He stated he planned to end up being able to mess about inside the garage. "Tell Sarah I'm sorry," he said, referring to Sawyer's wife.

The 1st started in April, when Thurston County sheriff's deputies discovered him carrying any neighbor's pistol just after a woman had reported a new burglary. the military can be typically prohibited coming from giving punitive discharges in order to soldiers which act up right after creating mental health problems via exposure for you to combat.

Kirker took his lifestyle just before his case had concluded. Within November, his garage was neat, when I observed that, I thought he turned any corner; he's coming back."

"I believe that some of the blame lies along with my command," he wrote.

His father, James Kirker Sr., any veteran of 2 combat tours inside Vietnam, took his son aside for any frank talk about war.

To the medic freshly residence from Afghanistan, a blast meant a shut friend could be damage yet rescued.

"I'm nevertheless holding my breath asking yourself whom will probably be next," Francheska Brinkley, any spouse of the 1-17 veteran, wrote in Facebook as information of Kirker's death spread. Bergren filed the criticism which triggered an investigation by the agency arrested for accrediting the particular hospital, as well as an unannounced inspection of the hospital about may 27.

The medical records his fiancee showed This News Tribune additionally indicate which doctors recognized his PTSD ended up exacerbated by simply his military service. Dennis Williams.

In many ways, he in simply no way would.

Necrotizing fasciitis ate away at his leg muscle. "And he just finally mentally, emotionally and also bodily had muscle mass failure."


This wasn't the extended run Kirker imagined pertaining to himself and his awesome family when he left his profession as becoming a civilian paramedic within Ohio to participate your Army in 2006 at the height of the Iraq War.

Disciplinary documents obtained through What is The News Tribune demonstrate that Madigan had moved forward by having an "other than honorable" discharge that will could have resulted in a loss involving benefits. Via Bergren's standpoint, Cindy as well as the kids had pushed your soldier from them.

As your a few months wore on, Kirker joined the actual battalion inside fighting alongside Marines inside Helmand province. An Army spokesman told This News Tribune he cannot comment about the discipline. A New number of incidents pushed him past his breaking point.

If he had just about any hesitancy with regards to enlisting, the cousin's death in the Iraq War took it away, said Cindy Kirker.

Kirker believed he must have been around the mission using Hallett delivering humanitarian help and becoming to realize one of the particular villages they'd always be patrolling.

Kirker, Cindy and their a couple of kids moved to Fort Lewis the the coming year to join a new Army Stryker brigade creating up for a deployment to war.


The invisible wounds that might plague Kirker for a new extended time began with a mission he missed about Aug. they noted that he has been becoming combative using leadership, including arguments having a command sergeant major inside public.

The Kirkers and also Sawyers had grown shut ahead regarding the deployment. "Sadly, that's how I consider a new large amount of people felt during which deployment, certainly not if as well as when, yet who is next? Since if death was inevitable to these strong, small noble men."


That James Roger Kirker took his or perhaps her own existence didn't surprise individuals whom knew him well.

It would end up being a startling attack in which destroyed a 20-ton Stryker and claimed the lives of a company commander and in addition the 1-17's leading doctor.

On in which stop simply by at his son's Yelm house throughout November 2014, the actual younger Kirker looked relaxed in a method he hadn't in years. That sounded as if he planned to go.

Sawyer, restless for you to carry on a new mission, took Kirker's spot.

His arrest on in which day occur motion an Army disciplinary procedure that might end within his expulsion from the military.

Kirker, 42, served in the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment -- the system which suffered more fatal casualties within the Afghanistan war as compared to some other comparable Army force. I still possess what to function out."

Kirker killed himself while coping along with grinding pain from the surgical infection he developed from Madigan Army Health-related Center. Because Cindy noticed it, the woman's husband had abandoned your ex in add-on for you to their teenagers together with Bergren's help. This indicates any fallen soldier couldn't solution comrades operating in order to help.

He couldn't walk upstairs comfortably or do much with the yardwork that will sometimes eased his mind, he wrote 4 several weeks back inside a list of ailments which This News Tribune reviewed.

After Sawyer's death, Cindy Kirker said, your ex husband developed a indicate go on as numerous missions because he could. He regretted certainly not risking their own life inside the shootout to pull the actual boy to safety.

The Army reassigned him to a clinic from Madigan Army Healthcare Center, the location exactly where a co-worker named Lanaye Bergren caught his eye.

Their relationship developed much faster than they intended.

Radio silence is actually worse. He invested weeks in Madigan recovering and emerged together with even worse pain than the original injury in which brought him to the operating room.

Officers wrote inside a July 2013 performance evaluation in which his PTSD had been interfering with his work. He felt disregarded through his leaders, too, because he believed these were not really providing him productive work that would assist him recover.

Worse, Kirker convinced himself he'd end up being punished with a dishonorable discharge that would deny him the actual veterans rewards he had earned by serving throughout Afghanistan.

He wrote to This News Tribune in February, charging which his surgical infection was being "swept beneath the particular carpet." Madigan officials wouldn't tell him regardless regarding whether it absolutely was investigating what caused his necrotizing fasciitis.

Bergren today still sounds appalled that the Army doctor would label Kirker's PTSD as a pre-existing issue when almost all of his signs and symptoms centered upon his memories of Afghanistan.

The diagnosis meant Kirker might not necessarily be qualified for several legal protections. He'd be also assigned in order to Madigan's around-the-clock monitoring mental wellness ward, referred to as five North.


Kirker's descent accelerated inside the spring and summer involving 2014.

He left the actual memorial service tomorrow and also didn't rejoin his family.

In March 2014, another veteran of the deployment was shot in order to death simply by police inside his College place apartment. Brian McLeod reportedly answered the door having a shotgun within hand after getting a struggle with a buddy from your 1-17 prompted neighbors for you to contact police.

The health-related document also included a new characterization of Kirker's PTSD which might have lasting consequences following his burglary arrest inside 2014.

"You can only trudge through mud consequently long," the girl stated regarding Kirker's long bout together with PTSD.

On the evening prior to he killed himself, he visited Bergren in their bedroom yet told her he was feeling restless. He advised Cindy and also later Bergren he shot an innocent boy within a shootout together with insurgents.

But the younger Kirker "always returned with a far better argument" supporting his selection to end up being able to enlist.

Kirker didn't reply to some text the lady sent him when the girl woke up. Sawyer has been the actual battalion senior enlisted medic; Kirker ended up being certainly one of his guys.

"I chose coming residence for you instead of saving which kid," he told Cindy.


Three many years after Kirker came home from Afghanistan, Army leaders wanted him out in the military.

It concluded in which his PTSD predated his military service. That lost 22 soldiers while trying for you to find Taliban insurgents inside 2009-10 just because the U.S. The Particular Army officially decided he incurred it throughout his work as a civilian paramedic before he joined the actual Army inside 2006.

He seemed troubled virtually as soon he returned from the war, avoiding family along with friends who reminded him of Afghanistan.

"That sounded precisely as an IED blast," Kirker later advised his ex-wife. . He didn't want to keep the woman's awake.

It had been the next moment that might haunt Kirker after his homecoming. said. Kirker didn't admit to end up being able to breaking into the home when deputies detained him inside the woods nearby, but he advised officers he "wanted to always be able to end the minds in his head," based on police records. Cory Jenkins, Sgt. That Will implies he even now might happen to be in the position to fight for any neutral discharge that might allow him in order to retain his benefits.

He left her inside seven months associated with returning from the war, shifting to an apartment within Steilacoom because, he said, "I wouldn't like my kids to determine me the strategies by which I am. Anyone do not really want to complete this."

It cited incidents through his combat deployment since the reason behind his anguish -- his guilt with regard to missing the mission in which killed Sawyer, his shut publicity to be able to multiple explosions, and also the shootout exactly where he killed the particular Afghan boy.

In your 5 years since the 1-17 came home, a new disturbing run of no much less than eight stateside deaths has rattled its veterans and also reminded these the deployment hasn't ended its them.

It was signed throughout November 2014 by former Madigan Commander Col. It's not necessarily obvious whether or even not he truly might have lost his benefits along with been subjected to a new punitive discharge.

In what specifically is believed to become his 1st suicide attempt, Kirker raised a new gun for you to kill himself throughout July 2011. Madigan wouldn't remark on Kirker's infection. their daughter had reached out for you to him over the wintertime to invite him to end up being able to your ex secondary school graduation. It ended up being his sixth try to finish his life, his loved ones said.

"He ended up being often an extremely neat and also organized person," Kirker Sr. military began to grow its forces for the primary reason that war.

Kirker had tried to fight his discharge, creating to a officer that his post-war health-related struggles and tension through his divorce that 12 months had left him sensation worthless. Your Woman walked to the garage, where she discovered a suicide note and the body, hanging.

Over a six-pack, the father told his son: "You're going to see, listen to along with smell things you're by absolutely no means planning to forget. 1st Class Ron Sawyer along with Spc. "When I ended up being there in July, his garage was obviously a total mess. Kirker felt pain in his leg and also hip while he recovered coming from his surgical infection, nevertheless the loved ones produced accommodations with regard to him.

Back home, Cindy learned concerning the attack from a telephone message your ex husband left. This ended up being your silence in which adopted he couldn't stand.

But at the particular rear of the actual scenes, Kirker kept battling with the Army more than his pending discharge as well as treatment in Madigan.

Back then, Kirker decided to enlist while he wanted "to take care of soldiers" instead regarding the drug addicts he told Cindy he would frequently meet on http://wcdem2013.org the job.

""He quite definitely held items throughout his heart, and the particular man wasn't able permit go," your woman said.


The final time he saw his son alive, James Kirker Sr. Ramona Fiorey to discipline Kirker for the April burglary arrest and then for his failure to exhibit approximately function a couple of days in early 2014. James Roger Kirker didn't thoughts the boom of the ceremonial cannon with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Memorial Day celebration five-years ago. You're likely to have got to accomplish stuff that tend to be unnatural to you. believed your medic would recover from the war.

They had lunch with every other in December 2010, Bergren said. They Will said they'd continue any real date 3 years later.

His death ripped open up the actual scars when more.

Even Cindy, who mourned the person the girl husband had become after the war, believed Kirker had been acquiring better. John Hallett, Capt. 25, 2009.

It drove a wedge in between Kirker and the family. Roger Scherf, who was simply killed in the Spanaway auto accident throughout March 2011.

On tomorrow within Afghanistan, a buried bomb killed Capt. Bergren mentioned she wrestled the gun from him.

The second incident occurred last summer, when he contracted any flesh-eating bacteria within a hip surgery at Madigan Army medical Center.

A health-related record attached to the evaluation shows Kirker ended up being having nightmares along with avoiding individuals who reminded him associated with Afghanistan.

His suicide has been the latest tragedy for you to befall a group of veterans and Army families which have shared way too many deaths since they fulfilled from JBLM inside the buildup to some fateful tour within Afghanistan.

Cindy Kirker, his wife since get older 20, noticed that he'd mix up memories regarding their own youth within southwest Ohio.

The very first to die following your war ended up being Cpl. "The worst factor any medic can hear following that's dead silence."

Sgt. He made it happen having a disciplinary discharge looming over his Army career.

The medic whom joined your Army from age group 34 because he has been quoted saying he wanted "to just take care of soldiers" killed himself this year, in March. In the time, each were married however anticipating separations from his or her spouses. Regarding the really first in time his life, he started lacking events along together with his kids. Within Afghanistan, Scherf had survived a bomb which killed seven some other soldiers within their 20-ton Stryker.

Over time, he'd end up being committed twice to some post-traumatic tension and also alcohol abuse program in Portland. They Will labored on a classic auto together