Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Despite signs, suicidal soldier not taken out of Iraq

For Jason Scheuerman, death came on July 30, 2005, around 5:30 p.m., about 45 minutes after his first sergeant told the teary-eyed private that if he was intentionally misbehaving so he could leave the Army, he would go to jail where he would be abused.

AP IMPACT: Despite signs, suicidal soldier not taken out of Iraq
The Associated Press
Published: December 19, 2007

SANFORD, N.C.: Private First Class Jason Scheuerman nailed a suicide note to his barracks closet in Iraq, stepped inside and shot himself.

"Maybe finaly I can get some peace," said the 20-year-old, misspelling "finally" but writing in a neat hand.

His parents didn't find out about the note for well over a year, and only then when it showed up in a government envelope in his father's rural North Carolina mailbox.

The one-page missive was among hundreds of pages of documents the soldier's family obtained and shared with The Associated Press after battling a military bureaucracy they feel didn't want to answer their questions, especially this: Why did Jason Scheuerman have to die?

What the soldier's father, Chris, would learn about his son's final days would lead the retired Special Forces commando, who teaches at Fort Bragg, to take on the very institution he's spent his life serving — and ultimately prompt an investigation by the Army Inspector General's office.
go here for the rest

"The people that I trusted with the safety of my son killed him, and that hurts beyond words because we are a family of soldiers," Scheuerman said.

I've been doing this too long. As I read what happened to him, what he went through and how he tried to do exactly what he should have done, none of it worked and I'm not shocked. He tried to get help. The Chaplain tried to help him. His mother tired to help him. The people who wouldn't help him were the people in charge of him. They ordered him to do everything but take care of his wounds. Worse is that they threatened him with jail time and a "butt-buddy" for seeking help.

Combat is a living hell. The leadership failed him, but they have failed hundreds a year as well. There is no excuse for this and their is no reason for any of this to keep going on. Are their lives so dispensable that they no longer care who lives or dies or by what means? What is the point of telling these men and women to seek help so that they can heal before PTSD begins to eat away at them only to be humiliated for it? He was ordered to do pushups in front of other men and they humiliated him!

His family is left behind knowing their son did not have to die. As for the nation, they are too busy shopping for Christmas gifts to write to their elected to make sure this does not happen again. Two years too late for too many.

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