Ind. Guard: Standoff Highlights Need For Soldier Help

Ind. Guard Has Crisis Intervention Team

A police standoff involving an Iraq war veteran in Indianapolis highlights the need for programs to help soldiers deal with combat stress, Indiana National Guard leaders said Tuesday.

National Guard Sgt. Jason Carrera, 26, who served two tours in Iraq, eventually surrendered peacefully to police after barricading himself in his apartment for seven hours Tuesday.

Members of the guard's Crisis Intervention Team, which includes a medical doctor, a psychologist and a chaplain, made contact with Carrera's family as soon as they could, 6News' Renee Jameson reported.

"Our gut feeling this morning was we immediately jumped on what are we going to do next after this is resolved?" said Col. Ross Waltemath. "Fortunately, there was a good ending today. Once that soldier is supported and in custody and is safe, we immediately go into what can we do for medical care."

The team, which is one of the first in the nation, has handled more than 80 interventions, assisting soldiers with physical and psychological challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"If they are experiencing any kind of depression or stress or post-traumatic stress, (they have) someone to contact for help," said psychologist Sydney Davidson. "You don't want them to be hooked on drugs or alcohol, which is what a lot of people do. They'll try and numb their feelings."

Waltemath said the Guard is also trying to send a clear message to soldiers that it's OK to ask for help.

"They're not going to have adverse actions taken on them on the military side," he said. "Go get help."

Service members and their families who need help or have questions are asked to call the Joint Operations Center at Stout Field at 317-247-3320.