07 December 2007

Military suicides

RIP Tyler Curtis, 22 NOV 2007, Maine.

Tyler Curtis, 25, died on 22 NOV 07 in Livermore Falls, ME of wounds suffered figthing a war in Iraq.

Curtis, having been home from Iraq several months, took his own life.

There is a problem out there, and I don't think the government - at least this administration - wants to face up to those facts.

Men and women are coming back, as they do from all wars in foreign lands, with unseen scars. My father still comes to tears on occasion when he thinks of of Vietnam, and his tour was nearly 40 years ago. That point was driven home to me in 2004 when I came home on leave from Iraq. It was hard on him, and he's not one to tear up in front of others.

My grandfather does not talk about his participation in WWII as a Naval aviator. At 87, I don't know if he ever will.

I tear up on occasion when I think guys in my unit who didn't come back, or when I see the pictures of the funerals that pop up on the news wires every day.

I rarely went on any patrols. I never killed anyone. Hell, I never fired my weapon in anger.

But it was a life-changng experience, for better or for worse.

For Tyler Curtis, it was worse. I just wish he would have reached out more.

But the men and women who planned the Iraq War - and I use the term 'planned' loosely - failed to consider the effect on the Armed Forces in general or what it might do to the average Joe, like Tyler Curtis, during their time in-country.

How many Tyler Curtises will we have from this war?