Wednesday, January 16, 2013

24 yr old Marine Treated for PTSD Commits Suicide

The Sun Sentinel has;
Janos Victor Lutz took his life on Jan. 12.
By Mike Clary, Sun Sentinel
4:38 a.m. ESTJanuary 16, 2013
As a machine gunner in the U.S. Marine Corps, John Lutz survived combat tours in Afghanistanand Iraq while earning 13 service commendations and the respect of his buddies.
"He was a Marine to the fullest," said fellow Marine Kevin Ullman. "He was someone who could lighten any situation with witty sarcasm."
Ultimately, however, Lutz could not escape the demons he carried back home to Davie after his discharge 18 months ago
On Saturday, just hours after a lunch with his mother in which he chatted about his classes at Palm Beach State College, Lutz swallowed a handful of pills VA doctors had prescribed to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lutz died in his bedroom, in the house where he grew up. He was 24.
"I'm sorry," he said in a farewell note he left on his open laptop. "I am happier now."
Among active duty members of the military, suicide is epidemic, according to Pentagon officials. Last year 349 active-duty troops took their lives, according to figures obtained Monday by the Associated Press. That exceeds the 295 Americans who died from combat in Afghanistan.
The suicide rate among veterans such as Lutz is harder to track. But a study released in June by the VA found the likelihood of suicide among those combat veterans is greatest during the first two years after leaving active duty.
Janine Lutz said of the elder of her two sons, "He was a casualty of war, stateside. This last week was the first time he seemed at peace, and I see now that he had made up his mind. He didn't want to live any more."
Janos Victor Lutz, called John or Johnny, enlisted out of Davie's Western High School. He was sent to Iraq in 2007, and then to Afghanistan, where he and his 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, fought the Taliban in the southern Helmand province.
In an interview with the Sun Sentinel from Afghanistan in October 2009, John Lutz talked about the stresses he faced.
"Out here you learn that life is short," he said. "I saw one of my best friends killed on the first day we were here, and another was lost on patrol. At night I put my iPod on and try to forget what's happening. But it's tough."
Back at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Lutz underwent treatment for PTSD. The family's dog, Kobe, joined him on the base and was trained as a service dog.
After Lutz came home, he quickly showed signs that all was not well. "He was very reactive to loud noises, avoided crowds, and he raged," his mother said.
He sought counseling, was given medication, took up bicycling and enrolled in college. He had a girlfriend and seemed to be improving in recent months, said Janine Lutz.
Two weeks ago, he agreed to let his mother lock up his medications. But then he got more.
"PTSD and depression is a wound you don't see, and without the right help, it slowly gets worse," said Ullman, 28, who lived with Lutz in North Carolina. "It ate away at him."
In his farewell note, Lutz leaves his bicycle and Kobe to his brother Justin, 21.
He tells his father, "You taught me so much on how to be a man."
Janos Lutz said of his son, "I was very proud of him. He suffered a lot, and felt guilty about so many of his buddies who never came home. He never understood why he was the lucky one."
In an email telling friends of her son's death, Janine Lutz wrote:
"I'm so heartbroken ... I knew this was going to happen. I tried everything I knew how to 'make' him rise above. My son is gone forever."
A military memorial service will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at T.M. Ralph Funeral Home, 371 NW 136th Ave., Sunrise. Calling hours are 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Cremation will follow. or 954-356-4465

Thank You Sun Sentinel and Mr Clary

Mental Health: Comes With FREE Suicide

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