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Wounded Times

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why did we let Trever Gould die?

Why did we let Trever Gould die?
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
June 24, 2012

Every 24 hours there are at least 19 suicides tied to military service. 18 veterans and 1 active military.

The military ran out of excuses years ago because none of these reports are new. While they said they were doing something about it, it all turned out to be massive failures. Why? The numbers have been screaming about this simple, ignored fact. Numbers go up and so do the families having to plan a funeral for someone who managed to come survive combat but could not survive one more day back home.

So why did we let Trever Gould die? Why didn't we do enough to save his life?

We can blame the military all we want but you see, when we as the collective we of this country, elect people to run this country, we are supposed to hold them accountable but congress hasn't really given a damn while pretending they care. Stop and think about the hearings they've had on military suicides and veterans committing suicide. How many have they had? Have they really done anything about any of this? Do they hold anyone accountable for failures? Do they even know the right questions to ask?

Resiliency Training is still going on no matter how pitiful and congress still wonders why suicides have gone up instead of asking why this program is still funded.

We allowed all of it to go on and didn't demand any answers from them so they in turn didn't really demand any answers from the DOD or the VA.

Yet still after all these years, Fort Hood managed to keep Trevor's suffering from combat PTSD a secret from his family along with the fact he was suicidal. This is after all the "help" they DOD could buy, all the funding handed over, calls flooded into the Suicide Prevention Hotline and veterans charities sprung up with their hands out pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars a year. We donated and then felt as if we were doing something to help but in the end, we were part of the problem and now another Mom has to bury her son after she thought he came home to safety.

Soldier took his life, family mourns with anger
Jun 23, 2012
By Courtney Collen

Trevor Gould at 25 years old was an active member of the United States Army out of Fort Hood, Texas.

He was job hunting in his hometown of Fulda, MN, for the summer but would head back to school in Mankato in the fall.

"Everybody loved him. He had a heart of gold. He always wanted to be a leader," Sheri Johnson said.

Sheri Johnson is Trevor's mom. After Trevor served overseas in 2010, his mom said he changed, he had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Just last week, he took his life which is fifteen years after his dad took his.

After Trevor died, Sheri looked through his military paperwork and shocked by what she saw.

"I found out he had talked to doctors in the Army saying he was suicidal. They didn't contact me, they didn't send him to help, they just pushed the paperwork through.

That's the only way I found out is through military papers," Sheri said.
read more here


UPDATE
Fulda family aims to get more help for reintegrating soldiers

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello I am Sheri Johnson Trever Gould's mother. A person does not know how hard they can ache until they lose a child. It hurts even more knowing my son did not get the help he need when he asked for it. He always acted strong around me because he was trained that way and thought he was my protector. We need to help our soldiers that come home and even the ones that are deployed. They need to be heard we need to be heard. I would give anything to hold my son one more time and tell him how much I love him, but I can't do this anymore and I want to change things so other parents and spouses can hold their loved ones every day.

Chaplain Kathie said...

I am very sorry for your loss but my heart breaks more for you because you know you didn't have to lose him.

I can't imagine that kind of pain for you and your family.

The only thing that even comes close is my husband's nephew. Also a Vietnam veteran with PTSD, he ended up committing suicide many years after his return. To this day, there are times when I blame myself because I couldn't get him to listen or find the right words to help him. He is one of the reasons I became more determined to do something. What I do is for him and my husband. My husband is doing better, living his life, begin treated for what cannot be reversed but he is healing while his nephew lost all hope.

I bet you are blaming yourself the way I did and still do from time to time. If you do, don't. We all end up running the "what if's" in our minds but the truth is, one person cannot fight alone. They can't. Families can't. Doctors can't. Therapists can't. It takes everyone working together, doing the best they can with what they know and learning more everyday.

We have to get to a point where everyone is working together on this or more Mom's like you will have to stand by the grave of their sons and daughters knowing they didn't need to go.

Anonymous said...

I do blame myself and feel I failed him. My son should be sitting here right now with his family not in a urn. I feel I should of forced him to go get help, but I thought he was dealing with things he acted so tough. When I seen those papers and it was in black and white that he did ask for help and I did not know it. It makes me ache even more. I pray that things change so other parents do not need to feel this pain I feel. I do know now there are others out there that want the same thing and together we can make a change. This is my sons memorial site on Facebook I am working on getting the word out there and making a difference.
https://www.facebook.com/#!/TrevorGouldMemorial
I am sorry you and your husband lost a nephew to PTSD also and that your husband suffers from it also.
Sheri Johnson

Chaplain Kathie said...

Don't do it to yourself. Speaking from experience, there were times when I felt that way with my own husband. I thought, there I was this "expert" on combat PTSD but couldn't get my own husband to listen to me. I got his friends to go for help but he fought me tooth and nail from 1982-1990 when he was finally officially diagnosed and then it was another 3 years to get him to go to the VA. I don't know what finally did it and to this day I still wonder how a miracle happened and he trusted them enough to try, but he finally did.
Now look at yourself. You did the best you could with what you knew at the time. I am sure he knew you loved him but sometimes the love we feel for them is just not enough. This isn't your fault but it is a collective "our" fault they survived combat and can't survive being back home.
You couldn't have forced him to go. Even if he went, he wouldn't have believed what he was pushed into doing. It would have only feed his anger.
I admire you more than you know. You are taking your own pain and trying to prevent other Moms from going through what you are experiencing. That takes great courage but also great love. You loved your son enough to be able to talk about his life and death for the sake of someone else. That is really remarkable.
You will blame yourself from time to time but when that happens, think about what you can do to share it with others so they will know they are not alone either. Many people just cannot bring themselves to let the words out but they take comfort when they hear the words from someone else.
You are in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I am glad to here that you will be joining us with the patition to change things. I am really looking forward to getting to know you better. I would like to thank you very much for caring about what happened to my son Trever, and putting it out there for others to read.

Anonymous said...

My name is Matthew Somers.
I served with Gould in Iraq and incidentally was on extra duty with him before he was kicked out. Trevor was a great person and was more or less kicked out because of the change in policy due to the regime after Obama took office in 2009. It is my proud observation to say that when I was on extra duty with him, I had cleared post and did not have a rain coat to keep me warm and dry. Regardless we were instructed to shovel mud until midnight in the pouring rain. Trevor being kind and benevolent gave me a Gortex jacket which I have to this day and a memory of him in one of his worse times still found kindness and love to help another person. Too much is not being said about these young men who gave so much to help this country that when they were found in need their country would not be found to protect them when they needed it the most. To the family my condolences and if you would ever wish to contact me about him my email is mes_42003@yahoo.com I will be happy to give you my number so we can talk if you wish
Best Regards and my most sincere condolence.

Kathie Costos said...

Matthew, thank you very much for leaving that comment. It is a wonderful testament of the kind of person he was. You are also correct saying that too much is not being said about all of you.