About a week ago I attended a formal briefing to discuss the “facts” surrounding Sean’s suicide, or rather – “the incident” as it was so thoughtfully (and repeatedly) referred to.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but when we arrived I was less than thrilled to see that there was a Power Point presentation.
A fucking Power Point presentation.
But no popcorn?! I thought,
At least they provided water and tissues.
Oh, and there was a binder too.
A binder that contained all of the “facts”, redacted, of course. As well as the written statements of the twenty-one individuals that were interviewed. I read statements that recounted what a outstanding soldier Sean was, that he was the embodiment of the soldier’s creed. That he was respected and admired.
But of all the statements and “facts” contained in this binder, my personal favorite was “Mrs. Williams took no action” regarding Sean’s depression. After five months of antidepressants, weekly therapy, reading books on grief, screaming and crying hysterically in my car and shower, ect. I had made significant progress in believing that Sean’s suicide wasn’t my fault.
On more than one page I read over and over “Mrs. Williams took no action”
Instead, lets talk about why Sean “took no action” to follow up on his medical referral. Or how it’s possible that NO ONE knew in the two and a half years that Sean was stationed there that he had access to both the weapons vault and where ammunition was kept. Or that his BAC was more than three times the legal limit.
Fuck that binder.