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An estimated 22 US veterans commit suicide a day

‘Abandoned’ American war veteran kills himself

Press TV

An American war veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has killed himself when he felt “abandoned” by the U.S. government.

In a heartbreaking note, which was first published by the Phoenix New Times and then in full by Gawker, Daniel Somers said that having been forced to commit “crimes against humanity” in Iraq led him to make the impossible decision on June 10.

“The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity,” the 30-year-old Somers wrote.

“Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply cannot come back from.”

“How can I possibly go around like everyone else while the widows and orphans I created continue to struggle?” Somers wrote.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said suicide among veterans has risen sharply since 2001, to an estimated 22 a day.

More than 2,700 service members have killed themselves since 2001, which does not include National Guard and reserve troops who were not on active duty when they committed suicide.

Ron Paul, an outspoken former Republican congressman and a strong critic of the U.S. war in Iraq, also reacted to Somers’ suicide.

“We should be saddened but not shocked when we see the broken men and women return from battles overseas. We should be angry with those who send them to suffer and die in unnecessary wars. We should be angry with those who send them to kill so many people overseas for no purpose whatsoever. We should be afraid of the consequences of such a foolish and dangerous foreign policy. We should demand an end to the abuse of military members and a return to a foreign policy that promotes peace and prosperity instead of war and poverty,” he wrote in a statement.

Somers, who fought in Iraq from 2004 to 2007, was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee.

He suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Somers wrote the following harrowing letter to his family before taking his own life: (To read the letter please click here).

2 responses to “An estimated 22 US veterans commit suicide a day

  1. Pingback: Iraq-Vet Kills Himself … Writing Before A Powerful Indictment… | www.HumansinShadow.wordpress.com

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