Thursday, May 21, 2015

Father of Marine Struggles After Suicide

ABC 7 News
By Chuck Goudie and Christine M. Tressel
May 28, 2015
Two days before he died, Cole had asked his dad to watch "American Sniper," a riveting war memoir.

"He said it portrays very well the kind of meltdown psychologically of a guy doing what he was doing," Tom Van Dorn said. "He said that's him, making these decisions on who lives and who dies."
ARLINGTON, Va. (WLS) -- Tom Van Dorn, a pianist and composer, wrote music for a video he made about his son's first deployment. He can no longer bear to watch it.

On April 8, his 29-year-old son, Staff Sgt. Cole Van Dorn, was found dead at his home in Southern California. He was being treated for PTSD and taking about a dozen drugs, his father said.

Two thousand miles away in west suburban Bloomingdale, his father got the terrible news. He had just spoken to his son a couple days before.

He never thought his son was suicidal.

"I'm guessing that it was 30 hours later that he died," Tom Van Dorn said.

One in five service members have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Government data says there are 300,000 servicemembers with PTSD, depression or brain trauma after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At least 22 veterans commit suicide each day, according to the Veterans Administration.

"Treat these Marines -- whoever is in charge -- like this is your kid," said Tom Van Dorn. "That's all I want."
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