Staff Photo by Dan Henry Ben Crary stands in front of a dedicated USMC wall in his Collegedale residence Monday afternoon. Mr. Crary suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from the time he spent in the military.
The U.S. Marine Corps reports that a service member dies by suicide every two days, and one attempts suicide every two hours.
Chattanooga: The burden of war
By: Lauren Gregory
In his dreams, Ben Crary was always falling. So on the day he said he was ready to die, it felt right to plan one last plunge.
The Walnut Street Bridge would finally free him from the sickening reality in which the former Marine lance corporal lived.
It was a mid-winter day about a year ago and, like every other day, the film reel in his head looped through scenes of sand, spattered brains and lost limbs. One boy in particular haunted him. He could feel the baby’s cracked skull in his hands, and he could hear the child’s Iraqi parents pleading with him and his fellow Marines for help.
That memory came back regularly while he was still deployed, cultivating a death wish that he said prompted him to shed his body armor often and walk around like an open target in hopes an enemy sniper would end his misery
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