Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Military Sexual Trauma – The New Face of PTSD (2007):

The Other PTSD – Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military -NBC Nightly News (May 4, 2007)

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Featured ‘The Other PTSD: Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military’ (May 4, 2007)

Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act (2007):

The House debates the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, which directs the VA to develop and implement a comprehensive program to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans. The bill is named for an Iraq veteran who took his own life, and recognizes the special needs of veterans suffering from PTSD and elderly veterans who are at high risk for depression and experience high rates of suicide. -Rep Leonard Boswell (October 23, 2007)

President George W. Bush Signed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act Into Law (November 5, 2007)

The Number One Problem Combat Vets Will Face is Mental Health (2007):

Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense tells Armen Keteyian that the No. 1 problem facing vets of Afghanistan and Iraq will be mental health. -CBS News (November 13, 2007)

Eye to Eye with Katie Couric on CBS News: Veterans and Suicide (November 13, 2007)

Veterans Who Get Help at VA Are Still at Risk of Suicide (2008):

CBS News first reported on the staggering number of veteran suicides in a report last year. Now, newly-released data shows that vets who get help from the VA are still at risk. -CBS (March 20, 2008)

CBS News: Veteran Suicides An Epidemic (March 20, 2008)

Seven Vets Under VA’s Care Died by Suicide in Washington (2008):

They served their country honorably but after risking their life in combat abroad, coping with coming home was too much. In the last three months seven servicemen being treated by Spokane’s VA Hospital have committed suicide. -4 News Now (April 29, 2008)

Army National Guardsman Spc. Timothy Juneman Died by Suicide; Family Shares Imminent Redeployment to Iraq ‘Major Stressor’ (March 5, 2008)

Senator Patty Murray Alleges VA Cover-up of Veteran Suicide (2008):

Despite recent efforts by the Veterans Administration to prevent veteran suicide, seven have committed suicide in the Inland Northwest in the last four months and US Senator Patty Murray is calling the situation unacceptable. -4 News Now (May 1, 2008)

Senator Patty Murray Calls for Changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Wake of Suicides (May 1, 2008)

“The Betrayal Issues Are Really Deep” (2009):

Katie Couric investigates an alarming trend in the U.S. military, as more and more female soldiers have come forward with tales of sexual abuse at the hands of male soldiers and superior officers. -CBS (March 17, 2009)

Sexual Assault Permeates U.S. Armed Forces (CBS News, March 17, 2009)

Continue reading

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘A Killer View’ on ID: Neighborhood Dispute Between Clyde Reddicks and Jeffrey Flaugher Turns Deadly (August 1, 2019)

ID Go: A young family builds their dream home in the Kentucky Hills, but their heaven is hell for the quiet couple living next door. And a dispute over a shared road leads to fireworks, fury, and cold-blooded murder. -A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor (S6,E1)

On July 16, 2004, decorated Vietnam veteran Clyde Reddicks fatally shot Jeffrey Flaugher and Teresa Leadingham in their Grayson, Kentucky home after a sustained campaign of neighborhood disputes and gaslighting. Reddicks was facing the death penalty for capital murder but in July 2006 opted to plead guilty, but mentally ill to two counts of first-degree manslaughter, one count of second-degree burglary, and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Clyde Reddicks was sentenced to 18 years for each manslaughter count, with the terms to run concurrently, ten years for the burglary charge, and seven years for the wanton endangerment counts which run consecutively with the manslaughter term. Clyde Reddicks died of cancer after serving just six years in prison.

Post Traumatic Stress is not a justification for murder.” -Det. Robert Garnes, Kentucky State Police (A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor)

YouTube:

A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor, Cream Productions (July 29, 2019)

A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Cream Productions (July 31, 2019)

A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Cream Productions (August 1, 2019)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Teresa Ann Criswell (1974-2004)
Jeffery Lynn “Bub” Flaugher, Jr (1978-2004)
Clyde “Junior” Reddicks, Jr (1944-2012)
Neighbor Feud Ends In Murder
Vietnam flashbacks blamed in murders
Clyde Reddicks pleads guilty to lesser charges
Couple sentenced in neighbors’ deaths
Parade Lawsuit Settled
Eastern Ky. man settles with city, county over parade ban
Clyde Reddicks, Jeffrey “Bub” Flaugher: Watch ‘Fear Thy Neighbor A Killer View,’–Vietnam Vet, Fireworks Feud In Kentucky
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Teaser)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Teaser 2)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Fireworks & Fury)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S6,E1)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Simple Kindness: Easy Ways to Repay Our Veterans for Their Service (July 31, 2019)

DeployOrg.com.png

(Image courtesy of Pexels)

Guest post by Kelli Brewer, DeployCare.org

Simple Kindness: Easy Ways to Repay Our Veterans for Their Service 

It can be very difficult for the average American, especially those with no military experience, to appreciate the mental, physical, and financial impact that years of military service can have. The situation comes into focus when you consider that there are more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 800,000 in the country’s reserve forces.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, family problems, and lack of employment opportunities can place a huge obstacle in the way of returning service members who just want things to return to normal. Unfortunately, it’s often not that easy, especially for those who return with debilitating injuries. If you’re looking for a way to help out, here are a few ideas.

Say ‘Thank You’

The Vietnam War experience taught Americans that returning service members can be seriously affected by the nature of their return. If it’s critical or indifferent, veterans may feel unsupported and unappreciated. And while today’s military personnel typically don’t face the kind of harsh criticism that confronted Vietnam-era servicemen and servicewomen, they can still be powerfully impacted by a lack of support and understanding. If you want to help a veteran, acknowledge their service by shaking their hand or offering a sincere “Thank you.”

The Health Care They Need

Veterans, particularly seniors, need to understand how their health insurance works. For those enrolled in Medicare Part A or B, there are several out-of-pocket costs, and to complicate matters further, plans often change from year to year. Fortunately, you can enroll in a Medigap plan, which may provide more of the benefits you need. For example, Plan F covers the deductible that comes with Medicare Part B, though certain changes to this particular benefit will go into effect beginning in 2020. Knowing your coverage and understanding how Medicare functions is essential for getting the most out of your coverage.

Help Veterans Reintegrate Socially

A soldier who returns home without a job or without access to social services may feel lost and alone. Consider organizing an event for returning service members, perhaps schedule an evening at the movies, an informal dinner setting, or get together every week at a nearby coffee shop. Make it a venue where everyone can talk about their experiences, hopes, and frustrations.

If you have a relationship with a veteran, offer to help out in specific ways. For example, if your friend has trouble scheduling a medical or therapy appointment, reach out by offering to babysit or offer to give them a ride if they lack transportation. There are many ways to volunteer, just by making efforts of simple goodwill.

Finding Work

Veterans often find that the skills they learned in the military don’t translate well into steady employment once they’re discharged. That can be especially true of veterans who lack a degree or some form of higher education. If you’re a business owner or have access to human resources personnel at work, why not put in a good word for a veteran who’s having trouble latching on somewhere? Your company will earn tax credits for hiring veterans. Sometimes, a foot in the door is all a veteran needs to impress a prospective employer.

Be a Willing Listener

You don’t have to be close friends with a service member who just needs a sympathetic ear. Give a veteran an opportunity to share their experiences. You really don’t need to say much, just be present in the moment and listen without judging or criticizing. It’s a simple but important gesture because many have no one to talk to, no outlet for their frustrations and anxieties.

Simple gestures are sometimes the best way to help veterans, service members, and their families. Be willing to provide the kind of support and assistance you’d offer to anyone. It’ll make you feel great and it’s a great way to thank our military heroes for their service. 

Evil Lives Here Premiered ‘Let Her Rot’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Veteran Joshua Hudnall Learned Mother & Sister Killed Father William Hudnall While Deployed in Iraq (January 6, 2019)

ID Go: When Joshua Hudnall went off to war, he felt more at home in combat than he ever did around his mother. But just when Joshua thought he had escaped her torment, she set her sights on someone else, and destroyed their family from within. -Let Her Rot, Evil Lives Here (S5,E1)

Evil Lives Here is by far one of the best shows on Investigation Discovery. “Evil Lives Here tells the true stories of people who lived with a killer. How well do you really know your family? Would you recognize the warning signs?” The season 5 episode Joshua Hudnall was featured in ‘Let Her Rot’ was by far one of the most powerful episodes to date. Today we not only share this particular episode with you because it’s educational but we pause to honor Army veteran Joshua Hudnall because we learned from Investigation Discovery that he passed. We learned shortly after this episode premiered in January 2019 that Joshua Hudnall had passed away in 2018 and never saw the Evil Lives Here episode he was featured in. After the episode premiered, I wanted to reach out to him to let him know how much I appreciated that he shared his very personal story with us.

Joshua experienced violence in the home and suffered in silence because he didn’t know how to escape it. His father’s love was his beacon of hope. He believes strongly his deployment overseas contributed to his Post Traumatic Stress, BUT it started with his mother’s abuse. He said on the outside she appeared to be the world’s best mom but really she was manipulative, greedy, and violent. One of Joshua’s most profound thoughts was when he admitted a deployment to Iraq was easier than what he grew up with because at least he could defend himself. It was while Joshua was in Iraq that he learned his mother Stephanie Hudnall and his sister Guenevere Lynn murdered his father William Hudnall with a pick axe, one of the most violent tools one could use. Joshua went through a lot in his short life including serving our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. But he left us with his story, a story we can use to help other abused children. Rest easy Joshua.

Joshua Hudnall

Joshua Hudnall, U.S. Army Veteran (featured on Evil Lives Here)

“I loved being in the Army, I really did. In Iraq, and I know everybody watching this is gonna say some crap about what I’m about to say, but Iraq was the EASIEST and best time of my life. Swear to God. My base was the hardest hit. We were the ones who were attacked the most out of all of our bases in the Middle East. You got bombs going off everywhere. There’s always someone trying to kill you. And even with all of that, all of that craziness, all that confusion, still a thousand times better than what I grew up with. If someone shot at me, I could shoot back. Growing up, I couldn’t grab a knife and chase her with it. No matter how bad Iraq got, I knew I had someone watching my back.” -Joshua Hudnall, U.S. Army Veteran (Evil Lives Here)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Let Her Rot | Evil Lives Here | Investigation Discovery (website)
Let Her Rot | Evil Lives Here | Investigation Discovery (S5,E1)
Let Her Rot | Evil Lives Here | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Grand jury indicts mother, daughter for pickax slaying
Daughter accused of killing Hawthorne man with pickax
Florida teen arrested for hacking father to death with axe; She and her mother charged with murder
Daughter, 19, hacks her father to death with pickaxe with mother’s help to get his social security benefits, police say
Brutal Hawthorne murder shocks community
Money reportedly cause of Florida killing
Mother, daughter sentenced in pickaxe murder
Mother, Daughter in Florida Sentenced in Pickax Killing
Mother, daughter in Florida sentenced to 40 years each in pickax killing
Like Mother, Like Daughter | Psychology Today
Video: When Joshua Hudnall went off to war, he felt more at home in combat than he ever did around his mother. (ID Facebook)
Joshua Hudnall death: ID pays tribute to tormented son featured on Evil Lives Here after 2018 passing (February 11, 2019)

Deadly Power Premiered ‘Lackland Military Scandal’ on Oxygen: Virginia Messick Recounts Experience in Air Force Basic Training (July 23, 2018)

When 19-year-old Virginia joined the U.S. Air Force, a superior officer’s sexual abuse turned her lifelong dream into a daily nightmare. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

When Sergeant Walker began harassing Virginia, his powerful military rank kept her from speaking out against his appalling behavior. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Sergeant Walker isolated Virginia and assaulted her in an Air Force dorm room. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Virginia fought for justice not just for herself, but also for nine other victims who suffered Walker’s abuse. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Virginia experienced PTSD from the sexual abuse she suffered at Lackland Air Force Base. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Virginia explains the extreme intensity of Air Force basic training. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Colonel Don Christensen left the Air Force after 23 years to dedicate his career to eradicating sexual assault in the military. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Related Links:
Deadly Power: Preview – An Air Force Academy Nightmare (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Preview – The Abuse Escalates (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Preview – Trapped By A Predator (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Preview – Virginia’s Day In Court (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Bonus Clip – Virginia’s Lasting Trauma (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Bonus Clip – Surviving Basic Training (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Bonus Clip – Fighting For Change (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)

June 2018

Missing:
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Friends, family of missing UMass nursing student Maura Murray hope funds will lead to answers

Cold Cases:
Family wants justice for Army vet found shot to death in driveway
Authorities Have Cracked a Bizarre Cold Case That Could Have Ties to the Zodiac Killer
48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (June 17, 2017)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Continue reading

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Head in the Oven’ on ID: Former Marine Stopped Taking Meds, Unraveled & Murdered Brett Smith (June 16, 2018)

Two neighboring bachelors start out as friends. Harmless banter turns into threats eventually igniting an escalating war. The violence ends with a murder so shocking it is almost beyond belief. -Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery (S5,E3)

Brett Smith was found murdered in his home on October 3, 2008 in North Canton, Ohio. Brett was found with a knife in his chest and dismembered; his head was found burning in the oven of his own home. It didn’t take long for police to determine that Brett’s neighbor, William Perry, was the suspect in the case. William Perry served in the Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm and was suffering from what sounds like Post Traumatic Stress. He was taking medications because he saw a lot of terrible things but he didn’t want to talk about it; the medications helped mitigate flashbacks, nightmares and other symptoms like lack of concentration that interfered with daily living. William and Brett were both fixing up their homes, helping each other out, and sharing tools.

At some point, William became jealous of Brett’s home improvement efforts and all the help he appeared to get from his family. William was struggling financially to fix up his place and this bothered William because he wanted a nice place for his children when they came to visit him. William and Brett tried to make the relationship work but the two had an on again and off again kind of relationship. Brett couldn’t drink because he took medication for epilepsy and he was uncomfortable around William after he had a few drinks of alcohol. The two got confrontational when William was drinking and Brett tried to confront William about vandalism on his property including slashed tires and an oil spill that cost William thousands of dollars to remedy. Brett’s mom Judy was getting concerned and wanted him to move out of there because the fighting was escalating.

William Perry was stressed. His girlfriend Susanna Lockard shared that he owed child support and if he didn’t pay it, he was going to jail. At the same time, William decided to stop taking his medication. He said they made him feel foggy and he wanted a clear head. Susanna was concerned he would get depressed or downward spiral. And then one day, William and Brett got into an altercation in the yard and William lost control and started beating Brett with a board. The neighbors thought William was a “psycho” after this encounter and so did Brett. The neighbors were really concerned that this situation was escalating and getting dangerous. Brett reported William to the North Canton Police Department but there was no evidence of the physical encounter so there was nothing the police could do. They told him to stay away from him. Brett was confused about why William hated him so much; he didn’t know what he was doing wrong.

Susanna was leaving the home for the night so William could spend some time with his kids. When she arrived to pick up some clothes, she found William home and he didn’t look well. She learned his plans with his children had been cancelled and he was upset. William was brandishing a gun in front of his girlfriend and her daughter while asking them to leave. William was living with his girlfriend but he broke up with her and kicked her out and never explained why. Later that night, the neighbors noticed William on Brent’s porch and they were arguing. When Brett’s mom showed up to his place the next day, she got no answer and smelled smoke. Brett’s mom turned to a friend and asked him to break into Brett’s house because she was concerned. The living room was in disarray, the contents of Brett’s wallet were strewn about, and there was also paint spilled everywhere. They found Brett in the bathroom laying on the floor with a knife in his chest. He had been strangled and beheaded. The police processed the home and found paint mixed with blood everywhere.

When the police opened the oven, they found Brett’s head burning inside. Brett’s mom had a very hard time accepting her son was dead and that he had been murdered in this way. William Perry was a suspect right away. There was no doubt that William had done this and he tried to cover up the crime. Initially, William was arrested for vandalism, a felony crime, and sent to jail. While there, he wrote a letter to a friend admitting to killing Brett. He said the night he killed Brett, it started with words and escalated to physical fighting. He spent the night trying to clean up the scene and attempted to dismember Brett but gave up after he cut off his head. He tried to erase all signs that he was in Brett’s house. He was charged with murder and faced the death penalty but it never went to trial. In October 2009, William Perry made a plea deal to avoid the death penalty and pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. The prosecutor had no rational explanation for why he did this.

“It could have been anything, anything could have triggered it. It could have been trauma, it could have been something from childhood, it could be not seeing your kids as much as you want, it could just be all the pressures building up and it just sets a chain reaction.” -Susanna Lockard (Brett’s girlfriend)

Source: Head in the Oven, Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

In the News:

A neighbor describes finding the grisly remains of Brett Smith, who had been beheaded in his North Canton mobile home. -CantonRep.com

Employees of LA Office Solutions in North Canton, Ohio, tell how they felt threatened during an encounter with William D. Perry, a suspect in the beheading of Brett W. Smith, a week before Smith’s death. -CantonRep.com

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Raw 911 Call: Mother Finds Sons Beheaded Body
Lake alum found murdered
Police say beheading suspect is neighbor
Neighbor suspected in N. Canton beheading case
Neighbor is ‘prime suspect’ in North Canton beheading case
Trailer park tragedy: A closer look at beheading victim, suspect
Trailer park tragedy: A closer look at beheading victim, suspect
Neighbor indicted in grisly slaying
Justice: Ohio Man Indicted In Neighbor’s Beheading
Ohio man pleads not guilty in neighbor beheading
Man admits he killed, beheaded his neighbor
North Canton man pleads guilty in beheading of neighbor at mobile home park
North Canton man admits beheading neighbor, avoids death penalty
William Perry v. Terry Tibbals, Warden (2013)
Brett Smith was murdered by his neighbor William Perry who then cut off his head and burned it in an oven – Fear Thy Neighbor
Neighbor finds beheaded man
A close encounter with beheading suspect
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5,E3)
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 25 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery