A Father's Account Of His Late Son's Battle With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Friday, August 09, 2013

(Oleg Zabielin/Shutterstock)

This week The Takeaway is exploring the individual and collective experience of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in America as we enter the long aftermath of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Everyday 22 veterans commit suicide—almost one an hour. Last year there were a total of 349 suicides among active personnel. It is also important to keep in mind that these numbers may be under reported due to the stigma about suicide in our culture.

Joining us today is Kevin Lucey. He is the father of Corporal Jeffrey Lucey, a USMC reservist who served in Iraq and took his own life after suffering from PTSD.

Corporal Lucey served in Iraq between January and July 2003 as a Humvee driver. In March 2004, after his return home, he began exhibiting signs of PTSD but the V.A. wouldn't assess him until he was sober for three-to-six months—he was drinking and on medication—even though his primary physician diagnosed him. Jeffrey took his own life on May 22, 2004. Kevin Lucey joins the program to discuss his late sons battle with PTSD.


Kevin Lucey

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst


T.J. Raphael

Comments [4]

Alana from Twentynine Palms, CA

I'm a Marine New Yorker stationed in CA who's regularly frustrated when this topic arises because there's NO mention of the demographics in the areas where the stopping & frisking is occurring! How many Asians, Europeans, Whites, etc. live in East New York? C'mon NYC you're smarter than this! Crimes in the high-crime areas of NYC- like East New York & the Bronx are being committed by the people living there; which are dominantly Blacks & Hispanics. What we should be discussing is eradication of these pockets of filth in order to better the living standards for the ones financially trapped there & addressing the criminals there making it impossible to live a "normal life" for those residents AND the ones trying to prevent the crimes! Listening to audio of a "young kid" being harassed by cops is pointless- you don't SEE what the "innocent kid" is doing! I encourage those against "stop & frisk" and those intolerable of cops to spend a day in East New York- I GUARANTEE you'll change your mind.

Aug. 12 2013 03:30 PM
Crystina Wyler from Miami, FL

I sat frozen holding my cup of coffee listening to the heart ache in this father's voice....all I wanted to do is go trough the radio wires and hug him. What is even more wrenching are the figures..the numbers of suicides and homeless directly related to this tragic disease. We need, NO! we must have care and programs in place to assist and guide all who suffer from PTSD. But the most important factor is that the word "shame" be taken away from our dictionaries!!! Especially for all our military personnel, who give up so much for us.... there is no shame in PTSD! You acquired it in the name of honor...in the name of our country. Now our country must take care of you!
Thank you John for airing this segment!
Crystina Wyler
Miami, Fl.

Aug. 09 2013 04:01 PM
Tara Deihm from Reading, PA

I have PTSD, but I am not a veteran. While I think it's necessary to raise awareness of this disorder to save lives, I find it frustrating that the help available to me is mostly military based. I was sold into prostitution at 14. I have been raped repeatedly, beaten, and kidnapped multiple times. Twice in my life I was held an escapes a serial killer. However, the PTSD support groups in my area are military based. I cannot relate to them; they cannot relate to me. When the disorder is associated only with the military,the rest of us are ignored and forgotten.

Aug. 09 2013 01:08 PM
Karen1425 from Saranac lake new york

I awoke this morning listening to the voice of Jeff Lucey share the final hours with his son, Jeffrey, who suffered from PTSD. The love of a father for his son was so evident in each word Kevin spoke. How do good people in our country do little to nothing for these veterans returning from our war? Why is this issue of PTSD NOT the number one priority in Congress and at the Veteran's hospital? All the pontificating on the part of our Congressmen about the debt affecting our future youth is nothing more than verbiage to fill up their microphone time. Their words are hallow, with no meaning. Until the majority of our Congress loses a son or daughter to PTSD from war, I fear Jeff's loss will be in vain. Shame on those who profess to care and do nothing. All the above being said, I continue to hope their will be a true congressional hero who will make this illness her/his number priority AND put action behind the words. As a full disclosure, I have a very close friend who has been battling PTSD for eight years now. I listen, listen, and listen some more, the same stories over and over and over again. I pray for a resolution to this unbelievably disabling illness. Kevin may your loss be not in vain.

Aug. 09 2013 10:32 AM

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