I am the widow of a United States marine who honorably served his country for eight years until his body gave way. At the time of his suicide, he had to wear leg braces to support his ankles after three ankle surgeries. We were married in 2013. After a deployment, my husband’s PTSD from his 2011 shot up like a rocket. He was diagnosed with a great number of mental defects by the VA, all of which were service connected, and he was considered 100% disabled through the VA. I endured years of abuse. I was the punching bag for his PTSD until I could handle no more. My husband was taking a number of medications to help control his service connected mental disabilities; all of which left us unable to have another child. In a desperate attempt to provide our family another baby, he went to the VA to have his medications changed. After research, he found the medications combined were a very dangerous cocktail of drugs, which was an obvious reason on top of the other to have them changed. He was on his new meds for only 10 days when he killed himself with a self inflicted gunshot wound to his head; which happened after I had left the abuse. My daughter was asleep in the next room. She wasn’t even three. And now I find myself alone raising my three year old daughter who will never remember her father. We went to the VA with the hopes that his problems would get better, not get worse. Clearly the outcome in this situation means his issues became dangerously worse; deadly. My husband was devastated he was unable to continue his career in the Marine Corps. Being a Marine was his proudest accomplishment in life. He could no longer serve because he dedicated his body to his country. His body which the VA was to help take care of. In this case, he was let down. And ultimately, his sacrifice, mental and physical, cost him his life.

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