Justin Eldridge, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran (Photo: Obituary)
Marine Corps veteran Justin Eldridge was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Waterford, Connecticut home on October 29, 2013. Justin served in the Marine Corps for 8 1/2 years. After a deployment to Afghanistan he battled with both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. As a result he was medically retired from the Marine Corps in 2008. Justin was married with four children at the time of his death. Justin’s wife Joanna has continued the fight for our soldiers and veterans. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) honored Justin Eldridge on the Senate Floor and co-sponsored a veteran suicide prevention bill in his name. Joanna attended the 2015 State of the Union and a bipartisan suicide prevention bill was signed into law in March 2015.
His final message, posted on his Facebook Page at about 9 p.m., “theres only so much bashing someone can take before they react………” –Waterford Patch (October 29, 2013)
Senator Richard Blumenthal Honors US Marine Justin Eldridge:
In a Senator Floor speech today, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal honors the heroism of United States Marine Justin Eldridge of Waterford, tragic victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who took his own life two days ago. (October 30, 2013)
On February 20, 2009, US Air Force service member Jason Klinkenberg murdered his wife Crystal Louise Gray and then committed suicide in North Las Vegas after a stand-off with police. Jason was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The family believes that Jason was never the same after returning home from a deployment to Iraq in 2005. Jason was plucked from his base to be a member of Detachment 2632, a unit assembled to augment the Army and provide security for cargo trucks on Iraq’s bomb laden roads. Jason witnessed a fellow soldier die after the vehicle they were driving was struck with a rocket-propelled grenade. The family shared that Jason had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and continued to see images of his friend in his last moments. Jason’s sister shared that Jason attempted to get help for PTSD but the Air Force called him a liar. The Air Force denied this assertion. They claimed they regularly assess for mental health issues and referred Jason to counseling off base.
“Veterans advocates like Manji Varghese say nothing excuses violence. But they say military and veterans officials too often ignore a pattern of problems that has played out again and again, with deadly results.” -Salt Lake Tribune