PAT LAMOUREUX - One episode in a person's life, does not define the person.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

For some returning combat veterans with stress disorders, Walmart presents the ultimate challenge.

(That's an amazing statement - the last place Pat and I went together was - Wal-Mart.....and shortly after that he "snapped".)

By Chris Roberts / El Paso Times
Posted: 09/04/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT
The Scars of War: Center helps combat soldiers readjust to life

Military and civilian law enforcement officials listen at the Community Awareness Symposium

EL PASO -- Fewer of the nation's soldiers are dying on battlefields, in large part because of improved medical technology and techniques. But hundreds of thousands of them are bringing home unseen injuries that medical experts still are learning how to diagnose and treat.

Post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury are getting unprecedented attention from the medical community as more and more soldiers seek help for the conditions.

Medical officials see promising trends in treating these injuries, which appear to be different than the same types received in non-combat situations. And the Army is looking for ways to make soldiers more "resilient" before they send them into combat zones.

Repeated deployments into dangerous areas are, in part, responsible for the prevalence of stress disorders. Brain injuries are relatively common in Iraq and Afghanistan because of the insurgents' widespread use of roadside bombs.

For some returning combat veterans with stress disorders, Walmart presents the ultimate challenge.

(click below for complete story)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Today is Friday, September 4, 2009. In 15 days it will be one year since this horrible tragedy occurred.

Many of you may be aware that at the time this incident occurred, Pat was airlifted from Pahrump to a hospital in Las Vegas. At that time, a doctor made the decision not to remove a bullet from Pat’s left leg.

About ten days ago, almost a year later, that gunshot wound suddenly began to swell, become painful, red and warm to the touch. Pat was taken to a local clinic for evaluation. He was told to wear a TED support stocking on that leg, and I took one in to him that day.

The pain, swelling and redness worsened over the weekend of this past week. By Monday, August 31, I told him he needed to go back to the doctor, and this time he needed to ask for lab work to be done, my concern was about possible lead poisoning from the retained bullet.

On Tuesday, he called and informed me they had taken him to the clinic again, and at that time, they were able to relieve the swelling when about a half pint to a pint of blood was removed from the area.

The bullet in his leg needs to be removed.

On Wednesday I had gone to the clinic and picked up copies of the x-rays that were done. I can see where the bullet is, and it is a miracle it did not shatter his tibia and fibula.

Yesterday, Thursday, September 4, when I visited Pat, he showed me his leg. The area is still quite swollen, and of great concern to me was the fact that the wound is seeping so badly that the bandage over the area was soaked.

After I left the detention facility, I called to speak with the Sergeant who is “in charge”. She was less than receptive or informative. She refused to tell me anything that was going on, i.e., when he would have surgery, where (here or in Vegas) he would have surgery, and also very important to me – WHO would be removing this bullet from Pat’s leg.

Having worked in healthcare in Las Vegas for over 30 years, I have great concerns as to who will be “cutting” on my husband’s leg. I am sure everyone will agree that there are some providers you don’t want touching you with a scalpel.

I sent an e-mail to Pat’s attorney yesterday afternoon after my non-productive conversation with the person “in charge” at the detention facility. Below is my e-mail, I have taken specific names out of the body of the e-mail:

Mr. "Attorney",

I am extremely concerned about Pat's left leg where the retained bullet is located. As you know earlier this week he was told the bullet needs to be removed.

When I saw him this afternoon (Thurs. 9/3) the wound is seeping, so much is it soaking through the bandage over it.

The problem with his leg has been going on for over a week now Mr. "Attorney". Monday is a will soon be two weeks that he has been having a problem with this gunshot wound.

I called the detention facility after I visited Pat today and spoke with Sgt.”xxxxxx”. She is not a very pleasant person. She will not tell me anything about what is going on. If the procedure will be done here in Pahrump or in Vegas, who might be doing the procedure etc. Does she seriously think I'm going to break Pat out - give me a break.

I am concerned about this because I picked up the x-rays Wed. afternoon. I can see where the bullet is.

I worked for orthopedic surgeons for 14 years Mr. "Attorney". As much as there are some lawyers you don't want defending you in court, there are also some doctors you don't want doing surgery on you.

It is bad enough that Pat is being detained in a facility that contains black mold, has no health screening protocols in place, and no trained medical personnel on the premises; now I have no control over the fact that he needs surgery and I can't be involved or even informed as to what is going on. This is ludicrous.

I am sick of this situation - sick of Pat being treated like a common criminal, and me being treated like I am "guilty by association".

Mr. "Attorney", Nye County better start to take the proper care of my husband or “xxxxxxxx” will wonder what hit him.

I demand to know who will be doing surgery on my husband. That is NOT an unreasonable request. I also demand to know a basic timeline as to when this surgery will be performed. They don't have to give me a specific date and time, but a "between this date and this date" is an appropriate thing to do. As Pat's wife I have the right to know what is going on with my husband's health.

Mr. "Attorney", as Pat's attorney I am asking that you contact Sgt. “xxxxx” and find out what is going to happen with Pat, where and when and WHO will be doing this procedure.

If Pat suffers complications and/or chronic problems due to inadequate, untimely and inappropriate treatment - I will not just stand by and go "OH WELL".

I think you know me better than that by now.

I look forward to hearing from you concerning this matter.

Sue Lamoureux

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

It's is 8:10 a.m. Friday, September 4 - Pat just called - he needs more bandages for his wound. I must get dressed and go take those to him.

I will post an update as soon as I have one.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It’s September. In a matter of a few days, it will be one year since this horrible nightmare happened.

I think for the most part I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping it together. My daughter might disagree with that – she’s used to me being a rock, so she’d probably be quick to say I’ve been “rocky” instead of a rock!

I would not ever wish anyone to have to go through what Patrick and I have lived for the past year. Sadly, however, we are not the only Veteran’s family experiencing such a catastrophic life changing dilemma. I have come into contact with so many others whose Veteran is facing a serious situation. I pray that our country and our court system will allow flexibility for the treatment of our wounded warriors. As Americans, and as Patrick’s family, we must support OUR wounded warrior.

Just yesterday someone took the poll and checked that they believed that anyone who commits a crime should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. That is certainly a narrow outlook, and I am hopeful that this person is not a family member, but rather someone who just happened to find the blog. I know that many in the family have had a hard time accepting this situation. I ask that you find a way to understand that Pat Lamoureux would never have done this; I know this man like the back of my hand. He is a good God fearing man.

I have tried and tried to understand how this situation spun so totally out of control, and numerous times I have second guessed my decision to leave that night; if I had not left, I could be dead, and I know that.

In the last year I have had numerous people ask me if I am afraid of Patrick. The answer is immediately a resounding NO. The other question I have been asked frequently (early on) was if I was going to divorce him; also a resounding NO. Some people don’t understand how it is that I am not afraid of Pat, and they question me as to how do I know this won’t happen again.

I know it won’t happen again; 1) There will never be another firearm in our residence, and 2) He WILL eventually receive the proper treatment to help him deal with the demon called PTSD. Pat would never intentionally hurt me – or anyone else.

I will not give up, back down, or walk away, and will continue to fight with every ounce of my life to save Pat Lamoureux’s life. That is what he deserves. He deserves to be saved, he deserves better than what he has received in the past.

For anyone reading this who is still struggling with the circumstances of this horrible tragedy, please reconcile yourself to the fact that this was a tragedy and not a crime. Find that acceptance in yourself and allow your human compassion to take hold. Family helps family; that is the right thing to do.

We are running short on time to raise the funds needed for these expert witnesses. These individuals are crucial for Patrick’s defense. I know that I have said that repeatedly, and I will continue to repeat how important these experts are.

Please help, please donate.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Military leaders, first responders learn about PTSD

Posted: Sep 2, 2009 05:48 PM PDT

Military leaders, first responders learn about PTSD
by ABC-7 Reporter/Anchor Celina Avila

EL PASO, Texas -- In an attempt to increase awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder, military leaders and first responders in our community were invited to a symposium at Sierra Providence Medical Center.

Firefighters on harnesses at the scene of a bad crash. An elderly couple murdered, allegedly in front of children. A deadly shooting of an high-schooler, allegedly by a Fort Bliss soldier in need of mental help.

Those are not only recent headlines but actual emergencies. "Everybody looks at you and expects you to be the strong one," said El Paso police officer Michael Baranyay.

A somber video detailed the reality of war was shown to various law enforcement agencies. The video shed light on post-traumatic stress disorder and how it can affect the tough men and women we look to protect us.

"This is an injury like a shrapnel wound or a gun shot wound," said Dr. John Fourtunato, who heads a unique center on Fort Bliss that was founded to help soldiers with PTSD.

"Twenty percent of service members coming back need some kind of care.'' Patrol officer Baranyay says, "It's not necessarily negative, I mean it's a natural occurrence that's going to happen to people who go through this."

Officials say that's the attitude the military is starting to adopt.

"The post commander is considering a policy that would actually impose sanctions if leaders in any way prevented or ridiculed a soldier for getting help," said Fourtunato.

He says it's especially tough to get these tough individuals to understand. "There's a strong biological disposition that's nobody's fault about why some people are prone to combat stress injuries than others."

Fourtunato said it's OK to seek help: "Look, you're not weak, but you got to be strong enough to go get help."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Endless War: The Suicide of the United States

(I have inserted several paragraphs from this article. I will warn those of you with sensitive eyes, if you click to read the entire article, it does contain profanity. But, war is not sugar-coated either. )

Endless War: The Suicide of the United States
Friday, 21 August 2009 02:40
By Dahr JamailT r u t h o u t

"We hear war called murder. It is not: it is suicide."- Ramsay MacDonald, British prime minister 1931-1935

(Click here for complete story

Soldiers are returning from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan destroyed mentally, spiritually, and psychologically, to a general population that is, mostly, willfully ignorant of the occupations and the soldiers participating in them. Troops face a Department of Veterans Affairs that is either unwilling or unable to help them with their physical and psychological wounds, and they are left to fend for themselves. It is a perfect storm of denial, neglect, violence, rage, suffering, and death.

Veterans are roaming the country wrought with PTSD.

"War is a really destructive thing, It follows you home. And it doesn’t go away. I was a sergeant, I was a leader, I was a trainer, I was very well thought of. I was one of the most professional soldiers…. I mean I got the paperwork right here in front of me if anyone ever wants to see the proof that I was a very good soldier. But now I’m a pizza delivery boy who works once a week because that’s the only job where I can call in a couple hours before and say, "I’m still at the VA, I’m waiting in line. I’m sorry I can’t come in for a couple hours." (Kristopher Goldsmith)

What kind of homes filled with the specter of a distant war will this country be filled with as more of our broken, wounded, and destroyed soldiers are brought back?

When the VA will not deliver the necessary care, many veterans turn to alcohol and drugs for self-medication. In the Pentagon’s recent post-deployment survey of health-related behavior, released in November 2007, of 88,235 soldiers surveyed three to six months after returning, 12 percent of active-duty troops and 15 percent of reservists acknowledged having problems with alcohol.

At the Northwest Regional Winter Soldier event at the Seattle Town Hall in June 2008, psychiatrist Dr. Evan Kanter, president-elect of Physicians for Social Responsibility, spoke at length to the 800-member audience about the crippling impact that the occupation has had on the mental health of the forces. Dr. Kanter specializes in treating vets with PTSD.

According to Dr. Kanter, these "psychiatric casualties" have a direct link with the high suicide rates in the military. He added:

“PTSD is no less a war wound than a shrapnel injury. It can be tremendously debilitating. Symptoms include nightmares and flashbacks, triggered physiological and psychological stress, social withdrawal, isolation, avoidance of any kind of reminders of the trauma, emotional numbing, uncontrolled outbursts of anger or rage, difficulty concentrating and focusing, and a state of hypervigilance, which the military calls the "battle mind." All these are symptoms that would make it impossible for a vet with severe PTSD to be in the room with us today. Studies that go back to the Second World War have found that combat veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide as people in the general population. Other lesser-known distressing facts are that 9 percent of all unemployment in the United States is attributed to combat exposure, as is 8 percent of all divorce or separation, and 21 percent of all spousal or partner abuse. The impact of all this extends to behavioral problems in children, child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration, and homelessness, all of which have implications that go well beyond the individual and reverberate across generations.”
(Information posted here was obtained solely and directly from: e-news Park Forest; August 21, 2009, Dahr Jamail, Truthout; Endless War: The Suicide of the United States. Please reference the link above for the entire story.)

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"
"Kain-man" the jokester....

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003
"Pat is an extraordinary, thoughtful, kind and generous man...not to mention a wonderful friend, in which one could always count upon to be there when in need." (words of a long time friend)

Pat's Family

Pat's Family
Mica & Heather, grandson Kain