Until things get fixed once and for all veterans, here's a suggestion. If you turn to the VA crisis line and do not get help right away, or try to get into the VA and they do not take you, CALL 911 LIKE EVERY PHONE CALLER HEARS WHEN THEY CALL THE VA. Do not give up if you know you need help. Ask for the fire department and tell them what you need. They will usually be escorted by police officers just in case, but most of the time, you will simply be taken for help. DO NOT GIVE UP!!! Live to fight the VA another day.
Family asks answers from Iowa City VA after military veteran commits suicide
By Greg Neumann
Jul 14, 2016
"It wasn't like a new person. He (the psychiatrist) knows Brandon's history, he knew he was flagged for suicide with the VA," said Nichols. "At least two occasions in the past three years he's been flagged for suicide."WISCONSIN DELLS (WKOW) - The family of a 33 year-old military veteran believes his suicide could have been prevented if a VA doctor in Iowa City had granted his plea for admittance to a psychiatric ward.
His loved ones are now seeking answers, WKOW reports.
"I came home from war, only to be lost in the fog of another war, a war within myself," read Brad Ketchum Monday afternoon, as he sat among grieving family members in his mother's home.
But those are not Brad's words. They were written by his older brother Brandon Ketchum, a veteran of the Marines and Army National Guard who found himself at a crisis point last Thursday.
"He had relapsed and was abusing drugs and he just was in a bad place," said Kristine Nichols, Brandon's girlfriend of three years who lived with him in Davenport, Iowa.
Nichols said she watched Brandon struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addictions - first to painkillers, and then heroin.
"He had asked me if I thought he should get inpatient (treatment) and I told him, you know, if he felt that he needed to," Nichols said of her conversation with Ketchum last Thursday.
But Brandon expressed outrage about being turned away on Facebook less than 24 hours later.
"I requested that I get admitted to 9W (psych ward) and get things straightened out. I truly felt my safety and health were in jeopardy, as I discussed with the doc. Not only did I get a 'NO', but three reasons of no based on me being not f***** up enough," wrote Ketchum. "At this point I say, 'why even try anymore?' They gave up on me, so why shouldn't I give up on myself? Right now, that is the only viable option given my circumstances and frame of mind."
Brandon Ketchum took his own life just hours later.
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