Two Iraq war veterans have been accused of homicides in California and Washington, leading experts to comment on this level of violence in light of post-traumatic stress disorder.
A park ranger at Washington state’s Mount Rainier National Park was shot to death on New Year’s Day, and police believe Benjamin Colton Barnes (who served in Iraq from 2007-2009) was responsible for the shooting. Barnes’ body was later found in the forest
Another vet, former Marine Cpl. Itzcoatl Campo, is the suspect in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in California. A friend of Campo’s said that after the vet’s return: “He was a little bit more serious. It seemed like there was something on his mind. He seemed really depressed and down, and things in his life weren’t looking that well.”
These acts combined with the record-high number of suicides in July 2011—33 active- and reserve-component service members—shows that attention must be paid to this growing issue.