Letters to the Editor

Concerned community should aid veterans

I read the article titled, “Ex-Marine gets 12 years for trying to stab Bellingham man to death” and I am saddened and appalled. It makes me sad that an ex-Marine serves our country, gets awards of valor and has to come home and try to cope with civilian life. I am appalled at his actions and I wonder why this man was walking the streets. I think that there are a few issues to consider here. Why is it that our military cannot adequately help those who serve our country integrate into civilian life? There should be psychiatric evaluations and counseling for all returning soldiers.

It is disturbing that Pablik was committed for mental treatment, and then released into Bellingham alone and without support; after which, “He just kind of walked out the door, homeless, and quickly became psychotic.” He had been taking medication as well, which seemed to help, but when he stopped taking the pills his delusions returned. I wish there was a better way to help our veterans, and I wish there was a more viable way to suppress stress and trauma than shoving patients full of pills with sometimes severe side effects.

What can we do to help our veterans? Are there ways that we as a community can reach out to these people in order to avoid such a dire outcome? How can we as citizens and Americans avoid such devastation?

Gabriel Carey