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.