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Veterans raise awareness about mental health after Dyess airman takes own life

Staff Sergeant Ryan Lee Blair{br}
Staff Sergeant Ryan Lee Blair
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The friends of a Dyess airman who committed suicide after a standoff with Abilene police are trying to raise awareness about mental health.

Air Force Staff Sergeant Ryan Blair took his own life Saturday after he was shot by an Abilene police officer.

Blair's friends said they will miss his warm, fun to be around personality. But behind his smile, Blair's friends said he was hurting.

“He was depressed," said Blair's friend Tim Ringhoffer. "He was angry at times about the lack of help.“

His friends believe the suicide could have been avoided.

“Anytime a veteran or active duty service member loses their life in the way he did, I feel like it could have been prevented," said Chris English with the West Texas chapter of Texas Hunters for Heroes.

English, a 20-year Army veteran, knows the pain himself. He suffers with PTSD, and now helps other veterans with their challenges.

“It gets to be kind of a cold and lonely place when you have those feelings," said English.

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They hope Blair's story can help save another veteran.

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