Marine and Veterans’ Advocate Kills Himself

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are mourning the loss of one of their own.  Member Veteran Clay Hunt took his own life March 31, 2011.  He served two combat tours with the Marines, worked tirelessly for veterans and did international humanitarian work in Haiti and Chile after his military service.
Hunt’s suicide will not be counted as an “official” military suicide. Yet, his loss has the IAVA re-committing itself to suicide prevention.
Hunt’s life and struggles are recounted by IAVA Executive Dir. Paul Rieckhoff in this CNN report.

Here’s a partial description of Clay Hunt’s life by Kimberly Hefling of Associated Press:

WASHINGTON – Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren’t alone.

The 28-year-old former Marine corporal earned a Purple Heart after taking a sniper’s bullet in his left wrist. He returned to combat in Afghanistan. Upon his return home, he lobbied for veterans on Capitol Hill, road-biked with wounded veterans and performed humanitarian work in Haiti and Chile.

Then, on March 31, Hunt bolted himself in his Houston apartment and shot himself.

Friends and family say he was wracked with survivor’s guilt, depression and other emotional struggles after combat.

You can read the full article here.

IAVA’s public service announcement:

Team Rubicon:

Ride 2 Recovery:

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors:

Veterans Crisis Line:

Crisis Line: 800-273-TALK (8255)

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