Stamford vet advocates for other vets suffering from PTSD

A Stamford military veteran is working to support other veterans who are struggling with PTSD.

News 12 Staff

Jan 28, 2022, 5:15 PM

Updated 902 days ago


A Stamford military veteran is working to support other veterans who are struggling with PTSD.
Sam Bernauer enlisted in the military when he was 19 years old. First he served in the Navy and then in the Army.
During his time there, Bernauer says he survived a suicide attempt. He says it was difficult to get back on his feet after that.
"I only received one week of in-patient care, and once I was released from that, I was basically just thrown back into my unit,” he says.
Bernauer served for another year before he was honorably discharged. He eventually sought help through Veterans Affairs, where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The California native decided to move across the country and put down roots in Connecticut. Twenty years later, he is married and has a son. He worked for several years as a personal trainer.
Bernauer is now a Connecticut ambassador for Mission 22, a national non-profit that helps veterans struggling with PTSD.
“I realized I had to do something with my life more meaningful,” he says.
He also created a YouTube channel to share his story.
"Especially doing this with being an advocate for trying to prevent veteran suicide, you have to tell people what you went through,” he says.
Bernauer is overcoming more fears by competing in statewide powerlifting competition this spring. He is raising money for Mission 22 along the way.
"I kept putting it off because there's all this fear of thinking you're not good enough, you're not going to be strong enough,” he says. "But then I said, you know what? I'm just going to go ahead and do it and see what happens."
Bernauer says the competition isn't about winning, but the journey that got him there.
"In spite of all that's happened in the past, if I can overcome all that, there's no reason why we can't meet this goal."
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