College Station health professional looks back at her role in helping heal US leaders, soldiers overseas after 9/11
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Twenty years ago, College Station resident Lynn Hagan moved to Kuwait for her husband’s job.
What she did not know is how critical of a role she played after living there for just a few months.
Hagan says on the afternoon of September 11, she was having tea with a friend when her husband came rushing in.
“He just burst in the door yelling, ‘Turn on the TV! Turn on the TV!’ and we did, and kind of the rest of that day is kind of history,” said Hagan.
Like many Americans, Hagan says she sat in disbelief, seeing the images and hearing the reports of what was happening thousands of miles away in her homeland.
“Just probably over a week later, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait contacted me because they knew I was the only Western mental health professional in the entire country, and they had some personnel who were struggling after what had happened,” said Hagan.
That is when she says she drove half way across the small country to get to the Embassy and begin helping. She says she spoke with members of the State Department, soldiers, and families.
“They were high security people in the State Department,” said Hagan. “A lot of them wanted to lash out on their own, make a plan to carry out things on their own.”
Hagan says she stayed there for years, helping many people at the Embassy work through feelings of trauma and PTSD.
Now, nearly 20 years later, Hagan says it is okay to start feeling those same feelings while seeing images from that day, or hearing stories. She says a big thing if you feel that way is to find healthy ways to express those feelings.
“Talk about it, talk to each other about it. There is nothing wrong with that, and it is actually healing to be able to relive some of those things and talk about those things,” said Hagan.
Hagan says if you are still feeling anxious, or traumatized weeks later, it is important to discuss those feelings with a mental health professional.
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