Showing posts with label Eric Hall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eric Hall. Show all posts

Monday, August 10, 2009

Eric Hall Memorial Ride raises money to help veterans

Eric Hall Memorial Ride raises money to help veterans


The sounds of motorcycles revving up filled the air surrounding Faith Lutheran Church, in Jeffersonville, Saturday as 75 bikes headed out onto Allison Lane as part of the Eric Hall Memorial Ride.

The second annual event is in memory of Hall, a Marine from Jeffersonville whose death last year was attributed to post-traumatic stress disorder. He was 24 when he disappeared in Florida while experiencing a war flashback. His body was found just outside of the town where he was staying.

His family decided after he passed that they would start a foundation in his honor to help other veterans get the help they need.

“I took on a huge undertaking, because if I make this much progress,” Becky Hall, Eric’s mom, said with her fingers an inch apart, “that’s OK. At least I did something. And that could help someone’s son, child, husband.”

People drove from all over to be a part of the ride, some even as far as Florida.

“In the military, we believe no man is forgotten and I’ll never forget Eric. I have a picture of Eric hanging in my house. This is something I have to do,” said Leonard Leary, a 65-year-old veteran from Florida who helped search for Eric.
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Eric Hall Memorial Ride raises money to help veterans

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Veterans ride for lost brother, Eric Hall

Maybe this post should be titled, Out of Hopelessness, Comes Miracles? It's really amazing what Eric Hall did after he suffered so much back home. The sadness comes knowing he was not here to see it. He is somewhere in Heaven looking down and has God's ear to help his brothers. How do I know? Because that is exactly what is happening.

Leonard “Taz” Leary became a Chaplain for the Vietnam Brotherhood after suffering from PTSD. Joe “Blooper” Tine, President of the local Leathernecks MC is talking about it. If these are not miracles, nothing is.

There have been other stories on this blog about the reporting on Eric Hall from the time he was missing and everyone was looking for him, to when his body was found and what came later. Deaths like his tug at the heart of anyone becoming aware of them. They happen all too often. Yet somehow out of tremendous grief and anger, families rise above their own pain for the sake of other sons and daughters in need of help to prevent another parent from feeling the same kind of pain. In the process, other lives are saved because they understand that PTSD does not mean the end of life. It means they need help to heal to have a better life. They understand that all of it has a reason behind it and that reason is not because they are flawed, but because they are caring humans, exposed to horrific events in combat and felt the pain of others.

If you are a newer veteran, I'm begging you to get help to heal. If any pin head utters one single word against you, tell them science has proven PTSD, but they don't have a cure for idiots refusing to learn anything. If you are a Vietnam veteran, I can assure you that it is not too late to get help. My husband did and he's living life again. He's a Vietnam vet too. With one out of five coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan right now, they need all the help they can get and who better to help them than you? First you have to heal yourself and then you can help them. Make some miracles for your own family and then you can make some for other families feeling lost, alone and afraid.

Veterans ride for lost brother, Eric Hall
Staff Writer

A memorial ride Saturday to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder in honor of late U.S. Marine Eric Hall may have been led by his cousin, Adam Birge.

But many of the veterans participating in the ride said they felt like Hall's brothers, because they, too, know the horrors of war.

The intent of the Home Front Fight Motorcycle Ride — the second ride to be held since Hall, 24, died in Deep Creek on Feb. 3, 2008 — was to raise funds for the Eric Hall Memorial Foundation. The organization is dedicated to helping military personnel returning from war with PTSD, said Hall's aunt, Marge Baker of Deep Creek.

The foundation's goal is to establish a safe house or two to provide a refuge for PTSD victims, Baker said.

“Our family feels that if there were something like that for Eric, we would have been able to save him,” she said.

About two dozen people participated. After an hour's delay due to a torrential downpour, the riders embarked from the Black Widow Harley-Davidson/Buell dealership in Port Charlotte.

Often, due to the nature of combat, soldiers can't react to trauma until years later, said Leonard “Taz” Leary, chaplain for the Vietnam Brotherhood.

Leary said he didn't become aware that PTSD was the cause of his own anti-social traits until after Hall's death compelled him to review his VA file.

“I owe him my life,” Leary said.

Joe “Blooper” Tine, president of the Port Charlotte Chapter of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club, said he experiences PTSD as “a startle reaction.” It could be set off by the sound of a helicopter or a 21-gun salute, he said.

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Veterans ride for lost brother, Eric Hall

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Memorial bike run to benefit Eric Hall fund

Can you unbreak some hearts? Part of PTSD is feeling alone, abandoned to live with an enemy embedded within them. Hundreds of thousands of others have felt this unbearable pain and surrendered their lives to this invisible wound. We still have a chance to help heal the warriors simply by showing we care and remember them. In doing this, we help teach them that there is nothing they have to be ashamed of any more than had they been wounded by a bullet. When you act locally to support them, you are also telling veterans around the nation that the people of this nation do care and do appreciate them. If you can go to this bike run, please, if you feel any obligation to them at all, go to this fund raiser for this fallen warrior who died because of his loving heart and help heal a nation full of veterans like Eric Hall before it's too late to help them.

Raising PTSD awareness
Memorial run to benefit Eric Hall fund

PORT CHARLOTTE -- For many returning servicemen, the war doesn't end at home.

It never did for U.S. Marine Cpl. Eric Hall.

Family members are continuing their fight to ensure future veterans get the help the need.

On Saturday, hundreds of motorcyclists are expected to line the streets of Charlotte County in memory of those lost in the aftermath of war.

"Home Front Fight," a memorial ride dedicated to Hall, will begin at 11 a.m. at Black Widow Harley-Davidson/Buell, 2224 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. Registration, which begins at 9 a.m., is $10 per bike.

Now in its second year, the bike run is intended to raise awareness about the silent scars affecting thousands of veterans like Hall, and the lack of treatment many receive.

The 24-year-old Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran was found dead inside a drainage pipe near his aunt's Deep Creek home March 9, 2008.
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Memorial run to benefit Eric Hall fund

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eric Hall's story comes in new documentary

A Marine's Story: Documentary will feature late Jeffersonville Marine’s struggle with combat-related stress


Eric Hall, a Marine from Jeffersonville who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, made national headlines more than a year ago.

Hall was found dead in March 2008 at the age of 24, in a Florida town where he’d relocated only a few weeks before. He disappeared from a family home there while experiencing a war flashback.

Now, Hall’s story is being retold as a part of a new documentary that’s in production titled, “When Jane and Johnny Come Marching Homeless.”

His father, Kevin Hall, and mother, Becky Hall — who have since become advocates for those suffering from the disorder — sat down with documentarian Nina M. Gilberti last weekend.

“What [Gilberti is] showing is a side that people don’t see,” Kevin Hall said. “PTSD doesn’t know bipartisan politics, it doesn’t know race or creed — it’ll affect them all.”

Gilberti’s film doesn’t address the conventional definition of homelessness: Those living on the street. Instead, she said, it’s about the struggles that soldiers face when returning from war.
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Story of Eric Hall number five story of Jeffersonville paper

Clark County’s top stories of 2008
Evening News and Tribune - Jeffersonville,IN,USA


The plight of Eric Hall, a Marine from Clark County who went missing near a relative’s home in Florida last winter, dealt a sad blow to the community in 2008.

Hall had been injured by a roadside blast while serving in Iraq in 2005. A fellow Marine was killed in the same blast.

Hall, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, moved from Jeffersonville to Florida upon his retirement to stay with relatives and get a fresh start.

However, shortly after he got there he began to experience war flashbacks and hallucinations. And one afternoon, he disappeared into a nearby woods.

For weeks, thousands helped search for the Marine, hoping to find him alive.

The 24-year-old’s body was later found in early March, badly decomposed, inside of a drainage culvert where he’d likely sought shelter.

His family organized a fundraiser in the summer to help raise money to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

— Compiled and written by Staff Writers David A. Mann and Matt Thacker and Editor Shea Van Hoy. Voted on by the staff of The Evening News.

His story came in behind


If you want to read more about Eric Hall, just click the search on his name and find them on this blog.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Welcome Back from Iraq benefit concert inspired by Eric Hall

Show Iraq Veterans We Care
Steve Echeverria Jr.

Herald Tribune

Sep 12, 2008

September 11, 2008 - Tony Rotondo never met Eric Hall.

The Port Charlotte resident did not know the Iraq War veteran who had moved to Charlotte County last winter to escape battlefield demons and ease his severe leg injuries.

But when the 24-year-old Hall, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, was reported missing in January and then turned up dead in a drainage pipe two months later, Rotondo knew something had to be done for local veterans.

His solution was organizing a benefit concert and fundraiser for Iraq War veterans and their families so the community could show their support.

"We don't like seeing our troops die or get hurt," Rotondo said, "and when they do, and when they come home, we want to make sure they're taken care of.

"Vets need to see that the community is behind them and they feel they are not forgotten."

The "Welcome Back from Iraq" benefit concert begins at noon Saturday and features live music, down-home cuisine, a silent auction and other family-friendly events at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds, 2333 El Jobean Road in Port Charlotte.

Six music acts will perform at the event, including Sarasota vocalist Twinkle Schascle and R&B singer Janid. Magician Jimmy Rook of "America's Got Talent" fame will also make an appearance.

Attendees will also be able to buy pig roast, seafood and ice cream. The auction will feature autographed items from members of Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds, Rotondo said.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eric Hall's family raising money for veterans causes

Eric Hall's father said what is very true. "Teaching families how to deal with the disorder is as important as making sure the veterans themselves get treatment," he said. “If I’d had any counseling, my son wouldn’t be dead right now,” he said.
How many times do I have to say that if I didn't know what I knew all these years, I would not have been able to stay married, help my husband and get through all of this? Trying to educate has been my passion for over 25 years now, but reading stories like Eric Hall's reminds me of how little I've accomplished in all these years and how little we as a whole have really done for them. Very depressing, yet at the same time inspiring to do more, reach out more, do whatever it takes to get people to understand what PTSD is and what can be done to help them heal.

I hope David Mann, the reporter on this forgives me for posting this whole article. Please click the link to make sure he gets the credit for people reading it.

Late Jeffersonville Marine’s family raising money for veterans’ causes


The family of Eric Hall — a Marine from Jeffersonville whose death earlier this year was attributed to post-traumatic stress disorder — plans to create a nonprofit organization in their son’s honor.

Kevin Hall, Eric’s father, said the money would be used to aid veterans who suffer from the same illness as his son.

A charity motorcycle ride is scheduled for Saturday morning, leaving from Faith Lutheran Church on Allison Lane in Jeffersonville and ending at Pirates Cove in Charlestown. It’s $15 per rider, $5 per passenger for those interested in participating. Registration is at 11 a.m. and the ride begins at noon.

“We really do not know what to expect,” Kevin Hall said.

At a similar event in Florida, 270 motorcyclists participated.Eric Hall was found dead in March at the age of 24. His body was located outside of a Florida town from which he had disappeared while he was said to be experiencing a war flashback. He was a Clark County native who had enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2002 after graduating from Jeffersonville High School.

In June 2005, Hall was injured when a bomb exploded while he was on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq. A fellow Marine was killed in the same blast.

Hall spent 13 weeks in a hospital recovering from injuries caused the blast. He was believed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, experiencing hallucinations and flashbacks.

After his hospital discharge, Hall relocated to Deep Creek, Fla., to stay with relatives and get a fresh start. Two weeks into his stay, he disappeared during a flashback.

Kevin Hall said the money raised at Saturday’s event, and that which was raised during the Florida ride, will go toward a number of veterans’ related causes. Some of the money raised in the Florida ride will go toward furnishing an apartment at a veterans’ building there.

There are also long term plans to create post-traumatic stress disorder crisis centers in Indiana and Florida. Kevin Hall said he wants a place where veterans and their families can go to work through symptoms with trained professionals.

Teaching families how to deal with the disorder is as important as making sure the veterans themselves get treatment, he said.

“If I’d had any counseling, my son wouldn’t be dead right now,” he said.

Other long-term projects for the to-be organization include study of how post-traumatic stress disorder interacts with pain medications taken for serious injuries and research on closed head injuries.

The paperwork creating the charity organization has not yet been completed. Once that’s filed, the family hopes to keep overhead costs low, so that the money it raises goes overwhelmingly toward veterans.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Marine Eric Hall to be buried at Arlington National Cemetary

Jeffersonville marine to be buried at Arlington National Cemetary

08:27 PM EDT on Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WHAS11) - The Jeffersonville marine found dead in a Florida culvert in March will be laid to rest this Friday. The discovery of Eric Hall's body came after a month-long search.

Hall had been seriously wounded in Iraq and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. His family is now working to prevent this tragedy from repeating itself.

After combat in Afghanistan in 2004, serious injuries from a bomb in Iraq in 2005, and three years of chronic pain and mental anguish, Hall will finally be able to rest in peace and with honor. Hall's cremated remains will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery
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Monday, April 7, 2008

Veterans Face Memories, Fears In Search For Marine

More indepth look at Eric Hall's story

Veterans Face Memories, Fears In Search For Marine

The New York Times

Published: April 7, 2008

The Vietnam Veterans

Charlie Shaughnessy; Thomas McCarthy, known as Wolf; Jerry Lutz, known as Animal; and Bob Constabile were strangers before Eric Hall disappeared. Each had been a Marine. Each had fought in Vietnam and struggled with the consequences.

Animal and Wolf, who still prefer their Vietnam nicknames, struggled with homelessness. Shaughnessy spent four years living without electricity in the woods of upstate New York before rejoining society. And even then, he said, he overcame the experience only with intense therapy.

"The military has an effect on your life forever," Shaughnessy said between cigarettes in his living room this month. "Forever."

By the time these men reached Florida, they were busy trying to move on. Like so many here, they had come to retire, to check out - and Iraq in particular was not a war they identified with.

The military had changed, becoming an all-volunteer force in 1974. The number of troops dying in Iraq has never reached the heights of Vietnam. And as they watched Iraq war veterans coming home to parades and public sympathy, many older veterans felt no need to link arms with younger colleagues. They watched Iraq like most Americans - as spectators.

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Marine Eric Hall's life and story won't end

Eric Hall, an Iraq war veteran, disappeared last month after having a flashback. (Chip Litherland for The New York Times)
Photos and Audio: The search and mourning for a Marine» View
Hunt for lost marine brings a community together
By Damien Cave
Published: March 31, 2008

PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida: A week after Eric Hall disappeared into the woods of Southwest Florida, his mother stood in a parking lot overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. She had asked for volunteers. Would they come?
Becky Hall's son had experienced a flashback, fleeing a relative's home after sensing that Iraqi insurgents had surrounded him. He was 24, a former marine corporal from Indiana who had been medically discharged after a bomb ripped through his leg. Here, among the retirees and strip malls, he was a stranger.
And yet his absence spurred a community to action. More than 50 people stepped forward that first day in February. Others came later, young and old, contributing four-wheelers, pickup trucks, boats, horses, search-and-rescue dogs, and even a small plane.
They searched day in day out for weeks because Hall's story broke their hearts and, many said, because his case inspired them to look past arguments over whether the war was right or wrong. It was a mission, not a debate: A marine was missing and had to be found.
"He has these issues as a result of what we asked him to do," said Kathryn Preston, 52, a botanist who spent time in the Army as a young woman and used her pontoon boat for the search. "It felt like we were responsible for him. People in the United States. All of us."

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There are very few stories I have time to cover from start to finish. While I have tried to post every story on Eric Hall, I doubt I will ever know how this ends. His family has been trying to heal at the same time they have joined other families fighting to end the stigma of PTSD, have the wounded cared for as soon as possible and better than they have been. Joshua Omvig's story didn't end yet, and I doubt Eric Hall's story will end either. As long as there are wounded in this country dealing with war that never ends inside of them, there will be more Eric's and Joshua's stories still developing. I will do what I can to make sure their stories are not forgotten.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Eric Hall: Suffering from PTSD

Suffering from PTSD
By Nick Spinetto, WINK News

Story Created: Mar 12, 2008 at 7:44 PM EDT

Story Updated: Mar 12, 2008 at 10:24 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Eric Hall's family says he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The syndrome makes soldiers think they're still in combat and can be difficult to overcome.

A lot of veterans develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs 20 out of every 100 soldiers get the disorder.

WINK News found a Cape Coral man struggling with PTSD. He says fighting this disorder can be a tougher battle than fighting in combat.

"It's extremely difficult," said Pete Nicholsen.

At 24, Nicholsen junior is a war veteran. He's served two tours in Iraq and couldn't wait to come home. Home for almost threes years now, he still can't escape memories of the war.

"You may have palm fronds out by your street. The average person sees it as palm fronds, I see it as a roadside bomb," Nicholsen said.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur after experiencing a traumatic event.

For soldiers it can be a number of things.
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Marine Eric Hall's family seeks PTSD Awareness

Becky and Kevin Hall, parents of Eric Hall, address the media with Eric's brother Justin, center, and confirm that the human remains found in a culvert on Sunday were those of their son Wednesday, March 12, 2008.Sarasota Herald Tribune photo by JASON MCKIBBEN

Parents Of Marine Found Dead Seek PTSD Awareness
By John Davis

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Published: March 12, 2008

Becky and Kevin Hall addressed the media in front of the Deep Creek home where their son, Eric, was living when he disappeared. The Halls and Eric's brother, Justin, came out at 12:20 p.m. to speak in front of eight television crews and other media.

Kevin Hall talked about his son's injury in Iraq, which required 17 to 20 surgeries, noting that, regardless of their opinion on the war, "it seems like the American people is in favor of the warriors."

"Being his advocate, I tried to do the best that I could do."

Eric Hall

"He was on pain medication for a long time."

"Supposedly when the mind-changing, altering drugs are not there, the bad dreams start to come back."

Kevin Hall talked about a vehicle wreck Eric caused in Indiana when he hallucinated a road block in front of the jeep he was driving.

"I'm almost positive now that there was several other episodes that I'm not aware of.

"It would come and go. He would have real good days. He would have bad days.

"He was hurt in Fallujah. He was carried off the battlefield."

Kevin related how Eric Hall passed through hospitals in Iraq and Germany before returning to the United States.

"PTSD is real. Believe me. Everybody believe me.

"The motorcycle was still running, by the way. It was not wrecked."

Kevin Hall said he thinks his son stopped the motorcycle to smoke a cigarette, and that the cigarette caused a brushfire that Eric tried to escape by crawling into the culvert, where the 24-year-old succumbed to smoke inhalation. Kevin Hall thinks that water pushed his son's body about 60 yards into the culvert, where Eric's Hall remains were found.

"He was overwhelmed by smoke in that pipe.

"When we found a body, we pretty much knew it was him."

To other parents of soldiers returning from Iraq: "Even though your child didn't get hurt, he's traumatized.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eric Hall, Missing Marine, Family identifies body

Family identifies body of missing Iraq vet

Kate Spinner
The family of Eric Hall, the 24-year old Iraq war veteran who went missing last month, has stopped searching for him and is ready to take their son home.

Becky Hall, Eric Hall's mother, said she is certain the body found deep within a culvert Sunday at the end of Partin Drive and Highlands Road in Charlotte County was her son's.

The family is still waiting for the medical examiner's confirmation, but is going ahead with plans for a memorial on Thursday.

The Hall family will hold a press conference at noon on Wednesday to allow members of the press to ask questions of the family.

On Thursday at 12 p.m., a memorial for Hall will be held at Faith Lutheran Church in Punta Gorda. The memorial will be open to the public.

Pray for his family.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Body found may be missing Marine Eric Hall

Body may solve missing veteran mystery
Officials awaiting coroner's report STAFF PHOTO / JASON McKIBBEN
A volunteer searching for missing Iraq war veteran Eric Hall Sunday found human remains in this drainage pipe in the Deep Creek area near Sulstone and Partin drives. The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and removed the remains Sunday evening. The identity of the body has not yet been released. Hall has been missing since Feb. 3 when he left his aunt's home on a motorcycle which was later recovered near the site where the body was found.
By Kate Spinner

DEEP CREEK -- A badly decomposed body found Sunday in a culvert in Charlotte County is suspected to be that of missing Iraq war veteran Eric Hall.

"Everybody's kind of concluded that," said Bob Carpenter, spokesman for the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.

However, he said, a final determination will not be made until the body is analyzed by the county medical examiner.

Hall's mother, Becky Hall, said she wanted to wait for the medical examiner's report before reaching any conclusions or making comments.

Becky Hall also would not say whether such items were found.

Carpenter said he did not know when the medical examiner would make a determination. He also could not say whether shoes, a cell phone, or clothing belonging to Hall were found in the culvert or nearby.

Suspicion is high that the body is Hall's because the culvert was very close to an underground shelter Hall is thought to have built weeks ago.

A volunteer who was searching for signs of Hall contacted the Sheriff's office Sunday morning to report a strong odor coming from the culvert, according to a Sheriff's Office press release.
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This has to be the one time I prayed someone would turn up with homeless veterans. Pray for his family.

The count's public works department provided a backhoe for investigators to dig to the pipe and cut a hole in it. The body was found 40 to 50 yards inside the pipe.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Renewed Hope Eric Hall Is Still Alive

Missing Marine may have called again
Eric Hall, 24, is believed to have placed another phone call to a friend
CAROLYN QUINN, Charlotte Sun Staff Writer
7:27 p.m., Friday, February 22, 2008

The former Marine who vanished over two weeks ago during a flashback to his service in Iraq may have called an old friend a second time.

Eric Hall, 24, who left his aunt's house in Deep Creek on Feb. 3 and has not been seen since, is believed to have called a childhood friend and former girlfriend in his native Indiana after 6 p.m. Thursday. It is the second call he is believed to have made to the friend, although he did not identify himself either time.

"He is reaching out, and it just renews my efforts," said Becky Hall, Eric's mother, who came to Florida from Indiana shortly after his disappearance.
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linked from

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ABC news back on Eric Hall's Story of Missing Marine

'Spider Hole' Gives Hope to Iraq Vet's Family
Mother, Volunteers Say Missing Ex-Marine With PTSD May Be Hiding in Woods of Florida
Feb. 19, 2008

The discovery of a military-style "spider hole" that may have been used by a missing ex-Marine who is likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder has restored hope for the combat veteran's family that he is alive.

Eric Hall, 24, disappeared on Feb. 3 in Port Charlotte, Fla. He was staying with his grandmother when he experienced what his family and authorities have described as a "combat flashback."

The Marine, who was left with a permanent limp from a 2005 bomb blast in Iraq, began walking around the house shooting an imaginary gun at imaginary enemies.

Hall then took off on his motorcycle, which later was found with engine running lying in the middle of a road in Deep Creek, near Fort Myers, on Florida's west coast.

On Monday, one of those volunteers discovered what is generally known in the military as a spider hole, a dugout camouflaged hiding place. It measured approximately 2-and-a-half feet deep, 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. Near the hole, which was in a wooded area about four miles from where the motorcycle had been found, was a Reebok footprint matching the shoes Hall was reportedly wearing when he disappeared. There was also a hole in the ground that had been used as a military-style toilet.

Tracking dogs from the Southwest Florida K-9 Search Unit were called in, a spokeswoman for the group told ABC News. Using the scent from an article of clothing provided by Hall's family, the dogs immediately alerted to Hall's track, according to Becky Hall and Ret. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tim Baker, one of the volunteers involved in the search. A truck bed liner was found near the spider hole that could have been used to hide Hall's location during the day.

"What my gut tells me is that he was experiencing Iraq," Becky Hall told ABC News, "that he's still in that mode."

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Eric Hall's story, so much more than missing Marine

Home from war, but no peace
By Kate Spinner
Published Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.

Almost three years after an explosion ripped apart his leg and killed his best friend in Fallujah, Iraq, war still stirred in Eric Hall's mind.

He tried to ignore it, tried to hold down a steady job and tried to act like nothing was wrong. But family members say a flashback to the terror of combat sent the 24-year-old former Marine fleeing from his aunt's Deep Creek home on Feb. 3.

He has not been seen since, despite a feverish search in Charlotte County by rescue crews last weekend and dozens of volunteers this week.

Veterans advocates say Hall's disappearance is a sad example of the nation's failure to meet the needs of soldiers returning from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.

The Department of Veterans Affairs vastly underestimated the number of PTSD patients the war would generate, according to a January report by the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

The VA predicted 3,000 new cases in 2005. Instead, it saw 18,000, according to the new study.

The fallout: an alarming increase in veterans who have committed suicide, become homeless or disappeared.

For Hall, getting treatment for PTSD in his hometown of Jeffersonville, Ind., meant days off work, long waits and little benefit in return.

"In his heart, he didn't feel like anyone understood," said his mother, Becky Hall, who is staying with family in Deep Creek to coordinate the search for her son, who had recently relocated to Southwest Florida.

Military studies report that one-third of veterans from the current wars will return home with some sort of mental illness.

Advocates estimate that 1.5 million soldiers will fight in those wars, eventually bringing the total number of veterans in need of mental health care to 500,000.
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I keep searching for more news on Eric Hall, the missing Marine, praying that he is found and get the help he needs. There is a chance that can happen. There is a chance he joined the other 20,000 homeless veterans in Florida. There is also a chance, he may have vanished.

Re-reading this report, it is amazing how much more information is in this reporting than just a story of yet one more combat veteran suffering from PTSD and the lack of care he needed.

While some advocates are putting the figure at 500,000 veterans with PTSD from Iraq and Afghanistan joining the other combat veterans from past wars, they are not even close. 1.6 million Vietnam veterans were in what was considered heavy combat zones. There have been 1.6 million rotated in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan already. By 1978 there were 500,000 diagnosed cases of PTSD according to a study commissioned by the DAV. This is just the beginning of the numbers we will be looking at.

Advocates who have been looking at all the numbers, like me, are thinking more in the range of at least 800,000 if both occupations ended today. That's right. We have evidence to back it up.

PTSD strikes 1 out of 3, no matter what the cause. But this figure is for every traumatic event. While the depth of the wound may vary, it is a human that is struck by it. Humans are still humans even if they are trained to go to war. Taking this figure as a basis, we have to then include the fact the redeployments increase the risk of PTSD by 50% for each time back in. Vietnam didn't have very many repeat tours. Most went for one year and then that was it. These troops are going back for up to 6 or even a few cases 7th time.

While we look at the numbers from Vietnam, beginning with the 500,000, then adding in the 148,000 who sought help from 2006-2007 in an 18 month period, we're already at 648,000. Then add in the numbers who were diagnosed from the time the study was done until now. We also have to take into account how many took their own lives. Two studies attempted to do this and put the figure between 150,000 and 200,000. 300,000 ended up homeless. It's easy to see how we already surpassed that rate, but also add in the fact that with the advancement of medical trauma care, the survival rate is also a lot higher than during Vietnam. This will also add to the PTSD rates when more survive.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eric Hall's family offers reward for info on missing Marine son

While the news on Eric Hall, the missing Marine, seems to have vanished, I found this story today.

Tip on missing Marine leads to gas station

Last updated on: 2/15/2008 1:15:36 PM by Ryan Hughes

CHARLOTTE COUNTY: New details have emerged in the case of a missing Charlotte County Marine. Deputies got at tip placing 24-year-old Eric Hall at an area gas station last week.

Family members feel that the lead is legitimate and believe that Hall may have hitched a ride out of town.

A reward has been posted on those flyers for a $1,000 for anyone who submits information that lead to Hall's return.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Eric Hall, you are urged to contact the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office at (941) 639-2101.
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where have reports on missing Marine Eric Hall gone?

Last week the story of Eric Hall, the Marine, Iraq veteran, wounded veteran, PTSD veteran, was all over the news. For the last two days, I've found nothing. Why has this story died? Is he no longer of interest? Do the people searching for him no longer need any help? Does his family no longer need help searching for him? Or is this just a matter of one more veteran, who served his country, paying the price with his body and mind, becoming lost, forgotten or perhaps becoming one more of the homeless veterans living in the woods, under bridges or in shelters when they are lucky enough to get in?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fox tries to blame Call of Duty video game on Eric Hall's disappearance

How did NewsHounds miss this one?

From Destructoid

Call of Duty 4 linked to ex-Marine's disappearance: Thankfully FOX has the scoop
by Jim Sterling on

FOX, America's agenda-free and unbiased source for well-researched news, has a new videogame related story up that links Call of Duty 4 with the disappearance of former Marine Eric Hall. Hall, who was wounded in Iraq, had been playing the game before he apparently got up, said he had to go, and then left, never to return. FOX would like to remind you again -- it was a videogame that caused this.

Hall's time in Iraq was traumatic, to say the least. He was injured by a bomb that caused damage to his right arm, left leg, hip and abdomen, and also had to witness his best friend's decapitation during the conflict. Prior to his disappearance, Hall had been suffering from flashbacks and hallucinations. It is believed he fled his home on a motorcycle, which was later abandoned.

Not to be mean spirited or anything, but who decided that playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a good idea after you've been traumatized in the Iraq conflict? Do people who have been savaged in a shark attack watch Jaws as soon as they're released from hospital? Perhaps he thought it would be cathartic, but obviously that's not how it turned out. A worrying story, and testament to what war can do to one's mind. Honestly though, I wouldn't recommend anybody who went through what Hall did playing CoD4. A negative reaction to the gritty and grounded war title should have been seen a mile away.

The question is, did the game have anything to do with this or not?

From FOX

Missing Ex-Marine's Family Says Video Game May Have Sparked Disappearance
Sunday, February 10, 2008

Relatives of a missing ex-Marine wounded in Iraq fear a video game that simulates combat may have triggered war memories that led to his disappearance, Florida's Herald Tribune reported.

After playing "Call of Duty," Eric Hall "just got up and said he had to go," Courtney Birge, a family friend, told the newspaper.

The 24-year-old Hall left the home of a relative in Deep Creek, Fla., where he was staying, on Feb. 3, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. He rode away on a motorcycle that was later found on a roadside, still running.

Hall had been hallucinating and having flashbacks, the sheriff's office said.
Hall's father, Kevin, remained in their native Indiana in case his son returned.,2933,330225,00.html

Even though they gave the game this review less than two months ago.

Review: 'Call of Duty 4' One of Best Games of Year
Friday, December 21, 2007

By Dan Scheraga

NEW YORK — "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare," the latest in the celebrated series of first-person shooters, has some pretty big shoes to fill.

The fact that it must compete with the much-hyped "Halo 3" and "BioShock" doesn't make things any easier.

But "Call of Duty 4" ($59.99 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC) has one major advantage: It does everything right.

• Click here to visit's Video Gaming Center.

First, the graphics are awesome. As in, my jaw hung open in awe when I first saw the beautifully rendered images on a high-definition TV. It still looks like a video game, but sometimes not by much.,2933,317705,00.html

The other question that needs to be answered is, what point did FOX have of reporting on this game when all the other reports did not? What do they have to gain by trying to tie Call Of Duty to this Marine suffering PTSD? Are they trying to say this wouldn't have happened if he didn't play the game? Well then, that explains why VIETNAM VETERANS WENT MISSING BECAUSE OF PTSD BEFORE THESE VIDEO GAMES WERE EVEN INVENTED! ARE THEY (FOX) INSANE? We had over 300,000 homeless Vietnam veterans and Lord knows how many more were missing from their families and never reported to the point where they were linked to Vietnam. PTSD is documented all the way back to ancient Greeks and Romans and yes, even in the Bible. So what the hell are they trying to say?