Two Army Families Deal With PTSD, and Suicide

Prevention and Tragedy

The stories of these two families, seemingly on the same path, diverged at the depths of despair. One soldier reached out for help, the other reached for a trigger.

"I never thought it would come to this," Shannon Galloway said.

Six weeks after coming home to Michigan, Chris Galloway stepped outside the family home and fired a single shot.

"Daddy got very sick in Afghanistan, which he did," Shannon Galloway said she told her son. "We said it was Afghanistan sickness ... and it made his heart stop. And he went to heaven."

Cherry-Haus said she knows how close her family came to a similar fate.

"I almost committed suicide," her husband said. "I had a plan and everything."

Families Need Help With PTSD

Finally, on a night Haus said he didn't want to live anymore, his wife was finally able to convince him to seek treatment.

"It was probably the hardest thing he has ever had to do in his entire life, but it was the best thing he could have ever done; for him, for me and for his family," Cherry-Haus said.

She and Galloway agreed that for the all the focus on individual soldiers, the suicide prevention effort must also involve families for it to be successful.

"It's great that we are pushing the military member toward getting help by telling them that PTSD is something that can be dealt with, but what we need to do further is to educate the family," Cherry-Haus said.

Although Galloway has lost her husband, she has continued to fight this elusive enemy.

"I need to do whatever I can to bring about change and to honor Chris so that his death is not in vain," she said. "There needs to be a way, an easy way, for the family member to go to the Army and say, 'Look this person needs help. Please help me get this person help.'"

Galloway said she believes her husband might be alive today, if only she had known where to turn.

Below is a list of resources that may be helpful if you know someone who is suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or in need of psychiatric help.

For a the Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information click here.

You can reach the Military OneSource at their toll-free number 1-800-342-9647, or you can click here. If you are overseas you should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.

To contact the DCOE Outreach Center call 1-866-966-1020, send an e-mail to Resources@DCoEOutreach.org or click here.

And for information about the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program click here.

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