The Times Tribune
BY PETER CAMERON, STAFF WRITER
PUBLISHED: MARCH 26, 2017
“To this day, I blame the military for my son’s death as much as I do Matt ... ” Jim Evans said. “I wish there was a way to indict the military. If they would have taken care of Matt when he came home, maybe we wouldn’t be in this position now.”
MICHAEL J. MULLEN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kimberly and Jim Evans hold a photograph of their son, Mike, and grandson, Michael. Mike Evans tried to help his childhood friend, Matthew Gajdys, after his deployment.Matthew Gajdys came out of the Army at war with himself.
After tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he returned to Dickson City in 2012 and struggled to return to civilian life.
He couldn’t find steady work. He was angry, impulsive and drinking more than a case of Coors Light every day. He started bar fights as a release for his frustration. His undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder made him a stranger to his wife. She kicked him out.
Homeless and hopeless, Gajdys was rescued by a childhood friend. Mike Evans opened the Moscow trailer park home he shared with his 8-year-old son to the troubled veteran.
When Gajdys moved in, his demons came with him.
Four months later, Gajdys was in jail and Evans was dead.
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