Ms./ Sandra Weedon (none) My prayers and thought are with you. May he rest in peace.
I am so sorry / Amy Widner (Fellow Sister from the military family ) I wanted to say how sorry I am about Josh. This really hits home for me. My husband has served for 7 yrs of active duty and than joined the reserves. He has now been in the reserves for 8 yrs. After joining the reserves I realized that many families did not know about the military and I wanted to help them. I became the Family Readiness Leader and became part of the unit. I got to know my soldiers all so well. There was one soldier who happen to live down my street and he became very close to my husband and I. SSG Howell was his name and he was so wonderful. He had a heart of gold and was so good to all his fellow soldiers under him. He had served during the Gulf War with the Marines before joining the Army Reserves. We often talked about the War and 9/11 and how he felt about going back over. In July/Aug of 2003 SSG Howell went with his fellow soldiers for their two week training and during that time he got cold shakes and they thought he was having a heart attack. He never told anyone what he was going through or how the VA was treating him. I picked both guys up and I drove him home and he kept telling me how much he appreciated everything I did and I am doing a great job. A month later SSG Howell took his life. I often thought of how I didn't catch the signs and what can I do to make this not happen to another family. I later learned he had been going to the VA to try to get help with his PTSD but, they kept turning him away and putting him off. The final straw was when he called for help and they told him it would be two months before they could get him in. He was very sick and no one knew. His poor wife didn't know really what was going on with him. He had lived with it for 11 yrs before it finally got to be too much for him to live with. I am just sorry to see another family go through this.
So please know that SSG Widner and I stand behind your family in this battle. I do believe there needs to be changes and the soldiers need help. I also believe that the VA needs to have changes to go along with it all too. Too many soldiers get turned away from the VA due to Govt lack of funds.
Please feel free to email me and thank you for what you are doing for Josh.
Walk With the Angels, Josh / Lynn Price (none) My love, thoughts and prayers are with you, Josh's family. Josh doesn't need them now, he's with God...it's always the ones left behind that suffer the most. I lost a loved one back in '84 in the same way. My brother, Mike, was a highly decorated Green Beret, Vietnam Veteran, serving 3 tours. He came home with the toxins (from agent orange) already wreaking havoc in his body. After years of fighting the various cancers, the pain became too much. Mike left us one summer day in 1984. I've devoted my life to serving our Heroes, our Soldiers, our Veterans. It is only now becoming known the horrors that our Veterans often suffer in silence. It is truly up to us to make a difference. May God bless you, hold you in the palms of His Mighty Hands, until your family circle is complete again in Heaven.
Blessings and many hugs, Lynn Price Executive Vice President Silver Star Families of America www.silverstarfamilies.org
Prayers going up for all of you! / Dana Gauthier (None) Julie and Josh's family. My heart hurts for each of you, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering you feel now, but know that I and all American's are so thankful for your Soldier. The love, respect, and honor he had for US, the American people, is beyond words. Josh truly loved the USA and gave his heart and soul to protect our freedom.
Please know that I will keep all of you in my prayers. May you find comfort in God, I know you miss Josh, know that he is safe, he isn't hurting, he is watching over each of you everyday. Your Guardian Angel will forever be with you.
My Hero / Mr. Dunham (Friend)
I was one of Josh’s High School Teachers. I wanted to say that Josh was a great young man and one of my heroes for his sacrifice for our county. If all of my students would have been like Josh I would never have left teaching high school. He was always respectful, nice and had a smile for everyone. It has been painful since his passing, and I wish like many people I could have helped him. However, when he came to see me the day he got home, like he always did, he smiled and acted like everything was fine. I am thankful that I had the chance then to give him a hug and thank him for his sacrifice in serving our county.
I am proud of him and he is a great American.
Dear Josh's family / Betsy Galbreath (339th MP Co )
I wasn't really close to Josh, I wasn't even in his platoon, but I am thankful to have known and served with Josh. I will never forget him, he will always be apart of our 339th family.
thoughts/ Mimi Morrow (None/visitor from another site ) I came to this site from a visitor's comment on a site I had set up for a friend's daughter, Becky Marseglia. My nephew has been home from Iraq for about a year now and I just saw him at Christmas. I had no idea how many of our brave young men and women are suffering from this stress syndrome. We expect our youngsters to go and fight for America.. why isn't America helping them recover from that fight? It is a national tragedy. God bless you all and keep you safe. My deepest sympathies for Josh's family and friends who are so sad and troubled now. May you find peace somehow.
Thank you, and God bless you! / Connie Campisi (angle mom ) Dear Julie & Josh's family, Thank you for your beautiful and honest web site. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for helping me and all who have lost a loved one in this way. May God and all the angles and saints comfort you now and always. Sincerely, Dom's mom
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Wife of a PTSD Vet / Laura Hornbrook I cringe at the thought of another one lost to his own hand. The hell that they suffered over seas umpteen times, the hell that they suffer around the clock at home when they return, only to end like this! It breaks my heart. The numbers are increasing every month and most have no idea. I am so, so sorry to all who knew and loved Josh, but know that he is no longer suffering.
I hope to God someone high up at the VA is listening, and starts making some changes. This country should help our men and women who do so much for us. Not to mention, all we were told for 20 years was, "the Army takes care of its own." We now know that's BS!
Think of you often. / Beau Murry (Friend) .... 5 years later still missing you buddy.
On our way home again... / Betsy Galbreath (fellow soldier in 339th ) We're currently in Kuwait on our way home from our second tour in Iraq... I was just thinking of Josh and wanted to leave a little note that we think of him often miss him and love him.
Tribute/ Sean Wireman (didnt really know him ) I am a 22 year old Navy Hosital Corpsman. I currently work at a naval hospital treating all the injured troops who come out of surgery. Its hard to see them having nightmares and seeing the injuries that IEDs cause. I am deploying to Afghanistan in November with the Marines. I don't talk to anyone about my feelings that i have from my job. You dont want your loved ones to worry. I'm sorry for what happened to Josh. I am from Grundy Center IA and got a call that night. I didnt know him well but it is a small town.
We are a family with an Iraq Vet suffering from severe PTSD. We can not tell you how much your story and so many others we are reading hits deep in our heart. I remember watching my husband walk to a plane wanting to know he would come home safe yet never realizing his body would come back physically fine, it was his heart and mind that would come back wounded.
The terrible care he and other have recieved through the VA have not only added to this wound, but in some ways made it worse. Everyday he struggles with thoughts of suicide, was offered no "real" therapy, and his so called therapist for the last 4 years we just found out was ONLY a licenced Social Worker, not even properly trained. The VA's answer for our vet like many others we are finding is lots of medications, this is their way of sedating these men to keep them quiet in a system that is overwhelmed, understaffed and unable and ill equiped to handle this issue.
It is wonderful to see so many yellow ribbon magnets on everyones cars, the support our troops, but it is time to step forward now that these men are coming home and go beyond that yellow sticker!
Every state needs to have a civilian or community based PTSD center that is able to offer good long term care and support for these men and women. The VA can not even keep a psychiatrist for more then 3-6 months so how are these people suppose to begin a road to healing in this type of enviroment? One of the most important ascpets in help is having someone who earns your trust and will be there long term. This may sound bad to some of you but it is true, it is not helpful to ask these vets to see a doctor that is of nationality that reminds them of an Iraqi and yet they do this. Can you imagine asking our WWII vets that fought on Iwo Jima to see a doctor that is of Japanese decent? How benificial is that to recovery?
Scream and shout from the roof tops as one spouse told me and do not screaming till someone listens! These type of tragadies need to stop and so many are preventable! Our love, support and thoughts to your family and all others going through this. Contact us if anyone reading this needs support, our vet cares, we care!
Geritol Ranger and Family
PTSD survivor - non-combat / Debbie Nelson
I have just come across Joshua's story by accident whilst looking for help with my PTSD. I come from a UK military family (now retd) and I know many of the people my father served with in the UK and overseas had this and were ignored..and continue to be so.
My heart goes out to your family, and a huge thank you for your courage is sharing this with the world. He who saves one..gives us all hope
Brother of a former soldier with PTSD / Nathan Smith (None) I am the brother of a soldier whos name is also Joshua. He served in the 101st Airborne Division and was in Iraq during major combat operations from March 2003 to March 2004. My Joshua started showing signs that something was wrong when he got home. It got really bad about 9 monts afterward. He started being very moody, Fits of rage to calm and depressed. He started abusing alcohol, prescription drugs and even illegal drugs. He was arrested 3 times for DUI in a 3 month period. I interviened by contacting a chaplain at Fort Campbell to get him some help. He did seek treatment but did not improve. He was released in Sept 2005 from the military after I went through the chain of command to not have a stop loss put in place. He again was arrested for DUI in Sept 2005 after coming home. We took his vehicle away and had him put in a dry out clinic where he recieved mental health treatment. He started improving 6 months after getting help. He is now married and attending college however still has times where he gets depressed and has problems. My hat is off you your family for what you are doing to help improve awareness for PTSD. I am sincerely sorry for your loss of such a fine young soldier.
Happy Veteran's Day Spc. Omvig / Nick Taylor (former member of the 339th MP Co ) I never really was close to Josh nor did I ever really talk to him too much but when I did he always had a smile on his face. I remember walking between the tents in Iraq and seeing him sitting underneath the camo net in the shade shooting the breeze. I wish I would have had the chance to have known Josh better. Probably more important than knowing him was knowing the impact he had on his friends.
God Bless you Spc. Omvig and Happy Veteran's Day
Josh/ Russ Omvig (His Uncle ) I hope that by his example, others will be saved.
suffer the silent / Dalia Cox (none/Soldier) Hi, I read about Josh's suicide, and Have no words that would make you feel any better. His pain is my pain still raging on inside. I too am an OIF vet, and currently stationed in FT.Stewart Ga for injuries sustained over their. It was 2 years ago, and I'm still going thru alot of medical care to get to where I can at least feel normal.
I also have been diagnosed with PTSD, and have tried to committ suicide 3x. I have been in and out of the psyche ward 4x in 2 years. For me that's to many. I have struggled to bring mysewlf to belive that Ibrought this on myself. The what if's are overwhelming, and the guilt is so stong, that you belief that it's all you fault and now you have to deal with it. Well that's the problem, dealing with it. How do you tell your father that you have mental issues, especially when he to is a veteran, and getting over it is his motto. How do you face your friends and they ask you about over there, and you get angry and tell them to read the paper. Fear is the enemy now, and darkness is you savior. daylight is the time when you watch your back. Everyone wants to harm you, and you trust know one. It's hard to cope.
I'm getting their with the help of some very good psyches at cental command, but not everyone is fortunate to have the help available. Believe me when I say, the Army has failed me too. I know longer carry the burning desire to serve with pride anymore, I just want out. I hope you can feel this letter, because Josh only felt the pain. And now your suffering greatly. Please fight for us. the ones that the army is leaving behid. God Bless you, and may he keep Josh in his arms forever. SSG Dalia Cox
my sincere condolences / Tonya Van Gorp (met briefly )
I met Josh, right before he went to Iraq. My brother Don worked with Josh in the skywalks. I Just found out about his death. And, I was stunned!! I would like to tell the family how sorry I am for their loss. And, for all of the pain Josh was in. I only met him a few times but I remember him clearly. Because I thought he was such a gentleman. I've never seen such a young man that was so courtious and polite!! I told Josh I would be praying for him and gave him a hug. And, He just smiled and said thanks. I am sure is proud to have this Bill in his name. So, that he will continue to help others with ptsd. He remains in my thoughts. Thank you for all that you are doing in his honor. My sincere condolences. Tonya V.