Everyday 22 Veterans Commit Suicide! That’s 22 Too Many
Sgt. Justin D. Erickson was among the first initial push into Iraq in 2003-2004 with the 1st Armored Division, 3rd Brigade, 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery. Upon returning home he deployed again a short 9 months later for the 2004-2005 tour. Justin’s unit was the first since WWII to have back to back deployments. In 2008 Justin was medically discharged due to heart conditions. Justin received severance pay with no medical benefits. He now depends on the VA for his medical support, which has not been very good to this point.
In January of 2017 Justin was deemed 90% disabled, and unemployable due to further medical conditions, including severe PTSD, Polycystic Kidney Disease and Chronic Pancreatitis. At the young age of 36 this was difficult for Justin to endure. Justin went from being a full time service advisor for Freightliner and then International, to disabled.
During the difficult transition, Justin lost his self-worth. He lost his purpose in life. He began his downward spiral of taking pain meds beyond the perscription. Normal tasks became challenging to him. He felt as if he was a burden. Justin began isolating himself from family and friends. Justin’s wife saw all the signs of suicide; Sara just could not get Justin the help he needed quickly enough. In the early morning hours of July 16th Justin could not deal with his pain any longer, he tried to end his life (this was Justin’s second suicide attempt within a month). By the grace of god, guardian angels and his service dog Ali, the bullet missed and Justin didn’t become another statistic.
Today Justin is getting the help he needs and deserves. He is on his 16th day of a treatment program and doing amazing. Justin is receiving treatment at Warriors Heart in Bandera, Texas. Warriors Heart provides private treatment to active military, veterans, and 1st responder for chemical dependency, alcohol abuse and co-occurring psychological disorders relating to PTSD and mild tramatic brain injury.
Justin and his wife Sara have four children and a grandaughter. They are needing financial help with treatment costs for him recieveing private help outside of the VA.
Thanks so much for your help and God Bless!
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