Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love

Expand Messages
  • dpyckle1972
    I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of Blizzard s new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father s Love. I remember the news when it came
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 26, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of Blizzard's
      new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love. I remember
      the news when it came out but it faded with all the other daily stuff
      going on. I sure others may have noticed it as well. Thought I would
      post it again as it tugged on my heart strings after seeing the
      memorial. I'm sure everyone has been affected by the operations in
      Iraq and Afghanistan either personally or through someone they know.
      My sister is married to a Combat Medic with two tours behind him.
      Thank a soldier.

      June 15, VCS in the News: Dead Marine's Family Says Iraq War Veteran
      with PTSD Did Not Get Proper Care

      Marty Toohey

      Austin American-Statesman (Texas)
      Jun 15, 2008

      Chad Oligschlaeger was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder
      when he was found in barracks, parents say. "There's more help
      available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the advocacy
      group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's got to get a lot better,
      quickly, or we're going to have a social catastrophe among returning
      veterans."

      June 15, 2008, Round Rock, Texas - Marine Corporal Chad Oligschlaeger
      returned from Iraq in early 2006 haunted by the memory of a fellow
      Marine he thought he should have saved.

      He began drinking himself to sleep to dull the flashbacks and the
      nightmares, friends and family say. He told them he was accused by a
      superior of faking to avoid his next deployment.

      After a second tour in Iraq, Oligschlaeger came home to Round Rock on
      leave and slept for days, a shell of the McNeil High School student
      who had pushed his friends into every kind of mischief imaginable,
      giggling all the way. He told his family the dead Marine was talking
      to him.

      In the spring, two years after the nightmares began, he told his
      family that doctors had diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress
      disorder and put him on at least six types of medication. The Marines
      sent him to alcohol rehab and were arranging treatment at a mental
      health clinic.

      But weeks before his death, Oligschlaeger declined to re-enlist, and
      his unit left him with no supervision and nothing to do for days on
      end, according to family and friends, who say he called them at all
      hours, slurring his speech, unable to recall what medications he had
      taken.

      He was found dead in his room at the Twentynine Palms Marine base in
      California on May 20. He was 21.

      First Lt. Curtis Williamson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the Corps'
      policies prohibit commanders from discouraging mental health treatment
      or leaving physically or mentally wounded troops uncared for. He said
      an investigation is under way, during which details, records and the
      cause of death cannot be released to the family or the public. "These
      allegations," he said, "will be taken very seriously."

      But Oligschlaeger's family is alleging that two years of obvious
      problems and calls for help from Oligschlaeger were ignored. Their
      complaints echo those of veterans' advocates, who say that even with
      new government policies, better treatment and increased public
      awareness, there are still barriers separating soldiers and Marines
      from proper care for conditions such as PTSD that affect mental health.

      "They wouldn't give Chad the help he needed. But he was wounded, every
      bit as wounded as someone who lost an arm or leg," said his father,
      Eric Oligschlaeger of Round Rock.

      Oligschlaeger was found dead at a time when studies are showing that
      more troops are dealing with mental health problems than previously
      thought. The most comprehensive independent study, published in April
      by the RAND Corp.'s Center for Military Health Policy Research, found
      that one-third of service members sent to Iraq or Afghanistan return
      suffering from a combination of severe depression, PTSD and brain
      injuries.

      Only half the troops who need care seek it, often fearing
      stigmatization or retribution, according to the report, which also
      found that "only slightly more than half who receive treatment get
      minimally adequate care."

      Moments of war left haunting memories

      Chad Oligschlaeger, his family says, saw things in Iraq that he could
      not leave behind.

      His first day in Ramadi — a densely packed city where the streets rang
      with gunfire — he saw a nearby Marine killed by a mortar lobbed onto
      the base, he told his family. A lieutenant handed him a body bag.

      On Feb. 18, 2006, during a night patrol, a friend and mentor to
      Oligschlaeger, 2nd Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, was riding in a Humvee that
      was attacked. The blast from a roadside bomb left "Fitz" severely
      wounded, according to military releases. Eric Oligschlaeger said his
      son's Humvee arrived shortly after the attack and Oligschlaeger helped
      load Fitzgerald's stretcher into the back. But it was too wide to fit,
      momentarily delaying their departure, Eric Oligschlaeger said.

      Fitzgerald died three days later at a U.S. military hospital in
      Germany, according to the releases.

      Eric Oligschlaeger said his son described a delay that lasted at most
      a few moments, but Chad was dwelling on those seconds. When
      Oligschlaeger came home on leave that April, his friends say they
      noticed subtle changes.

      At age 10, he'd met Brad Blackaller, and it took only a day for him to
      ask, "Are we best friends yet?" When Blackaller said he already had
      one, Oligschlaeger replied, "Why can't you have more than one?" After
      Ramadi, Blackaller said, the burly, brown-haired hockey player with
      the sly smile and more best friends than he could count was jittery
      about standing in a grocery line.

      Oligschlaeger's mother, Julie Oligschlaeger, who lives in Phoenix,
      says her son made the 275-mile trip from Twentynine Palms most
      weekends with a few Marine buddies. Sunday mornings, mother and son
      had breakfast together. She and Oligschlaeger's fiancée, Adrianna
      Avena, who also lives in Phoenix, say he spent months brushing aside
      questions about Iraq.

      Then, six months after returning from Ramadi, he learned he was being
      sent back.

      He started having flashbacks. He drank Seagram's Seven whiskey until
      he passed out. He thrashed violently in his sleep, crying out about
      Fitzgerald. Avena learned the safest way to wake him was a light touch
      on the heel.

      "Chad told (the Marines) he couldn't go back in his condition," she said.

      Oligschlaeger told his family that he saw a military psychiatrist and
      laid out the drinking and the nightmares. But later that day,
      Oligschlaeger told his family, he was called in by a superior and
      accused of making up problems to avoid deployment. Julie Oligschlaeger
      said her son worried about a dishonorable discharge — and that no
      decent employer would hire him.

      Williamson, the Marine spokesman, confirmed the identities of
      superiors accused by the family of discouraging Oligschlaeger from
      seeking help. But they are not allowed to give interviews during the
      investigation, he said. Their names are being withheld from this
      article because they did not have the opportunity to comment.

      Williamson would not comment on Oligschlaeger's case specifically but
      said any attempts to discourage him from seeking mental health
      treatment, as is being alleged, would be "not acceptable or condonable
      under Marine Corps standards."

      Stigma inhibits mental health treatment

      Across the military, standards are changing. The Defense Department
      has been scrambling to hire psychiatrists in the wake of a yearlong
      Pentagon study, which concluded in May 2007 that the number of mental
      health professionals in the military is "woefully inadequate." Last
      month, as part of a larger initiative to eliminate the stigma
      associated with mental health care, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
      visited a new PTSD treatment center near El Paso and declared that
      security clearances could no longer be denied to troops seeking
      treatment. Some commanders have also been encouraging their troops to
      think of the mind like a piece of equipment, something that may need
      maintenance when used in harsh conditions.

      But change takes time. In February, during a Senate Armed Services
      Committee hearing about soldiers allegedly deployed against doctors'
      orders, Army Secretary Pete Geren testified that troops unfit for duty
      shouldn't be sent to war zones but couldn't be sure they weren't.
      Meanwhile, troop surveys consistently find the main barrier to
      treatment is fear that careers will suffer.

      "There's more help available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive
      director of the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's
      got to get a lot better, quickly, or we're going to have a social
      catastrophe among returning veterans."

      After diagnosis, a host of medications

      In April 2007, Oligschlaeger and Ramadi had changed. The city had
      calmed. Amid the pace of life there, Oligschlaeger seemed stable to
      family members during phone calls home, they say.

      He returned on Thanksgiving from his seven-month tour in Iraq
      optimistic about his post-military life, his family says. While
      visiting Avena in Phoenix, he proposed at P. T. Cook's restaurant, so
      nervous that he got on his knees and almost forgot to pop the
      question. Oligschlaeger toured the firefighters' academy in Phoenix.
      Avena bought a house in nearby Scottsdale.

      But when Oligschlaeger went home on leave to Round Rock, he would not
      leave the house. He told his father that he didn't like how people
      stared at him.

      In February, Oligschlaeger told his family that he was having
      hallucinations of Fitzgerald sitting next to his bed in the evenings,
      talking to him. He began to dream about killing Adrianna in anger.

      At some point, he was diagnosed with PTSD, according to the family.
      But without medical records, determining when is difficult. The family
      says that he saw several psychiatrists in February but did not mention
      being diagnosed with PTSD until early May.

      Julie Oligschlaeger said that during a brief visit in March, her son
      left behind an empty bottle of zolpidem, a prescription sleep aid,
      dated March 7, as well as bottles of trazodone and fluoxetine (both
      prescription antidepressants) dated March 20. His family says he later
      told them he was also taking lorazepam (a panic-reducing sedative) and
      seroquel (an antipsychotic).

      In early April, the Marines sent Oligschlaeger to an alcohol
      rehabilitation center in Point Loma, Calif., his family says. He spent
      nearly a month there, but he complained of flashbacks so vivid that he
      would run terrified from the room. He thought the sergeant picking him
      up from treatment accused him of faking symptoms.

      But, he told his family, the Marines were planning additional
      treatment: a stay in a mental health facility in Napa Valley. They
      were waiting until a bed opened up.

      The medications mentioned by Oligschlaeger's family are nothing to be
      alarmed about, said Dr. Erin Silvertooth, an Austin psychiatrist who
      has counseled PTSD patients. Silvertooth said PTSD medications are
      often used in concert to target specific symptoms, because "there is
      no magic PTSD pill."

      But she and Dr. Arthur Blank Jr., one of the nation's leading
      authorities on PTSD, said patients on that many medications must be
      monitored closely. Blank said doctors often rely primarily on pills to
      deal with PTSD, but he said they should only supplement regular
      private counseling. Silvertooth and Blank, who had no involvement in
      Oligschlaeger's case and could speak only in general terms, also said
      alcohol can amplify or interfere with PTSD medications, creating a
      dangerous combination.

      Mixing alcohol, pills

      On May 10, Oligschlaeger's older brother, Chris, and his girlfriend,
      Sara Pawlowski, visited Phoenix. Chad Oligschlaeger, obviously drunk,
      complained he couldn't find his pills.

      "I just saw you take them," Pawlowski recalls telling Chad Oligschlaeger.

      The family's worries deepened. Eric Oligschlaeger, who paints houses
      for a living, took a job delivering newspapers in Oak Hill in
      anticipation of paying for the post-military treatment.

      The Marines encouraged Chad Oligschlaeger to renew his contract. He
      said no.

      In the days after that, the family says, Oligschlaeger would call from
      different points on the base, wandering in a haze. He told his mother
      no one asked or cared why he wasn't going to work. His new roommate in
      the barracks was house-sitting off base.

      On Friday, May 16, Oligschlaeger told his father Napa Valley was still
      full. He then called Blackaller and said he wasn't visiting Avena in
      Phoenix to save on gas.

      On Monday, Avena bought her wedding dress. Her call went to
      Oligschlaeger's voice mail.

      On Tuesday, voice mail again. In a panic, she called her fiancé's old
      roommate and asked, "Can you check on Chad?"

      Hours passed.

      At 11:30 p.m. in Round Rock, Eric Oligschlaeger's doorbell rang.

      "By then," he said, "I knew what it was about."

      The Marine told Eric Oligschlaeger his son was dead but said he could
      not give any details.

      Two days later, on a breezy desert morning, the Marines held a
      memorial service for Oligschlaeger at Twentynine Palms. There, Julie
      Oligschlaeger says, she asked the lieutenant colonel commanding her
      son's battalion, "What happened to eyes on your Marines?"

      Oligschlaeger's funeral was May 31 in Austin. At it, the family played
      Johnny Cash's rendition of "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a song about a
      disillusioned Pima Indian who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
      In the song, Hayes turns to whiskey after the war, hoping to dull the
      nightmares and survivor's guilt. He died at 32.

      Eric Oligschlaeger knew it was an unusual choice for a funeral. But,
      he said, during the first deployment, his son's unit had listened to
      it every morning.

      To the family, it seemed a fitting choice.
    • Dick Young
      Thanks for posting this article. Chad was friends with many of our street kids. Salute... ... said. ... Oligschlaeger.
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 26, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Thanks for posting this article. Chad was friends with many of 'our'
        street kids.
        Salute...

        --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "dpyckle1972"
        <dpyckle@...> wrote:
        >
        > I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of Blizzard's
        > new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love. I remember
        > the news when it came out but it faded with all the other daily stuff
        > going on. I sure others may have noticed it as well. Thought I would
        > post it again as it tugged on my heart strings after seeing the
        > memorial. I'm sure everyone has been affected by the operations in
        > Iraq and Afghanistan either personally or through someone they know.
        > My sister is married to a Combat Medic with two tours behind him.
        > Thank a soldier.
        >
        > June 15, VCS in the News: Dead Marine's Family Says Iraq War Veteran
        > with PTSD Did Not Get Proper Care
        >
        > Marty Toohey
        >
        > Austin American-Statesman (Texas)
        > Jun 15, 2008
        >
        > Chad Oligschlaeger was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder
        > when he was found in barracks, parents say. "There's more help
        > available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the advocacy
        > group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's got to get a lot better,
        > quickly, or we're going to have a social catastrophe among returning
        > veterans."
        >
        > June 15, 2008, Round Rock, Texas - Marine Corporal Chad Oligschlaeger
        > returned from Iraq in early 2006 haunted by the memory of a fellow
        > Marine he thought he should have saved.
        >
        > He began drinking himself to sleep to dull the flashbacks and the
        > nightmares, friends and family say. He told them he was accused by a
        > superior of faking to avoid his next deployment.
        >
        > After a second tour in Iraq, Oligschlaeger came home to Round Rock on
        > leave and slept for days, a shell of the McNeil High School student
        > who had pushed his friends into every kind of mischief imaginable,
        > giggling all the way. He told his family the dead Marine was talking
        > to him.
        >
        > In the spring, two years after the nightmares began, he told his
        > family that doctors had diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress
        > disorder and put him on at least six types of medication. The Marines
        > sent him to alcohol rehab and were arranging treatment at a mental
        > health clinic.
        >
        > But weeks before his death, Oligschlaeger declined to re-enlist, and
        > his unit left him with no supervision and nothing to do for days on
        > end, according to family and friends, who say he called them at all
        > hours, slurring his speech, unable to recall what medications he had
        > taken.
        >
        > He was found dead in his room at the Twentynine Palms Marine base in
        > California on May 20. He was 21.
        >
        > First Lt. Curtis Williamson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the Corps'
        > policies prohibit commanders from discouraging mental health treatment
        > or leaving physically or mentally wounded troops uncared for. He said
        > an investigation is under way, during which details, records and the
        > cause of death cannot be released to the family or the public. "These
        > allegations," he said, "will be taken very seriously."
        >
        > But Oligschlaeger's family is alleging that two years of obvious
        > problems and calls for help from Oligschlaeger were ignored. Their
        > complaints echo those of veterans' advocates, who say that even with
        > new government policies, better treatment and increased public
        > awareness, there are still barriers separating soldiers and Marines
        > from proper care for conditions such as PTSD that affect mental health.
        >
        > "They wouldn't give Chad the help he needed. But he was wounded, every
        > bit as wounded as someone who lost an arm or leg," said his father,
        > Eric Oligschlaeger of Round Rock.
        >
        > Oligschlaeger was found dead at a time when studies are showing that
        > more troops are dealing with mental health problems than previously
        > thought. The most comprehensive independent study, published in April
        > by the RAND Corp.'s Center for Military Health Policy Research, found
        > that one-third of service members sent to Iraq or Afghanistan return
        > suffering from a combination of severe depression, PTSD and brain
        > injuries.
        >
        > Only half the troops who need care seek it, often fearing
        > stigmatization or retribution, according to the report, which also
        > found that "only slightly more than half who receive treatment get
        > minimally adequate care."
        >
        > Moments of war left haunting memories
        >
        > Chad Oligschlaeger, his family says, saw things in Iraq that he could
        > not leave behind.
        >
        > His first day in Ramadi — a densely packed city where the streets rang
        > with gunfire — he saw a nearby Marine killed by a mortar lobbed onto
        > the base, he told his family. A lieutenant handed him a body bag.
        >
        > On Feb. 18, 2006, during a night patrol, a friend and mentor to
        > Oligschlaeger, 2nd Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, was riding in a Humvee that
        > was attacked. The blast from a roadside bomb left "Fitz" severely
        > wounded, according to military releases. Eric Oligschlaeger said his
        > son's Humvee arrived shortly after the attack and Oligschlaeger helped
        > load Fitzgerald's stretcher into the back. But it was too wide to fit,
        > momentarily delaying their departure, Eric Oligschlaeger said.
        >
        > Fitzgerald died three days later at a U.S. military hospital in
        > Germany, according to the releases.
        >
        > Eric Oligschlaeger said his son described a delay that lasted at most
        > a few moments, but Chad was dwelling on those seconds. When
        > Oligschlaeger came home on leave that April, his friends say they
        > noticed subtle changes.
        >
        > At age 10, he'd met Brad Blackaller, and it took only a day for him to
        > ask, "Are we best friends yet?" When Blackaller said he already had
        > one, Oligschlaeger replied, "Why can't you have more than one?" After
        > Ramadi, Blackaller said, the burly, brown-haired hockey player with
        > the sly smile and more best friends than he could count was jittery
        > about standing in a grocery line.
        >
        > Oligschlaeger's mother, Julie Oligschlaeger, who lives in Phoenix,
        > says her son made the 275-mile trip from Twentynine Palms most
        > weekends with a few Marine buddies. Sunday mornings, mother and son
        > had breakfast together. She and Oligschlaeger's fiancée, Adrianna
        > Avena, who also lives in Phoenix, say he spent months brushing aside
        > questions about Iraq.
        >
        > Then, six months after returning from Ramadi, he learned he was being
        > sent back.
        >
        > He started having flashbacks. He drank Seagram's Seven whiskey until
        > he passed out. He thrashed violently in his sleep, crying out about
        > Fitzgerald. Avena learned the safest way to wake him was a light touch
        > on the heel.
        >
        > "Chad told (the Marines) he couldn't go back in his condition," she
        said.
        >
        > Oligschlaeger told his family that he saw a military psychiatrist and
        > laid out the drinking and the nightmares. But later that day,
        > Oligschlaeger told his family, he was called in by a superior and
        > accused of making up problems to avoid deployment. Julie Oligschlaeger
        > said her son worried about a dishonorable discharge — and that no
        > decent employer would hire him.
        >
        > Williamson, the Marine spokesman, confirmed the identities of
        > superiors accused by the family of discouraging Oligschlaeger from
        > seeking help. But they are not allowed to give interviews during the
        > investigation, he said. Their names are being withheld from this
        > article because they did not have the opportunity to comment.
        >
        > Williamson would not comment on Oligschlaeger's case specifically but
        > said any attempts to discourage him from seeking mental health
        > treatment, as is being alleged, would be "not acceptable or condonable
        > under Marine Corps standards."
        >
        > Stigma inhibits mental health treatment
        >
        > Across the military, standards are changing. The Defense Department
        > has been scrambling to hire psychiatrists in the wake of a yearlong
        > Pentagon study, which concluded in May 2007 that the number of mental
        > health professionals in the military is "woefully inadequate." Last
        > month, as part of a larger initiative to eliminate the stigma
        > associated with mental health care, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
        > visited a new PTSD treatment center near El Paso and declared that
        > security clearances could no longer be denied to troops seeking
        > treatment. Some commanders have also been encouraging their troops to
        > think of the mind like a piece of equipment, something that may need
        > maintenance when used in harsh conditions.
        >
        > But change takes time. In February, during a Senate Armed Services
        > Committee hearing about soldiers allegedly deployed against doctors'
        > orders, Army Secretary Pete Geren testified that troops unfit for duty
        > shouldn't be sent to war zones but couldn't be sure they weren't.
        > Meanwhile, troop surveys consistently find the main barrier to
        > treatment is fear that careers will suffer.
        >
        > "There's more help available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive
        > director of the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's
        > got to get a lot better, quickly, or we're going to have a social
        > catastrophe among returning veterans."
        >
        > After diagnosis, a host of medications
        >
        > In April 2007, Oligschlaeger and Ramadi had changed. The city had
        > calmed. Amid the pace of life there, Oligschlaeger seemed stable to
        > family members during phone calls home, they say.
        >
        > He returned on Thanksgiving from his seven-month tour in Iraq
        > optimistic about his post-military life, his family says. While
        > visiting Avena in Phoenix, he proposed at P. T. Cook's restaurant, so
        > nervous that he got on his knees and almost forgot to pop the
        > question. Oligschlaeger toured the firefighters' academy in Phoenix.
        > Avena bought a house in nearby Scottsdale.
        >
        > But when Oligschlaeger went home on leave to Round Rock, he would not
        > leave the house. He told his father that he didn't like how people
        > stared at him.
        >
        > In February, Oligschlaeger told his family that he was having
        > hallucinations of Fitzgerald sitting next to his bed in the evenings,
        > talking to him. He began to dream about killing Adrianna in anger.
        >
        > At some point, he was diagnosed with PTSD, according to the family.
        > But without medical records, determining when is difficult. The family
        > says that he saw several psychiatrists in February but did not mention
        > being diagnosed with PTSD until early May.
        >
        > Julie Oligschlaeger said that during a brief visit in March, her son
        > left behind an empty bottle of zolpidem, a prescription sleep aid,
        > dated March 7, as well as bottles of trazodone and fluoxetine (both
        > prescription antidepressants) dated March 20. His family says he later
        > told them he was also taking lorazepam (a panic-reducing sedative) and
        > seroquel (an antipsychotic).
        >
        > In early April, the Marines sent Oligschlaeger to an alcohol
        > rehabilitation center in Point Loma, Calif., his family says. He spent
        > nearly a month there, but he complained of flashbacks so vivid that he
        > would run terrified from the room. He thought the sergeant picking him
        > up from treatment accused him of faking symptoms.
        >
        > But, he told his family, the Marines were planning additional
        > treatment: a stay in a mental health facility in Napa Valley. They
        > were waiting until a bed opened up.
        >
        > The medications mentioned by Oligschlaeger's family are nothing to be
        > alarmed about, said Dr. Erin Silvertooth, an Austin psychiatrist who
        > has counseled PTSD patients. Silvertooth said PTSD medications are
        > often used in concert to target specific symptoms, because "there is
        > no magic PTSD pill."
        >
        > But she and Dr. Arthur Blank Jr., one of the nation's leading
        > authorities on PTSD, said patients on that many medications must be
        > monitored closely. Blank said doctors often rely primarily on pills to
        > deal with PTSD, but he said they should only supplement regular
        > private counseling. Silvertooth and Blank, who had no involvement in
        > Oligschlaeger's case and could speak only in general terms, also said
        > alcohol can amplify or interfere with PTSD medications, creating a
        > dangerous combination.
        >
        > Mixing alcohol, pills
        >
        > On May 10, Oligschlaeger's older brother, Chris, and his girlfriend,
        > Sara Pawlowski, visited Phoenix. Chad Oligschlaeger, obviously drunk,
        > complained he couldn't find his pills.
        >
        > "I just saw you take them," Pawlowski recalls telling Chad
        Oligschlaeger.
        >
        > The family's worries deepened. Eric Oligschlaeger, who paints houses
        > for a living, took a job delivering newspapers in Oak Hill in
        > anticipation of paying for the post-military treatment.
        >
        > The Marines encouraged Chad Oligschlaeger to renew his contract. He
        > said no.
        >
        > In the days after that, the family says, Oligschlaeger would call from
        > different points on the base, wandering in a haze. He told his mother
        > no one asked or cared why he wasn't going to work. His new roommate in
        > the barracks was house-sitting off base.
        >
        > On Friday, May 16, Oligschlaeger told his father Napa Valley was still
        > full. He then called Blackaller and said he wasn't visiting Avena in
        > Phoenix to save on gas.
        >
        > On Monday, Avena bought her wedding dress. Her call went to
        > Oligschlaeger's voice mail.
        >
        > On Tuesday, voice mail again. In a panic, she called her fiancé's old
        > roommate and asked, "Can you check on Chad?"
        >
        > Hours passed.
        >
        > At 11:30 p.m. in Round Rock, Eric Oligschlaeger's doorbell rang.
        >
        > "By then," he said, "I knew what it was about."
        >
        > The Marine told Eric Oligschlaeger his son was dead but said he could
        > not give any details.
        >
        > Two days later, on a breezy desert morning, the Marines held a
        > memorial service for Oligschlaeger at Twentynine Palms. There, Julie
        > Oligschlaeger says, she asked the lieutenant colonel commanding her
        > son's battalion, "What happened to eyes on your Marines?"
        >
        > Oligschlaeger's funeral was May 31 in Austin. At it, the family played
        > Johnny Cash's rendition of "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a song about a
        > disillusioned Pima Indian who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
        > In the song, Hayes turns to whiskey after the war, hoping to dull the
        > nightmares and survivor's guilt. He died at 32.
        >
        > Eric Oligschlaeger knew it was an unusual choice for a funeral. But,
        > he said, during the first deployment, his son's unit had listened to
        > it every morning.
        >
        > To the family, it seemed a fitting choice.
        >
      • Candy Lind
        I completely missed this story, and I too appreciate your posting it, Daryl, and YOU, Dick, for creating a lasting reminder. A bit of perspective ... I cried
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 26, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          I completely missed this story, and I too appreciate your posting it,
          Daryl, and YOU, Dick, for creating a lasting reminder.

          A bit of perspective ... I cried and cried the evening I wrecked my
          Xterra, because I knew Wayne and I were in no position to take that
          financial hit, and it was my fault we would suffer for it. But after
          reading this article, I once again find myself saying -  It doesn't
          matter how bad you think you have it; you can always find someone who
          has it worse, and along with that you can find a light at the end of
          the tunnel. You just have to look around a bit.

          I can not begin to imagine the pain this family has already endured,
          and what is to come as the investigation continues. Closure can never
          come with a senseless death. My wrecked car is nothing in comparison.

          Happy Trails,
          Candy


          --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "Dick Young"
          <rtyoungster@...> wrote:
          > Thanks for posting this article.  Chad was friends with many of
          'our' street kids.
          > Salute...

          Dypyckle posted:
          > I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of Blizzard's
          > new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love. I remember
          > the news when it came out ...


        • Dick Young
          After rereading this piece earlier today I noticed what seemed to be an error. Chad was 23 not 32. ... said. ... Oligschlaeger.
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 26, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            After rereading this piece earlier today I noticed what seemed to be
            an error. Chad was 23 not 32.


            --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "dpyckle1972"
            <dpyckle@...> wrote:
            >
            > I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of Blizzard's
            > new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love. I remember
            > the news when it came out but it faded with all the other daily stuff
            > going on. I sure others may have noticed it as well. Thought I would
            > post it again as it tugged on my heart strings after seeing the
            > memorial. I'm sure everyone has been affected by the operations in
            > Iraq and Afghanistan either personally or through someone they know.
            > My sister is married to a Combat Medic with two tours behind him.
            > Thank a soldier.
            >
            > June 15, VCS in the News: Dead Marine's Family Says Iraq War Veteran
            > with PTSD Did Not Get Proper Care
            >
            > Marty Toohey
            >
            > Austin American-Statesman (Texas)
            > Jun 15, 2008
            >
            > Chad Oligschlaeger was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder
            > when he was found in barracks, parents say. "There's more help
            > available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the advocacy
            > group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's got to get a lot better,
            > quickly, or we're going to have a social catastrophe among returning
            > veterans."
            >
            > June 15, 2008, Round Rock, Texas - Marine Corporal Chad Oligschlaeger
            > returned from Iraq in early 2006 haunted by the memory of a fellow
            > Marine he thought he should have saved.
            >
            > He began drinking himself to sleep to dull the flashbacks and the
            > nightmares, friends and family say. He told them he was accused by a
            > superior of faking to avoid his next deployment.
            >
            > After a second tour in Iraq, Oligschlaeger came home to Round Rock on
            > leave and slept for days, a shell of the McNeil High School student
            > who had pushed his friends into every kind of mischief imaginable,
            > giggling all the way. He told his family the dead Marine was talking
            > to him.
            >
            > In the spring, two years after the nightmares began, he told his
            > family that doctors had diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress
            > disorder and put him on at least six types of medication. The Marines
            > sent him to alcohol rehab and were arranging treatment at a mental
            > health clinic.
            >
            > But weeks before his death, Oligschlaeger declined to re-enlist, and
            > his unit left him with no supervision and nothing to do for days on
            > end, according to family and friends, who say he called them at all
            > hours, slurring his speech, unable to recall what medications he had
            > taken.
            >
            > He was found dead in his room at the Twentynine Palms Marine base in
            > California on May 20. He was 21.
            >
            > First Lt. Curtis Williamson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the Corps'
            > policies prohibit commanders from discouraging mental health treatment
            > or leaving physically or mentally wounded troops uncared for. He said
            > an investigation is under way, during which details, records and the
            > cause of death cannot be released to the family or the public. "These
            > allegations," he said, "will be taken very seriously."
            >
            > But Oligschlaeger's family is alleging that two years of obvious
            > problems and calls for help from Oligschlaeger were ignored. Their
            > complaints echo those of veterans' advocates, who say that even with
            > new government policies, better treatment and increased public
            > awareness, there are still barriers separating soldiers and Marines
            > from proper care for conditions such as PTSD that affect mental health.
            >
            > "They wouldn't give Chad the help he needed. But he was wounded, every
            > bit as wounded as someone who lost an arm or leg," said his father,
            > Eric Oligschlaeger of Round Rock.
            >
            > Oligschlaeger was found dead at a time when studies are showing that
            > more troops are dealing with mental health problems than previously
            > thought. The most comprehensive independent study, published in April
            > by the RAND Corp.'s Center for Military Health Policy Research, found
            > that one-third of service members sent to Iraq or Afghanistan return
            > suffering from a combination of severe depression, PTSD and brain
            > injuries.
            >
            > Only half the troops who need care seek it, often fearing
            > stigmatization or retribution, according to the report, which also
            > found that "only slightly more than half who receive treatment get
            > minimally adequate care."
            >
            > Moments of war left haunting memories
            >
            > Chad Oligschlaeger, his family says, saw things in Iraq that he could
            > not leave behind.
            >
            > His first day in Ramadi — a densely packed city where the streets rang
            > with gunfire — he saw a nearby Marine killed by a mortar lobbed onto
            > the base, he told his family. A lieutenant handed him a body bag.
            >
            > On Feb. 18, 2006, during a night patrol, a friend and mentor to
            > Oligschlaeger, 2nd Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, was riding in a Humvee that
            > was attacked. The blast from a roadside bomb left "Fitz" severely
            > wounded, according to military releases. Eric Oligschlaeger said his
            > son's Humvee arrived shortly after the attack and Oligschlaeger helped
            > load Fitzgerald's stretcher into the back. But it was too wide to fit,
            > momentarily delaying their departure, Eric Oligschlaeger said.
            >
            > Fitzgerald died three days later at a U.S. military hospital in
            > Germany, according to the releases.
            >
            > Eric Oligschlaeger said his son described a delay that lasted at most
            > a few moments, but Chad was dwelling on those seconds. When
            > Oligschlaeger came home on leave that April, his friends say they
            > noticed subtle changes.
            >
            > At age 10, he'd met Brad Blackaller, and it took only a day for him to
            > ask, "Are we best friends yet?" When Blackaller said he already had
            > one, Oligschlaeger replied, "Why can't you have more than one?" After
            > Ramadi, Blackaller said, the burly, brown-haired hockey player with
            > the sly smile and more best friends than he could count was jittery
            > about standing in a grocery line.
            >
            > Oligschlaeger's mother, Julie Oligschlaeger, who lives in Phoenix,
            > says her son made the 275-mile trip from Twentynine Palms most
            > weekends with a few Marine buddies. Sunday mornings, mother and son
            > had breakfast together. She and Oligschlaeger's fiancée, Adrianna
            > Avena, who also lives in Phoenix, say he spent months brushing aside
            > questions about Iraq.
            >
            > Then, six months after returning from Ramadi, he learned he was being
            > sent back.
            >
            > He started having flashbacks. He drank Seagram's Seven whiskey until
            > he passed out. He thrashed violently in his sleep, crying out about
            > Fitzgerald. Avena learned the safest way to wake him was a light touch
            > on the heel.
            >
            > "Chad told (the Marines) he couldn't go back in his condition," she
            said.
            >
            > Oligschlaeger told his family that he saw a military psychiatrist and
            > laid out the drinking and the nightmares. But later that day,
            > Oligschlaeger told his family, he was called in by a superior and
            > accused of making up problems to avoid deployment. Julie Oligschlaeger
            > said her son worried about a dishonorable discharge — and that no
            > decent employer would hire him.
            >
            > Williamson, the Marine spokesman, confirmed the identities of
            > superiors accused by the family of discouraging Oligschlaeger from
            > seeking help. But they are not allowed to give interviews during the
            > investigation, he said. Their names are being withheld from this
            > article because they did not have the opportunity to comment.
            >
            > Williamson would not comment on Oligschlaeger's case specifically but
            > said any attempts to discourage him from seeking mental health
            > treatment, as is being alleged, would be "not acceptable or condonable
            > under Marine Corps standards."
            >
            > Stigma inhibits mental health treatment
            >
            > Across the military, standards are changing. The Defense Department
            > has been scrambling to hire psychiatrists in the wake of a yearlong
            > Pentagon study, which concluded in May 2007 that the number of mental
            > health professionals in the military is "woefully inadequate." Last
            > month, as part of a larger initiative to eliminate the stigma
            > associated with mental health care, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
            > visited a new PTSD treatment center near El Paso and declared that
            > security clearances could no longer be denied to troops seeking
            > treatment. Some commanders have also been encouraging their troops to
            > think of the mind like a piece of equipment, something that may need
            > maintenance when used in harsh conditions.
            >
            > But change takes time. In February, during a Senate Armed Services
            > Committee hearing about soldiers allegedly deployed against doctors'
            > orders, Army Secretary Pete Geren testified that troops unfit for duty
            > shouldn't be sent to war zones but couldn't be sure they weren't.
            > Meanwhile, troop surveys consistently find the main barrier to
            > treatment is fear that careers will suffer.
            >
            > "There's more help available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive
            > director of the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's
            > got to get a lot better, quickly, or we're going to have a social
            > catastrophe among returning veterans."
            >
            > After diagnosis, a host of medications
            >
            > In April 2007, Oligschlaeger and Ramadi had changed. The city had
            > calmed. Amid the pace of life there, Oligschlaeger seemed stable to
            > family members during phone calls home, they say.
            >
            > He returned on Thanksgiving from his seven-month tour in Iraq
            > optimistic about his post-military life, his family says. While
            > visiting Avena in Phoenix, he proposed at P. T. Cook's restaurant, so
            > nervous that he got on his knees and almost forgot to pop the
            > question. Oligschlaeger toured the firefighters' academy in Phoenix.
            > Avena bought a house in nearby Scottsdale.
            >
            > But when Oligschlaeger went home on leave to Round Rock, he would not
            > leave the house. He told his father that he didn't like how people
            > stared at him.
            >
            > In February, Oligschlaeger told his family that he was having
            > hallucinations of Fitzgerald sitting next to his bed in the evenings,
            > talking to him. He began to dream about killing Adrianna in anger.
            >
            > At some point, he was diagnosed with PTSD, according to the family.
            > But without medical records, determining when is difficult. The family
            > says that he saw several psychiatrists in February but did not mention
            > being diagnosed with PTSD until early May.
            >
            > Julie Oligschlaeger said that during a brief visit in March, her son
            > left behind an empty bottle of zolpidem, a prescription sleep aid,
            > dated March 7, as well as bottles of trazodone and fluoxetine (both
            > prescription antidepressants) dated March 20. His family says he later
            > told them he was also taking lorazepam (a panic-reducing sedative) and
            > seroquel (an antipsychotic).
            >
            > In early April, the Marines sent Oligschlaeger to an alcohol
            > rehabilitation center in Point Loma, Calif., his family says. He spent
            > nearly a month there, but he complained of flashbacks so vivid that he
            > would run terrified from the room. He thought the sergeant picking him
            > up from treatment accused him of faking symptoms.
            >
            > But, he told his family, the Marines were planning additional
            > treatment: a stay in a mental health facility in Napa Valley. They
            > were waiting until a bed opened up.
            >
            > The medications mentioned by Oligschlaeger's family are nothing to be
            > alarmed about, said Dr. Erin Silvertooth, an Austin psychiatrist who
            > has counseled PTSD patients. Silvertooth said PTSD medications are
            > often used in concert to target specific symptoms, because "there is
            > no magic PTSD pill."
            >
            > But she and Dr. Arthur Blank Jr., one of the nation's leading
            > authorities on PTSD, said patients on that many medications must be
            > monitored closely. Blank said doctors often rely primarily on pills to
            > deal with PTSD, but he said they should only supplement regular
            > private counseling. Silvertooth and Blank, who had no involvement in
            > Oligschlaeger's case and could speak only in general terms, also said
            > alcohol can amplify or interfere with PTSD medications, creating a
            > dangerous combination.
            >
            > Mixing alcohol, pills
            >
            > On May 10, Oligschlaeger's older brother, Chris, and his girlfriend,
            > Sara Pawlowski, visited Phoenix. Chad Oligschlaeger, obviously drunk,
            > complained he couldn't find his pills.
            >
            > "I just saw you take them," Pawlowski recalls telling Chad
            Oligschlaeger.
            >
            > The family's worries deepened. Eric Oligschlaeger, who paints houses
            > for a living, took a job delivering newspapers in Oak Hill in
            > anticipation of paying for the post-military treatment.
            >
            > The Marines encouraged Chad Oligschlaeger to renew his contract. He
            > said no.
            >
            > In the days after that, the family says, Oligschlaeger would call from
            > different points on the base, wandering in a haze. He told his mother
            > no one asked or cared why he wasn't going to work. His new roommate in
            > the barracks was house-sitting off base.
            >
            > On Friday, May 16, Oligschlaeger told his father Napa Valley was still
            > full. He then called Blackaller and said he wasn't visiting Avena in
            > Phoenix to save on gas.
            >
            > On Monday, Avena bought her wedding dress. Her call went to
            > Oligschlaeger's voice mail.
            >
            > On Tuesday, voice mail again. In a panic, she called her fiancé's old
            > roommate and asked, "Can you check on Chad?"
            >
            > Hours passed.
            >
            > At 11:30 p.m. in Round Rock, Eric Oligschlaeger's doorbell rang.
            >
            > "By then," he said, "I knew what it was about."
            >
            > The Marine told Eric Oligschlaeger his son was dead but said he could
            > not give any details.
            >
            > Two days later, on a breezy desert morning, the Marines held a
            > memorial service for Oligschlaeger at Twentynine Palms. There, Julie
            > Oligschlaeger says, she asked the lieutenant colonel commanding her
            > son's battalion, "What happened to eyes on your Marines?"
            >
            > Oligschlaeger's funeral was May 31 in Austin. At it, the family played
            > Johnny Cash's rendition of "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a song about a
            > disillusioned Pima Indian who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
            > In the song, Hayes turns to whiskey after the war, hoping to dull the
            > nightmares and survivor's guilt. He died at 32.
            >
            > Eric Oligschlaeger knew it was an unusual choice for a funeral. But,
            > he said, during the first deployment, his son's unit had listened to
            > it every morning.
            >
            > To the family, it seemed a fitting choice.
            >
          • Dick Young
            I can t read either...Chad s age is correctly stated. The hero of Iwo Jima, Ira Hayes ws 32. Both tragic deaths. ... health.
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 26, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              I can't read either...Chad's age is correctly stated. The hero of Iwo
              Jima, Ira Hayes ws 32. Both tragic deaths.

              --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "Dick Young"
              <rtyoungster@...> wrote:
              >
              > After rereading this piece earlier today I noticed what seemed to be
              > an error. Chad was 23 not 32.
              >
              >
              > --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "dpyckle1972"
              > <dpyckle@> wrote:
              > >
              > > I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of Blizzard's
              > > new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love. I remember
              > > the news when it came out but it faded with all the other daily stuff
              > > going on. I sure others may have noticed it as well. Thought I would
              > > post it again as it tugged on my heart strings after seeing the
              > > memorial. I'm sure everyone has been affected by the operations in
              > > Iraq and Afghanistan either personally or through someone they know.
              > > My sister is married to a Combat Medic with two tours behind him.
              > > Thank a soldier.
              > >
              > > June 15, VCS in the News: Dead Marine's Family Says Iraq War Veteran
              > > with PTSD Did Not Get Proper Care
              > >
              > > Marty Toohey
              > >
              > > Austin American-Statesman (Texas)
              > > Jun 15, 2008
              > >
              > > Chad Oligschlaeger was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder
              > > when he was found in barracks, parents say. "There's more help
              > > available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the advocacy
              > > group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's got to get a lot better,
              > > quickly, or we're going to have a social catastrophe among returning
              > > veterans."
              > >
              > > June 15, 2008, Round Rock, Texas - Marine Corporal Chad Oligschlaeger
              > > returned from Iraq in early 2006 haunted by the memory of a fellow
              > > Marine he thought he should have saved.
              > >
              > > He began drinking himself to sleep to dull the flashbacks and the
              > > nightmares, friends and family say. He told them he was accused by a
              > > superior of faking to avoid his next deployment.
              > >
              > > After a second tour in Iraq, Oligschlaeger came home to Round Rock on
              > > leave and slept for days, a shell of the McNeil High School student
              > > who had pushed his friends into every kind of mischief imaginable,
              > > giggling all the way. He told his family the dead Marine was talking
              > > to him.
              > >
              > > In the spring, two years after the nightmares began, he told his
              > > family that doctors had diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress
              > > disorder and put him on at least six types of medication. The Marines
              > > sent him to alcohol rehab and were arranging treatment at a mental
              > > health clinic.
              > >
              > > But weeks before his death, Oligschlaeger declined to re-enlist, and
              > > his unit left him with no supervision and nothing to do for days on
              > > end, according to family and friends, who say he called them at all
              > > hours, slurring his speech, unable to recall what medications he had
              > > taken.
              > >
              > > He was found dead in his room at the Twentynine Palms Marine base in
              > > California on May 20. He was 21.
              > >
              > > First Lt. Curtis Williamson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the Corps'
              > > policies prohibit commanders from discouraging mental health treatment
              > > or leaving physically or mentally wounded troops uncared for. He said
              > > an investigation is under way, during which details, records and the
              > > cause of death cannot be released to the family or the public. "These
              > > allegations," he said, "will be taken very seriously."
              > >
              > > But Oligschlaeger's family is alleging that two years of obvious
              > > problems and calls for help from Oligschlaeger were ignored. Their
              > > complaints echo those of veterans' advocates, who say that even with
              > > new government policies, better treatment and increased public
              > > awareness, there are still barriers separating soldiers and Marines
              > > from proper care for conditions such as PTSD that affect mental
              health.
              > >
              > > "They wouldn't give Chad the help he needed. But he was wounded, every
              > > bit as wounded as someone who lost an arm or leg," said his father,
              > > Eric Oligschlaeger of Round Rock.
              > >
              > > Oligschlaeger was found dead at a time when studies are showing that
              > > more troops are dealing with mental health problems than previously
              > > thought. The most comprehensive independent study, published in April
              > > by the RAND Corp.'s Center for Military Health Policy Research, found
              > > that one-third of service members sent to Iraq or Afghanistan return
              > > suffering from a combination of severe depression, PTSD and brain
              > > injuries.
              > >
              > > Only half the troops who need care seek it, often fearing
              > > stigmatization or retribution, according to the report, which also
              > > found that "only slightly more than half who receive treatment get
              > > minimally adequate care."
              > >
              > > Moments of war left haunting memories
              > >
              > > Chad Oligschlaeger, his family says, saw things in Iraq that he could
              > > not leave behind.
              > >
              > > His first day in Ramadi — a densely packed city where the streets rang
              > > with gunfire — he saw a nearby Marine killed by a mortar lobbed onto
              > > the base, he told his family. A lieutenant handed him a body bag.
              > >
              > > On Feb. 18, 2006, during a night patrol, a friend and mentor to
              > > Oligschlaeger, 2nd Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, was riding in a Humvee that
              > > was attacked. The blast from a roadside bomb left "Fitz" severely
              > > wounded, according to military releases. Eric Oligschlaeger said his
              > > son's Humvee arrived shortly after the attack and Oligschlaeger helped
              > > load Fitzgerald's stretcher into the back. But it was too wide to fit,
              > > momentarily delaying their departure, Eric Oligschlaeger said.
              > >
              > > Fitzgerald died three days later at a U.S. military hospital in
              > > Germany, according to the releases.
              > >
              > > Eric Oligschlaeger said his son described a delay that lasted at most
              > > a few moments, but Chad was dwelling on those seconds. When
              > > Oligschlaeger came home on leave that April, his friends say they
              > > noticed subtle changes.
              > >
              > > At age 10, he'd met Brad Blackaller, and it took only a day for him to
              > > ask, "Are we best friends yet?" When Blackaller said he already had
              > > one, Oligschlaeger replied, "Why can't you have more than one?" After
              > > Ramadi, Blackaller said, the burly, brown-haired hockey player with
              > > the sly smile and more best friends than he could count was jittery
              > > about standing in a grocery line.
              > >
              > > Oligschlaeger's mother, Julie Oligschlaeger, who lives in Phoenix,
              > > says her son made the 275-mile trip from Twentynine Palms most
              > > weekends with a few Marine buddies. Sunday mornings, mother and son
              > > had breakfast together. She and Oligschlaeger's fiancée, Adrianna
              > > Avena, who also lives in Phoenix, say he spent months brushing aside
              > > questions about Iraq.
              > >
              > > Then, six months after returning from Ramadi, he learned he was being
              > > sent back.
              > >
              > > He started having flashbacks. He drank Seagram's Seven whiskey until
              > > he passed out. He thrashed violently in his sleep, crying out about
              > > Fitzgerald. Avena learned the safest way to wake him was a light touch
              > > on the heel.
              > >
              > > "Chad told (the Marines) he couldn't go back in his condition," she
              > said.
              > >
              > > Oligschlaeger told his family that he saw a military psychiatrist and
              > > laid out the drinking and the nightmares. But later that day,
              > > Oligschlaeger told his family, he was called in by a superior and
              > > accused of making up problems to avoid deployment. Julie Oligschlaeger
              > > said her son worried about a dishonorable discharge — and that no
              > > decent employer would hire him.
              > >
              > > Williamson, the Marine spokesman, confirmed the identities of
              > > superiors accused by the family of discouraging Oligschlaeger from
              > > seeking help. But they are not allowed to give interviews during the
              > > investigation, he said. Their names are being withheld from this
              > > article because they did not have the opportunity to comment.
              > >
              > > Williamson would not comment on Oligschlaeger's case specifically but
              > > said any attempts to discourage him from seeking mental health
              > > treatment, as is being alleged, would be "not acceptable or condonable
              > > under Marine Corps standards."
              > >
              > > Stigma inhibits mental health treatment
              > >
              > > Across the military, standards are changing. The Defense Department
              > > has been scrambling to hire psychiatrists in the wake of a yearlong
              > > Pentagon study, which concluded in May 2007 that the number of mental
              > > health professionals in the military is "woefully inadequate." Last
              > > month, as part of a larger initiative to eliminate the stigma
              > > associated with mental health care, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
              > > visited a new PTSD treatment center near El Paso and declared that
              > > security clearances could no longer be denied to troops seeking
              > > treatment. Some commanders have also been encouraging their troops to
              > > think of the mind like a piece of equipment, something that may need
              > > maintenance when used in harsh conditions.
              > >
              > > But change takes time. In February, during a Senate Armed Services
              > > Committee hearing about soldiers allegedly deployed against doctors'
              > > orders, Army Secretary Pete Geren testified that troops unfit for duty
              > > shouldn't be sent to war zones but couldn't be sure they weren't.
              > > Meanwhile, troop surveys consistently find the main barrier to
              > > treatment is fear that careers will suffer.
              > >
              > > "There's more help available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive
              > > director of the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's
              > > got to get a lot better, quickly, or we're going to have a social
              > > catastrophe among returning veterans."
              > >
              > > After diagnosis, a host of medications
              > >
              > > In April 2007, Oligschlaeger and Ramadi had changed. The city had
              > > calmed. Amid the pace of life there, Oligschlaeger seemed stable to
              > > family members during phone calls home, they say.
              > >
              > > He returned on Thanksgiving from his seven-month tour in Iraq
              > > optimistic about his post-military life, his family says. While
              > > visiting Avena in Phoenix, he proposed at P. T. Cook's restaurant, so
              > > nervous that he got on his knees and almost forgot to pop the
              > > question. Oligschlaeger toured the firefighters' academy in Phoenix.
              > > Avena bought a house in nearby Scottsdale.
              > >
              > > But when Oligschlaeger went home on leave to Round Rock, he would not
              > > leave the house. He told his father that he didn't like how people
              > > stared at him.
              > >
              > > In February, Oligschlaeger told his family that he was having
              > > hallucinations of Fitzgerald sitting next to his bed in the evenings,
              > > talking to him. He began to dream about killing Adrianna in anger.
              > >
              > > At some point, he was diagnosed with PTSD, according to the family.
              > > But without medical records, determining when is difficult. The family
              > > says that he saw several psychiatrists in February but did not mention
              > > being diagnosed with PTSD until early May.
              > >
              > > Julie Oligschlaeger said that during a brief visit in March, her son
              > > left behind an empty bottle of zolpidem, a prescription sleep aid,
              > > dated March 7, as well as bottles of trazodone and fluoxetine (both
              > > prescription antidepressants) dated March 20. His family says he later
              > > told them he was also taking lorazepam (a panic-reducing sedative) and
              > > seroquel (an antipsychotic).
              > >
              > > In early April, the Marines sent Oligschlaeger to an alcohol
              > > rehabilitation center in Point Loma, Calif., his family says. He spent
              > > nearly a month there, but he complained of flashbacks so vivid that he
              > > would run terrified from the room. He thought the sergeant picking him
              > > up from treatment accused him of faking symptoms.
              > >
              > > But, he told his family, the Marines were planning additional
              > > treatment: a stay in a mental health facility in Napa Valley. They
              > > were waiting until a bed opened up.
              > >
              > > The medications mentioned by Oligschlaeger's family are nothing to be
              > > alarmed about, said Dr. Erin Silvertooth, an Austin psychiatrist who
              > > has counseled PTSD patients. Silvertooth said PTSD medications are
              > > often used in concert to target specific symptoms, because "there is
              > > no magic PTSD pill."
              > >
              > > But she and Dr. Arthur Blank Jr., one of the nation's leading
              > > authorities on PTSD, said patients on that many medications must be
              > > monitored closely. Blank said doctors often rely primarily on pills to
              > > deal with PTSD, but he said they should only supplement regular
              > > private counseling. Silvertooth and Blank, who had no involvement in
              > > Oligschlaeger's case and could speak only in general terms, also said
              > > alcohol can amplify or interfere with PTSD medications, creating a
              > > dangerous combination.
              > >
              > > Mixing alcohol, pills
              > >
              > > On May 10, Oligschlaeger's older brother, Chris, and his girlfriend,
              > > Sara Pawlowski, visited Phoenix. Chad Oligschlaeger, obviously drunk,
              > > complained he couldn't find his pills.
              > >
              > > "I just saw you take them," Pawlowski recalls telling Chad
              > Oligschlaeger.
              > >
              > > The family's worries deepened. Eric Oligschlaeger, who paints houses
              > > for a living, took a job delivering newspapers in Oak Hill in
              > > anticipation of paying for the post-military treatment.
              > >
              > > The Marines encouraged Chad Oligschlaeger to renew his contract. He
              > > said no.
              > >
              > > In the days after that, the family says, Oligschlaeger would call from
              > > different points on the base, wandering in a haze. He told his mother
              > > no one asked or cared why he wasn't going to work. His new roommate in
              > > the barracks was house-sitting off base.
              > >
              > > On Friday, May 16, Oligschlaeger told his father Napa Valley was still
              > > full. He then called Blackaller and said he wasn't visiting Avena in
              > > Phoenix to save on gas.
              > >
              > > On Monday, Avena bought her wedding dress. Her call went to
              > > Oligschlaeger's voice mail.
              > >
              > > On Tuesday, voice mail again. In a panic, she called her fiancé's old
              > > roommate and asked, "Can you check on Chad?"
              > >
              > > Hours passed.
              > >
              > > At 11:30 p.m. in Round Rock, Eric Oligschlaeger's doorbell rang.
              > >
              > > "By then," he said, "I knew what it was about."
              > >
              > > The Marine told Eric Oligschlaeger his son was dead but said he could
              > > not give any details.
              > >
              > > Two days later, on a breezy desert morning, the Marines held a
              > > memorial service for Oligschlaeger at Twentynine Palms. There, Julie
              > > Oligschlaeger says, she asked the lieutenant colonel commanding her
              > > son's battalion, "What happened to eyes on your Marines?"
              > >
              > > Oligschlaeger's funeral was May 31 in Austin. At it, the family played
              > > Johnny Cash's rendition of "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a song about a
              > > disillusioned Pima Indian who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
              > > In the song, Hayes turns to whiskey after the war, hoping to dull the
              > > nightmares and survivor's guilt. He died at 32.
              > >
              > > Eric Oligschlaeger knew it was an unusual choice for a funeral. But,
              > > he said, during the first deployment, his son's unit had listened to
              > > it every morning.
              > >
              > > To the family, it seemed a fitting choice.
              > >
              >
            • Barb Jernigan
              That s because you keep leaving your glasses at caches. =gentle teasing smile= Tygress On Tue, 27 Jan 2009 04:54:45 -0000 Dick Young
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 27, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                That's because you keep leaving your glasses at caches.
                =gentle teasing smile=

                Tygress

                On Tue, 27 Jan 2009 04:54:45 -0000 "Dick Young" <rtyoungster@...>
                writes:
                >
                > I can't read either...Chad's age is correctly stated. The hero of
                > Iwo
                > Jima, Ira Hayes ws 32. Both tragic deaths.
                >
                > --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "Dick Young"
                > <rtyoungster@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > After rereading this piece earlier today I noticed what seemed to
                > be
                > > an error. Chad was 23 not 32.
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "dpyckle1972"
                > > <dpyckle@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of
                > Blizzard's
                > > > new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love. I
                > remember
                > > > the news when it came out but it faded with all the other daily
                > stuff
                > > > going on. I sure others may have noticed it as well. Thought I
                > would
                > > > post it again as it tugged on my heart strings after seeing the
                > > > memorial. I'm sure everyone has been affected by the operations
                > in
                > > > Iraq and Afghanistan either personally or through someone they
                > know.
                > > > My sister is married to a Combat Medic with two tours behind
                > him.
                > > > Thank a soldier.
                > > >
                > > > June 15, VCS in the News: Dead Marine's Family Says Iraq War
                > Veteran
                > > > with PTSD Did Not Get Proper Care
                > > >
                > > > Marty Toohey
                > > >
                > > > Austin American-Statesman (Texas)
                > > > Jun 15, 2008
                > > >
                > > > Chad Oligschlaeger was struggling with post-traumatic stress
                > disorder
                > > > when he was found in barracks, parents say. "There's more help
                > > > available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the
                > advocacy
                > > > group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's got to get a lot
                > better,
                > > > quickly, or we're going to have a social catastrophe among
                > returning
                > > > veterans."
                > > >
                > > > June 15, 2008, Round Rock, Texas - Marine Corporal Chad
                > Oligschlaeger
                > > > returned from Iraq in early 2006 haunted by the memory of a
                > fellow
                > > > Marine he thought he should have saved.
                > > >
                > > > He began drinking himself to sleep to dull the flashbacks and
                > the
                > > > nightmares, friends and family say. He told them he was accused
                > by a
                > > > superior of faking to avoid his next deployment.
                > > >
                > > > After a second tour in Iraq, Oligschlaeger came home to Round
                > Rock on
                > > > leave and slept for days, a shell of the McNeil High School
                > student
                > > > who had pushed his friends into every kind of mischief
                > imaginable,
                > > > giggling all the way. He told his family the dead Marine was
                > talking
                > > > to him.
                > > >
                > > > In the spring, two years after the nightmares began, he told
                > his
                > > > family that doctors had diagnosed him with post-traumatic
                > stress
                > > > disorder and put him on at least six types of medication. The
                > Marines
                > > > sent him to alcohol rehab and were arranging treatment at a
                > mental
                > > > health clinic.
                > > >
                > > > But weeks before his death, Oligschlaeger declined to re-enlist,
                > and
                > > > his unit left him with no supervision and nothing to do for days
                > on
                > > > end, according to family and friends, who say he called them at
                > all
                > > > hours, slurring his speech, unable to recall what medications he
                > had
                > > > taken.
                > > >
                > > > He was found dead in his room at the Twentynine Palms Marine
                > base in
                > > > California on May 20. He was 21.
                > > >
                > > > First Lt. Curtis Williamson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the
                > Corps'
                > > > policies prohibit commanders from discouraging mental health
                > treatment
                > > > or leaving physically or mentally wounded troops uncared for. He
                > said
                > > > an investigation is under way, during which details, records and
                > the
                > > > cause of death cannot be released to the family or the public.
                > "These
                > > > allegations," he said, "will be taken very seriously."
                > > >
                > > > But Oligschlaeger's family is alleging that two years of
                > obvious
                > > > problems and calls for help from Oligschlaeger were ignored.
                > Their
                > > > complaints echo those of veterans' advocates, who say that even
                > with
                > > > new government policies, better treatment and increased public
                > > > awareness, there are still barriers separating soldiers and
                > Marines
                > > > from proper care for conditions such as PTSD that affect mental
                > health.
                > > >
                > > > "They wouldn't give Chad the help he needed. But he was wounded,
                > every
                > > > bit as wounded as someone who lost an arm or leg," said his
                > father,
                > > > Eric Oligschlaeger of Round Rock.
                > > >
                > > > Oligschlaeger was found dead at a time when studies are showing
                > that
                > > > more troops are dealing with mental health problems than
                > previously
                > > > thought. The most comprehensive independent study, published in
                > April
                > > > by the RAND Corp.'s Center for Military Health Policy Research,
                > found
                > > > that one-third of service members sent to Iraq or Afghanistan
                > return
                > > > suffering from a combination of severe depression, PTSD and
                > brain
                > > > injuries.
                > > >
                > > > Only half the troops who need care seek it, often fearing
                > > > stigmatization or retribution, according to the report, which
                > also
                > > > found that "only slightly more than half who receive treatment
                > get
                > > > minimally adequate care."
                > > >
                > > > Moments of war left haunting memories
                > > >
                > > > Chad Oligschlaeger, his family says, saw things in Iraq that he
                > could
                > > > not leave behind.
                > > >
                > > > His first day in Ramadi — a densely packed city where the
                > streets rang
                > > > with gunfire — he saw a nearby Marine killed by a mortar lobbed
                > onto
                > > > the base, he told his family. A lieutenant handed him a body
                > bag.
                > > >
                > > > On Feb. 18, 2006, during a night patrol, a friend and mentor to
                > > > Oligschlaeger, 2nd Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, was riding in a Humvee
                > that
                > > > was attacked. The blast from a roadside bomb left "Fitz"
                > severely
                > > > wounded, according to military releases. Eric Oligschlaeger said
                > his
                > > > son's Humvee arrived shortly after the attack and Oligschlaeger
                > helped
                > > > load Fitzgerald's stretcher into the back. But it was too wide
                > to fit,
                > > > momentarily delaying their departure, Eric Oligschlaeger said.
                > > >
                > > > Fitzgerald died three days later at a U.S. military hospital in
                > > > Germany, according to the releases.
                > > >
                > > > Eric Oligschlaeger said his son described a delay that lasted at
                > most
                > > > a few moments, but Chad was dwelling on those seconds. When
                > > > Oligschlaeger came home on leave that April, his friends say
                > they
                > > > noticed subtle changes.
                > > >
                > > > At age 10, he'd met Brad Blackaller, and it took only a day for
                > him to
                > > > ask, "Are we best friends yet?" When Blackaller said he already
                > had
                > > > one, Oligschlaeger replied, "Why can't you have more than one?"
                > After
                > > > Ramadi, Blackaller said, the burly, brown-haired hockey player
                > with
                > > > the sly smile and more best friends than he could count was
                > jittery
                > > > about standing in a grocery line.
                > > >
                > > > Oligschlaeger's mother, Julie Oligschlaeger, who lives in
                > Phoenix,
                > > > says her son made the 275-mile trip from Twentynine Palms most
                > > > weekends with a few Marine buddies. Sunday mornings, mother and
                > son
                > > > had breakfast together. She and Oligschlaeger's fiancée,
                > Adrianna
                > > > Avena, who also lives in Phoenix, say he spent months brushing
                > aside
                > > > questions about Iraq.
                > > >
                > > > Then, six months after returning from Ramadi, he learned he was
                > being
                > > > sent back.
                > > >
                > > > He started having flashbacks. He drank Seagram's Seven whiskey
                > until
                > > > he passed out. He thrashed violently in his sleep, crying out
                > about
                > > > Fitzgerald. Avena learned the safest way to wake him was a light
                > touch
                > > > on the heel.
                > > >
                > > > "Chad told (the Marines) he couldn't go back in his condition,"
                > she
                > > said.
                > > >
                > > > Oligschlaeger told his family that he saw a military
                > psychiatrist and
                > > > laid out the drinking and the nightmares. But later that day,
                > > > Oligschlaeger told his family, he was called in by a superior
                > and
                > > > accused of making up problems to avoid deployment. Julie
                > Oligschlaeger
                > > > said her son worried about a dishonorable discharge — and that
                > no
                > > > decent employer would hire him.
                > > >
                > > > Williamson, the Marine spokesman, confirmed the identities of
                > > > superiors accused by the family of discouraging Oligschlaeger
                > from
                > > > seeking help. But they are not allowed to give interviews during
                > the
                > > > investigation, he said. Their names are being withheld from
                > this
                > > > article because they did not have the opportunity to comment.
                > > >
                > > > Williamson would not comment on Oligschlaeger's case
                > specifically but
                > > > said any attempts to discourage him from seeking mental health
                > > > treatment, as is being alleged, would be "not acceptable or
                > condonable
                > > > under Marine Corps standards."
                > > >
                > > > Stigma inhibits mental health treatment
                > > >
                > > > Across the military, standards are changing. The Defense
                > Department
                > > > has been scrambling to hire psychiatrists in the wake of a
                > yearlong
                > > > Pentagon study, which concluded in May 2007 that the number of
                > mental
                > > > health professionals in the military is "woefully inadequate."
                > Last
                > > > month, as part of a larger initiative to eliminate the stigma
                > > > associated with mental health care, Defense Secretary Robert
                > Gates
                > > > visited a new PTSD treatment center near El Paso and declared
                > that
                > > > security clearances could no longer be denied to troops seeking
                > > > treatment. Some commanders have also been encouraging their
                > troops to
                > > > think of the mind like a piece of equipment, something that may
                > need
                > > > maintenance when used in harsh conditions.
                > > >
                > > > But change takes time. In February, during a Senate Armed
                > Services
                > > > Committee hearing about soldiers allegedly deployed against
                > doctors'
                > > > orders, Army Secretary Pete Geren testified that troops unfit
                > for duty
                > > > shouldn't be sent to war zones but couldn't be sure they
                > weren't.
                > > > Meanwhile, troop surveys consistently find the main barrier to
                > > > treatment is fear that careers will suffer.
                > > >
                > > > "There's more help available," said Paul Sullivan, the
                > executive
                > > > director of the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense. "But
                > it's
                > > > got to get a lot better, quickly, or we're going to have a
                > social
                > > > catastrophe among returning veterans."
                > > >
                > > > After diagnosis, a host of medications
                > > >
                > > > In April 2007, Oligschlaeger and Ramadi had changed. The city
                > had
                > > > calmed. Amid the pace of life there, Oligschlaeger seemed stable
                > to
                > > > family members during phone calls home, they say.
                > > >
                > > > He returned on Thanksgiving from his seven-month tour in Iraq
                > > > optimistic about his post-military life, his family says. While
                > > > visiting Avena in Phoenix, he proposed at P. T. Cook's
                > restaurant, so
                > > > nervous that he got on his knees and almost forgot to pop the
                > > > question. Oligschlaeger toured the firefighters' academy in
                > Phoenix.
                > > > Avena bought a house in nearby Scottsdale.
                > > >
                > > > But when Oligschlaeger went home on leave to Round Rock, he
                > would not
                > > > leave the house. He told his father that he didn't like how
                > people
                > > > stared at him.
                > > >
                > > > In February, Oligschlaeger told his family that he was having
                > > > hallucinations of Fitzgerald sitting next to his bed in the
                > evenings,
                > > > talking to him. He began to dream about killing Adrianna in
                > anger.
                > > >
                > > > At some point, he was diagnosed with PTSD, according to the
                > family.
                > > > But without medical records, determining when is difficult. The
                > family
                > > > says that he saw several psychiatrists in February but did not
                > mention
                > > > being diagnosed with PTSD until early May.
                > > >
                > > > Julie Oligschlaeger said that during a brief visit in March, her
                > son
                > > > left behind an empty bottle of zolpidem, a prescription sleep
                > aid,
                > > > dated March 7, as well as bottles of trazodone and fluoxetine
                > (both
                > > > prescription antidepressants) dated March 20. His family says he
                > later
                > > > told them he was also taking lorazepam (a panic-reducing
                > sedative) and
                > > > seroquel (an antipsychotic).
                > > >
                > > > In early April, the Marines sent Oligschlaeger to an alcohol
                > > > rehabilitation center in Point Loma, Calif., his family says. He
                > spent
                > > > nearly a month there, but he complained of flashbacks so vivid
                > that he
                > > > would run terrified from the room. He thought the sergeant
                > picking him
                > > > up from treatment accused him of faking symptoms.
                > > >
                > > > But, he told his family, the Marines were planning additional
                > > > treatment: a stay in a mental health facility in Napa Valley.
                > They
                > > > were waiting until a bed opened up.
                > > >
                > > > The medications mentioned by Oligschlaeger's family are nothing
                > to be
                > > > alarmed about, said Dr. Erin Silvertooth, an Austin psychiatrist
                > who
                > > > has counseled PTSD patients. Silvertooth said PTSD medications
                > are
                > > > often used in concert to target specific symptoms, because
                > "there is
                > > > no magic PTSD pill."
                > > >
                > > > But she and Dr. Arthur Blank Jr., one of the nation's leading
                > > > authorities on PTSD, said patients on that many medications must
                > be
                > > > monitored closely. Blank said doctors often rely primarily on
                > pills to
                > > > deal with PTSD, but he said they should only supplement regular
                > > > private counseling. Silvertooth and Blank, who had no
                > involvement in
                > > > Oligschlaeger's case and could speak only in general terms, also
                > said
                > > > alcohol can amplify or interfere with PTSD medications, creating
                > a
                > > > dangerous combination.
                > > >
                > > > Mixing alcohol, pills
                > > >
                > > > On May 10, Oligschlaeger's older brother, Chris, and his
                > girlfriend,
                > > > Sara Pawlowski, visited Phoenix. Chad Oligschlaeger, obviously
                > drunk,
                > > > complained he couldn't find his pills.
                > > >
                > > > "I just saw you take them," Pawlowski recalls telling Chad
                > > Oligschlaeger.
                > > >
                > > > The family's worries deepened. Eric Oligschlaeger, who paints
                > houses
                > > > for a living, took a job delivering newspapers in Oak Hill in
                > > > anticipation of paying for the post-military treatment.
                > > >
                > > > The Marines encouraged Chad Oligschlaeger to renew his contract.
                > He
                > > > said no.
                > > >
                > > > In the days after that, the family says, Oligschlaeger would
                > call from
                > > > different points on the base, wandering in a haze. He told his
                > mother
                > > > no one asked or cared why he wasn't going to work. His new
                > roommate in
                > > > the barracks was house-sitting off base.
                > > >
                > > > On Friday, May 16, Oligschlaeger told his father Napa Valley was
                > still
                > > > full. He then called Blackaller and said he wasn't visiting
                > Avena in
                > > > Phoenix to save on gas.
                > > >
                > > > On Monday, Avena bought her wedding dress. Her call went to
                > > > Oligschlaeger's voice mail.
                > > >
                > > > On Tuesday, voice mail again. In a panic, she called her
                > fiancé's old
                > > > roommate and asked, "Can you check on Chad?"
                > > >
                > > > Hours passed.
                > > >
                > > > At 11:30 p.m. in Round Rock, Eric Oligschlaeger's doorbell
                > rang.
                > > >
                > > > "By then," he said, "I knew what it was about."
                > > >
                > > > The Marine told Eric Oligschlaeger his son was dead but said he
                > could
                > > > not give any details.
                > > >
                > > > Two days later, on a breezy desert morning, the Marines held a
                > > > memorial service for Oligschlaeger at Twentynine Palms. There,
                > Julie
                > > > Oligschlaeger says, she asked the lieutenant colonel commanding
                > her
                > > > son's battalion, "What happened to eyes on your Marines?"
                > > >
                > > > Oligschlaeger's funeral was May 31 in Austin. At it, the family
                > played
                > > > Johnny Cash's rendition of "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a song
                > about a
                > > > disillusioned Pima Indian who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo
                > Jima.
                > > > In the song, Hayes turns to whiskey after the war, hoping to
                > dull the
                > > > nightmares and survivor's guilt. He died at 32.
                > > >
                > > > Eric Oligschlaeger knew it was an unusual choice for a funeral.
                > But,
                > > > he said, during the first deployment, his son's unit had
                > listened to
                > > > it every morning.
                > > >
                > > > To the family, it seemed a fitting choice.
                > > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >


                @,.-:*'``'*:-.,@,.-:*'``'*:-.,@
                We understand and believe vastly more than we know. --Blaise Pascal
                ____________________________________________________________
                See the Internet how it was meant to be seen with Cable Internet. Click Here.
                http://thirdpartyoffers.juno.com/TGL2141/fc/PnY6rw1Zvcyh9DHM7m7zcuJdg2w3ijnmDaQbthYTDZGRjNgR0jJhg/
              • Dick Young
                This story appeared on Austin American Statesman s Metro page 1: Salute! MILITARY A year after corporal s death, family still awaits answers North Austin
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 1, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  This story appeared on Austin American Statesman's Metro page 1:
                  Salute!

                  MILITARY
                  A year after corporal's death, family still awaits answers
                  North Austin family mourns death of Marine who suffered from PTSD.

                  By Joshunda Sanders
                  AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
                  Monday, June 01, 2009

                  A year after Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger, 21, was found dead in his room at the Twentynine Palms Marine base in California on May 20, 2008, his family is still searching for answers from officials about how his life might have been saved.

                  Friends and relatives of the Marine commemorated Memorial Day without him or any details of how he died because Oligschlaeger's autopsy results and the events leading up to his death are still under investigation, his father said. His parents have said that they think his death may have been related to post-traumatic stress disorder, with which he had been diagnosed.

                  "We've tried a couple of times to get his personal effects," said Eric Oligschlaeger, who lives in North Austin with his wife. "But here we are a year later, and the Marines won't release anything until the investigation is completely finalized. To say it's frustrating would be an understatement."

                  Capt. Lawton King, a Marine Corps spokesman, confirmed that no information about Chad Oligschlaeger's death is being released because of the ongoing investigation.

                  Friends and relatives of Oligschlaeger's have started a foundation named for him to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder.

                  Last month, Eric Oligschlaeger and some of Chad's friends gathered at Rattan Creek Park in North Austin near a bench that honors the Marine. A plaque on the bench reads, "If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever."

                  Chad Oligschlaeger had returned from Iraq in early 2006, unsettled by flashbacks and nightmares. His family said he was taking medication for PTSD after his diagnosis.

                  But Eric Oligschlaeger alleges that after his son's second tour in Iraq, the military ignored his obvious cries for help. Weeks before his death, his family said, Chad Oligschlaeger was left unsupervised for long periods of time and declined to re-enlist.

                  First Lt. Curtis Williamson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said last year that the Corps' policies prohibit commanders from discouraging mental health treatment or leaving physically or mentally wounded troops uncared for.

                  But, Eric Oligschlaeger said, "to get help, you have to jump through all sorts of hoops in the military. Troops with real bad PTSD don't have the energy to jump through those hoops."

                  The Oligschlaeger family's complaints echo those of veterans' advocates who say that even with new government policies, better treatment and increased public awareness, there are still barriers that separate soldiers and Marines from proper care for conditions that affect mental health, such as PTSD.

                  Oligschlaeger died at a time when studies showed that more troops were dealing with mental health problems than previously thought. A large independent study published by the RAND Corp.'s Center for Military Health Policy Research in April 2008 found that one-third of service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from a combination of severe depression, PTSD and brain injuries.

                  More information about the Cpl. Chad Eric Oligschlaeger Foundation is available at www.cplchado.org.

                  joshundasanders@...; 445-3630
                  --- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "dpyckle1972" <dpyckle@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I found this Statesman article concerning the subject of Blizzard's
                  > new cache, Cache GC1KQ9F - Quiet Spot - A Father's Love. I remember
                  > the news when it came out but it faded with all the other daily stuff
                  > going on. I sure others may have noticed it as well. Thought I would
                  > post it again as it tugged on my heart strings after seeing the
                  > memorial. I'm sure everyone has been affected by the operations in
                  > Iraq and Afghanistan either personally or through someone they know.
                  > My sister is married to a Combat Medic with two tours behind him.
                  > Thank a soldier.
                  >
                  > June 15, VCS in the News: Dead Marine's Family Says Iraq War Veteran
                  > with PTSD Did Not Get Proper Care
                  >
                  > Marty Toohey
                  >
                  > Austin American-Statesman (Texas)
                  > Jun 15, 2008
                  >
                  > Chad Oligschlaeger was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder
                  > when he was found in barracks, parents say. "There's more help
                  > available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive director of the advocacy
                  > group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's got to get a lot better,
                  > quickly, or we're going to have a social catastrophe among returning
                  > veterans."
                  >
                  > June 15, 2008, Round Rock, Texas - Marine Corporal Chad Oligschlaeger
                  > returned from Iraq in early 2006 haunted by the memory of a fellow
                  > Marine he thought he should have saved.
                  >
                  > He began drinking himself to sleep to dull the flashbacks and the
                  > nightmares, friends and family say. He told them he was accused by a
                  > superior of faking to avoid his next deployment.
                  >
                  > After a second tour in Iraq, Oligschlaeger came home to Round Rock on
                  > leave and slept for days, a shell of the McNeil High School student
                  > who had pushed his friends into every kind of mischief imaginable,
                  > giggling all the way. He told his family the dead Marine was talking
                  > to him.
                  >
                  > In the spring, two years after the nightmares began, he told his
                  > family that doctors had diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress
                  > disorder and put him on at least six types of medication. The Marines
                  > sent him to alcohol rehab and were arranging treatment at a mental
                  > health clinic.
                  >
                  > But weeks before his death, Oligschlaeger declined to re-enlist, and
                  > his unit left him with no supervision and nothing to do for days on
                  > end, according to family and friends, who say he called them at all
                  > hours, slurring his speech, unable to recall what medications he had
                  > taken.
                  >
                  > He was found dead in his room at the Twentynine Palms Marine base in
                  > California on May 20. He was 21.
                  >
                  > First Lt. Curtis Williamson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the Corps'
                  > policies prohibit commanders from discouraging mental health treatment
                  > or leaving physically or mentally wounded troops uncared for. He said
                  > an investigation is under way, during which details, records and the
                  > cause of death cannot be released to the family or the public. "These
                  > allegations," he said, "will be taken very seriously."
                  >
                  > But Oligschlaeger's family is alleging that two years of obvious
                  > problems and calls for help from Oligschlaeger were ignored. Their
                  > complaints echo those of veterans' advocates, who say that even with
                  > new government policies, better treatment and increased public
                  > awareness, there are still barriers separating soldiers and Marines
                  > from proper care for conditions such as PTSD that affect mental health.
                  >
                  > "They wouldn't give Chad the help he needed. But he was wounded, every
                  > bit as wounded as someone who lost an arm or leg," said his father,
                  > Eric Oligschlaeger of Round Rock.
                  >
                  > Oligschlaeger was found dead at a time when studies are showing that
                  > more troops are dealing with mental health problems than previously
                  > thought. The most comprehensive independent study, published in April
                  > by the RAND Corp.'s Center for Military Health Policy Research, found
                  > that one-third of service members sent to Iraq or Afghanistan return
                  > suffering from a combination of severe depression, PTSD and brain
                  > injuries.
                  >
                  > Only half the troops who need care seek it, often fearing
                  > stigmatization or retribution, according to the report, which also
                  > found that "only slightly more than half who receive treatment get
                  > minimally adequate care."
                  >
                  > Moments of war left haunting memories
                  >
                  > Chad Oligschlaeger, his family says, saw things in Iraq that he could
                  > not leave behind.
                  >
                  > His first day in Ramadi — a densely packed city where the streets rang
                  > with gunfire — he saw a nearby Marine killed by a mortar lobbed onto
                  > the base, he told his family. A lieutenant handed him a body bag.
                  >
                  > On Feb. 18, 2006, during a night patrol, a friend and mentor to
                  > Oligschlaeger, 2nd Lt. Almar Fitzgerald, was riding in a Humvee that
                  > was attacked. The blast from a roadside bomb left "Fitz" severely
                  > wounded, according to military releases. Eric Oligschlaeger said his
                  > son's Humvee arrived shortly after the attack and Oligschlaeger helped
                  > load Fitzgerald's stretcher into the back. But it was too wide to fit,
                  > momentarily delaying their departure, Eric Oligschlaeger said.
                  >
                  > Fitzgerald died three days later at a U.S. military hospital in
                  > Germany, according to the releases.
                  >
                  > Eric Oligschlaeger said his son described a delay that lasted at most
                  > a few moments, but Chad was dwelling on those seconds. When
                  > Oligschlaeger came home on leave that April, his friends say they
                  > noticed subtle changes.
                  >
                  > At age 10, he'd met Brad Blackaller, and it took only a day for him to
                  > ask, "Are we best friends yet?" When Blackaller said he already had
                  > one, Oligschlaeger replied, "Why can't you have more than one?" After
                  > Ramadi, Blackaller said, the burly, brown-haired hockey player with
                  > the sly smile and more best friends than he could count was jittery
                  > about standing in a grocery line.
                  >
                  > Oligschlaeger's mother, Julie Oligschlaeger, who lives in Phoenix,
                  > says her son made the 275-mile trip from Twentynine Palms most
                  > weekends with a few Marine buddies. Sunday mornings, mother and son
                  > had breakfast together. She and Oligschlaeger's fiancée, Adrianna
                  > Avena, who also lives in Phoenix, say he spent months brushing aside
                  > questions about Iraq.
                  >
                  > Then, six months after returning from Ramadi, he learned he was being
                  > sent back.
                  >
                  > He started having flashbacks. He drank Seagram's Seven whiskey until
                  > he passed out. He thrashed violently in his sleep, crying out about
                  > Fitzgerald. Avena learned the safest way to wake him was a light touch
                  > on the heel.
                  >
                  > "Chad told (the Marines) he couldn't go back in his condition," she said.
                  >
                  > Oligschlaeger told his family that he saw a military psychiatrist and
                  > laid out the drinking and the nightmares. But later that day,
                  > Oligschlaeger told his family, he was called in by a superior and
                  > accused of making up problems to avoid deployment. Julie Oligschlaeger
                  > said her son worried about a dishonorable discharge — and that no
                  > decent employer would hire him.
                  >
                  > Williamson, the Marine spokesman, confirmed the identities of
                  > superiors accused by the family of discouraging Oligschlaeger from
                  > seeking help. But they are not allowed to give interviews during the
                  > investigation, he said. Their names are being withheld from this
                  > article because they did not have the opportunity to comment.
                  >
                  > Williamson would not comment on Oligschlaeger's case specifically but
                  > said any attempts to discourage him from seeking mental health
                  > treatment, as is being alleged, would be "not acceptable or condonable
                  > under Marine Corps standards."
                  >
                  > Stigma inhibits mental health treatment
                  >
                  > Across the military, standards are changing. The Defense Department
                  > has been scrambling to hire psychiatrists in the wake of a yearlong
                  > Pentagon study, which concluded in May 2007 that the number of mental
                  > health professionals in the military is "woefully inadequate." Last
                  > month, as part of a larger initiative to eliminate the stigma
                  > associated with mental health care, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
                  > visited a new PTSD treatment center near El Paso and declared that
                  > security clearances could no longer be denied to troops seeking
                  > treatment. Some commanders have also been encouraging their troops to
                  > think of the mind like a piece of equipment, something that may need
                  > maintenance when used in harsh conditions.
                  >
                  > But change takes time. In February, during a Senate Armed Services
                  > Committee hearing about soldiers allegedly deployed against doctors'
                  > orders, Army Secretary Pete Geren testified that troops unfit for duty
                  > shouldn't be sent to war zones but couldn't be sure they weren't.
                  > Meanwhile, troop surveys consistently find the main barrier to
                  > treatment is fear that careers will suffer.
                  >
                  > "There's more help available," said Paul Sullivan, the executive
                  > director of the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense. "But it's
                  > got to get a lot better, quickly, or we're going to have a social
                  > catastrophe among returning veterans."
                  >
                  > After diagnosis, a host of medications
                  >
                  > In April 2007, Oligschlaeger and Ramadi had changed. The city had
                  > calmed. Amid the pace of life there, Oligschlaeger seemed stable to
                  > family members during phone calls home, they say.
                  >
                  > He returned on Thanksgiving from his seven-month tour in Iraq
                  > optimistic about his post-military life, his family says. While
                  > visiting Avena in Phoenix, he proposed at P. T. Cook's restaurant, so
                  > nervous that he got on his knees and almost forgot to pop the
                  > question. Oligschlaeger toured the firefighters' academy in Phoenix.
                  > Avena bought a house in nearby Scottsdale.
                  >
                  > But when Oligschlaeger went home on leave to Round Rock, he would not
                  > leave the house. He told his father that he didn't like how people
                  > stared at him.
                  >
                  > In February, Oligschlaeger told his family that he was having
                  > hallucinations of Fitzgerald sitting next to his bed in the evenings,
                  > talking to him. He began to dream about killing Adrianna in anger.
                  >
                  > At some point, he was diagnosed with PTSD, according to the family.
                  > But without medical records, determining when is difficult. The family
                  > says that he saw several psychiatrists in February but did not mention
                  > being diagnosed with PTSD until early May.
                  >
                  > Julie Oligschlaeger said that during a brief visit in March, her son
                  > left behind an empty bottle of zolpidem, a prescription sleep aid,
                  > dated March 7, as well as bottles of trazodone and fluoxetine (both
                  > prescription antidepressants) dated March 20. His family says he later
                  > told them he was also taking lorazepam (a panic-reducing sedative) and
                  > seroquel (an antipsychotic).
                  >
                  > In early April, the Marines sent Oligschlaeger to an alcohol
                  > rehabilitation center in Point Loma, Calif., his family says. He spent
                  > nearly a month there, but he complained of flashbacks so vivid that he
                  > would run terrified from the room. He thought the sergeant picking him
                  > up from treatment accused him of faking symptoms.
                  >
                  > But, he told his family, the Marines were planning additional
                  > treatment: a stay in a mental health facility in Napa Valley. They
                  > were waiting until a bed opened up.
                  >
                  > The medications mentioned by Oligschlaeger's family are nothing to be
                  > alarmed about, said Dr. Erin Silvertooth, an Austin psychiatrist who
                  > has counseled PTSD patients. Silvertooth said PTSD medications are
                  > often used in concert to target specific symptoms, because "there is
                  > no magic PTSD pill."
                  >
                  > But she and Dr. Arthur Blank Jr., one of the nation's leading
                  > authorities on PTSD, said patients on that many medications must be
                  > monitored closely. Blank said doctors often rely primarily on pills to
                  > deal with PTSD, but he said they should only supplement regular
                  > private counseling. Silvertooth and Blank, who had no involvement in
                  > Oligschlaeger's case and could speak only in general terms, also said
                  > alcohol can amplify or interfere with PTSD medications, creating a
                  > dangerous combination.
                  >
                  > Mixing alcohol, pills
                  >
                  > On May 10, Oligschlaeger's older brother, Chris, and his girlfriend,
                  > Sara Pawlowski, visited Phoenix. Chad Oligschlaeger, obviously drunk,
                  > complained he couldn't find his pills.
                  >
                  > "I just saw you take them," Pawlowski recalls telling Chad Oligschlaeger.
                  >
                  > The family's worries deepened. Eric Oligschlaeger, who paints houses
                  > for a living, took a job delivering newspapers in Oak Hill in
                  > anticipation of paying for the post-military treatment.
                  >
                  > The Marines encouraged Chad Oligschlaeger to renew his contract. He
                  > said no.
                  >
                  > In the days after that, the family says, Oligschlaeger would call from
                  > different points on the base, wandering in a haze. He told his mother
                  > no one asked or cared why he wasn't going to work. His new roommate in
                  > the barracks was house-sitting off base.
                  >
                  > On Friday, May 16, Oligschlaeger told his father Napa Valley was still
                  > full. He then called Blackaller and said he wasn't visiting Avena in
                  > Phoenix to save on gas.
                  >
                  > On Monday, Avena bought her wedding dress. Her call went to
                  > Oligschlaeger's voice mail.
                  >
                  > On Tuesday, voice mail again. In a panic, she called her fiancé's old
                  > roommate and asked, "Can you check on Chad?"
                  >
                  > Hours passed.
                  >
                  > At 11:30 p.m. in Round Rock, Eric Oligschlaeger's doorbell rang.
                  >
                  > "By then," he said, "I knew what it was about."
                  >
                  > The Marine told Eric Oligschlaeger his son was dead but said he could
                  > not give any details.
                  >
                  > Two days later, on a breezy desert morning, the Marines held a
                  > memorial service for Oligschlaeger at Twentynine Palms. There, Julie
                  > Oligschlaeger says, she asked the lieutenant colonel commanding her
                  > son's battalion, "What happened to eyes on your Marines?"
                  >
                  > Oligschlaeger's funeral was May 31 in Austin. At it, the family played
                  > Johnny Cash's rendition of "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a song about a
                  > disillusioned Pima Indian who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
                  > In the song, Hayes turns to whiskey after the war, hoping to dull the
                  > nightmares and survivor's guilt. He died at 32.
                  >
                  > Eric Oligschlaeger knew it was an unusual choice for a funeral. But,
                  > he said, during the first deployment, his son's unit had listened to
                  > it every morning.
                  >
                  > To the family, it seemed a fitting choice.
                  >
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.