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JBLM medic's suicide shows brutal combat tour never ended for some -

You do not necessarily want to complete this."

The 1st started in April, when Thurston County sheriff's deputies discovered him carrying the neighbor's pistol just following a woman had reported the burglary. Issac Jackson, Spc. He wept more than the actual soldier he tried to talk out of enlisting. Patrick Williamson

Their relationship developed much faster than they intended.

As the particular several weeks wore on, Kirker joined the battalion throughout fighting alongside Marines in Helmand province. "Tell Sarah I'm sorry," he said, referring to Sawyer's wife.

In many ways, he in absolutely no way would.

Oct. Ramona Fiorey for you to discipline Kirker for that April burglary arrest as well as for his failure to exhibit as much as perform several days inside early 2014. That lost 22 soldiers whilst trying in order to find Taliban insurgents throughout 2009-10 just because the U.S. He felt disregarded by simply his leaders, too, while he believed they were not really providing him productive work that will assist him recover.

The medic that joined the particular Army at age 34 simply because he explained he wanted "to just take proper care of soldiers" killed himself this year, in March. As Cindy found it, the woman's husband had abandoned your ex in add-on to always be able to their teenagers using Bergren's help. Kirker didn't admit to breaking in to become able to the residence when deputies detained him in the woods nearby, yet he informed officers he "wanted for you to end the minds throughout his head," based on police records. A New number of incidents pushed him past his breaking point.

""He greatly held things within his heart, and that will he wasn't in any position to allow go," she said.


The final occasion he observed his son alive, James Kirker Sr. These People stated they'd carry on a real date three a long time later.

Soldiers Project Northwest is truly a group regarding mental health professionals inside the Puget sound region whom volunteer time to meet with troops along with veterans.

On that will stop simply by at his son's Yelm house inside November 2014, the particular younger Kirker looked relaxed in the means he hadn't within years. Throughout Afghanistan, Scherf had survived a bomb in which killed seven some other soldiers within their 20-ton Stryker.

He couldn't walk upstairs comfortably or even do much with the yardwork that sometimes eased his mind, he wrote 4 a number of months in the particular past in a list of ailments that will What is The News Tribune reviewed.

Radio silence is actually worse. Troy Tom, Pfc. Kirker felt pain throughout his leg and also hip as he recovered through his surgical infection, but the loved ones created accommodations for him.

Sept. Kevin Graham

"I'm nevertheless holding my breath asking yourself who will most likely be next," Francheska Brinkley, the spouse of the 1-17 veteran, wrote about Facebook as news associated with Kirker's death spread. It's not really clear whether he actually would have lost his rewards and also been subjected to any punitive discharge.

A healthcare report attached to the evaluation shows Kirker had been having nightmares along with avoiding individuals who reminded him regarding Afghanistan.

Aug. He spent weeks at Madigan recovering along with emerged with a whole lot worse pain than the original injury that brought him towards the operating room.

To the medic recently residence coming from Afghanistan, fun meant any close pal might be harm but rescued.

It concluded in which his PTSD predated his military service. Fernando De La Rosa, Sgt. Throughout November, his garage was neat, when I found that, I thought he turned a new corner; he's coming back."

His suicide had been the latest tragedy to end up being able to befall a group of veterans and Army family members that have shared too many deaths simply since they fulfilled with JBLM inside the buildup to some fateful tour inside Afghanistan.

Kirker took his existence before his case had concluded. the military is actually generally prohibited coming from giving punitive discharges to be able to soldiers that act out right after developing mental health problems through coverage in order to combat.

Cindy Kirker, his wife since age 20, noticed that he'd befuddle memories associated with their youth within southwest Ohio. Bergren said she wrestled your gun far from him.

"That sounded exactly such as an IED blast," Kirker later on advised his ex-wife. His Or Her names and the dates they were killed:

It drove the wedge between Kirker and his family. Your Army officially established he incurred it in the actual program of his perform like a civilian paramedic before he joined the particular Army inside 2006.

His father, James Kirker Sr., the veteran of a pair of combat tours inside Vietnam, took his son aside for a frank speak about war.


Over time, he'd end up being committed twice to some post-traumatic stress and also alcohol abuse plan in Portland. Roger Scherf, who had been killed in a Spanaway automobile accident throughout March 2011. 1st Class Luis Gonzalez, Sgt. Aaron Aamot, Spc. This sounded as if he planned in order to go.

They had lunch collectively in December 2010, Bergren said. They Will done a classic auto together. 18, 2009: Sgt. Gary Gooch

Worse, Kirker convinced himself he'd be punished with a dishonorable discharge that would deny him the actual veterans benefits he had earned by simply serving throughout Afghanistan.

Kirker, 42, served in the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment -- the system which suffered much more fatal casualties in the Afghanistan war as compared to any other comparable Army force. I even now have got items to function out."

It ended up being signed in November 2014 by former Madigan Commander Col. Cory Jenkins, Sgt. Twenty-two soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment had been killed inside Afghanistan throughout their particular 2009-10 deployment. 25, 2009: Capt. That was the particular silence in which followed he couldn't stand.. 5, 2009: Spc. Pertaining To the really first in time his life, he started lacking events together with his kids. Bergren filed any grievance that will triggered an investigation through the agency arrested for accrediting the hospital, plus an unannounced inspection in the hospital about Could 27.

Disciplinary documents obtained by simply the News Tribune demonstrate that Madigan had moved forward by having an "other when compared with honorable" discharge that will could have resulted inside a loss involving benefits. Cory Jenkins, Sgt. Dennis Williams.

Kirker, Cindy and their two kids gone to reside in Fort Lewis your next year to participate a new Army Stryker brigade building up for any deployment to war.


The invisible wounds that might plague Kirker for a new extended time began with a mission he missed upon Aug. Jared Stanker, Pfc. "Sadly, that's how I believe a lot of people felt throughout that will deployment, certainly not if along with when, however who's next? Because if death has been inevitable to these strong, young noble men."


That James Roger Kirker took his own lifestyle didn't surprise the people which knew him well.

"I believe a quantity of the blame lies together with my command," he wrote.

It ended up being the next moment that might haunt Kirker right after his homecoming. they shared memories involving Doc Kirker operating to aid keep these alive.

The initial for you to die after the war has been Cpl. "Some associated with the items they must deal with -- they create excellent choices -- but the baggage that they bring back will be unbelievable."

"You is only able to trudge through mud consequently long," your woman mentioned about Kirker's long bout along with PTSD. Brian McLeod reportedly answered the doorway using a shotgun inside hand following a struggle with a buddy from your 1-17 prompted neighbors to call police.

"He ended up being often an extremely neat and organized person," Kirker Sr. 1st Class Ron Sawyer along with Spc. Jonathan Yanney

Tacoma Vet center can be a VA program that puts counselors outside in communities. It was his sixth try to end his life, his family members said.

In the particular five years since the particular 1-17 came home, a disturbing operate associated with no much less than eight stateside deaths has rattled its veterans along with reminded all of them that the deployment hasn't ended for most of them.

Back then, Kirker decided to enlist as they wanted "to just take proper treatment of soldiers" instead of the drug addicts he told Cindy he'd often meet about the job.


The Kirkers and Sawyers had grown near ahead of the deployment. Tyler Walshe, Spc. Jonathan Welch

Current military service members and military retirees can easily access programs in Madigan Army Healthcare Center. military began to expand its forces for the major reason that war.

"It's scary simply because the lot of guys are generally depressed," stated Derek MacDougall, 26, a 1-17 veteran that founded your social media support team to help friends reconnect. 31, 2009: Pfc. Via Bergren's standpoint, Cindy and the kids had pushed the soldier far from them.

Aug. 21, 2009: Spc. That Will means he even now may happen for you to be capable of fight for any neutral discharge that would allow him to end up being able to retain his benefits.

March 4, 2010: Sgt.

Bergren nowadays nonetheless sounds appalled that the Army doctor would label Kirker's PTSD as getting a pre-existing issue when all regarding his symptoms centered about his memories regarding Afghanistan.

In what's believed to be his very first suicide attempt, Kirker raised a new gun for you to kill himself within July 2011. call for an appointment in (800) 404-4506.

The health-related document also included a characterization regarding Kirker's PTSD in which could have lasting consequences following his burglary arrest in 2014.

Kirker didn't reply into a text the lady sent him when the girl woke up. He said he planned for you to mess around within the garage. An Army spokesman told the News Tribune he could not remark on the discipline. He'd be also assigned in order to Madigan's around-the-clock monitoring mental well being ward, referred to end up being able to as 5 North.


Kirker's descent accelerated inside the spring and also summer regarding 2014. With Regard To much more information, visit or perhaps contact with (877) 576-5343.

He wrote to This News Tribune within February, charging that will his surgical infection has been getting "swept under your carpet." Madigan officials wouldn't tell him regardless associated with whether it absolutely was investigating what caused his necrotizing fasciitis.

It cited incidents via his combat deployment as the root of his anguish -- his guilt regarding missing your mission that killed Sawyer, his near publicity for you to multiple explosions, as well as the shootout where he killed the actual Afghan boy.

Aug. He advised Cindy along with later on Bergren he shot an innocent boy during a shootout along with insurgents.

"He saved my life," said Jeremiah Butts of Utah, the former Army specialist who credits Kirker using keeping him alive following an explosion.

In March 2014, an additional veteran of the deployment has been shot to become able to death simply by police inside his University Or College place apartment. 17, 2009: Spc. created another trip back to the Northwest pertaining to his son's funeral within Tumwater. "And he just finally mentally, emotionally as well as actually had muscle failure."


This wasn't the near future Kirker imagined with regard to himself and his loved ones when he left his profession as being a civilian paramedic within Ohio to participate the particular Army in 2006 at the height with the Iraq War.

If he had any hesitancy regarding enlisting, a new cousin's death in the Iraq War took it away, stated Cindy Kirker.

His death ripped open up the particular scars as soon as more.

The 2nd incident took place final summer, when he contracted any flesh-eating bacteria throughout a hip surgery in Madigan Army Health-related Center.

The Army reassigned him to a clinic at Madigan Army medical Center, in which usually a co-worker named Lanaye Bergren caught his eye.

Kirker believed he needs to have been about the mission using Hallett delivering humanitarian assistance and getting to realize one of the actual villages they'd always be patrolling.

"I chose coming residence for you as opposed to saving in which kid," he told Cindy.


Three a lengthy time right after Kirker came residence from Afghanistan, Army leaders wanted him out of the military.

The healthcare records his fiancee confirmed What Will Always Be The News Tribune in addition indicate which doctors acknowledged his PTSD have been exacerbated through his military service.

After Sawyer's death, Cindy Kirker said, her husband made a indicate carry on as numerous missions while he could. 1st Class Ronald Sawyer, Pfc. "The worst thing the medic can easily listen to right after that's dead silence."

Some discussed overcoming their particular suicidal thoughts; other people offered an ear or assist obtaining the task to anybody that necessary any lift.

It was a startling attack which destroyed a new 20-ton Stryker and also claimed the actual lives of your company commander and the 1-17's best doctor.

Even Cindy, that mourned the individual the girl husband had grow to be following your war, thought Kirker has been obtaining better. Michael Dahl Jr

Officers wrote inside a July 2013 performance evaluation that his PTSD ended up being interfering with his work. The support group regarding 1-17 veterans lit up immediately. John Hallett, Capt. Christopher Walz, Sgt. Dale Griffin, Sgt. With the time, both were married but anticipating separations through their own spouses. said. Kyle Coumas

Sgt. He checked out the small men from your 1-17 whom shared his grief along with saw his son's struggles.

On the evening before he killed himself, he visited Bergren in their bedroom yet shared along with her he was sensation restless. Jordan Brochu, Spc. You're going to have to complete items that are unnatural to you. 25, 2009.

Nov. They Will noted he ended up being turning into combative using leadership, including arguments with a command sergeant major in public.

He left your memorial service tomorrow as well as failed to rejoin his family.

But powering the actual scenes, Kirker kept battling using the Army over his pending discharge as well as remedy with Madigan.

But the younger Kirker "always delivered having a much better argument" supporting his decision to enlist.

Kirker had attemptedto fight his discharge, writing to a officer in which his post-war medical struggles and strain through his divorce that 12 months had left him feeling worthless. Anthony Paci

Sawyer, restless to carry on a new mission, took Kirker's spot.

His arrest on in which day emerge motion an Army disciplinary method that might finish within his expulsion in the military.

Madigan wouldn't remark on Kirker's infection.

Oct. John Hallett III, Capt. "When I was there throughout July, his garage would end up being a total mess. He achieved it with a disciplinary discharge looming more than his Army career.

Oct. He regretted certainly not risking his own existence inside the shootout to be able to pull the boy for you to safety.

"Those guys were damage bad," he said. Sawyer has been the actual battalion senior enlisted medic; Kirker ended up being one of his guys.

Back home, Cindy discovered about the attack from a telephone message the girl husband left. 27, 2009: Sgt. Your Woman walked to the garage, where your woman discovered any suicide note and his body, hanging.


News regarding Kirker's death early March 23 rocked the soldiers that served along with him in Afghanistan. This is available at (253) 565-7038.

Kirker Sr. Its behavioral health resources are usually outlined at

Over the six-pack, your father advised his son: "You're going to see, listen to and smell issues you're in simply no way likely to forget. Their Particular daughter had reached out to him over the wintertime in order to invite him in order to the woman's senior high school graduation. 26, 2009: Spc. James Roger Kirker didn't thoughts your boom of the ceremonial cannon with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Memorial Day celebration five years ago. Dennis Williams

On that day within Afghanistan, any buried bomb killed Capt. thought the medic would recover from your war.

Kirker killed himself whilst coping along with grinding pain from a surgical infection he developed in Madigan Army medical Center. With Regard To much more information, visit

Necrotizing fasciitis ate away with his leg muscle. He didn't want to keep her awake.

The diagnosis meant Kirker may certainly not be qualified for many legal protections. This indicates any fallen soldier cannot answer comrades operating in order to help.

The Washington state Department of Veterans Affairs provides counseling along using a listing of some other regional resources. "We just stood a brutal deployment."

He seemed troubled almost as soon he returned from your war, avoiding family members and also buddies who reminded him associated with Afghanistan.

He left the girl within seven months involving returning from the war, shifting to a apartment within Steilacoom because, he said, "I do not necessarily want my kids to see me the strategies by which I am

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