It isn’t every day that a rising political star puts his future on hold because of post traumatic stress disorder.
That is what a young Missouri politician has done. He deserves a good word of support as he wages his struggle.
Jason Kander was running to be the next mayor of Kansas City, Mo. He had served as Missouri secretary of state and in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was considered a rising Democratic Party star. In 2016, Kander lost a race for the U.S. Senate narrowly to Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt.
But before he entered politics, Kander served his country in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer in Iraq. He saw combat in that part of the world and came home suffering from PTSD and depression.
Then he decided early this month to forgo his mayoral campaign. He wants to be seek treatment for his PTSD and for a cure to the depression he experiences.
I remember when another Missouri politician, the late U.S. Sen. Tom Eagleton, was drummed off the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket in 1972 because he sought electro-shock treatment to battle his own depression. That was a shameful response to a politician’s battle — for which he said at the time he was cured.
Now we have another pol seeking treatment for PTSD and depression. My hope is that he, too, will win his own fight and then he can get back into the arena if that remains his life’s calling. Perhaps he can lend an empathetic voice to those who believe our veterans stricken with PTSD need the government they fought to protect will do its part to deliver them from the ravages of war.
We have come a long way in the way we handle these matters, don’t you think?