Wounded agents who took part in the raid on Mount Carmel are in hospitals recuperating physically.
Monday the agency started taking steps to help them work things through mentally.
That’s when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ Peer Support Team started swinging into action. The 5-year-old unit, which goes in among agents involved in crises like Sunday’s failed intervention, is made up agents who have either shot someone or have been shot themselves in the line of duty.
“It’s one thing for a mental health professional to let the agents know about reactions to trauma,” said psychiatrist Roger Solomon, who works with the Peer Support Team. “It’s another thing for a fellow agent who’s been in a similar situation to get with an agent and say, ‘After my incident, I had nightmares, and I saw some images, and I’m not crazy.’”
Hap LeCrone, a Waco psychologist who is working with agents and Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center staff to work through the effects of Sunday’s thwarted raid, said the agents he talked to are “full of anger.”
LeCrone said it’s part of the process of dealing with loss and a situation beyond their control.
“It’s a lot of anger and some frustration about the whole situation,” he said. “It’s a process of figuring out, how do you go on with life?”