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Family dealing with unexpected death of veteran who was overcoming post-war struggles

From WBTA:

A Batavia family is grieving while struggling with the expense of burying their son.

Jamie Carney, a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, died in New Jersey on Saturday. He was 27.

The cause of the young man’s death remains a mystery.

“His goal this past weekend was to go to New York City for the first time in his life, see New York City, come home for Memorial Day to the Rubin family in Massachusetts where it was their son’s birthday. He was going to celebrate Memorial Day and the birthday with this little boy. He never made it back because he died in a hotel room,” said Paula Zirbel, a close friend of the family’s.

Zirbel said Jamie was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. However, he was starting to build a life in Boston and he had dedicated his last 16 months caring for a special needs child -- whose birthday was approaching -- and recently began his undergrad work in Early Childhood Development. That’s what makes his unexpected death that much more heartbreaking.

“When your son goes to war, as Dave and Elizabeth had told me last night,” she said, “you fear that this phone call is going to come. Once he goes through two tours and he comes home and he’s not okay for a while, you still fear that this phone call will come. When this phone call came, the family was finally happy and content for Jamie.

"He came home for Easter and claimed how much he had found some peace and some love for this little boy and a direction of what he wanted to do and he was starting to heal. So, this was a time when this phone call came that the family was finally relaxed, they were finally at ease. When the call came it was at a time when they were naively thinking everything was going to be okay.”

Read more on WBTAi.com.

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Brian Graziaplena
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Joined: Sep 18 2010

Sad story for sure, but curious as well... Was this soldier not fully participating in treatment for his PTSD? Or not getting reasonable thorough care from the VA [recently had a heart attack]?

Kyle Couchman
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From the sound of it Brian I think he was participating in his PTSD just from the part of taking on a special needs child and doing his undergrad work in early childhood development. Those are usually things that come with proper psychiatric care of PTSD. But I could be wrong as well (my wife who has her Bachelors in Psych said this sounded like he was on a typical course for someone who was being treated sucessfully)

My condolences to the family, especially in this case as this was a fellow vet who died on Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully this was nothing more than God calling him home. But if it was from the circumstances surrounding the current VA issues or something else nefarious then I hope Justice will be done.

God bless and grant peace to his parents family and friends and keep them in this time of sorrow.

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