A Soldier Took His Life Today

 
                                                                                               Author's Note:

I did not write this story, it was sent to my wife from a friend of hers from England. It is a copy of a letter a young English Veteran who served in Afghanistan wrote to his Mom. He took his own life and I wanted to share it to make people aware of veteran's suicides .... on the average; 22 veterans take their own life each day. If you have a heart, this letter will break it. It is a long read and copied as written .... veteran suicide is real and this letter is real.

His name was Henry and his Mom published the letter to raise sucide awareness.

Rest In Peace, Hero ....

Henry John James 12/24/1976 -- 8/29/2021
          


My friend's friend sadly took his own life two days ago. His very brave Mum Rose wants his suicide letter sharing to raise awareness. Please in his and her honour, read to the end. 💔

""Iím only posting this today. Henry committed suicide by taking a lethal dose of sleeping pills. Police were called when his Mum Rose couldnít open the door to his flat as heíd bolted it. Heíd left food out for his 11mth old kitten Storm. He had left everything neat and tidy laid out the things he wanted to be cremated in, left all the information she needed to sort out his affairs. He had cleaned his medals but left a note to send them back to the MoD. He had sent an email at 23.50pm Sunday knowing she wouldnít get it till the next day. Rose has asked all of us that knew and loved Henry to post a copy of that email on every social media platform we can. It contains some quite upsetting things but remember this was written by a man choosing to clear his mind and put his truth out there.

Henry John James (24/12/1976 - 29/8/2021 (44)) named by his mum after her favourite American/British author Henry James.
Loving son, brother, friend never got to be husband or father and FORMER proud British soldier. That word is the key to my decision today to commit suicide. Though I physical die today we all know I died in Hellmand Province in July 2009 when we lost 6 in a week to IEDs among them Tace and H and I was there for both.

People think IED they think your killed outright if your lucky you are but often your just waiting to die or your seriously maimed thatís the next best thing. I sat with Tace as his hand shock and he yelled in pain for his Mum till it finally ended. It was a relief. I lied to him telling him it was all going to be ok we both knew it wasnít. H was lucky. People donít realise IEDs create smoke, dust, smell and thatís burnt flesh, blood or explosive and if your near by blood and other bits that get on your uniform. Your deafened by the noise, your ears ring and your first thought isnít someone died, itís I didnít is any part of me missing. Your thrown up in the air you have no control of where you land. In my case on both days no I didnít die I walked away. I survived 3 IEDs that week the next one in August 2010 I survived but I lost my left arm, I was too close but someone died, ironically I lost the hand that Tace held. You never give them you right hand that one is still on your gun. Between those two dates I killed as many Taliban as I could each one for the boys we lost. Iíd have killed more if I could have it helped me to forget the horrors I became immune to it. I enjoyed it I admit it. I got my nickname post-it as I would write the day, time and number of them I killed. Yes I denied it all this time but I did it and they are in my top box in the living room. The count was 57. Itís a good number in a year and I can say Iím proud of it. Proud I killed 57 Taliban fighters but sad it wasnít more double would have been good.

But itís after when you come back it starts the sounds, smells the full horror it turns up at any time. a noise, a smell and your back there sometimes a face anything triggers you. They send you to rehabilitation for your lost arm bit of therapy for the PTSD then they let you go. Bit of money but thatís it thanks for your service as the Yanks say. Your a civilian and your not a priority so your on lists to see various people who donít know what itís like really they havenít served havenít been there. You canít tell them the real issue I want to go back I want to keep on killing Taliban it makes me feel better.

Then thereís Di. The war took that future from me the one with a wife, children donít even remember that dream. Truth is I left her because she didnít get it. She thought going on with the wedding was a good thing. Talking endlessly about dresses, food, venues, cake when all I could see was Tace the day I asked him to be my best man. She didnít even know Iíd asked him because she assumed it would be her brother after all he was my best mate and we met through that. But he wasnít my best mate. He couldnít be we had different lives great bloke but he worked in Asda not much like a war zone in anyway Iíd stopped being Henry. I was Post-it he was still Jack. So I walked away I know my timing 3 days before wasnít great but better than going through with it. Iím rambling because I want to write it all down. Everything even the bits you donít know. I want you to show everyone what I was like when I made the decision to take my life.
But I know youíll be devastated Mum. Youíll want to know why? What did you miss? What could you have done? Should I have done more? But truth is you couldnít you did everything you could the private therapist was working and in all my dark days I never even thought about suicide. So why? You ask.

I fought in a war that they said was changing the face of a region bringing it into the 21st century. A world where people could grow up, listen to pop music, girls could go to school without fear, girls could dream of being anything they wanted to be. No more burkas if they didnít want them, hair and beauty salons and to finally own a pet. Yes to own a pet. You knew I was still in contact with Aalem and his family. His two girls were at uni one wanted to be an architect the other an engineer. They wanted to rebuild and improve their country. We talked about my visiting but weíd delayed it due to Covid. What you donít know is he got a letter saying he didnít qualify to come to the U.K. in the evacuation he was now considered a threat. A guy who was an interpreter and scout for us. A man who Iíd sat down in his home, with his family, to eat with many times. Heís left to face a future going backwards. See that was our legacy the glue that stopped me thinking of suicide. We had done our job these people had a good life free of fear of the Taliban they had a future it was getting better now they just pulled the rug from under them. Their back to square one we wasted 20 years and all those lives ours and the civilians for what so a politician can try and remain President. So people can say no more Americans are dying in a foreign land, to save money. See Mum no legacy and I tried to contact Aalem all day Saturday because he was scared theyíd come for him. His phone dead is he ok I donít know, did he escape I donít know. Iíll never know but I canít watch these politicians slapping themselves on the back for a job well done getting people out, telling veterans we didnít make sacrifices in vain. We did you never sacrificed anything your greedier, you lie and you have now started the killing again youíve thrown the people in Afghanistan to the wolves. Sitting somewhere in a house, in Kabul maybe, probably watching people maybe even family killed around him youíve created the next Bin Laden. The next terrorist not against the Taliban but YOU. You who left him behind to suffer he will blame YOU not them he will come after US not them. It will start again. It already has with the bombing on Thursday already a politician is saying well hunt you down. It will be your fault. I canít be a part of history like the Vietnam veteran before me forgotten because of a failed American war just like this one. Youíve killed me along with them another victim.

Iíve made peace with just leaving now. I want you to know I was getting there but this just started it all again and I canít go through it again. Iím sorry. I love you Mum Iím sorry itís so close to you losing Issac but I just canít do it all again another 11 years of therapy etc. Canít pick up and start again because that one thing I had was that glue we made a sacrifice for them to have a better life. It was worth it is not now itís ruined, spoilt gone. Please donít be annoyed youíve seen my darkest days I canít do them again. Iím tired of waking up sweating after seeing Tace blown six foot in the air to land impaled on a rusting piece of discarded metal with both legs hanging there. So Iíll miss Sunday dinner best Yorkshire puddings and roast tattles ever. Please look after Storm sheís a great cat tell Maisie she really helped me but I canít stay just for her please keep her I know you will be company for your one theyíre sisters after all. Iím off to see H and Tace. Iíve done my research Iíll just go to sleep. See you again one day. All my love to everyone.

Post-it for me Mum post this. Many of us are still fighting this war in our heads and probably always will but not me anymore Iím done fighting I canít do it anymore.

Eternal love

your Henry.""
                                                              
                                                                          
                                                                                   
@Copyright 2021 by Phil "Country" Crowley