Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Please Bring Them Home.

I heard this on the radio early this morning ...

A 21 year old Indiana National Guardsman, Jacob Sexton, shot and killed himself in an Indiana movie theater on Monday night. Jacob was home on a 15-day leave from his service in Afghanistan because his girlfriend had recently given birth.

Jacob was at the theater to see "Zombieland" with his two brothers, Jeremiah and Jared, and his best friend, Terry Keagy.

When the group went to buy tickets, the manager asked for 18+ identification because it was a Rated (R) movie, according to police. Jacob said "I shot 18 people and you want to see my identification?" He then showed the manager a military ID.

Jacob’s family told Indiana's WTHR that he was supposed to report for duty on Monday (October 19th) to be shipped back to Afghanistan and wasn’t any signs anything was wrong with him.

But during the movie Jacob asked his brother if he could see his brother's semi-automatic handgun. (His brother has a permit for the gun.) Then Jacob told his brother to duck, and shot himself in the head.

According to the Columbus, IN Republic, Jacob was serving with the Indiana National Guard's Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment. The unit responds to attacks on military installations or convoys near the Kabul area, said Lt. Col. Deedra Thombleson, a guard spokeswoman.

Sexton had spent three months in Iraq in 2006-07, she said.

First Sgt. Steven Bishop said Sexton was a "great kid" who volunteered to go to Afghanistan. He let other guard members in the unit select their leave dates before choosing his so that everyone else could get their first pick, Bishop said.

"He was always smiling - always joking," Bishop said. "He was always making the best out of any situation and never complained. It's really a shock for all of us. This would have been the last thing in the world we would have expected from him."

Yet Jacob's father, Jeffrey Sexton, spoke out yesterday and said that the families of service members who have returned home from war need to closely watch their veterans for signs of stress. Mr. Sexton said that Jacob had showed no signs of being suicidal before shooting himself in the head.

"We just need to watch these boys and the girls coming back home. Something's just not right. Too much is happening."

Jacob's brother Jeremiah, who owns the gun that Jacob used to commit suicide, is in the same National Guard unit as Jacob, but has not yet been deployed to Afghanistan.

Please check out this amazing organization Iraq Veterans Against the War.

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