Fort Hood Soldier Charged with Murder
Reports: Vet from Ronkonkoma shot, killed on Texas Army base
By DEON J. HAMPTON AND MARTIN C. EVANS
September 3, 2013
Photo credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan Heather Dickinson and her husband Specialist Ryan Dickinson at MacArthur Airport after his arrival to Long Island after 15 months in Iraq.
(March 15, 2009)
A retired Army sergeant from Ronkonkoma who helped clear roadside bombs in Iraq was shot to death on a Texas Army base early Sunday after an altercation with another soldier at a barbecue, his sister said Tuesday night.
Ryan Dickinson, 26, a 2005 graduate of Connetquot High School, was shot to death at a home on the Fort Hood Army base after he got into a verbal dispute with a soldier stationed there, said his sister, Kate Dickinson, 30, of Farmingville.
"I'm in shock," she said Tuesday night. "It's very unfair that someone can survive war and come home and be shot. You expect to get the phone call from over there, not at a Labor Day barbecue."
He returned home to Long Island in March 2009, arriving at MacArthur Airport to a hero's welcome amid hundreds of family and friends waving American flags.
Eight months later, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood, and a year after that, Dickinson was back at the Texas base, attending a memorial service for the 13 killed and more than 30 injured in the shooting.
His own mental trauma from his combat tour finally caught up with him last year, when he took a medical retirement after suffering from severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, his sister said.
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