Man Used AK-47 to Kill Two and Himself in New Jersey; Was Trained Infantryman Discharged From Marines in 2010

New Jersey Supermarket Gunman Identified as 23-Year-Old Employee Terence Tyler, Prosecutors Say

by CBS/Associated Press, Aug. 31, 2012

(CBS/AP) OLD BRIDGE, N.J. – Prosecutors have identified the man who allegedly shot and killed two people and then himself at a New Jersey supermarket Friday morning as 23-year-old Terence Tyler, an employee of the store, CBS New York reports.

Officials say Terence Tyler, 23, a former Marine Corps infantryman entered a New Jersey grocery store with an AK-47 and killed two coworkers before fatally shooting himself. Marine Corps officials said Tyler did not deploy during his Marine Corps service, but would not discuss details about his 2010 discharge.

The suspect left a Pathmark in Old Bridge Township around 3:30 a.m. and returned a half-hour later with a handgun and an AK-47 assault rifle, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.

Sources tell CBS New York that Tyler is an ex-Marine who had worked at the store for about two weeks. He served in the military from 2008 to 2010.

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Battle For Vet Votes Ignites War of Big Promises; Obama to Order Immediate VA Fixes Friday

Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, said President Barack Obama is responsible for a long list of problems impacting the current generation of veterans who are struggling at home after war duty. “The backlog for disability claims has doubled on his watch. There are now close to one million claims waiting to be processed. Veterans face unconscionable waits for mental health treatment. Every day, 18 servicemen and veterans take their own lives – an unspeakable and unacceptable tragedy,” Romney said during a speech to veterans in Indiana Aug. 29. Obama is poised to counter Romney Friday at Fort Bliss where he will announce significant remedies to help struggling veterans; many are suffering from ‘unseen’ wounds such as PSTD and TBI. Obama is pictured above at the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War ceremonies May 28, 2012 at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (DoD)

Obama to Order VA to Add Staff, See Suicidal Vets Within 24 Hours

by Megan McCloskey
Stars & Stripes, Aug. 30, 2012

BLOGBACK: It must be noted that neither the president or Mitt Romney have ever served in the military. None of Romney’s five sons — Taggart, Matthew, Joshua, Benjamin and Craig — have ever served in the military; they all did serve as Mormon missionaries though. It is unlikely Obama’s daughters — Malia and Sasha — will serve in uniform; though it remains to be seen as both are too young. It seriously leaves to question whether either man would have devoted such a level of attention to challenges impacting veterans and service members had they not been in competition for their 23 million votes. The current epidemic of suicides and the 907,000 backlogged VA benefits claims are certainly troubling when considering the president’s record on veterans’ issues. Suicides and backlogged claims have both increased greatly during Obama’s presidency with little or no intervention as commander-in-chief.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Friday directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand mental health services and suicide prevention efforts.

The president will make the announcement in a speech to troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he’ll also hold a roundtable with soldiers and their families. 

Much of what’s outlined in the executive order are initiatives that were previously announced earlier this summer by the VA.

Obama is instructing the VA to ensure that any veteran with suicidal thoughts is seen by a mental health professional within 24 hours — a standard already set for the VA, but which the department often fails to meet.

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Defense Cuts, Army’s Top Suicide Prevention Program, Likely Topics During Obama Campaign Stop at Fort Bliss

Major Gen. Dana Pittard accepts the LivingWorks Community of Excellence Award — the first time the award had been given out — from LivingWorks executive Bill Lang at Fort Bliss, Tx., July 26, 2012. LivingWorks is Canadian-based company specializing in commercial suicide intervention-training programs. Pittard made national headlines in May 2012 for making harsh comments about soldiers who suffer suicidal ideations. (DoD)

Top Official at Fort Bliss Explains Reasons for Presidential Visit

by Ric Dupont
KFOX TV, Aug. 30, 2012

BLOGBACK: Fort Bliss’ Commander, Maj Gen Dana Pittard, made national headlines when he commented publicly on his Army blog about military suicides, chastising harshly suicidal soldiers in his command. “I am personally fed up with Soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us,” Pittard said Jan. 18, 2012. Pittard later retracted the statement. Seven months later — after Pittard received intense backlash in the media from mental health experts, family members and veterans advocates over his comments — he unexpectedly was awarded the LivingWorks Community of Excellence Award for leading soldiers at Fort Bliss to what he has claimed is the “lowest suicide rate” in the Army. LivingWorks is Canadian-based company specializing in commercial suicide intervention-training programs.

EL PASO, Texas — Commanding Gen. Dana Pittard spoke exclusively to KFOX14 News about the reason President Barack Obama is visiting El Paso Friday. 

This will be the president’s third visit to El Paso. He came to Fort Bliss in Aug. 2010, and again in May, 2011. On that visit, Obama landed on post and spoke to soldiers briefly before heading to the Chamizal National Memorial to talk about immigration. 

Pittard said the president is expected to talk about sequestration — a congressional debt-reduction process that could cut about $500 billion out of the defense budget. 

But soldier well-being and the problem of soldier suicides seem to be the big issues. Pittard said the president wants Fort Bliss to answer questions that can help soldiers everywhere else. 

“Why does Fort Bliss have such a low suicide rate?” Pittard asked.

“We have the lowest number of suicides of any major installation in the Army. So we’re really doing some neat things here. And (Obama) and his team are coming to find out about that.” 

Pittard said the visit is a big deal for the post and the soldiers on it. 

”We’re just proud to host a president,” Pittard said.

“He’s come every year since I’ve been here, so I expect to see him in 2013, also.” 

Of course, KFOX14 News will have full team coverage of the president’s visit Friday. 

KFOX will post updates on social media and have the entire event live-streamed on

Read this story and view video of Maj Gen Pittard interview at its source: