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Inside the Gates: ‘Warrior Call’ urges public to call service members, and veterans

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 7:12 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A nonprofit that works to help veterans is initiating a public call for people to connect with veterans, support them and offer them help if needed.

The last few years have had their challenges for Frank Larkin.

“I had some dark times,” Larkin, a retired Navy SEAL said. A lot of it followed the death of his son.

Ryan Larkin died by suicide on April 23, 2017. It happened the year after his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, where he also served as a SEAL.

“I carry the burden of having a career of rescuing and helping people for 40 years,” Frank Larkin said. “In the end, I couldn’t rescue my own son.”

Larkin’s son reportedly became depressed after he developed post traumatic stress disorder during his service. What helped Frank Larkin recover from his depression is that he talked to other veterans with similar experiences, or in a difficult place emotionally.

“I was one of those people that was afraid that, uh, to show a chink in the armor,” said retired Army Ranger and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Master Sgt. Leroy Petry. “I realized that I had lost buddies and I was headed down that path.”

Petry and Larkin met through “Troops First Foundation,” an organization that works with those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. The two helped create the “Warrior Call” in 2020 to help active duty troops, and veterans dealing with emotional issues.

Warrior Call Day asks people to call a service member or veteran on Nov. 21, and just check on them. The call, according to Petry, can be a simple one.

“Thank you for your service. I know we don’t talk much, and ask them how they’re doing,” Petry said.

“These calls just happen to come at the right time where where that person is in a bad place,” Frank Larkin said. “They think they’re alone, their hope is basically, you know, dried up.”

Frank Larkin and Leroy Petry want veterans and military personnel who are struggling emotionally to know, they are not alone.

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