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

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Incarcerated Veteran to receive care from Southern Nevada Veterans Healthcare System

On Thursday, December 10, 2009, at 10:54 a.m., I received a telephone call from the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) in Las Vegas, NV. A female voice said, “This message is for Joseph Lamoureux; you have an appointment at the VA clinic in Pahrump on Friday December 11 at 3 pm” - click, end of call. 

I was momentarily stunned. 

Thursday was a visitation day, and of course I couldn’t wait to see Pat to begin with, but following that phone call,  my anxiety to see him built up rapidly.

When I conveyed to him the message I had received he was also stunned, and questioned if it was true. I placed a phone call to his attorney’s office (which went without return phone call). Thursday ended without answers to my questions.

Friday I began to make phone calls, and soon learned that yes, Pat did have an appointment at 3:00 pm. It was true – Pat was scheduled and the appointment had been made the day before! The gentleman on the phone was very kind and helpful, and even called the detention facility to verify that Pat would be brought in.  It was true, the detention facility confirmed that they would transport Pat for the appointment - he was going to be seen!! 

After the appointment Pat called with even more astonishing news. 

The VA is going to coordinate with the detention facility for treatment of his leg. He was told that all of his medications were being renewed and would be supplied by the VA forward from this time; they will make arrangements for him to begin receiving psychological treatment and treatment for his pulmonary condition. It is my understanding that all of this will be taken care of at the VA Clinic here in Pahrump.

This is a huge victory!  

I have persisted in calling people and writing letters and now we just have to pray that the VA does not renege on what has been stated. Thank you to everyone that has written letters and/or made phone calls as well. 

Let's remain confident that this is a positive turning point in this case, and that more positive events lay ahead of us! 

As an additional note,  I didn't hear from Pat from Monday around noon until Wednesday evening.  When he called Wednesday, he informed me that the had been taken to court on Tuesday.  This is the second time that this has happened and I was unaware of it.   At any rate, the District Attorney, as in the last surprise court date, filled a motion to petition the court to move the trial to July of next year.   Fortunately, the judge denied the request again.

Tuesday was a very difficult day for Pat.  They woke him early in the morning, shackled him up and took him to court.  Tuesday morning we had about an inch of snow on the ground.  He sat in a holding cell at the courthouse the entire day without any of his medication.   His case was the last case presented that day.  His arms were bruised from being in the shackles, and again, he was deprived of his medication for the entire day. If that is not an example of cruel and unusal punishment and putting his health in jeopardy, I don't know what is.

I won't be surprised if the DA doesn't pull this "surprise" court appearance in January and February as well. 

Also, I have great concerns about March 9.  That day has been set as the "calendar call" date.  Evidently attorneys will often use the calendar call to maneuver for an advantage by pushing for a time that is nearer or farther away, depending on their perception of what will be to the advantage to do so.  So, we still have to get passed March 9, 2010 before we know if the trial will actually begin on March 29, 2010.

So, as we move forward please continue to keep your strong thoughts and prayers going.  We still have a way to go.  Thank you all for your continuing support.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Denial and Tragedy

By Dr. Shari Julian
Wednesday, 18 November 2009, 9:46

"Therapists must receive specialized training in the military culture and social dynamics, and their support must be made available to every military family and warrior. If not, the final reward we give them for their service will be a lifetime of pain."

When I heard about the Nov. 5 shootings at Fort Hood, I packed my bags for Killeen. As a former military wife, a military mom, and a clinician specializing in mass trauma, I suspected what I would find - not so much about the motivations for Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan's murderous spree as about the military mindsets and myths that through the decades have put millions of other servicemen and servicewomen and their families in peril. I'm not talking about faulty base security or questionable terrorist-tracking mechanisms. I'm much more worried about the U.S. military's failure to provide adequate psychological care for those who put their lives on the line for us.

The memorial at Fort Hood should be a call for better mental health care for U.S. soldiers.

My personal history with military PTSD goes back to when the wounded warriors were mostly Vietnam veterans, including the Marine I married in 1977, who had previously served two tours of duty in that country. For years, as he worked in various locations in the States and overseas, I used my therapist's training informally and formally to help other service personnel and their families handle mental health issues. More recently, as a college lecturer, I have seen military personnel who were my students break down emotionally because they and their families were facing a second or fourth deployment to one of the wars this country is fighting. Now, as a military mother whose son is back from Iraq and facing deployment to Afghanistan, I talk to North Texas military family members who stop by because they see the blue star pennant on my door. I also serve on a national joint services psychological advisory committee for wounded warriors. Part of the reason I headed to Killeen was to gather information for that panel.

(click here for complete article)

"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