Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

A Marine’s Suicide And A Family’s Fight For Compensation

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 28, 2012

“Danelle will say her husband died of a battle wound, it just took him 2-and-a-half-years to die.”

Here and Now Boston  February 28, 2012

There is no doubt the U.S. military has beefed up its suicide prevention efforts in recent years, adding mental health staff to deal with the huge influx of returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan but the suicides continue–an astonishing 18 veterans killed themselves each day, according to a recent Washington Post article.

The piece was written by the paper’s military reporter Greg Jaffe and it centers on the 2010 death of a former Marine, Maj. Jeff Hack, who killed himself more than two years after he left the military.

As Jaffe writes, Hackett was a standout Marine, plucked from the enlisted ranks to become an officer. But serving in Iraq, when 13 men under his command were killed, turned him on himself. After his first tour, he tried to retire early, but the Marines said “no” and sent him back for that second tour.

Once he came home for good, what happened will sound familiar to the families of other returning vets with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Heavy drinking, erratic behavior, and finally suicide in an America legion hall in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

What happened after Hackett’s death is really the subject of Greg Jaffe’s story, because while the Veterans Administration acknowledges Maj. Jeff Hackett died as a result of chronic PTSD connected to his Iraq experience, it still denied his widow Danelle a $400,000 life insurance claim.

Please see the original and read more here

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