Family

Dear Families,

I am so glad you found your way to this resource and community.

This page is dedicated space to the family members who have lost their Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or veteran to suicide.

When a loved one has taken their own life, there may often seem few places available where family members may openly talk about it with others who understand suicide and can relate to feelings of anger, pain, confusion or intense grief.

Many are hesitant to talk openly about the subject of suicide due to the deep personal nature of the act. It is well established fact that suicide and psychiatric injury still carry strong social stigmas and taboos within both military and non-military communities.

Anonymity has therefore been offered to any family member who would like to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences on this page, but may not wish to reveal their name or the name of their loved one. Anonymity is not required, but it is ok here and understood.

Perhaps by sharing and expressing your thoughts here, others may take time to read about the human impact of this painful period of military history and be moved to action or activities which may help prevent another family from joining this community.

In addition to this blog, the community and resources available at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is highly recommended for anyone feeling alone and unsure where to turn to cope with the suicide of their military member or veteran.

May your path to healing and reconciliation begin.

Welcome.

4 Responses

  1. Time up. I am a retired Marine Corps Major. I was there in Ramadi, Falluja, etc.. to liberate the Iraqi people, but before I volunteered for Iraq, I had countless friends, a great family, 2 degrees, promising opportunities, proven success, 3 wonderful daughters a spotless military record and the likes. Fast forward from the battle of Al Fajr (Falluja takedown) 2004 and ’05. I am blackballed from being hired by anyone due to PTSD, was incarcerated 3 times (once to a mental institution), have no friends, no family (literally), my 3 daughters no longer communicate with me and I live 1100 miles from all that I new as, home. Why? because I punched an off duty peace officer for making fun of my service? I have been watching the suicide statistics and when I learned that the total number had surpassed 100,000, I decided that my calling in life was no longer anything that I once thought it would be. I need sponsors and I need sponsor right now. I need 20 sponsors willing to donate $500,$750, $1,000 to put me front and center of America. I don’t need recognition or praise or for anyone to even know my name. I do, however, feel that it is our JOB to help these young men and women feel as important as they did when they joined to serve under us. How in the hell can we, as commanders, sit back and do absolutely nothing. I don’t give a damn what General or President or Senior Official thinks I shouldn’t help these men or women. I need sponsor in order to launch a PTSD acknowledgement seminar to the one group of people our government never considered. Doctors can medicate, psychiatrist can listen, but it is the leaders of our society (business leaders, business owners and HR professionals) who can help to stabilize the madness. You see, we can deal with the combat, the bullets and the blood, what we cannot deal with is, a society that has neither the time nor the desire to offer us some patience and understanding. When I tell corporate leaders from Denver to Spokane and from Miami to LA, what PTSD really is, they might just wake up and finally get up off of their fat asses and mandate that their companies not only hire, but celebrate, embrace and show absolute non-conditional support for their long road home. The gravity of this warrior vs society disconnect didn’t dawn on me until my soon to be father-in-law said to me, “Why don’ t you just get on with the rest of your life”. Well, sir. Before I departed for Iraq and ordered the killing of over 4,000 foreign fighters and losing over 100 marines (some of them close buddies) I was making more money than you every could. Ungrateful bastard. However, it isn’t entirely his fault. You see, there are millions of American’s who believe that they somehow earned their right to be free. Many of them believe that the warrior job is to be left to the misguided or underdeveloped. Um, Does my Master’s from Texas A&M place me at the bottom of the shit pile? It’s simple. In order to stop the carnage, it will take a military commander who’s message isn’t tied to some performance evaluation. It will take a commander who is willing to tell the truth. It will take a commander who understands what our soldiers suffer with. It will take a commander who can talk to the highest level executives in our country and tell them they are full of bs and not bat an eye. I need sponsors and I need sponsor right now. Ask around, find people, find business owners, but I need sponsors. Not long term, just to get rolling. I can be contacted at the following email address and if your son or daughter committed suicide, I’d like to speak to you over the phone.. email: aggie1bm@hotmail.com. Major, USMC, Honorably Retired 2011.

    Bottom line: As long as officers continue to commit suicide and as long as officer’s remain silent, more of our young servicemen and women will follow suit. They aren’t about to admit their weaknesses or ask for help when we aren’t.

  2. On February 22, 2013 my beautiful son Cpl Julian A. Ortiz with the 1st Battalion 9th Marines weapons division out of camp Lejuene NC, lost his inner battle with PTSD. My wife and I are at a lost for words over our loss. There is no meaning in this tragedy, just a hole in my heart. I know as his father I should be strong for the family but I feel that I’m losing my grip each and every day we are going to have with out him. I don’t know how to move on. Julian was the second oldest of three boys and the most daring. I loved my son without conditions even though he confided in me that “I joined the Marines to impress you DAD”! I miss you Julian.

    • Thank you sincerely for sharing your pain and expressions of love for your departed loved one. We will all miss him. Please reach out … there are many others who have been down this road and will comfort you and your family during this time. The pain may be intense now, but time heals, time heals. Your words touched my heart today. Thank you for sharing here in this forum.

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