— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) July 27, 2019
— Jason Noble (@jasonnobleIA) July 27, 2019
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’s involvement with Veterans Community Project began as a client. Even with a law degree and years of government experience, he was “a little bit overwhelmed” by the confusing maze of paperwork and bureaucracy as he sought help through the VA. He turned to the group’s outreach center, which matches veterans with needed services at no charge.
Soon, he was volunteering there. The project’s co-founder and CEO Bryan Meyer said that when the organization decided to go national, Kander, who founded the voting rights group Let America Vote in 2017, was a natural choice…
More about Veterans Community Project here.