A frantic call, a final standoff: 'Please don't hurt him. He just needs help'
June 19, 2019
Balladares’ mouth opened and he began to spew out a slurry of grievances — the VA couldn’t help him, all his friends were dead, no one cared about him, his country abandoned him.
Tida Garcia lives with a ghost.
Moises Balladares has been dead for almost two years. Avondale police shot him just feet outside the front door of his house — the house where Garcia still lives.
The blood is gone, and so is the small memorial of miniature American flags and patriotic-colored roses that marked the spot where he died on the night of July 25, 2017.
But he's still there.
Tida Garcia talks about the shooting of her fiancé, Moises Balladares, a veteran, in her home in Avondale on April 4, 2019. PATRICK BREEN/THE REPUBLIC
Balladares is present in nearly every part of the house, from the enlarged photos that guard the front door to his Purple Heart medal safely stored in a new shadowbox (after he destroyed the last one on that volatile night). It's in the paint colors and the furniture he chose during his last few good days.
In a sense, it's still his home — his home he tenderly prepared for Garcia and her children before he left them.
"He just always had these little signs he was going to leave us," Garcia said. "But he's always going to be here with me."
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His country abandoned him...
Moises Balladares served this country and paid a price physically and mentally. His family paid too. In a way, so did the police officers who responded that deadly night.
Ballandares went to the VA for his disabilities and asked for help that was not enough to actually help him heal.
What good did "suicide awareness" do for him? They claim that is the point of raising millions per year in every state but cannot claim to change the veteran's state of mind.
I got into arguments with these groups too many times. In the end, when they can no longer dismiss the facts, their response is "its just a number" and then add in "it is easy to remember" which proves they have no clue.
What makes them deserve all the funds, publicity and support when the results are so appalling? That is one of the questions I ask when someone says they support one of these groups. It finally dawns on them that making veterans aware of the fact they are killing themselves, is insane.
Making veterans aware of what PTSD is, what it really is, and then letting them know they can heal to live a happier life is preventing suicides.
One requires no more work than planning a stunt and getting reporters to show up so they can share it on social media. The other requires an investment of research before standing by their side and giving them the help they need.