Ft. Carson Soldier Suicide Prompts Push For Post-War Therapy

By: KKTV/Associated Press
By: KKTV/Associated Press

The mother of a soldier who committed suicide after returning from Iraq wants to use his tragic death to get help for other service members who may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dorothy Screws of Alabama says she witnessed the suicide of her only son at Fort Carson in March. Private Tommie Edward Jones jumped off an interstate overpass to his death March 25th outside an entrance to Fort Carson near Colorado Springs.

Fort Carson spokesman Major Sean Ryan says Jones was scheduled for a hearing that day. Jones had faced charges of rape, sodomy, and several other allegations. The alleged crimes happened in February 2007.

Jones told his family that he didn't commit the crime and was taking the blame for somebody else shortly before he jumped to his death.

The family learned later that the 27-year-old suffered symptoms of PTSD after seeing combat in Iraq in 2007.

Screws says she'll push for a law requiring soldiers to undergo some type of psychological therapy after they return from intense combat.

Soldiers returning from deployments receive health assessments, but Screws says many soldiers, including her son, worry that asking for mental health treatment will hurt their careers.

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  • by dorothy screws Location: hancevile,alabama on Jul 7, 2008 at 11:50 PM
    my son pvt tommie jones had tried sucide at least 4 or 5 times a month before we found out he held a gun to his head his room mate and neighbor knew about this why didnt they call for him help? your supost to have a battle buddy where was he? if my son was guilty of the crime why was'nt he locked up instead he ive off base? was he gave lariam which also messed him up? there are alot of questions but still no answers my son told me i could talk cause if he did he would get into trouble well i will talk there is alot of parents that need answers besides just me i woud like for everyone to read and sign our petition to help our soldiers thank you the petition site.com/1/1voicesavesmany
  • by Amanda` Location: Alabama on May 20, 2008 at 09:35 PM
    I am Pvt. Tommie Jones sister. I was there when he took his own life. The army has done nothing to help my family from what we had to see. So I cant imagine that they would have helped my brother either even when he asked for it. Ask the Army about my brothers attempt to commit suicide before this and his hospital stay. Why wasnt he given proper treatment then. This happened only month or so before he ended his life. The Army does not do enough to protect our troops that are there fighting the asses off for us! When do they have to make it right? How many more must die? How many more families will be crushed like mine. I still see his fall when I close my eyes. I hear the sound of him hitting the ground. All the blood... Someone needs to make things right for the troops and I will keep talking till some help is given. I cant bring my brother back but I can use my voice to save even one person. God bless the troops and their families. My heart is with you.
  • by Forgot to mention Location: Colorado Springs on May 6, 2008 at 08:10 AM
    PVT Jones committed suicide on the day he faced military court-martial for rape charges. If he had received proper mental health care would he have ended up in the situation charged with rape and then killing himself? More and more Soldiers are committing serious crimes that have PTSD and something has got to be done. If Jones had PTSD and wasn't given proper care and then had the additional stress of facing rape charges, "innocent until proven guilty", regardless of the alleged charges, the Army still had an obligation to provide him with adequate care, instead his family had to witness him kill himself and find out later about his PTSD.
  • by DAVE Location: COLORADO SPRINGS on May 5, 2008 at 03:28 PM
    As a former Iraq campaign soldier Desert Storm & Iraqi Freedom) and now retired (2005); it is true that soldiers are given only assessments upon their return from a combat zone - any combat zone. That simple assessment is "NOT ENOUGH". Soldiers are not prepared to accept that they may now be flawed with a mental illness, and PRIDE will always keep them from seeking the approprate help; especially those in the NCO ranks or anyone who leads others. In their minds "Failure is not an option" ! If diagnosed with any type of mental illness (PTSD or TBI) then we have the feeling of failure; and letting down the ones we care about the most. Not to mention the possible retribution one might face for being diagnosed - reassignments follow, long periods of rehabilitation, possible removal from military service can result from this - that is alot more stress added to an already full bowl; consider for a moment strapping on those boots and carrying this weight around; all the while trying to live
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