Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vet who committed suicide fought depression, PTSD

Vet who committed suicide fought depression, PTSD
Jesse Huff ‘was truly depressed because he wanted nothing more than to be in the military.’

Staff Writers
Updated 2:13 AM Sunday, April 25, 2010
DAYTON — In the three years since his discharge from the Army, Jesse Huff never fully revealed the furies of his demons as storm cloud after storm cloud gathered over his life.

In 2008, his mother, Sharon Nales, died from an accidental drug overdose. His father, Charles Huff Sr., has had several convictions for cocaine possession. He rarely got to see his adored young daughter, Gabriella. He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and his injuries from a roadside bomb in Iraq left him with chronic, severe pain in his lower back and legs.

“He was truly depressed,” said his sister, Heather Lake, “because he wanted nothing more than to be in the military.”

The 27-year-old soldier arrived at the emergency room at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center about 1 a.m., April 16, seeking immediate help because he was “paranoid someone was after him” according to Scott Labensky, the father of Jesse’s half-brother Dalton.

At 2:45 a.m., Huff walked out of the ER “against medical advice,” investigators wrote in a Montgomery County coroner’s report.

Not even those closest to him know what happened during the next three hours. But at 5:45 a.m. Huff walked to the front steps outside the VA’s Patient Tower dressed in full Army fatigues, toting a backpack and an M-1 rifle racked with nine additional bullets in the magazine.

He rested the M-1 rifle under his chin and pulled the trigger. When that didn’t kill him he pointed the gun near his temple and pulled the trigger again.

The journals’ recurring themes included his love for the Army and the brotherhood he found in the infantry. “He really felt like he belonged,” his brother said.

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Vet who committed suicide fought depression, PTSD

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