Jason Kander is back after quietly working through PTSD

Jason Kander is back after quietly working through PTSD

FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, Democrat Jason Kander concedes to Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., during an election watch party at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. A rising star in Democratic politics who dropped out of the race for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, to get help for post-traumatic stress and depression is re-emerging in public life. And while Jason Kander isn’t ruling out another political run, he says it won’t be anytime soon. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Not so many months ago, Jason Kander was spending his life on airplanes. The picture of youth and energy, Kander was in demand from Democratic groups across the U.S., a military veteran from middle America making a powerful case for generational change in his party, possibly with an eye toward a 2020 presidential run. But beneath the swagger, something inside Kander’s head weighed on him — nightmares, paranoia, even suicidal thoughts. Like so many veterans, he was carrying the unspoken burden of post-traumatic stress disorder, and suddenly last fall he detailed his personal struggles and dropped from public view . Now, Kander is re-emerging with a healthier mental state and a new focus on helping other veterans, leading the national expansion of a program in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, called Veterans Community Project. At the same time he’s easing back into the fringes of politics — doing national TV interviews, appearing with Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg during the candidate’s visit to Kansas City (though he hasn’t endorsed any specific candidate), and talking candidly about his experience reconciling trauma, healing and political ambition. “I feel the best I’ve felt in a very, very long time,” Kander told The Associated Press. “I’m really enjoying life.” Kander, 38, spent about four months […]

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