Decorated Veteran fall from Grace shows Civilian Celebration of War can be Deadly

I make no excuse for the actions of anyone especially a mature and seasoned veteran but as with all things each of us need to take a step back and be more than willing to address any mistake we might have made or any part we may have played in a celebrated moment going so very wrong.  This is clearly the case involving an article by Nicholas K. Geranois for the Associated Press titled “Iraq War veteran charged with murder in deaths of relatives

In the article it is reported that “a decorated Iraq War veteran arrested in the deaths of his estranged wife's mother, stepfather and brother was charged Tuesday with three counts of premeditated first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances.  The charges mean Roy H. Murry, 30, might face the death penalty, Spokane County prosecutor Larry Haskell said. "At this point in time, every option is on the table," Haskell said after the hearing.  Amanda Murry has told law enforcement officers that her husband blamed her family for the couple's marital woes. She also told authorities that Roy, from Lewiston, Idaho, suffered from post-traumatic stress from his service in Iraq and was becoming increasingly delusional, according to court documents. Roy Murry earned a Bronze Star for valor as an Army National Guard sergeant in Iraq, where he was severely injured by a bomb. He has had an escalating series of run-ins with law enforcement officers involving weapons since his return from the war.  Murry surrendered to authorities on Saturday, four days after the home of his wife's family was set on fire near Chattaroy, which is a few miles north of Spokane.”

The part we played is simple to see.  We celebrated this veteran without even taking into consideration what he was going through.  We made the injuries to him a reason to party instead of a reason to console.  We failed to see him struggling so mightily with “survivor’s guilt” and why this happened to him by covering up our responsibility toward him and all veterans by slapping on him a medal, patting him on the back, thanking him for his service and naming him to a congressional post.  All this so that we could feel good about ourselves and our votes to send men and women in harm’s way without fulfilling our obligations to them once they returned.  We covered up the big gaping hole in his soul with a medal that weighted more on him than anything else that we could have done.

This is our row to hoe, people and as long as we think that just papering over a very large and ugly wound is all we need to do to make it right, we will continue to see those whom were willing to die to keep us safe doing whatever they can to get the attention that was promised and so well deserved.  Be very careful people who you tag with that title hero because while it may make you feel good about yourself, the ones upon which you label may not be feeling good about themselves and in the end which one of these are more important?


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