Jared Hagemann_in_uniform1.JPG
I first heard about Ranger Jared Hagemann soon after he died. As told by his widow Ashley, the tale of his presumed suicide seemed to

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This Week's Feature Story: Fallen Soldier

Jared Hagemann_in_uniform1.JPG
I first heard about Ranger Jared Hagemann soon after he died. As told by his widow Ashley, the tale of his presumed suicide seemed to be about the perils of multiple deployments. But I discovered that his story was about more than that.

During press conferences and interviews over the summer and fall, Ashley said Jared killed himself in June because he couldn't face another deployment. The military had refused to either let him out or give him help. The video below is of one event last August, put on by anti-war activists, as she was starting to tell her story. "I don't know if any of you have heard about my husband," she begins.

By a September press conference, shown below, media from Democracy Now! to the Daily Mail in the U.K had picked up on the tale. Ashley began talking about Jared's death by saying, "As you know...."

Madigan Army Medical Center records confirm that Jared was haunted by his wartime experience. He was diagnosed with PTSD. Yet he wasn't stop-lossed or otherwise forced by the military into going back time and again. Jared voluntarily reenlisted--twice.

Jared, instead, seems to have been trapped by the terrible economy that veterans are coming home to. And he had other problems, including a volatile and sometimes violent relationship with his wife. Ashley says that all started when he came back from war a changed man.

"There's no single explanation," Elspeth Ritchie, a former top psychologist for the Army, tells Seattle Weekly, speaking about the current epidemic of soldier suicides. This week's feature story illustrates this-- and offers a case study in the many pressures that may be driving soldiers to take their own lives.

 
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