Monday, July 07, 2008

RIP Joseph Patrick Dwyer 
The soldier in this famous photograph, Joseph Patrick Dwyer, is dead.

From the Army Times:

During the first week of the war in Iraq, a Military Times photographer captured the arresting image of Army Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer as he raced through a battle zone clutching a tiny Iraqi boy named Ali.

The photo was hailed as a portrait of the heart behind the U.S. military machine, and Doc Dwyer’s concerned face graced the pages of newspapers across the country.

But rather than going on to enjoy the public affection for his act of heroism, he was consumed by the demons of combat stress he could not exorcise. For the medic who cared for the wounds of his combat buddies as they pushed toward Baghdad, the battle for his own health proved too much to bear.

On June 28, Dwyer, 31, died of an accidental overdose in his home in Pinehurst, N.C., after years of struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. During that time, his marriage fell apart as he spiraled into substance abuse and depression. He found himself constantly struggling with the law, even as friends, Veterans Affairs personnel and the Army tried to help him.

Contrary to the opinion of blogs like Crooks and Liars, who have no compunctions about using a soldier's tragic death to score cheap political points against the VA and the Administration, evidence be damned, this isn't a case of a soldier not getting helped by the VA. He was hospitalized at least twice for psychological issues, at least once in a military facility, at government expense. He promised to go to counseling, and counseling was available for him.

If the hospital services are made available, and counseling is made available, a guy is going to huff anyway, you can't then blame "the system" for his death. Only a moron would blame VA cutbacks for his death.

He lived as a soldier and as a hero. And he died as a human, but he died under his own power. The Bush Administration had nothing to do with it.

Let us thank God that men such as him lived.

Splash, out


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(a moment of silence)
Che la morte ti dia la pace che cercavi. Requiescat in pace.
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