Wilsonville veteran has a dream: A place to help other vets cope with PTSD

Air Force Captain John Budiao wants to build a woodworking shop in Canby to help veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. (KATU Photo)

WILSONVILLE, Ore. (KATU) - A veteran is on a big mission to help fellow vets who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says about 22 service members commit suicide every day.

It’s something Air Force Captain John Budiao can’t let go, and he wants to open a place where veterans can find greater purpose in life.

“Tomorrow will always come, and I wish this program was up and running,” he said. “I wish I had something better, and that’s the dream I have.”

That dream may rest in Canby at a place where veterans could learn a new skill.

“This would be a woodworking shop,” Budiao said. “There would be a section for coffee, a section for working on flags, maybe a TV to watch the news – just something to get them out of their mindset.”

He’s trying to raise a million dollars. He admits it’s a lofty goal.

“I’ve got these big ideas, and my wife’s like, ‘What are you going to do with the money?’ Well, if it doesn’t get there to where I can open it, I’ll donate it to Labradors for Vets. But I gotta try,” he said.

In 24 years of military service, Budiao has not been immune.

“It was sad because we all knew each other. We all knew what each other was going through, but he wasn’t strong enough to ask for help,” he said.

Budiao hopes he can be that connection to help others.

“For me, I get to feel some of that pain. I didn’t get to see the things he has, but how can I give him a ray of hope that there will always be a tomorrow,” Budiao said.

He’s just asking for $22, which represents the 22 service members who kill themselves each day.

He has set up a GoFundMe page.

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