ARMY WIDOW: “This is an Epidemic in the Military”

Widow says Army stress, apathy led to husband’s suicide
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, March 30, 2012

ROCKPORT, Mass. – Army Capt. Michael McCaddon, M.D., died on duty nine days ago. He wasn’t shot, he wasn’t blown up, and he wasn’t a victim of the other horrible ways soldiers die in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

McCaddon, 37, killed himself on March 21 at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he delivered babies and cared for women brought to the hospital.

Army Capt. Michael McCaddon, mustang officer served two tours in Bosnia and responded to the Oklahoma City bombings

His widow, Leslie McCaddon, 36, says her husband fell victim to the heavy stress the military inflicts on all soldiers — no matter their mission — and a tough-guy military culture that discourages them from seeking assistance for mental health issues.

She said her husband had been “severely depressed” for seven years, became verbally abusive and that eventually it became too much for her to bear. So she returned with their three children — ages 10, 8 and 6 — to her hometown of Rockport, Mass., five months ago.

But before departing Honolulu, she said, she asked the Army to reach out to her husband — only to be told he could only be forced to get help if she was in physical danger.

“Mental illness killed my marriage,” said Mrs. McCaddon. “Then it killed my husband.”

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