Remembering Those Who Paid The Ultimate Price: Including Some Who Could Have Been Saved


I will be thinking today of my uncle, George Patterson, who died in France at the close of World War Two.

I will be thinking of Randy Joe Lundy, a classmate from Fowler High School in Colorado, who had been in Vietnam for ten months when he was killed on August 21st, 1969 in the Quang Nam Province.

I will be thinking of the brother of my former neighbor, Dan, who also died too young in Vietnam. 

Memorial Day is when we remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. And this year, I will also be thinking about  Kryn Miner and his family. He died last month, but he was not killed by an enemy combatant.  He was fatally shot by one of his own son’s.Miner was a 44 year-old career officer who had served eleven deployments in seven years. In 2010, he was thrown against a wall in Afghanistan during an explosion. It was one of 19 blasts that he sustained during his combat tours.

Miner was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and also a traumatic brain injury. His wife, Amy, says the father of four became so distraught after he returned home that he tried to end his own life in  September. During an uncontrollable rage last month, he tossed a handgun to his teenage son and then drew another from a bag after threatening to harm Amy and his four children. His son fatally shot his father.

Amy has begun speaking out about PTSD and TBIs. “If we can’t take care of our veterans, we shouldn’t be sending them off to war,” she told the Associated Press. The Veterans Administration says fifteen percent of returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD, which is highly treatable — if a veteran seeks help and it is offered to him. On the average, 22 veterans kill themselves every day.

I understand that Veterans Day is when we honor our veterans, including our wounded warriors. Today is reserved for those who died fighting for our nation. I imagine if you were to ask Amy about her husband, she would tell you that he was a casulty of the war just like the buddies who died fighting next to him in Afghanistan.

The shame is that he should have been saved.

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.