he'd be best friends with everyone," Amy Miner said.

That's how she will remember her husband, Kryn Miner.

But his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder were too strong to overcome. He was shot by his teenage child after the war vet threatened to kill his family.

Kryn deployed 11 times throughout his 27-year military career, most recently to Afghanistan in 2010 with the Vermont National Guard. That's when his wife says something changed.

"He always had a sense of feeling lost, like he was a failure, a lot of guilt, a lot of suspicion, being a bit paranoid, especially 'cause of the atmosphere he was in a lot when he was overseas," Amy said.

Kryn was diagnosed with PTSD in 2011. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury from a bomb blast that threw him against a wall. And Amy says help was nowhere in sight.

Reporter Shelby Cashman: Do you feel like he got the help that he needed?

Amy Miner: No, I think the VA is a disaster. You know, when he tried to take his life in September we went through the process of waiting in the ER, waiting to see if there was a bed at White River Junction VA. There wasn't a bed, there was a bed, there's not a bed, there is a bed. So after three days in the ER, I said, 'I'm taking my husband out of here whether people like it or not. We're not staying here.'"

Amy says in addition to a lack of space, Kryn dealt with rotating counselors, up to eight in two weeks.

"They told us right to our face, 'We don't have the resources, we don't have the finances, we don't have the staff.' And I said to them, 'I don't really care. My concern is my husband,'" Amy said.

When Amy shared her story with The Associated Press, she was shocked at the military's response.

"She loosely said that there's many veterans who have PTSD and are quite successful," Amy said. "And my response to that is, is she saying the military is OK and thinks it to be a successful number of 22 veterans taking their life every day? Is that successful to them?"

Shelby Cashman: For other families that are struggling with this, what kind of message would you like to give them?

Amy Miner: Don't give up. Don't ever give up on whichever family member is going through this ... We're just trying to get through our day-to-day process of living life. I've lost my best friend. I can't ever see him again. And I can't forgive the VA for that; they've taken him away from me and that's unforgivable.

Amy Miner says she is extremely grateful for the help Kryn and her family got from the Lone Survivor Foundation, both before and after his death. Started by a former Navy SEAL, the foundation works with veterans suffering from PTSD by offering counseling and support services, including a retreat in Texas that Kryn attended. Amy says nothing can bring her husband back, but she will continue to fight for veterans to get the help they need so that more tragedies like this don't happen.

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