NWF Daily News
By KELLY HUMPHREY
Posted Jun. 1, 2016
CRESTVIEW — There are two things Drew Winkler’s family want you to know about him.
The first is that the 26-year-old Iraq War veteran loved his two sons fiercely.
Special to the Daily NewsDrew Winkler smiles as he carries his stepson Christian Custer in this photo from about a year ago. This photo has gone viral on social media in the wake of Winkler's suicide on Memorial Day.The second is that by choosing to take his own life on Memorial Day, he wasn’t just trying to escape from the unrelenting pain of post-traumatic stress disorder. Drew, they believe, wanted to send a message.
“He tried to get help while he was alive, but no one outside the family would listen,” Drew’s older brother, Corey, said. “Maybe they’ll listen now that he’s dead.”
Early Monday morning, Drew walked past the bedroom at his parents’ house where his two little boys — Christian, who’s almost 3, and Caydan, 18 months — were sleeping. He slipped past his father, who was asleep on the sofa in the living room, and walked into his dad’s home office. There he found a gun, walked outside, sat in a car and shot himself.
He had sent text messages to his family, assuring them he loved them. At 5:06 a.m., he made one last post to his Facebook page.
“1 of 22 per day ... (why) can’t they just help us ... goodbye”
The number 22 refers to the number of veterans who reportedly commit suicide every day.
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Reminder it is not 22 a day and if we cannot get rid of that headline grabbing claim, nothing will ever change.