SgtMajor O’Neal Johnson Jr., USMC,
Marine Corps. SgtMajor O’Neal Johnson Jr., spent a year in Afghanistan instructing its National Army Tour of duty in Afghanistan: September 2010-August 2011. The murder of 13 US service members by the ISIS-K terror group during the US pullout one year ago was a “moral injury” to Sergeant Major O’Neal Johnson Jr., who spent a year in Afghanistan instructing the Afghan National Army. This past year, he has been tirelessly trying to address the suffering of his fellow Afghanistan War vets.
“The Silent Veteran” — an organization he founded to assist his fellow vets, including those who are homeless and struggling with mental health issues — is holding its first event this month connecting vets with resources for housing and healthcare.
“A lot of vets won’t reach out for help, so I said, ‘What can I do to help that silent vet?’ I try to connect them to resources.”
“A lot of vets won’t reach out for help,” said Johnson, who counsels other former soldiers through an organization he started.
One tool he cites is the Veterans Crisis Line — part of a recent federal effort to improve mental health support for veterans.
“I encourage them to dial 988 and press 1,” he said. “It’s like dialing 911 if you are having suicidal ideations or you’re in a bad way.”
In addition to his concern for vets, Johnson feels for Afghans left behind under Taliban rule. It