Does deployment during wartime cause an inability to adapt to civilian life upon return? Sometimes military personnel come back home from Iraq or Afghanistan unable to cope. Speculation about a tragedy that took place in Spanaway, WA, USA this week has raised these questions.
An army combat medic based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord died along with his wife and son this week in a mysterious scene which needs further investigation. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Sgt. David Stewart, 38, was a member of the 575th Area Support Medical Company and served two tours in Iraq for the 82nd Airborne. Stewart's wife Kristy Sampels also 38, was a registered nurse.
The body of their 5-year old son, Jordan, was found at home with a plastic bag over his head shortly after his parents died at the end of a high-speed chase in an apparent murder-suicide. Reportedly, Stewart shot his wife during the chase and then turned the gun on himself.
The Pierce County Investigators are uncertain who killed 5-year old Jordan.
"We have to evaluate the evidence, but there may never be an answer," Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said. "The only two witnesses are gone."
Speculation from his family think the wife is responsible, then the husband lost it. So, the question remains, did the stresses and experiences of deployment have anything to do with this tragedy? Did deployment play a role at all?