Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

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Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by johnny211 on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 09:00

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/four-found-dead-upper-big-tracadie-home-1.3920457

I am sorry to see this news. As one with ptsd, I can only encourage all who suffer from it to reach out.

Johnny, Out.VVV
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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by Slaket on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 10:57

And this scares me. As one who sat in his basement self medicating for almost 3 years...finally with the help of medical professionals and MM kicked almost all my other prescriptions...
moved up out of the ground and back into the real world .. And now the Minister had chosen a dollar value (3grams) as opposed to what I currently use.
Yep I'm afraid that soon enough I will be back underground with evil demons controlling my thoughts as they did with this poor brave soldier.
Minister wake up and let us try to be normal no mater what it takes.
That's all that we ask.

Brothers...Sisters please ask for help if you require it.
It is not shameful or weak.


Last edited by Slaket on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 14:41; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by czerv on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 12:26

So sorry to hear that. RIP
Another axample of 'support' that is 'available' to those who ask, both while in military and in dealing with VAC.
So sad.
No word from Sanji nor Herr?

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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by pinger on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 13:16

Beyond words.
Best support to those who knew and served with him...

Well said Slaket . . . " please ask for help if you require it.
It is not shameful or weak. "
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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by Newf on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 15:01

Rest in peace. My thoughts are for the families, friends and first responders who know have to live with this tragedy. As others have stated please talk to someone if you are in need of support.
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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by Vet1234 on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 15:20

Tragic. I saw him around, never talked though.
Prayers to all those touched by this loss.
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Ottawa not moving fast enough to prevent suicides among Canada’s soldiers, veterans

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 18:09



CANADA January 4, 2017 5:08 pm

Ottawa not moving fast enough to prevent suicides among Canada’s soldiers, veterans: advocates

By Andrew Russell and Amy Minsky Global News



Veterans advocates say the federal government isn’t moving quickly enough to keep current and former soldiers from taking their own lives, just as a former Canadian Forces member was identified as one of four people found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in a rural Nova Scotia home.

On Tuesday, four people were found dead in the home; the victims were identified as 33-year-old military veteran Lionel Desmond, his wife Shanna Desmond, 31, their 10-year-old daughter, Aliyah, and his mother, Brenda, 52.

A family member told Global News that Lionel Desmond was a veteran who had recently served in Afghanistan and had been seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

At least 54 Canadian military members have taken their own lives since 2014, including 15 members last year, according to one estimate, and advocates say Ottawa isn’t doing enough to address a life-or-death situation.

“Suicide has been an issue that has not been a priority [for the federal government],” said Michael Blais, president and founder of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy. “We have veterans coming forward and they are being put into a system where it takes months if not years to get the effective treatment that they need.”


Lionel Desmond (far right corner) was part of the 2nd battalion, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based at CFB Gagetown.

The NDP’s former long-time Veterans Affairs critic, Peter Stoffer, called progress on addressing suicides in the military “excruciatingly slow.”

“There is absolutely no reason at all why the government can’t be moving much, much quicker,” Stoffer said. “We still aren’t there yet. We simply do not have enough human or financial resources in place, in order to assist our men and woman who suffer from (PTSD).”

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr was tasked in his mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with developing a suicide-prevention strategy, in conjunction with the Defence Department, for veterans and current CF members that is “current, efficient and implements best practices.”

Veterans Affairs said it is working closely with Defence to update the suicide-prevention policy and to ensure all eligible veterans and their families “have the mental health support they need, when they need it.”

“This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased,” a spokesperson for Veterans Affairs said in a statement Wednesday. “We are committed to getting this right for the men and women who have served this country. I encourage anyone struggling to reach out to Veterans Affairs and get the support they need.”

Veterans Affairs said a draft of the “Departmental Suicide Strategy will be ready by the Fall of 2017.”

In federal accounting books, three programs are listed under the heading, “financial, physical and mental well-being of eligible veterans.”

Actual spending on those programs at Veterans Affairs increased only two per cent to $3.54 billion in 2015-16 from $3.45 billion in 2014-15, according to the Public Accounts of Canada. Planned spending for this year is pegged lower than last year, at $3.51 billion, according to estimates published at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Richard Wright, vice-president of Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, says the government has taken steps to increase access to mental health for veterans, but “it’s still nowhere near enough.”

“A lot of them are very proud veterans and they figure they can work through this from themselves,” Wright said. “We know that is not the case, they cannot work through it by themselves and they have to get professional help.”

The Canadian military has struggled in the past to recruit new psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers to deal with the suicide crisis in the military. A report in 2015 found government salaries weren’t high enough in some parts of the country to attract the necessary mental health professionals.

“Do I think it’s the best [Veterans Affairs] can do? Certainly not. But I think they are going in the right direction, which is not going in any direction at all,” Wright said.

Glynne Hines, head of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Operational Stress Injury Special Section, said whenever there are suicides amongst veterans and CF members, it means Canada isn’t moving fast enough.

“We’ll never get the number down to zero, but we will have to do better,” said Hines. “The way we are going to do better is by having an effective suicide prevention framework that can be implemented for Canadian forces members and veterans and the fact that we don’t have one contributes to the suicides that we are seeing.”

The Liberals have already re-opened several of the nine veterans offices closed under the previous government. Those that haven’t will be within the year, Hehr recently said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 911 can send immediate help. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3160539/ottawa-not-moving-fast-enough-to-prevent-suicides-among-canadas-soldiers-veterans-advocates/

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Nova Scotia shootings underscore need for better veterans' services: ombudsman

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 18:15



Nova Scotia shootings underscore need for better veterans' services: ombudsman

The Canadian Press
Published on January 4, 2017

OTTAWA — Canada's military watchdog urged the federal government Wednesday to do more for soldiers forced out of the Canadian Forces for medical reasons after an Afghan war veteran and three family members were found shot dead in Nova Scotia.

Ombudsman Gary Walbourne wants Ottawa to ensure injured military personnel have all the necessary benefits and supports in place before they are forced to turn in their uniforms — recommendations he made back in the fall.

"There should be no member of the Canadian Armed Forces released until all benefits and services are in place," Walbourne said in an interview.

"That means pension, back benefits, health care. If we had had that type of a stance, I wonder what the outcome would have been.

"Would it have been different? We're speculating; we don't know. But there is opportunity in the system. Somebody's got to make some decisions."

Retired corporal Lionel Desmond, 33, was found dead Tuesday in a home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S., from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, RCMP say. His wife Shanna Desmond, 31, their 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and his mother Brenda Desmond, 52, also died of apparent gunshot wounds.

RCMP would not confirm outright that the deaths were a murder-suicide, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Desmond served in Afghanistan in 2007, and had received treatment from a joint personnel support unit for a year prior to his release from the military in July 2015. Such units provide support to ill and injured soldiers, including mental injuries.

A family member said Desmond was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Afghanistan, and had been seeking treatment without success after his release from the military. Veterans Affairs refused to comment on the case, citing privacy laws.

The tragedy has thrust the treatment of current and former soldiers suffering from mental injuries back into the spotlight, highlighting the ongoing challenges in helping the thousands suffering from hidden wounds.

PTSD has been the top diagnosis for the hundreds of troops released from the military for medical reasons each year since at least 2014. Some 18 military personnel took their own lives in 2015, many of whom had sought some type of mental-health treatment shortly before their deaths.

The Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs have opened specialized clinics, hired more staff and cut red tape in recent years to provide better care and support as more and more military personnel have come forward seeking help for PTSD and other disorders.

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the minister's thoughts and prayers were with the Desmond family, and that he agreed more needs to be done to help ill and injured military personnel transition to civilian life.

But Jordan Owens said the government would guard against knee-jerk reactions or piecemeal decisions, referring instead to a forthcoming new Liberal defence policy that's due in the spring.

"There is work ongoing between the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs to ensure soldiers and veterans receive the care and support they need," Owens said.

"This was a major focus of our consultations during the defence policy review."

Veterans Affairs Canada released a statement on Wednesday highlighting the services available to veterans struggling with mental-health injuries and encouraging them to come forward for help.

"We are committed to getting this right for the men and women who have served this country," the statement read. "We encourage anyone struggling to reach out to Veterans Affairs and get the support they need."

But Walbourne said significant barriers and problems persist in terms of accessing services and benefits. It's unfair to serving members, veterans and their families to make them wait for the system to be fixed when there are clear measures that could be implemented now, he added.

"We've made recommendations that are easy to implement and will make a major impact on the lives of these transitioning members," he said.

"But to do nothing, well, we see the consequences of doing nothing."

Approximately 1,800 service members are released each year from the Canadian Armed Forces for medical reasons. Walbourne said 60 per cent of the complaints his office receives from current and retired military personnel each year relate to the process for leaving the Forces.

http://www.thetelegram.com/news/2017/1/4/nova-scotia-shootings-underscore-need-for-better-veterans-services-ombudsman.html

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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by red510 on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 18:30

Heartbreaking story. I wonder if mefloquine was also a factor in this tragedy?

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At least 54 Canadian military members have committed suicide since 2014

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 06:07



CANADA January 4, 2017 1:53 pm Updated: January 4, 2017 5:49 pm

At least 54 Canadian military members have committed suicide since 2014

By Nicole Bogart



At least 54 Canadian military members have committed suicide since 2014, though experts warn that number may be higher due to a lack of reporting.

Fifteen military members took their lives in 2016, according to the Tema Conter Memorial Trust, an organization which tracks suicides among firefighters, police officers, paramedics, correctional officers and other first responders.

Now, just days into 2017, another member of the Canadian Forces has taken his.

On Tuesday, four people were found dead in a Nova Scotia home; the victims were identified as 33-year-old military veteran Lionel Desmond, his wife Shanna Desmond, 31, their 10-year-old daughter, Aliyah, and his mother, Brenda, 52.



Desmond was a member of the Canadian Forces and had recently served in Afghanistan, Catherine Hartline, Shanna Desmond’s aunt told Global News. After returning to Canada, he had sought treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“He didn’t get the help. He should have had the professional help he needed and it was not done right away. When the man showed the signs he should have been put somewhere to have a full recovery,” Hartline said.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said in a release that Lionel Desmond’s wounds “appear to be self-inflicted,” and that an autopsy will be done by the Medical Examiner to determine the exact cause of death.

Clarke added that investigators found two firearms at the home, and continue to search the scene.

“I would have never, ever thought this would happen. He showed signs of acting out but he didn’t seem violent,” she said. “It’s heart wrenching.”

Tema Counter Memorial Trust Director Vince Savoia said while the organization’s numbers from 2014 and 2015 are accurate, thanks to the military’s reporting of suicide, the number of suicides reported in 2016 are based on media reports and cases that have been flagged to the organization.

According to Tema’s data, 17 military members died by suicide in 2015 and another 22 in 2014.

The Canadian Armed Forces directed Global News to its own suicide data, which varied slightly from Tema’s. According to the Canadian Forces, 13 regular force and 3 reserve force died by suicide in 2016, 15 regular force and 3 reserve force in 2015 and another 17 regular force and 4 reserve force in 2014.

“There may be more,” Savoia noted. “When it comes to PTSD, [the military] estimates no more than five per cent of their members will be diagnosed. In the Canadian population we are looking at a rate of 8 per cent – so I sometimes question the numbers.”

In 2015, the Canadian Forces published a study tracking suicide rates among male Regular Force members of Canada’s military from 1995 to 2014. The study found members of the army were 3.4 times more likely to kill themselves than non-army members of Canada’s Armed Forces and at least 50 per cent more likely to kill themselves than the average Canadian of the same gender and age.

The report found there was no “statistically significant increases in suicide rates” in regular force male members when compared to male suicide rates in the general population.

In August, a Globe and Mail investigation found that at least 70 soldiers and veterans had killed themselves after serving in the Afghanistan War. The number came from email records created by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces in 2014 in response to questions from The Globe. Neither organization would release an official suicide count.

Savoia, who sought treatment for PTSD after his career as a paramedic, noted that Canadian military members are still very reluctant to come forward and report mental health struggles.

“They are still plagued by the stigma that it’s weak to ask for help,” he said. “The ones that do ask for help don’t necessarily receive the care and help that’s provided.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911. 911 can send immediate help. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3159663/canadian-military-members-suicide-since-2014/

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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:52

yaaa really want to say a lot but I know I should not . didn't know him well but he seemed like one of the good ones . far to many emotions . not just for this loss but the losses of the past and future that I know to a large degree CAN be prevented with appropriate actions that can be implemented tomorrow .

but that will cost money .

and here we are .

what is a life worth ?

I say its priceless .

the GOC seems to defiantly have a cost value on it .

what do you think?

my heartfelt condolences to the families effected .

PRO PATRIA

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Help slow for injured vets

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 16:09

Help slow for injured vets
The Canadian Press - Jan 5, 2017 / 12:15 pm


Photo: Canadian Forces

Veterans Affairs has been struggling to process requests for assistance from ill and injured ex-soldiers in a timely manner, with many having to wait more than four months to find out if they qualify.

Internal documents obtained by The Canadian Press show only about half of veterans who applied for disability benefits between April and July last year received a decision within 16 weeks.

Officials say the department has since sped up processing times, but it is still falling short of its own targets and leaving hundreds of ill and injured veterans, including many with mental health injuries, in limbo for months on end.

The revelation raises fresh questions about the department following the shooting deaths of four people in Nova Scotia this week, including the apparent suicide of a veteran from Canada's war in Afghanistan.

Family members say retired corporal Lionel Desmond had been seeking treatment for PTSD following his release from the military in July 2015, without success.

Veterans Affairs has refused to comment on the case, citing privacy laws.

http://www.castanet.net/news/Canada/185224/Help-slow-for-injured-vets


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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by THECRANKYSAPPER on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 20:14

My heart goes out to his family and friends.

My best friend Cpl Sean McClintock committed PTSD related suicide Feb 2 2016, never made the news, he just is not here any more....rest in peace brother

If I could talk to him one more time I would tell him he just passed his pain on to all of us that cared for him and loved him, he just couldn't reach out anymore for help

I contacted the minister of Veterans Affairs twice in regard to this issue and all Veterans and only after a few weeks did I even get a reply and not even from him, the rage and helplessness I feel is massive

I don't want to hijack this thread, but the deja vu is strong, we lost 3 Combat Engineers last year that I am aware of and I just feel sick

Again my thoughts are with the family concerned and with you all.

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Canadian Forces won’t commit to probing support of veteran in apparent murder-suicide

Post by Guest on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 06:32



Canadian Forces won’t commit to probing support of veteran in apparent murder-suicide

RENATA D’ALIESIO AND LINDSAY JONES
TORONTO and UPPER BIG TRACADIE, N.S. — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 05, 2017 12:37PM EST
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 05, 2017 11:54PM EST

The Canadian Forces wouldn’t commit Thursday to examining how it handled an Afghanistan war veteran suspected of killing his family and then himself, as Nova Scotia began investigating how the province’s medical system dealt with the mentally ill soldier.

Lionel Desmond, who was an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment in Gagetown, N.B., was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder when he was released from the army 18 months ago. Relatives said his deployment to Afghanistan in 2007 left an indelible mark on the husband and father and he struggled to control his anger and overcome nightmares and flashbacks.

His deteriorating mental state was taking a toll on his marriage to nurse Shanna Desmond, her sister, Shonda Borden, said Thursday. Gunshots erupted Tuesday inside the couple’s modest home in the rural community of Upper Big Tracadie in northeastern Nova Scotia.

When the gunfire stopped, four people lay dead: Mr. Desmond’s wife, their 10-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, his mother, Brenda Desmond, and Mr. Desmond, whom police suspect shot himself.

Autopsies are being done to confirm the cause of the deaths.

The apparent triple murder-suicide has shocked the country and the military community. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the “unspeakable loss” has prompted the provincial government to investigate what health services were offered to the former corporal and whether protocols were followed. But Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and the Canadian Forces would not say whether a board of inquiry will be held to examine what medical care and support was offered to the ailing soldier by the military’s health system.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s press secretary, Cameron Ahmad, deferred questions about an inquiry to Veterans Affairs. The department and Minister Kent Hehr’s press secretary did not respond Thursday to questions on whether Veterans Affairs will hold a review.

While boards of inquiry are conducted in the suicides of active-duty soldiers, reviews are not mandatory when veterans die. The National Defence Act, however, gives the defence minister the authority to order an inquiry into such a tragedy.

“Given the RCMP’s investigation is ongoing and that this tragic situation just occurred, it would be premature to discuss such matters at this time,” Canadian Forces spokesman Daniel Lebouthillier said in an e-mail. “We must let the RCMP’s investigative process unfold.”

Military Ombudsman Gary Walbourne said that, at the “absolute minimum,” Veterans Affairs should do a full file review to examine its interactions with Mr. Desmond. He noted a review may uncover gaps that could help other vulnerable soldiers and veterans.

NDP Veterans Affairs critic Irene Mathyssen said she would support a review, if it’s backed by the family. Mr. Desmond is among at least 72 Canadian soldiers and veterans who have taken their lives after deploying on the Afghanistan mission, a continuing Globe and Mail investigation has found.

“We need to know what is going on with our veterans so that we can make sure that the services are there. And in this case, something went wrong. Something terrible went wrong,” said Ms. Mathyssen, who is a member of the all-party Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, which is currently examining mental health and suicide prevention.

Relatives said Mr. Desmond, 33, sought medical care just days before the tragedy. On New Year’s Day, he checked himself into St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in the nearby town of Antigonish because of his frayed mental state, said Catherine Hartling, an aunt of Shanna Desmond.

He was apparently told that he couldn’t be treated until the hospital had his medical records. After sleeping on a cot overnight, he left in the morning, Ms. Hartling said.

“They should have made sure Lionel never left the hospital,” she said. “Why would they let the man leave the hospital? They said if he needs help, get back in touch with the hospital. What kind of bullshit is that?”

Mr. Desmond’s sister-in-law, Shonda Borden, said he was desperate for help. The shootings occurred the day after he left St. Martha’s hospital.

“He constantly had voices in his head. He constantly had replays of what happened in Afghanistan,” said Ms. Borden, who flew in from Regina to be with family at her mother’s house, next door to the Desmond home. “He just wanted peace. That’s all he wanted.”

Inside her mother’s home, a small group of family and friends gathered Thursday to share their grief. They huddled in the kitchen as the television played. In Upper Big Tracadie, many families have been here for generations.

“The community is one big family – from the Bordens to the Desmonds to the Lawrences, the Jones – we’re all one big family. So we always had each other’s back, no matter what. So this is going to affect the community majorly. It just kills,” Ms. Borden said.

Mr. Desmond talked with his sister-in-law about his struggles with PTSD. He told her grim details about picking up dead bodies and detached heads while in Afghanistan.

Ms. Borden said she spoke to her sister, Shanna, the day she was killed on Jan. 3. Her sister felt frustrated lately in her relationship with Mr. Desmond. At the time of the shooting, the couple was spending time apart because of fighting and Mr. Desmond’s frequent outbursts, Ms. Borden said. He was staying at his grandparents in nearby Lincolnville, about 10 minutes up the road.

“He was never violent towards her [Shanna] or to his daughter, Aaliyah. He would go outside and throw things, but never towards them, ever,” his sister-in-law said.

Ms. Borden said Mr. Desmond suffered from horrible dreams and once, in the middle of the night, tried to choke his wife.

“He thought he was in Afghanistan and she calmed him down,” Ms. Borden recollected. “We all knew that he needed help and we all tried to give him help, but what are we really going to do? That’s for the military and the health-care [system] to do,” she added. “He’s a victim. They all are victims.”

Mr. Desmond was talking to a “psych” doctor in Halifax, Ms. Borden said. He had previously spent time in a rehabilitation facility in Montreal, according to relatives. The Canadian Forces and Veterans Affairs won’t comment on what treatment was offered to Mr. Desmond due to privacy reasons.

Ms. Borden is frustrated that no one in the military has contacted her yet about the shootings. “I haven’t heard a thing,” she said tearfully. On Twitter, the Prime Minister expressed condolences to the family and community.

Mr. Desmond talked about his health struggles on his Facebook page. The Afghanistan war veteran said he’d been told he had post-concussion disorder as well as PTSD.

In a Dec. 3 post – one month before the shootings – he wrote that: “I’m truly sorry for freaking out at my wife/daughter and people who know me … I’m not getting a lawyer. I’m getting my life back.”

He added: “I apologize for anything out [of] my control. I will fix it. If not, I’ll live with it.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-forces-apparent-murder-suicide-nova-scotia/article33513562/

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Re: Vet with PTSD from Afgan, kills 3 family members and himself

Post by Teentitan on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 11:21

I'm somewhat surprised that not one person, on what I have seen and read, has not mentioned one of the points in Herr's Mandate Letter.....creating 2 Wellness Centre's!!

Where is the info on the progress of the when and where?

This incident was more then a vet with PTSD taking his own life he took live's before his! Get off your arse Trudeau and start the Wellness Centre's to give vets hope.

This vet was turned away from a hospital. Imagine if he had info on contacting a Wellness Centre meant ONLY for military and vets? He just might be alive today...as well as a daughter and wife. Shame on the Government.
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