The line drawn in the sand~
What does Nye County Deputy Eric Murphy say about the incident allegedly involving Joseph Patrick Lamoureux? He has gone on record as stating, “I don’t hold any ill will toward him at all.” (Pahrump Valley Times, February 27, 2009)
God Bless Deputy Murphy. I hope he understands this was a tragedy and not a crime. I hope his family also understands the trauma and pain that we have suffered.
There is a life on the line - and then there is the line in the sand.
On one side of the line drawn in the sand will be the staunch supporters of law enforcement, who believe there is no explanation for becoming involved in a confrontation with an officer.
On the other side will be those who support our troubled Veterans and want them to receive the proper care and treatment, and not incarceration.
Whichever side you currently stand on, please, step back and read this with an open mind. There is a common ground to be found.
It is important that those reading this understand that a large number of Pat's family and his closest friends are in law enforcement. He has a level of respect for law enforcement that is deeply engrained. That is what has made this situation completely shocking to all who know Pat.
Since Patrick has been detained, which will soon be 10 months, he has not received any psychological counseling.
Due to the Veterans Administration's regulations forbidding incarcerated Veterans to receive treatment, he has not been allowed to see any VA mental health providers.
During the 5 months that Pat was in a mental health facility in northern Nevada, he did not receive any psychological counseling either. While at that facility he was evaluated only for the purpose of establishing if he was competent to stand trial. He met with doctors during the time that he was there, but these were not counseling sessions. The time spent with these doctors was to gather information. It was not meant to benefit Patrick. And it didn't.
The State 0f Nevada, nor Nye County Nevada has made any effort to provide psychological counseling for Pat. They have failed in their responsibilities as much as the VA did.
So what we have is a Veteran, Pat, who was clearly very troubled. The VA failed to provide proper treatment and intervention for this deserving Veteran. Pat comes to the end of his rope, and erupts in a way that is totally out of his normal character.
A situation explodes and two individuals with the common goal, to serve and protect are injured. The officer involved is hailed as a hero - and rightfully so, after all, he was injured in the line of duty.
Patrick, who signed a blank check to the United States of America for the amount of up to and including his life, is painted in the media as a horrible villain.
A man with a clean record prior to this incident is treated and spoken about as if he were a career criminal.
And suddenly he is the center of a media heyday. People want to be quoted and express their opinions, when they don’t even know or understand that there is another side to the story.
Pat, rated by the VA at a high level of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is incarcerated. Given that incarceration causes PTSD, it would seem that someone, somewhere, who has a responsibility to take care of him, would immediately have made certain that this troubled Veteran received counseling once he was detained.
But in almost 10 months, that has not happened.
He sits confined in an environment which ultimately will cause an escalation of his well documented PTSD. And no one is talking to him to aid him in working through the scars that he carries from the war. Then of course, there is the trauma of that fateful morning of September 19, 2008.
Can you imagine the level of torture Pat is experiencing?
I have been told that "sometime" in July, he will be allowed to see a doctor. I hope this doctor will be a psychologist/psychiatrist. This appointment will be here in the tiny town of Pahrump, Nevada. Do I have concerns about this civilian provider's qualifications to evaluate and treat a Veteran with Combat related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Certainly, I do!
I want nothing but the best for my husband, because that is what he deserves. That is the caliber of person that he is.
But, this is how we treat our Veterans. When they come home from the war broken, the system that was formed to help them, fails them. They get in trouble, we lock them up and essentially throw the key away.
After all, they are really of no use to us anymore, and -wow! Are they a burden on the already overwhelmed VA system.
~~~~~This is the line in the sand~~~~~~
My hope is that instead of a line in the sand, that the two sides can reach a common ground. I pray that those on the side of law enforcement understand that this was not a crime, but a tragedy. I pray that those who support our Veterans will stand firm on saving Pat's life.
If you knew him, you would call him a great guy, the best neighbor you could ever have. You might even call him "The Boy Scout" and "Mr. Fix-It". That is the type of person that he is. He is an incredibly wonderful man. If he weren't he wouldn't be my husband. I will stand by him and fight for his life, because he is worth fighting to save.
Pat is currently 'serving time', and by the time his case actually goes to trial, he will have been incarcerated for almost a year and a half.
Justice will not be served by sending him to prison for any time.
Every day of his incarceration that has passed since this horrible tragedy, has already been a lifetime to him.
Give him probation, and not prison.
The right thing needs to happen. Good common sense must prevail. Let's all rally to save Patrick's life.
It can happen if the two sides stand on the line in the sand.