Parents of a soldier who took his own life while in Iraq were shocked to find out that it’s a policy not to acknowledge the deaths of soldiers who take their own life. Gregg and Jannett Keesling told DemocracyNow’s Amy Goodman that their son was mentally ill but was forced to redeploy to Iraq anyway.
“Oh, my god, Mr. Keesling, I’ve just discovered there’s a longstanding policy that prevents the President from acknowledging the death of a soldier who takes his life in the war theater by his own hand,” Gregg Keesling was told by a member of the Department of Defense’s suicide task force.
“I nearly dropped to my knees. I was shocked. And I just said to her that I think this is a policy that should change,” Keesling said.
A full transcript of DemocracyNow’s interview with the Keeslings is available here.
This video is from LinkTV’s DemocracyNow!, broadcast Oct. 27, 2009.