Three Veteran Suicides, at VA Facilities, in in Five Days

| April 14, 2019 | 15 Comments

Carl Vinson VA Medical Center at Dublin, Georgia. (Dublin VA website)

One veteran committed suicide in the VA parking lot. If they found him there post suicide, he reasoned, they’d focus on what happened in his situation. This would result in other veterans being spared what he was going through. Another veteran paced around in the lobby, then walked outside to shoot himself. A third veteran didn’t go outside, he ended his life in front of others.

These suicides occurred from April 5 to April 9, at three different VA facilities. The first suicide mentioned was Gary Pressley. Two others knew about his plans, his sister and his girlfriend. His sister attempted to contact the VA to let them know that he was in the parking lot contemplating suicide.

From Fox News:

Pressley’s family said he was medically discharged in 2012 after a bad car accident and struggling with mental health care, according to the newspaper.

His mother, Machelle Wilson, told WMAZ-TV that Pressley’s sister called the VA to tell them her brother was threatening suicide from their parking lot just moments before he killed himself

“He told his girlfriend he was going to do it in the parking lot, so they could find his body, so somebody can pay attention to what’s happening, so other vets do not have to go through this,” she told the television station.

Mileage will vary depending on which VA facility that you go to. Some areas are pretty good at what they do, others have plenty of room for progress. You can read more here.

Category: Veteran Health Care, Veterans in the news, Veterans Issues

Comments (15)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    The Dublin VA Center is just about 20 miles from me. I have a good friend whose wife has worked there for years. It is overall a very good facility, with a good track record. In addition to being a medical care facility, it is also a Veterans Home. I do not know all of the particulars of this case, but my man’s wife has told me on many an occasion that any Vet that seeks help for any problem, it is generally handled very quickly. She also stated that in some cases, the individual will not follow up with the medications and treatments prescribed.

    As I’ve posted before, just as no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, no one knows what goes on inside someone’s head. I try not to dive too deeply into my own.


      I was there two days before this. I have had no problems with them at this facility. You are correct they seem to treat very quickly and all employees that I have had contact seem to care. I will say this, at times they do seen to act like a production line, go here go there and so on, but still good service.

  2. AW1Ed says:

    It must be hell to feel so hopeless there is no other option but suicide. Please find help before making an irrevocable decision that will affect family and friends for the rest of their lives. Suicide is a permanent solution to what often is a temporary condition.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    Suicide Prervention Hotline Link

    Make the call.

    • Thunderstixx says:

      It is hell, most of the times secondary to active drug and alcohol addictions…
      Having lived through that, I can attest to the actual hell on Earth it really is…..
      I’ve been sober for 30 years now and understand a shitpot full of actions of that spiritual illness.
      Try an AA Meeting, I still go because I am afraid of drinking and living…
      The meetings are everywhere and there are people at those meetings that understand you better than you could possibly imagine
      Google AA Meeting near me and the list will surprise you.
      You will truly feel at home there, and no matter how sick you are, they will tell you to keep coming back….
      Hell, they let me hang around for 30 years, what do you have to lose ???

  3. Comm Center Rat says:

    “Richard Stone, executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, told Stars and Stripes there have been more than 260 suicide attempts on VA property, 240 of which were interrupted and prevented.” ~ FOX News article

    While one suicide is one too many, I think overall VA is gaining traction with it’s aggressive suicide prevention and intervention program strategies. What often goes unreported is that over 1/4 of VA employees are themselves veterans. 68% of the VA division I worked for were veterans and that division did not hire any non-veterans for at least four consecutive years. Many of the veterans I served were surprised to learn that I was a military retiree and that sometimes helped me gain their cooperation, if not their respect. As a former VA employee and as a current consumer of some VA health care services, I find the agency to generally be responsive and caring in it’s outreach efforts.

  4. Thunderstixx says:

    There was one in the front atrium of the VA Clinic here in Austin last Tuesday…..
    What a shitty thing to do to their families and the surviving members of the teams they were working with…
    I know that I will not make any friends here with that attitude, not that I had many in the first place, but having been through the things I have been through and seen the selfish act from people I know and the impact it has on their families I continue to believe that suicide is the most selfish act a human can perform.
    I’ve known families where their kid comes home from school to find their Dad’s brains blown all over the basement.
    And nobody in their right mind would even try to talk me out of those feelings I have for the people that take the selfish way out and leave the rest of us here to take the pain they were running away from…..
    Finding your parent’s brains all over the basement cannot be a situation that wouldn’t change anyone and affect them for the rest of their lives…

    • David says:

      We’ve known a few over the years, one in particular we both encountered the afternoon before he killed himself. That night we mentioned seeing him…the next day we were saddened to hear what happened. Probably have discussed him a hundred times since then (over 30 years later) and it always ends up with trying to figure out what we could have or should have done differently that day.

  5. The VAMC in Salt Lake City takes real good care of me, even having me treated at the local Ashley Regional Medical Center here in Vernal, Utah.

    They’ve rated me 20% Service Connected on my legs, and 60% Service Connected for Ischemic Heart Disease stemming from Agent Orange exposure in the old Republic of Viet Nam.

    This enables me to live very comfortably here in my apartment.

    Because I am in too much pain to be able to fix anything but a microwaved hot dog, with a Pepsi-Cola, the VA has Meals on Wheels bring my lunch each day, and has a nurse visit each week to supervise my medication and record vital signs.

    They give me a ton of medication, which now has me seriously addicted, for if I miss taking the drugs, within hours, I begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

    The VA issued me a walker, a wheelchair, and a personal mobility cart, with a lift on the back of my pickup truck for the cart, and Nerf bars installed on the cab doors to make it easier to climb in.

    The VA also issued me an emergency pager button, giving me instant direct access to the 911 dispatcher.

    REP FOR VETS (Google them) is working to get me 100% Service Connected.

    Members of my local ward in The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints (i.e., the “Mormon” church) also assist me, fixing up my apartment and/or driving me to Salt Lake City or Roosevelt for appointments.

    For local appointments here in Vernal, the Uintah County Golden Age Center provides transportation.

    Even as I type this, the Priesthood has just left my apartment after administering the Sacrament to me.

    All in all, I’m doing very well.

  6. AW1Ed says:

    All in all, I’m doing very well.

    Good to hear- welcome back JRM.

  7. Outcast says:

    VA hospital in state, 125 miles south west of here, heard lots of complaints about there, other VA hospital out of state, 125 miles northwest seems to care and helpful as to my experience. It has large satellite clinic 90 miles west of here, afternoon satellite clinic 40 miles northeast of here ran by PA, never been there and mobile clinic comes to town twice a week, 2 nurses and EMT and teleconference to PA only, so far is fairly good unless you need to go for needed tests or exams other than blood then it is 90 or 125 miles. Have heard of some in the area has had to travel to other facilities even further away to get tests and exams from this area.

  8. Our son committed suicide 12/16/16 while participating in a TF-CPT PTSD therapy at the CINVAMC. After 2 years trying to figure how the VA could destabilize our son so much he would commit suicide we have figured it out! The VA admits that their “Gold Standard” PTSD therapies TF-CPT and TF-PE at best only help 70% of vets taking the therapies. One Clinical Trial revealed only 39% were helped! So, sadly the VA must just considers the part of the other 30% that commit suicide acceptable collateral damage!!! That is unacceptable just fire the leadership now!!!

  9. LCpl Rhodes says:

    The only people that should be eligible for treatment at the VA are people that sustained injuries during a combat deployment. Yea, I fucking said that and I mean that. Everyone else can fuck off to a civilian doctor.

    • 0z says:

      A Tier 1 operator getting shot on a one-off in Fuckistan would have a hard time getting treatment by your definition.

      My spine fractured in 3 places during training.
      Not combat deployed at the time but still AD.
      Fuck yourself, ignorant dipshit.

      Got blood poisoning following surgery at Baltimore VA while in recovery – led to 3 weeks ICU.
      Fuck the Baltimore VA.

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