Suicide at Florida VA Hospital Reveals Pain Among Veterans
by Howard Altman
The Tampa Tribune, Aug. 26, 2015
TAMPA, Fla. — Ever since leaving the battlefields of Vietnam in 1968, Marine Corps veteran Gerhard Reitmann struggled with the horrific memories of the things he did and saw.
“It was a rough one,” said his brother, Stephan Reitmann. “Emotionally, it did a number on his mind.”
Gerhard Reitmann had trouble holding a job. He often kept to himself and, until recently, cut himself off even from his family.
On Tuesday, Reitmann’s struggle ended.
The man who once served as a guard at Camp David during the term of President Richard Nixon apparently took his own life while parked in his car on the southeast side of the sprawling campus of the Bay Pines VA Medical Center near Tampa, Fla., shortly after noon, according to officials from Bay Pines and the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office.
It was near Building 37, which houses the hospital system’s human resources, environmental management and inspector general’s offices.
Bay Pines police are investigating,
Reitmann, of St. Petersburg, Fla., was 66.
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