During the Democratic National Convention in Boston, the parents of Jeffrey Lucey, a U.S. soldier who killed himself after returning home from military duty in Iraq, spoke publicly for the first time on Democracy Now!
Lucey signed up for the Marine Reserves straight out of high school. In February 2003, one month before the invasion, he was shipped out to Iraq. He was deployed there for five months, during which he fought in the battle of Nasiriyah. He returned to the U.S. later that year.
A few months after his return, Jeffrey's parents, Kevin and Joyce, began noticing signs of what they later came to know as post-traumatic stress syndrome. In late May 2004, they had Jeffrey involuntarily committed to a military veteran's hospital after he ignored his parents' and sister, Debbie's pleas to seek help. The hospital discharged him after a few days.
Three weeks later on June 22nd, Jeffrey Lucey took his own life. He was 23 years old. His father, Kevin came home to find his son had hung himself with a hose in the cellar of their house. The dog tags of two Iraqi prisoners he said he was forced to shoot unarmed, lay on his bed.
Shortly after his death, Kevin and Joyce Lucey joined us on the program to talk about their son. After the broadcast, we continued our conversation with them.
Continue reading the transcript of the conversation at DemocracyNow.