After 12 people were shot and killed in Thousand Oaks, California, the city's mayor did his best to unite a heartbroken community during a vigil Thursday night.

The shots erupted inside the Borderline Bar with almost 200 people inside at the time.

Police found the alleged gunman, Ian David Long, a former marine who served in Afghanistan, inside the bar dead. It's believed he killed himself because he was suffering with PTSD.

It’s a story local veterans know all too well.

In just two years, Tyler Bowser went from being a homeless veteran to helping those in similar spots.

Bowser now works for the Veterans Empowerment Organization and says sometimes, the hardest part of getting help, is finding it first.

“Being exposed to wars. Being exposed to traumas. Being separated from your family for a long time. It creates wounds that we can't see,” Bowser told CBS46 News. "Isolating and being alone and not even wanting to go out to get access to those resources, that's a huge challenge for those suffering with mental health issues."

There are several forms of support for veterans in need of it.

The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.

There's also a new organization called the Warrior Alliance that helps veterans connect with the resources they need.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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