Tragic doesn’t even BEGIN to describe it.
The whole reason we honor our troops because war carries a terrible burden for many.
Some come home under a draped flag. Some, with parts of their bodies missing or permanently damaged.
But as we see with a staggering suicide rate among our veterans, not all of their wounds are physical.
After adjusting for differences in age and sex, risk for suicide was 22 percent higher among Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adults. After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 19 percent higher among male Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adult men. After adjusting for differences in age, risk for suicide was 2.5 times higher among female Veterans when compared to U.S. non-Veteran adult women.
And that makes stories like this one so much more tragic.
A man who had once been met as a hero and veteran with ‘thank you for your service’ from those of us who respect the uniform turned on the very people who were trying to help him manage his PTSD.
A decorated US veteran has been found dead with three female hostages after storming the care home where he had been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
The bodies were found last night after an eight-hour standoff with police at the Veterans Home of California. The gunman was identified as Albert Wong, 36, a former patient who won four medals and served in Afghanistan. Among the dead was a senior psychologist who had recently ordered he be removed from the facility, a relative of the victim said.
Source: The Times
One courageous cop, who engaged with Wong at the risk of his own life is believed to have saved the lives of others present by having done so.
Before officers entered the room, hostage negotiators spent hours trying to contact the gunman, who was a former client at The Pathway Home. Authorities identified him as Albert Wong, 36, of Sacramento.
Wong was a client of The Pathway Home, a nonprofit that helps veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and operates a rehabilitation center on Yountville property. He left the program two weeks ago, according to state Sen. Bill Dodd.
When he stormed it, they were having cake, without the foggiest idea of the danger they were facing.
Not everyone comes back from war as messed up as Wong did. But for those who really struggle with it, we need to find better solutions to help them cope and recover.
For their sake… and everyone else’s, too.
But as a PSA, in case anyone thinks that all combat vets with PTSD are like Wong… they’re not.
For example, here’s a reminder of a news story where the vet with PTSD was more level-headed and calm than most of us would have been.