Monday, May 19, 2008

Posttraumatic Stress and the Deaths of Two Brothers

After one tour of duty in Afghanistan and three in Iraq, Marine Staff Sergeant Travis T-Bo Twiggs was assigned to duty at Quantico, Virginia. Suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, he was -- at least for some of the time -- treated at Bethesda Naval Medical Center and by the Veterans Administration. An article he wrote about his experiences was published in the Marine Corps Gazette in January 2008; as part of the Wounded Warrior (or Wounded Warriors) Regiment, he met President G.W. Bush and hugged him, apparently in April 2008.

More recently, the 36-year old T-Bo went AWOL. He and his brother Willard (38), took off on a road trip, heading west. At the Grand Canyon, they drove their car off a cliff, but hit a tree and survived. Next, they jacked another car and kept going, refusing to pull over for inspection at a checkpoint.

In Arizona near the Mexican border, as tribal police from the Tohono O'odham Nation and members of the US Border Patrol closed in, T-Bo apparently shot his brother and then shot himself. They both died at the scene.

A sad end, but four tours of combat duty? PTSD in between and after? Casualties of war, and of American society?

For more, see: Lily Casura, "RIP Travis N. Twiggs, USMC PTSD Sufferer," Healing Combat Trauma (5/14/2008):

Arthur H. Rotstein, "Marine who died after cross-state chase wrote of war stress," Associated Press (5/17/2008).

Penny Coleman, Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide, and the Lessons of War (2007).

Today's Rune: Fertility.


Lana Gramlich said...

What an amazing & horrifying story. Personally I think peoples' everyday lives are already too stressed, neverMIND throwing war into the mix. Jeeze.

Lily Casura said...

Hi Erik --

Thanks for blogging about this, and citing my work in your references, too. Way cool. Here's where I followed up the story today, too.

Lily Casura

the walking man said...

Expect this to be a common response for warriors coming back to a world to stressed to see them.


Charles Gramlich said...

Four tours of combat duty is beyond the pale. Geeze.

t said...

wow. thanks.

Sidney said...

Very sad. Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers had an interesting conversation about stop loss and all of its consequences. If this war ever ends, the reverberations will be felt far into the future on many personal levels.