So very sorry for your loss / Janet Studdard ((FFOS Member) ) What a tragedy when our country doesn't offer more mental health care to the very citizens that keep our country free. My brother served in the Viet Nam war and I know he suffers from PTSD. In fact he has finally been put on total disability for the injuries he received and the progressed state of his mind now that his PTSD has become full blown he is unable to work. I know the trauma I have endured from finding my loved one dead from suicide and I can only begin to imagine the trauma men who have served in a war have endured. I appreciate Josh serving to defend this country, I just wish the country could have done more for him. You as well as all the vets affected by this disorder are in my prayers.
YOUR LIFE LIVES ON / Craig White (another american soldier ) JOSH I DIDN'T KNOW YOU BUT YOU ARE A LITTLE BROTHER TO ME I WILL CARRY YOUR STORY ON ALONG WITH MY TWO BROTHERS WHO NOW SERVE GOD BLESS YOU AND SHINE A LIGHT ONTHOSE WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT WHITEY A NAM VET
Memorial Weekend / Dana Hardy (Friend to Aunt ) Hello Loved Ones of Joshua and Loved Ones of All Whom Have Passed
This weekend celebrates many things, and among one of them is the celebration of those whom have given their lives and their time in defense of America. This includes Joshua. Thank you for all you have given for America. Love and Blessings, Dana
Every soldier is a mirror. / Cody Camacho (Fellow Suffering Iraq Veteran ) I see myself in every fallen soldier, and everyone who has felt less than welcomed when they returned home. I wish my mom could see me smile and see me happy, but at least I don't pretend. Like the people that pretend to know what is going on. The peace protesters who say I was brainwashed into going and the pro war people who say I did what I did for freedom. They are all wrong. They just want to put some kinda glory that they see in movies around my face. There is no glory in war. There is none! And it hurts. Behind my eyelids is the face of every soldier that was over there. Pretending not to be afraid. I was the last face that some would ever see. As they died and tried to think of perhaps a loved one, but they saw me instead. How could I live up to that? when they get to the gates are they describing the perpetrator? When I get to those gates will they have a warrant for me in heaven? Its too confusing to meet people anymore. All they want to hear about is the things I want to evade. I know I will never forget but I don't want to think about it all the time. The vietnam vets just give me a nod when we make eye contact. Thats the only comfort I can find, because they've had time to think. My vet center counselor told me I should be proud of what I did. I doubt that was in his protocol, but I guess he needed to tell me. (he was never in a war) When they come back, don't tell them they were victims of right wing politicians, don't tell them how proud you are of them. Tell them that you love them and god loves them no matter what. No matter how guilty they feel for losing a friend, tell them its not their fault. If they did things they feel bad about tell them that you don't have to know what it was but no matter what they are forgiven. Dont tell them they need therapy, but be their counselor. We are not sick because we feel bad about things. Its no disorder to feel anguished when you do something wrong. I know a lot of things were wrong and I don't think god wrote or follows the UCMJ. I know what I have to live with, not what I have to try to forget.
Thank you / Drew G. (none) Thank you Joshua's family for this website and thank you Joshua for your services. God bless....
help for those suffering with PTSD / Sarah Farmer My name is Sarah Farmer, I am the former fiancee of Marine Corps Sgt. Jeffrey Michael Lehner, 42, who served in Afghanistan 2000-2002 as a flight engineer during Operation Enduring Freedom. He was the kindest, most loving, humorous, hard working, and compassionate man I have ever known. On December 7th, 2005 (Pearl Harbor Day), after struggling for three years with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jeff died as a result of a single gunshot to the head. Before taking his own life, he shot and killed his ailing father, Edwin Lehner, 77.
PTSD doesn't have to be forever. / Joe Anderson (A friend in caring )
Dear Mr and Mrs Omvig,
It is obvious that you are loving and caring people who are deeply grieving the senseless death of your son.Loss of a child is perhaps the greatest loss that we can suffer.They are literally a part of us; and, we have loved them and cared so deeply for them for so long.My heart goes out to all who have lost their precious children; but especially so to you because of the circumstances of Josh’s death.
I perhaps have some understanding of your loss since my first-born was callously killed and I could not stop it.That was over 20 years ago, and I thought the grief would never end.I tried various types of counseling over the years, and finally found out about “Somatic Experiencing” two years ago.It can be very helpful for people who have suffered severe loss or injuries, caused injury, or watched injury occur; and, are suffering from deep grief or PTSD.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a relatively new, but well established, technique that helped me to get amazing relief about my daughter’s death in 4 sessions. Then, as the old habits and patterns just faded away without further thought or effort, I found peace, and even joy, that I thought I could never have again. SE is not a standard “talking” therapy. Once started, the process is only guided or facilitated by the therapist. The language of the unconscious is feelings in the body.This is how the stress was ‘locked in’ and this is how relief will occur most easily.
I believe the flashbacks, mental anguish and nightmares of PTSD don’t have to be forever. Hopefully you, and our men in service of our country, can find relief with SE. May You Blessed Be,
another disabled war veteran / Tim Hartwig (war veteran ) I served in the first gulf war with the 1133rd trans co. Now i have mental and physical problems from the war. I am sorry for your loss. The thoughts of suicide is a every day thing. The veterans hospital dont care about vets they want to drug you up and hope you stay away. Vets are what make this country what it is and yet the only ones that care are the vets and there families. The va says there is no such thing as ptsd but we all know better. I left as one person and came back another.
Friend to me as well as a brother / Roger Lynch (Co-worker)
Josh, Josh was always there for me when I needed him during the time that we worked together. Josh always looked out for me and was a person you could talk to about anything that you wanted to. When we were told about Josh at work I could not understand why, but for the most part I was mad at myself because Josh called me about 2--3 days before all of this and I didn't answer my phone, because I was busy. I feel really bad about this still because he called for a reason. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I am sorry Josh that I didn't answer my phone but I want you to know I miss you very much, you were my only out at the Conley Group.
Love you forever bro,
Advocate NAMI Veterans Comm. NH / Helena Davis (Advocate) Hello I'm an advocate for veterans with mental illness I serve on the National Veterans to try to make things better. I do public speaking to groups and enjoy trying to help. Sorry about your loss I have PTSD myself woman Marine Corps. Helena Clow Davis
My deepest sympathies / Vanessa (none)
I wanted to say I am sorry for your loss and pay my respects to Josh-he is and will always be a hero. This site really spoke to me because I have a brother that served in Iraq for about 18 months. Although he doesn't talk about it or seek help, it is evident that he suffers from this problem too. In the few times since we've seen him (still active duty) he has been completely different than the person we know him to be. He sleeps with his light on most of the time and seems to be on edge. This site gave me the heads up that maybe we should encourage him seek out the help that he needs. Thank you for the information, Josh will live on in the lives that are being saved by this gesture to help others. Thanks again! Rest in peace Josh
Our MPs / Barb Heideman I made myself read the newspaper article yesterday even though I knew it would start my day with more depression. And as I read, I realized how similar our boys are and the tears flowed. Our son, Luke, is an Iowa MP in Iraq right now attached to a Missouri unit. But he also joined the Army Reserves when he was 17 and was certain of his career from MP to police officer. He was part of the reserve unit in Pocahontas, however, so he and Joshua didn't know each other.
I want you to know how much I appreciate your website, the information, and all the links you've taken the time to include. Different times I've thought that we might have to deal with PTSD when Luke comes home and now we'll be armed with the information we'll need.
There aren't enough words for us to say how sorry we are for the loss of Joshua. Please take a little comfort in knowing that you've helped our family if/when we face similar circumstances.
Barb and Ron Heideman Indianola Iowa parents of SGT Luke Heideman 414th MP CO Indianola, Iowa
a soldier a son a friend josh you impacted many people and served your country well it hurts us all to know you faced the music and took your own life....tears now fall from many faces including my own ill miss you man
RIP.....see you on the otherside by levi baggerly
thank you / Travis S. My condolences to you and your family. I am a vet and served with the USMC in Desert Storm and Somolia. I just wanted to say that PTSD does exist and I deal with it on a daily basis. Since I got out (Honorable Discharge), I have had my tough times dealing with things. I don't show it, nor will I ever admit it (especially to family, friends, etc). I have dealt with things through the bottle (which only got me arrested for OWI), I have dealt with things through anger (which only got me arrested for simple assault), I have dealt with things through pushing people away (which only caused me to get divorced). I put on a front almost everyday. I read the article in the Des Moines Register today. It touched me, hence I had to visit your website. I just pray for you and your family. I also pray almost everyday for forgiveness for what I have done. Sometimes, they feel like unanwered prayers and seems meaningless to continue to pray, but then again, what else do I have??? God speed...
you will never be forgotton / John Butler (friend co worker ) First I would like to offer my services to josh's family. I worked with josh when he was doing security. He always made me laugh just by him being himself. im heading to basic training in july. If they need anything the number here is 515 263-9075 May you rest in peace my dearest friend the short time i did get to work with you and talk to you will always be in my heart god bless you your family nad my soon to be brothers and sisters in arms
In a heartbeat. / Jacob Hawk (Longtime Friend ) I always joked around with Josh, we were in scouts together, did most anything in Highschool together. We even dated girls in the same town far away. He even got to put my mothers car in the ditch once. He was a blessing to me, he always knew how to cheer me up or just knock me out of whatever funk I was in. The trip to the boundary waters with our friend Justin and him will always be one of my most cherished memories, even if those two couldnt paddle a straight line (chasing U-boats was the nickname given). He got me a job working for conley group security in his absence, and if it weren't for returning to college full time would have worked with him. It was an honor I'll never forget, carrying him beside friends from school, military, and his brother. Josh was a great friend and he will be missed indefinitely. Anything I can do to help bear the torch that burns in his honor, to raise awareness of ptsd, or just to..... help. Please let me know. Thank you Omvig family for all the effort you've put forth, the lives you've saved, the ones your changing. I love you all for that.
I hope to see you soon and visit again, next time I'm through town. Missing a friend and glad work is being done to change things, Jacob Hawk
Josh/ Mike &. Jessica Nothdorf (Friends/-co workers ) Hopefully this will get to Josh's parents....
My name is Jessica and my husband is Mike. We worked with Josh at TCG before he left for Iraq and when he came home. When he was on leave...a couple of us threw him a party of just a couple co-workers. I'd love to send you the pictures if I could. Due to work schedules, we were unable to attend the funeral. But we just wanted you to know that we think about your family and Josh everyday and miss him so much too. He was a great friend to both of us. We can't even begin to tell you what a great son you had and what a wonderful person he was....I'm sure you already know. My husband and I are both members of the military also. I-marines, my husband-navy. We agree that theres not enough being done to help our heros that come home and because of that, lives are lost everyday. We had no idea that Josh was having as much of a problem as he was. Being his friends and also in the military, we wish there was something we could've done to help him. We are so glad that you have put this site together to help soldiers that don't feel like they can go anywhere else. And especially honoring Josh. Again, your family will be thought of and are in our prayers. We will miss Josh everyday.
Sincerely, Mike and Jessica Nothdorf
my heart breaks / Debbie L. (none) My heart breaks for Joshua and his family. My son is in Iraq now and I am worried sick. I pray that all soldiers find healing and peace. I pray for your son and daughter.... my son.
Words cannot express how my hearts aches for your pain. / Heather Bonin (NONE)
I seen the article in the DM Register this morning, and i had to visit this site. I found myself choking back tears while reading it at work. and the tears poured as i read and read on the website. I feel incredibly lucky to know that good-hearted men like josh serve to protect our country, families, and rights only to have such a life altering disorder take over his life, and lead to a heartbreaking, untimely death. I have so much respect and admiration for josh, and all of the family members who survive him. no words can make this ok, and i know i could never do that for anyone in this situation. after skimming the article, i knew i had to say a few words. i wish you all the best in helping others with PTSD. even if you only save one life from the disorder, all the efforts will be worth it. it looks like you all are doing great.
Josh is an Angel / Dana Hardy (Friend of Julie's ) It is so wonderful to periodically review this site and see the work that continues through it. Julie, I know how devoted you are to this and what a blessing you are to others. But I also firmly believe that Joshua is guiding you, all of us that will listen from the other side. So that we will listen and be more respectful to our veterans that give so unconditionally. I agree the Government can do more. But I also see where each of us as individuals can be more giving and respectful. Tipping of our heads to the veteran when we see him/her, when we vote no matter for what office ... vote for the individual that is going to help the veteran. All political figures have individual agendas. Let us elect those with veteran agendas! Again dear friend, thank you for all you do and most of continuing to listen to the loving guidance from Joshua as an Angel from the other side now. As he helps all veterans through you and others. Love, Dana