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BOISE -- It's a devastating issue facing thousands in the Treasure Valley -- post traumatic stress disorder.

But three volunteers are single-handedly helping veterans fight through that crisis and get the help they need.

The non-profit is called the Idaho Veterans Network, and it does much more than connect veterans to programs and resources.

They provide a friend and mentor for endless hours, often during the lowest point in a veteran's life.

These guys are everywhere. There are thousands of them here, said Idaho Veterans Network founder Marnie Bernard. We just have a hard time finding them.

And when they are found, it's often by police, sometimes in the middle of the night, and many are drunk or depressed, some even threatening suicide.

That's when police call Bernard or two other volunteers, both veterans, with the Idaho Veterans Network.

I have upon occasion, yes, gone and sat with someone who was either cutting or having a really hard time. Once we get them better, we plug them in to the system that's set up for them, said Bernard.

Bernard says after hours of discussions, they begin to earn the trust of the veteran and work to bring them back from crisis.

We watch them grow, usually within a couple weeks of joining us. They aren't as scared anymore. They don't have their backs against the wall, said Bernard. They realize they are with people who understand them.

They take the veterans on trips to hunt and fish and provide a free, comfortable way for them to return to civilian life.

Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson says many don't realize the state of the soldiers still coming home.

It seems like we are getting about one a week, said Masterson. We had one last night, of a veteran who was in a downward spiral.

He says the work of the Idaho Veterans Network is crucial and hopes the program will only grow.

I'm real proud that over the course of the last three years that we have saved somewhere around 15 lives in our community, said Masterson.

The Veterans Network is a non-profit made up completely of volunteers. Many are veterans themselves.

If you would like more information on the Idaho Veterans Network, click HERE.

Or, you can contact Marnie Bernard directly at marnieb3@cableone.net.

The peer networking meetings are held every Thursday at 6:15 p.m. at Sarah Care, located at 1655 S. Vinnell in Boise.

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