Iraq War Veteran’s Suicide Letter Describes Trauma of War, Abandonment by Gov’t

The website Gawker has published the suicide note of an Iraq War veteran who says he took his own life because the trauma of war left him in constant mental and physical agony. Daniel Somers had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions related to the war. He ran hundreds of combat missions as a machine gunner and carried out interrogations as part of an intelligence team in Baghdad. Later, he worked with Joint Special Operations Command as a senior analyst in Mosul. In a letter first quoted by the Phoenix New Times and written to his family before he killed himself just two weeks ago, Daniel Somers wrote: "During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of. To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me." He went on to write, "Any blame rests with them." Somers killed himself on June 10. He was 30 years old.

See all headlines for this show

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.