Daniel Somers: I am sorry it has come to this

| June 26, 2013

Several of you have been sending me this link over the past couple of days about Daniel Somers. I could have sworn that I wrote about the kid before, but I can’t find the post now. But, this Iraq war veteran killed himself, somehow, and his family gave permission to publish his suicide letter. I expect they’ll withdraw that permission, here, in a couple of days. But the parts that jump out at me are about “things he saw” and “things he did” that he couldn’t live with. Well, according to Gawker;

He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions.

In his suicide letter he wrote;

The simple truth is this: 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.

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. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA.

Yeah, it’s pretty cryptic. I think it’s intentionally so. Specifics might open him up to criticism like those criticisms being suffered by the deadly SFC Dillard Johnson over the last few days. Of course, the money is in this part;

It leaves us to where all we have to look forward to is constant pain, misery, poverty, and dishonor. I assure you that, when the numbers do finally drop, it will merely be because those who were pushed the farthest are all already dead.

And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for

Yay! Occupiers gather ’round! The kid killed himself and it’s Bush’s fault…and Darth Chaney. Wave the bloody shirt!

This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing. I know how to kill, and I know how to do it so that there is no pain whatsoever.

Actually, there are millions of veterans who suffer from PTS every day and DON’T kill themselves, they don’t threaten their families, they don’t make a big deal about “things they saw” or “things they did”. They don’t use their experiences as an excuse to cop out on their families and become a bigger name in death than they were in their lives.

Of course, the Left is desperately clinging to this as proof that, yeah their guy is bad, but Bush was worse.

While you may disagree with the war in Iraq, I’ve yet to see anyone offer a different solution to the Hussein’s Iraq problem. Is anyone going to say that the world would have been a better place if only Hussein was still alive? He’d been dealt more than a decade of Euro-wienie sanctions which only entrenched him more in power. Bill Clinton did his best to ignore Hussein, but every time Hussein farted, the US was sending thousands of troops to Kuwait to protect against the next invasion. Did I mention that Hussein was shooting at our pilots several times every month.

You can disagree with the way the war was conducted, but no rational person can say that it wasn’t necessary. And some dead guy who killed himself can’t point fingers to besmirch the character of everyone who served there without specifics. Yes, it’s too damn bad that he made the choice to end his life, but screw him if he thinks he can blame every soldier who served with him for his decision.

And screw all of you hippies who think this is going to change anything about the reasons we went to war. The war made you feel bad. Tough. It made you feel inadequate. Tough. Don’t start calling the people who did go there “war criminals” and blame them for the death of one guy who says that they made him do stuff he didn’t like without being specific.

In fact, I think we can reasonably make the case that Somers killed himself because of the way the hippies made him feel about his service.

Category: Veterans Issues

Comments (57)

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  1. PintoNag says:

    @ #46, #48 and #50: As a civilian, I may not know what you’ve been through or are going through, but I know this: we need you HERE. My prayers for your continued strength.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jeez… “They made me do things that were bad. So bad I can’t list them all and would be here all day if I did. So there. It’s Bush’s fault!”

  3. Scubasteve says:

    @51, Thank you. You actually do bring something to the fight. I didn’t want to imply that civilians are useless, because you also help, just in a different way. I only wanted to imply that it takes one of our own to fix bayonets with us and charge the demons head on. I think it’s because on the simplest of levels, we just don’t want to let our battle buddies down.

  4. Mickie says:

    It’s really hard to read some of the crazy comments that have been posted about Dan’s letter. I was the first person besides the police to see his wife after he took his own life. To those of you who served met Dan in the service: Yes, this letter probably sounds really strange. It sounded strange to the guys he served with when they came to visit his wife after it happened. Dan changed an awful lot in the years after he came back from Iraq. He became a different person. To everybody else: Dan DID try to get help from the V.A. and private sector physicians to treat his mental and physical conditions. He tried for years but kept running into roadblocks. He lost hope. His letter was to us — his friends and family — not to the public. Your political agendas had nothing to do with it. Those of us who are mourning him want to make sure no more veterans slip through the cracks at the V.A. We want people to understand that some veterans have unseen illnesses that need to be treated. That’s all. So you go on ranting about conspiracies, war crimes, Bush, Cheney, Obama, or whatever else floats your boat. We really couldn’t care less.

  5. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Micki. First, sorry for your loss. Second, it is quite unusual to release a suicide letter. LE professionals and medical examiners almost always advise against it. So the family releases the letter, a debate commences, and then you label the crazy comments. What is crazy here is the release of suicide letter of a weak tortured sole, who had issues with orders, and then internalized those issues and coupled with a VA system that perhaps did not or could not help him, contributed to his bad decision to write such a letter and commit suicide.

    So a release of a letter and not liking the comments caused by such a release … Can’t have it both ways.

  6. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Mickie, are you here to testify to the actual specific things that Daniel did which he claims messed him up or are you here to tell a bunch of combat veterans that we have no right to call bullshit on the things we perceive as bullshit? If you’re here to do the first, then please, set us straight, but if you’re here to do the second, this is the wrong crowd.