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Another Ptsd Victim.


wallyg

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Article published Jan 26, 2006

Iraq war veteran's suicide a cry for helping others, friend says

An Iraq war veteran's suicide earlier this month was a cry for helping others with post-traumatic stress disorder, his close friend says.

Douglas A. Barber, a 35-year-old truck driver, shot and killed himself on Jan. 16 with a shotgun as Lee County sheriff's deputies and two friends on the phone tried to talk him out of it.

Barber, who had an honorable discharge from the Army, had served with the Ohio National Guard's 1485th Transportation Company. He spent part of 2003 in Iraq, returning home ahead of his unit, Army officials said, and later moved from Ohio to Alabama. He had been approved for service-connected disability for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Thursday.

Barber's best friend, Michael Teppig, told the Opelika-Auburn News in a story Thursday that Barber had problems dating back to childhood. But after he went to Iraq, his problems multiplied.

Teppig said he tried numerous times to get him some help, taking him to the Veterans Hospital in Tuskegee or picking up Barber and his truck at a destination because he was unable to finish the job.

Damon Stevenson, a spokesman for the Tuskegee veterans hospital, said the hospital was sad to hear of Barber's death.

"I had spoken to him on one occasion," Stevenson said Thursday. "We talked about some of his issues."

Because of federal privacy laws, however, Stevenson could not release any details of Barber's medical care.

Iraq only exacerbated Barber's problems "and he was paying the price," Teppig told the Opelika-Auburn News.

"He knew that what all he had in his head weren't going to go away," Teppig said. "He just wanted people to know what he was dealing with and didn't want anyone else to go through the same thing."

He had waged a private and public battle to get the care he needed.

Barber frequented Internet forums to talk about PTSD and the problems vets face after war, Teppig said.

Teppig said he had seen Barber medicated to the point his emotions were all over the charts.

Before Barber died, Teppig spent a day with him calling area television stations trying to get somebody to tell his story, but Teppig said no one seemed interested.

Another friend, Bob Page, was on one phone line with Barber from California and Teppig was on the other when the shotgun fired.

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Information from: Opelika-Auburn News

He probably got the news of a 10% award from the VA!

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This is just horrible-

and I am sure many other Iraq vets are having many problems adjusting again.

It mentions he had problems before Iraq-

perhaps he was not screened well by the military but then again- almost every one has problems before service- they could have been minor problems about money or family illness- yet a combat zone experience can certainly begin to magnify whatever they were- this is very very sad.

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