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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Moving Towards Resolution

After 27 months in the Nye County Detention Center, on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 a plea agreement was entered into District Court records for Pat Lamoureux.

Sentencing will be on February 8, 2011, almost two and one half years following the Sept. 19, 2008 incident.

As you will recall, Pat had been facing 15 felony charges, including 4 charges of attempted murder naming 4 police officers. Finally, a little bit of justice entered the picture, and after plea negotiations during the past couple of weeks, the District Attorney's office accepted a deal entered by Pat's attorney, reducing the charges to 1 count of Battery, 1 count of Assault and a gross misdemeanor for discharging a firearm in public. The Battery charge carries a sentence of 2-15, Assault 1-6 and the gross misdemeanor 1 year in the county jail.  The Judge stated that the charges are eligible for probation at sentencing.

The case will now go to a pre-sentencing board for review and recommendation, and then on February 8th, we will find out what those recommendations will be. I pray that since Pat had never been in trouble before, that he will get a suspended sentence and probation. There would be no justice in further incarceration. My goal now is to get him into a treatment program for PTSD, perhaps at the National Center for PTSD in California.

Pat is an amazing man who has shown such great strength and courage, even during the time he was suffering with that retained bullet in his leg. He had quietly reconciled himself to the fact that he was going to lose his leg, thank God that did not happen. Yes, he is a phenomenal man, and I am very proud
that he is my husband.

As this journey is not over yet, I will ask that everyone keep their positive thoughts going as well as prayers. I am extremely hopeful that Pat will not be sent to prison and that we will be able to pick up the pieces of our lives and move forward.

I hope that as time goes forward that our Nation becomes better prepared to handle the difficulties of the brave men and women who go to war. What Pat and I, as well as the rest of our family, have been through should never happen to a Veteran and their family. The American people must become better educated and aware of the power PTSD has to destroy not only the Veteran, but their family. Please know that I will continue to fight to make a difference in the lives of our Veterans.

I can never find a way to thank everyone for their concern and support through this horrible ordeal. You have shown me comfort in my deepest, darkest days, and given me the strength and courage to keep fighting to save Pat's life. Let's continue with hope and prayers for the best outcome when we go to court on February 8, 2011.

I wish everyone the very best this Christmas, and I pray that next year Pat and I will be together for Christmas. 

With my deepest gratitude,
Sue Lamoureux

Friday, November 26, 2010

Memory erasing drugs now in earliest stages

TG Daily
David Gomez
Tue 23rd Nov 2010, 07:27 pm

People who are haunted by visions of war and scenes of violence sometimes wish they could remove the bad memories from their minds. Medical researchers at Johns Hopkins University think that it may be possible someday.

A memory erasing drug is still a long way away. Its use would surely create many ethical problems. But according to a story in The Baltimore Sun, scientists feel they have a basis for it because of their discovery that proteins can be removed from the brain’s fear center to eliminate bad memories forever.

"When a traumatic event occurs, it creates a fearful memory that can last a lifetime and have a debilitating effect on a person's life," said Richard L. Huganir, professor and chair of neuroscience in the Hopkins School of Medicine to The Baltimore Sun. He thinks that his finding on the molecular process "raises the possibility of manipulating those mechanisms with drugs to enhance behavioral therapy for such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder."

His research has gained interest from people involved in the mental health care industry. It also concerns some people.
(click below for complete article)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Mexico Offers Help To Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

SO why is it that Nye County Nevada and the Nye County District Attorney's Office as well as the State of Nevada cannot do more to help in this horrible tragic nightmare that has been allowed to carry on for over two years?  Seems there are better answers around the country with treatments and interventions that do not involve jail or prison.  Nevada is out of touch.....

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has announced the award of a contract to conduct innovative retreats for treating veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Source: Governor of New Mexico
Posted on: 15th November 2010

“Our veterans deserve our full support for serving and protecting our country,” Governor Richardson said. “This innovative program will offer a new approach for treating veterans who are battling post-combat issues as they try to transition to civilian life after their military service.”

The treatment program will use an integrative approach, combining existing clinical treatments with non-clinical alternative methods.

The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Governor Richardson announced a $350,000 allocation from discretionary funds to the Department of Veterans Services earlier this year.

The department has contracted with the National Veterans’ Wellness & Healing Center in Angel Fire through a competitive process.

The retreats will concentrate on combining existing cognitive processing and prolonged exposure therapies with non-traditional treatments such as yoga, acupuncture, and nature-based therapies.

Veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would be eligible to participate.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest nationwide in using an integrative approach for treating PTSD,” said New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services Cabinet Secretary John M. Garcia. “I applaud the Governor for taking this step and opening the door for the state to become recognized as the leader in offering the latest available treatment for affected veterans and their families.”

The Department of Veterans’ Services will oversee the integrative Wellness Treatment program.

Monday, November 15, 2010


(I think what is interesting about this article is that the mentally wounded soldier was a General.  He got help from a psychiatrist and a psychologist - while Pat was assigned to a Nurse Practitioner and a Social Worker.  Perhaps if Pat had been a ranking officer instead of a Staff Sergeant - he would have received better care.

I do appreciate the General speaking about PTSD and hope that it brings greater awareness to the plight our Veterans and their families are facing.)

November 15, 2010
Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer

While everyone else danced at a New Year's celebration to start 2008, Maj. Gen. David Blackledge couldn't stop picturing a suicide bomber blowing up the ballroom.

After nearly losing his life twice during consecutive deployments, Blackledge rarely felt safe.

He couldn't shake the nightmares. He couldn't control his temper. He couldn't focus.

"I started to think, well, this is just the way it's going to be," Blackledge said. 

But later that year, after his routine physical, he described his symptoms to a doctor. 

Classic post-traumatic stress disorder, the doctor said. He sent Blackledge to behavioral health, where he saw a psychiatrist and a psychologist. 

They confirmed the diagnosis and told the general they could help.
(click below for the complete article)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

While facing DUI, Beckett ordered tougher policy

(A memo from former DA Bob Beckett has surfaced.....this is a very interesting article!) 

"The memo raises a number of questions and concerns about what prompted it, how it was enforced and what possible negative effects it had on the dispensation of justice in Nye County."

10 November 2010

Nye County’s judicial system is the “laughing stock of the known universe.”

That’s what Pahrump criminal defense attorney Harry Kuehn says.

The 30-year veteran lawyer, with stints at seven district attorneys’ offices in Nevada to his credit, is saying that a lot lately.

He and fellow public defenders at local law firm Gibson and Kuehn are looking forward to Brian Kunzi taking over the Nye County District Attorney’s Office. They say the D.A.-elect has his work cut out for him.

Kunzi says he’s a bit nervous about what he’ll find when he takes office.

One artifact he is sure to uncover very quickly — he already knows about it — is an internal policy written in October 2009 by disgraced former D.A. Bob Beckett. The memo spells out a policy that forces deputy prosecutors to alert him or his chief deputy district attorney in charge of criminal cases, Kirk Vitto, before they negotiate even the most mundane plea bargains.

The Pahrump Valley Times was handed the internal memo by a confidential courthouse source. It details what Nye County prosecutors should do in cases of DUIs, domestic batteries, drug cases, property crimes, crimes against the person, sex offenses, cases involving habitual offenders and “negotiations of criminal offenses generally.” The policy memorandum is both broad — it deals with felonies and gross misdemeanors — and specific to the point of threatening.

“Any exception from this policy is to be rare and only with specific authorization from Kirk or myself. Any deviation without authorization will result in the (plea) agreement being returned from the District Court level. You will also set yourself up for disciplinary measures that include suspension and termination,” the document states.

Asked to explain how the policy originated, Vitto declined to comment.

“I don’t comment. I’m not going to comment, especially in light of the new administration,” he said.

The memo raises a number of questions and concerns about what prompted it, how it was enforced and what possible negative effects it had on the dispensation of justice in Nye County.

According to the memo, the only acceptable course of action at prosecutors’ disposal to deal with the broad array of criminal charges outlined is to get suspects to “plead straight up” or get defendants to accept the minimum sentences recommended by law. Any other plea deal would require authorization — ostensibly from a district attorney who was already facing his own legal troubles due to a bizarre DUI arrest in California. Doubly ironic, Beckett would face far more lenient terms when his own criminal case involving obstruction of a public official went before a judge several weeks ago. 

Kuehn and other defense attorneys say the memo is unprecedented.
(click below for the rest of this VERY interesting article:)


Commissioner Eastley said her observation has been the district attorney’s office has been in a state of chaos for more than a year.

"This is a very vital concern to the office in being able to get in here early. There has been a lot of chaos in the office as commissioner Eastley stated. This helps in the transition and making some of the changes I want to do,” Kunzi said.

10 November 2010

TONOPAH — Nye County Chief Prosecutor Kirk Vitto, a 20-year county employee, was appointed interim district attorney Tuesday by county commissioners until Nov. 22, when Brian Kunzi will take the post.

Former Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett resigned his post effective Nov. 1, in a plea bargain to a charge of obstruction of a public officer, in connection with the administration of the bad check program.

Commissioner Joni Eastley made the motion. Fellow commissioner Lorinda Wichman wondered if the D.A.’s office could get by until January without a district attorney when Kunzi’s regular term begins.

Eastley said the county never filled former chief civil deputy district attorney Ron Kent’s position, after he was terminated by Beckett last February. But assistant county manager Pam Webster said the county didn’t include Kent’s position in the current fiscal year budget.

Eastley was correct when she said Nye County will save money not having to pay Kunzi the longevity pay Beckett enjoyed. Webster said that will save the county $16,000 for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Another $10,000 savings will be realized from having Vitto in that position for half of November, she said.

Eastley said her observation has been the district attorney’s office has been in a state of chaos for more than a year. Two other D.A.’s office employees have had to pick up Kent’s workload, she said, referring to Marla Zlotek, the newly-appointed chief civil deputy district attorney, and Michelle Jones, a deputy district attorney.

Eastley disagreed with Wichman’s suggestion to keep Vitto as interim D.A. until January.

“We would be asking him to assume the responsibilities of providing direction to that department in addition to having a huge caseload in the criminal department,” Eastley said. She added, “This department is in strong need of permanent direction.” 

Kunzi, who made the trip to Tonopah, said he already worked out his early resignation from the state attorney general’s office.

“This is a very vital concern to the office in being able to get in here early. There has been a lot of chaos in the office as commissioner Eastley stated. This helps in the transition and making some of the changes I want to do,” Kunzi said.

(The post above is the complete article from the Pahrump Valley Times)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

CHEST: Apnea Elevated in Vets With PTSD

By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer,
MedPage Today
Published: October 31, 2010

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and

Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner Earn CME/CE

■Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

■Explain to interested patients that almost all combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (98%) have a sleep disorder -- with more cases of sleep apnea than might otherwise be expected.

■Note that just more than half (54%) of these military PTSD patients were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

VANCOUVER -- Combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) almost universally suffer sleep problems -- with more cases of sleep apnea than might otherwise be expected -- U.S. Army researchers found.

In a group of 135 young, otherwise healthy combat veterans with PTSD, 98.5% reported sleep complaints, Nick Orr, MD, and colleagues at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., reported here at the annual international scientific meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST).

Despite their relatively young age (around 35) and slightly overweight physique, 54% of the PTSD patients who underwent polysomnography at Walter Reed were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) -- whereas, in the general population, the rate of OSA is only 20%.

It can be all too easy to dismiss daytime sleepiness and other symptoms as part of depression and PTSD, Orr explained. But these results argue for screening all military PTSD patients for sleep apnea, Orr said in an interview.

"You'll be darned if you just keep treating it with medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, and all the other modalities you use for PTSD, when you haven't addressed possible sleep apnea, which could get restorative sleep and kind of break the cycle for the PTSD symptoms," he told MedPage Today.

(click below for complete article)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This land does not belong to Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It belongs to WE THE PEOPLE, and We the People plan to reclaim our land and our freedom STARTING TODAY, November 2, 2010!
They like to refer to some of us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us have been retired for some time.
We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and grown old together.
Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill and that is probably true.
But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.
In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to lead America into the technological age.
Many of us remember what outhouses were, some with firsthand experience. We remember the days of telephone party-lines, ten cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes.
For those of you who don't know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators.
A few even remember when cars were started with a crank. Yes, we lived those days.
We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off.
Our fathers won World War II and we fought in Korea and Vietnam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so. We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield.
We didn't fight for the Socialist States of America, we fought for the "land of the free and home of the brave." We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag.
We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, America, and America the Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing.
We have lived what many of you have only read about in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.
Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us.
We have loved this country, fought for it, and some of our friends died for it, and now we are going to save it.
It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us.
We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep.
There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.
It was primarily the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic congress. You fell for the "Hope and change" idea which in reality was nothing but "Hype and lies."
You have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don't like it after all.
You are the ones unemployed now, not us.
You make a lot of noise but most are all too interested in their careers and "Climbing the social ladder" to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting.
It appears that we care more about our grandchildren than some care about their own children.
Many of those who fell for the "great lie" in 2008 are now having buyer's remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn't have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the kool-aid.
Now you're paying the price and complaining about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom.
This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck, a fancy house and some pie-in-the-sky.
Well, don't worry youngsters, we are going to take back our nation. We may drive a little slower than you would like but we get where we're going, this November we're going to the polls by the millions.
This land does not belong to Obama or to Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. It belongs to We the People, and We the People plan to reclaim our land and our freedom.
We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren.
So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases, those of us considered dinosaurs.
(Unknown author)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Asking for renewed concern and support for Pat - please, remember where he is....

In life, our losses and disappointments are real; they bring grief and sadness that are real. If one can’t acknowledge and feel the grief and sadness, it will never get out of the way.

I believe that how we handle our losses really defines who we are. I believe that I have fought like a warrior for the past two years. I will continue to fight………..

I can only hope and pray the decisions I have made in the past two years are right; that I have known what to do and what not to do. The decisions that I have made have all been with the one goal of saving Pat’s life.

There are times that I am afraid I will never be able to get out of this fog I am living in. Then, I think of Pat – what a horrible existence he has had for the past two years.

I know I am grieving, not only for the husband that has been taken from me, and knowing the pain and suffering he has had to endure – but that grief is also for the loss of the lives we had envisioned; grieving for our future and all the plans and dreams we had – and now that’s all gone.

However, it’s been said you have to give up the life you planned to find the life that’s waiting for you. I suppose we have to also be able to ‘hear’ what is next in our lives and what paths we may want or need to travel down.

I know I have to be able to see what is right there – right there in front of my own eyes.

All I can envision in front of me is – Pat’s freedom, and the opportunity for us to pick up the pieces and travel down that new life path together.

But – it seems that Nye County Nevada intends to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.

It seems Nye County Chief Deputy District Attorney, Kirk Vitto, has lost sight of his role as a prosecutor; this means he has forgotten that his job is to seek JUSTICE and not to always get a conviction.

With that being stated, I have to inform everyone that the odds are very strong that Pat’s trial will be moved again, perhaps as far out as April of 2011.

Nye County Chief Deputy District Attorney, Kirk Vitto, filed a motion on Friday, October 22, 2010 essentially ‘questioning’ the validity of the current trial date set to begin January 27, 2011. He gave several “reasons” questioning whether the trial should go forward as currently scheduled, and asked the court to determine if this date was a viable date for the trial to go forward.

Let us all hope and pray the judge views this motion as balderdash –

I want everyone to know – I am tired......the stress is seriously getting to me. This does not mean I’m walking away, I would never do that. It just means I’m tired, it has been a very long two plus years stuck in a quagmire of injustice….a virtual sinkhole located in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada.

Please – let me know that you are still reading and listening and understanding the complexity of this situation.

Please, let me know that you have not lost sight that a really great man could spend the rest of his life in PRISON.

Please, let me know that each and every single one of you still support Pat.

Pat needs you – I need you. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Inmate hears demons, breaks out of jail cell

Inmate hears demons, breaks out of jail cell

Sgt. Terry Rising explains how
a detainee broke out of his cell
by breaking the glass and
crawling through. 
(reproduced under the Fair Use Act)

"Also, starting in 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union began scrutinizing operations at the jail. In a March 2009 letter to county commissioners, ACLU lawyers said that a number of constitutional concerns were raised by a visit to the jail."

Posted on 22 October 2010.

A 31-year-old inmate at the Pahrump Jail broke through a safety glass window in his cell in an attempt to flee Tuesday night.

Deuel Brock III used his feet and left shoulder to ram the glass window on his jail cell door until it finally shattered at about 8 p.m.

Brock was in jail on charges of child endangerment, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and a traffic warrant. He was arrested on Oct. 15.

Rick Marshall, assistant sheriff and head of the Nye County Sheriff’s Administrative Services Bureau, said Brock complained of hearing demons in his head that told him to break out of his cell.

“The good thing is no one got hurt,” Marshall said.

Greg Arms, a sheriff’s deputy and field training officer, was the only jailer on duty when the incident took place. A technician was also there. In a video of the melee shown to the Pahrump Valley Times, Brock is seen pacing back and forth in his cell, scratching and rubbing his head and intermittently running from one end of the cell to the other, kicking and shoving at the cell’s door. In between frustrated attempts to break the door down, Brock checked the door knob a few times. After a half-dozen attempts or so, the thick glass on the cell door shatters and Brock spills head first into the hallway, the video shows. He lands not far from the control center, where technicians use multiple cameras to monitor inmates.
(click below for entire story)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The majority of commenters on the PVT website expressed anger at the local justice system, including one common refrain that Pahrump is being made “the laughing stock of the known universe.”

Posted 20 October 2010.
Although District Attorney Bob Beckett is leaving his office in 10 days, residents of Pahrump are outraged at what one PVT reader claims “is a catastrophic miscarriage of justice” at the outcome of Beckett’s hearing last Friday at the Pahrump Justice Court.

There are many similar comments posted on this newspaper’s website.

Beckett, who has been Nye County’s district attorney for 16 years, pleaded “no contest” to one misdemeanor count of obstructing a public officer in the case brought against him for mishandling funds collected by the Bad Check Program he founded 13 years ago.

As part of an agreement struck between his attorney Thomas Pitaro and Special Prosecutor Peter S. Christiansen, Beckett will resign at the end of this month rather than leave when his term ends at the end of December.

Beckett must also undergo alcohol counseling. When he complies with those two stipulations, the charges against him will be dismissed and he will have a clean record.

Christiansen said the $20,000 “recouped by the county” by not paying the DA’s salary and benefits for the final two months of his term, will be used in lieu of any other monies that Beckett might have paid back in restitution for mishandling Bad Check program funds.

(Click below for entire article - and comments)


VCS in New York Times Again Raising Concerns About Sharp Rise in Post-Deployment Deaths Among Our Veterans

VCS Advocacy in Action -

This week, VCS is in the news again fighting for our service members, veterans, and families. News articles include another major New York Times investigation, an article by Columbia University, a mention by Democracy Now, and the use of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) research by CBS News in a segment for "60 Minutes."

On Sunday, VCS discussed the rising number of veteran post-war deaths with Aaron Glantz in an article published in the New York Times. VA and DoD are failing to track these deaths, even though reporters can track the data a the local level. VCS urges VA and DoD to do a better job collecting and monitoring this information. We don't want another repeat of how badly our government handled atomic veterans, agent orange, and Gulf War illness.

With the continued number of Gulf War Syndrome cases, VCS urges VA to increase funding for Gulf War Illness Research in an article published by Columbia University. VCS will be presenting our advocacy agenda at Boston University on Friday, October 29.

In a radio interview with Democracy Now this week, author Aaron Glantz quotes our VCS refrain, "don't look, don't find," describing VA's attitude towards tracking the number of veteran suicides and post-war deaths.

Unfortunately, due to the shortage of doctors, our troops suffering from mental health issues on the battlefield are being sent to chaplains instead of mental health professionals. Our VCS letter to the Pentagon addressing this problem is quoted in an article written by Kelley B. Vlahos. VCS works with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to promote religious liberty within our military.

VCS provided 60 minutes with the statistics used in their outstanding segment about our homeless veterans. Our VCS Freedom of Information Act Researcher, Kristina Brown, obtained this information under the FOIA. These stories take on national significance because VCS has the facts showing that homelessness isn't a local problem, it is a humanitarian crisis our entire nation must address:

- More than two million Americans deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- Of those deployed since 9/11, 867,000 deployed twice or more.

- More than 277,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been treated by VA for mental health conditions.

- VA told CBS that 9,000 Iraq and Afghanistan vets are already homeless.

Other Important News -

The Army reports a new blood test can detect and diagnose Traumatic Brain Injury that has traditionally been missed in imaging scans and symptomatic prognoses. This is good news.

Congratulations to VA for a superb, poignant, and inspirational video encouraging more medical professionals to work at VA. This is exactly what VA should be doing so our veterans get fast care without waiting. Thank you goes to VA Secretary Shinseki for his leadership to make this happen. We hope more medical professionals will consider working at VA because of this recruiting.

VCS Thanks you for Your Support

(Veterans for Common Sense )

Monday, October 18, 2010

Former Nye sheriff’s candidate sues over March arrest

(What is also interesting in this story is the officer mentioned in this article as having approached Holmes is identified as an out of state officer, named Joshua Schiller.  Why that is interesting is that Joshua Schiller is listed as an employee of the Nye County Sheriff's Department, and is also listed in the witnesses to be called by the Nye County District Attorney's Office in Pat's case.  Additionally, in the yearly newspaper posting of the salaries of Nye County Employees - Joshua Schiller's name is listed there.)

Las Vegas Sun
By Steve Green (contact)

Monday, Oct. 18, 2010
11:51 a.m.

There's more drama in Nye County politics, law enforcement and government, with former sheriff's candidate Ted Holmes now suing the county and four officials over his March arrest.

An attorney for Holmes, whose full name is Robert Ted Holmes, filed the civil rights complaint Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

The suit alleges Holmes' arrest March 12 on charges of impersonating an officer and resisting arrest caused him to lose in the June primary election and violated his civil rights.

A Nye County Sheriff's Office press release on the arrest said an out-of-state law enforcement officer who was in Pahrump on official business was approached by Holmes at the Pahrump Nugget casino.

(Click below for complete story)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The INJUSTICE Continues in Pahrump, Nevada

"BECKETT RESIGNS as part of plea deal"

(and my thoughts: Nye County persists in making a mockery of the justice system.)

And what a 'sweet deal' it appears Mr. Beckett got.  It just seems to further exemplify the corruption that runs in Nye County and particularly in Pahrump. 

There is NO JUSTICE for those that deserve it - only the corrupt elected officials.

Amazing - most other citizens in this country, regardless of the jurisdiction they live in, would have received prison time after multiple DUI arrests, instead of having them 'negotiated' down to something much less. And for over 40 other charges to be negotiated down to "nothing" - inexcusable. 

As I said - Nye County persists in making a mockery of the justice system.

Below is the link to the story - you make your own assessment of this "plea deal".  And while you read and evaluate this story - remember,

Pat Lamoureux, a man who honorably served this country has been in the confines of the Nye County Detention Center for over two years without a trial! 

Pat Lamoureux, a man who had never been in trouble cannot get such a sweet "PLEA DEAL".

AND - there is a strong chance - that Pat's trial will NOT happen in January, that it will be moved further out AGAIN.

(link to the story - click below)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Are you aware that America has now been at war for nearly a decade?

"Bleeding in Afghanistan"
Wednesday 13 October 2010
by: Jim Hightower, t r u t h o u t Op-Ed
Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use

Are you aware that America has now been at war for nearly a decade? We've been fighting, bleeding and dying in two hellacious, multitrillion-dollar conflagrations since 2001 -- and our blood continues to flow, with no end in sight.

Well, not our blood. Not yours and mine. We continue to go about our daily routines -- go to work, go to the mall, go out to eat, go golfing, go to church, go on vacation, go dancing and drinking. War? Americans will pay far more attention to the World Series than they will to the ongoing carnage in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a little-noticed speech, Pentagon chief Robert Gates recently pointed out, "For most Americans, the wars remain an abstraction -- a distant and unpleasant series of news items that do not affect them personally."

"Service in the military," he bluntly said, "has become something for other people to do."

He's right. You see, "we" are not at war. We handed off that awful duty a decade ago to the 2.4 million active and reserve soldiers in the armed services, less than 1 percent of our nation's people. They and their families are the ones "at war," cycled and recycled into debilitating and deadly deployments.

"We the People" are not even making the minimal sacrifice of paying for the burden we've so carelessly stacked on their shoulders. Both the Bush regime and the Obamacans, fully backed by both Republican and Democratic Congresses of the past decade, cravenly put Afghanistan and Iraq on the national credit card, piling up trillions of dollars in debt for future generations to cover.

The widening disconnect between Americans and America's wars is not only dangerous for our democracy, but it's immoral, allowing politicians and corporate profiteers to sink our national soul in the diabolical depths of perpetual war.

Speaking of perpetual war, what the hell are we doing in Afghanistan, anyway? Ten years at war there, and what progress have we made?

According to Washington's war hawks, we're there to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. Key to this strategy, we're told, is to establish the legitimacy of the central government, led by the famously incompetent, vain, arrogant, aloof and corrupt President Hamid Karzai. And how's that going?

Well, at least they pulled off a national parliamentary election on Sept. 18. It was meant to show democratic progress, thus bolstering the stability and credibility of the government. Unfortunately, there were some unpleasant incidents during the balloting. Beaucoup unpleasantness. More than 4,000 cases of electioneering fraud have poured into the Election Complaints Commission -- with nearly 60 percent of them considered gross enough to have affected the outcome.

"How gross?" you ask? In Kandahar Province, where the president's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, rules as an autocratic strongman, some 50 parliamentary seats were being contested. Amazingly, the list of winners were all from the Karzai political faction, and -- get this -- Ahmed Wali had the list of winners in his hands before the election!

In a third of the provinces, the fraud was blatant and widespread. A cell phone video, for example, caught officials in one district polling place haggling with a candidate over the price of buying votes. In another district, local police handcuffed and removed three groups of election workers from their polling places, then presented the "results" for them to sign at the end of the day. In a northern province, gunmen slapped, dragged and otherwise coerced people to go to polling places and vote for the gunmen's candidate.

This so-called election shows that there's nothing legitimate about Karzai's government -- and nothing legitimate about America's involvement in Afghanistan. It's time to get out of there!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Veterans Court: Restorative Rather Than Punitive Justice

(Forward by Dr. Charles E. Corry)
The following article describes a functional veterans court established from the bottom up by a local judge and community groups in Spokane, Washington. Following the article is a review of why many veteran courts are dysfunctional using the Spokane article as an example of what works and Colorado Springs to illustrate what doesn¹t.

Functional veteran courts practicing restorative justice hold the promise of reducing veteran recidivism by at least half and initial experience supports that promise. That reduction will more than compensate for any additional special court costs. Treatment costs are almost entirely covered by existing Veteran Administration or military programs and it is certain that many veterans can be returned to productive lives as good citizens by timely and appropriate care.

In Colorado Springs 250 to 270 veterans a month are presently arrested, of which 75-85 are on active duty. Under present catch, convict, and release policies some 70-80% of these veterans will reoffend, often progressing to more violent crimes as documented in the Rolling Stone article on The Fort Carson Murder Spree. Unfortunately, the veteran court pilot program established here currently presumes a veteran is guilty, demands a plea of guilty and sentencing before treatment is begun, in the main the court accepts only non-violent criminal felony cases, and operates from the top down. That has grave consequences for the 75-85 active-duty military personnel arrested each month as they are then usually chaptered out of the military following their conviction. A safe assumption, based on a decade of experience with local courts, is that more than half of the arrested veterans would be acquitted in a jury trial. However, many troops will plead guilty and accept a plea bargain without being aware of the consequences or whether they are, in fact, guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 

On that basis, preliminary data suggest the five military bases surrounding Colorado Springs are losing half of those arrested, or ~40 active-duty personnel a month, primarily due to dysfunctional courts. The primary age range of 23 to 35 in the arrest records suggests these people are mainly sergeants through master sergeants, although we have also encountered a number of officers from O-1 (2nd lieutenant) to O-6 (colonel or Navy captain), as well as a few warrant officers. A functional veteran court might reasonably be expected to provide needed treatment and return half of these troopers (~20/month) to active duty without a career-destroying conviction.

"Veterans Court weighs stress of war service"
Innovation, second in state, pursues treatment options for criminal behavior

Kevin Graman
The Spokesman-Review

September 19, 2010 -
Updated: September 20, 6:51 a.m.

After surviving 15 months in one of the most dangerous places on Earth, Iraq war veteran Carl Jacobson thought he could cope with just about anything civilian life had to throw at him.
Jacobson realized he was wrong the day he learned that his beloved former platoon leader had been gravely wounded by an enemy sniper.
“It broke me down,” Jacobson said. “No matter what comes your way, it’s crucial to any soldier to avoid losing control. You can’t lash out.”
Jacobson was arrested in July on a domestic violence charge after breaking the door of the north Spokane apartment he shares with his girlfriend and her two young children.
The former Army sergeant could have been convicted of third-degree malicious mischief last week, but instead he received a “stipulated order of continuance” from Spokane County District Judge Vance Peterson on the first day of Veterans Court.
If Jacobson completes a two-year counseling program under the terms of his continuance, the charge will be dismissed.
He was one of 13 veterans and active-duty soldiers answering misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor charges in Peterson’s courtroom on Thursday.
Four received stipulated orders of continuance, including one National Guard soldier whose felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. Eight had their cases delayed. One, who was in violation of the terms of probation, had his probation reinstated.  
(click here for complete story:  )
Veteran court comparisons 
(Dr. Charles E. Corry continues)
As described in the article above the veterans court in Spokane, Washington, provides restorative justice for veterans whenever possible. To work effectively a veterans court must employ certain characteristic methodology. To illustrate these methods a comparison is made between a functional, e.g., Spokane, Washington, and a dysfunctional veterans court, e.g., the pilot program in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Functional: Works from the bottom up by including local citizens, groups, public officials, Veterans Administration, military bases, criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges with military backgrounds who volunteer.
Regular public meetings of all interested parties are held to discuss openly and honestly what is working and not working. Feedback and suggestions are encouraged.
Dysfunctional: Uses top-down dictates to local citizens, groups, and defense attorneys. Ignores local criticism or suggestions. Responds to criticism with ad hominem attacks and bitter complaints and is unresponsive to local issues and problems.
Meetings are few and far apart, and generally not publicly announced. Agenda is limited to what program managers want to discuss. Feedback is limited and discouraged. Those who disagree are retaliated against or terminated.
Functional: Uses available local resources and realizes cost savings from reduced recidivism to justify establishment and maintenance of veterans court.

Costs for treatment are largely borne by the Veterans Administration or military bases for active-duty troops under existing programs. Thus, local jurisdictions are not burdened by those expenses.

Veteran needs for food, housing, clothing, employment, family problems, etc., are met by participating local charities and existing government agencies, e.g., employment offices.

Dysfunctional: Requires large federal grants to get started and continue operations. Spends a get deal of effort seeking additional funding to maintain large bureaucratic overhead.

For example, the Colorado Dept. of Human Services has had a $2 million grant since October 2008 from the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services SAMSHA program to establish veteran courts. As of October 2010 only one pilot program is in pilot stage for a veteran court in one county. That is apparently true in the other 11 states where SAMSHA has pilot programs as well. 

Top-down management tends to prevent or inhibit cooperation with local charities and other government agencies. So veteran¹s needs for food, housing, clothing, jobs, etc., generally go unmet.

Personnel and facilities 

Functional: The justice system is obligated to resolve the issues associated with veterans who are arrested regardless. Thus, no new facilities or personnel are required. Treatment is provided by the Veterans Administration or local military bases under existing programs in any case and only informal coordination is required between the various groups.

In order to get the new court up and running involved personnel in the justice system, concerned citizens, local charities, local government agencies, and veterans volunteer their time and energy to plan and implement the program.

Once up and operating the veteran court reduces recidivism so that the justice system has fewer veterans and personnel have more time to deal with them on a personal basis. That further reduces both recidivism and costs to the justice system.

Dysfunctional: Requires hiring people to do the coordination, manage the program, recruit and train the veteran volunteers, develop training programs, schedule events, develop agendas, and promote the program in order to obtain additional funding.

The increase in bureaucracy and top-down management tends to alienate citizen groups and local charities who cooperate and innovate less. That results in requirements for more bureaucrats to do the jobs citizens and charities should be doing. And the growing bureaucracy requires expanded, expensive facilities as well as additional funding.

An inflexible bureaucracy leaves little time to deal with disabled veterans in court and few even bother with the veteran court. Recidivism remains unchanged or, possibly, increases.

Types of crime dealt with in veteran court

Functional: Has no limit on types of crimes considered for first offenders and many repeat offenders where addiction or combat wounds are a factor in the veteran¹s offenses.

Whenever possible veterans are intercepted during their first brush with the criminal justice system and evaluated and treated as rapidly as possible after their arrest.

Dysfunctional: Only admits veterans accused of non-violent crimes, misdemeanors or felonies, who are first offenders.

Requires veterans to accept a plea agreement (plead guilty) to the accusations before being admitted to the veteran court. Postpones treatment until after the plea agreement and sentencing, months or more than a year after they are arrested.

Treatment versus punishment

Functional: Presumes innocence! Veterans who enter the justice system are quickly and publicly evaluated and entered into treatment while prosecution is deferred as appropriate.

Veteran court wields both a carrot by deferring prosecution while the veteran is treated and dismissing charges if successful, and a stick by going through with criminal prosecution if veteran fails or is unsuccessful in treatment. Thus, veteran has considerable incentive to complete required treatment and participate in the veteran court program.

The veteran¹s record doesn¹t show a conviction if they cooperate and successfully complete treatment. Their lives and careers are left intact and they have a very good chance of going on to lead productive, crime-free lives, thereby reducing recidivism and costs for the justice system. 

Dysfunctional: Presumes guilt! Veterans are leisurely evaluated by a secret cabal and forced to plead guilty to a heinous crime they may or may not have committed before being accepted into the veteran court.

The court holds little power over the veteran after the guilty plea except to put them in prison. The veteran has little incentive to complete treatment.

Veteran¹s record shows they have pled guilty and been convicted of a heinous crime. Their lives and careers are destroyed and it is very likely they will go on to commit more crimes, often more violent ones.

Veterans helping veterans

Functional: Uses time-honored military method of ³buddy system² to link up volunteer veterans with disabled veterans in the court. Informal process of ³makee-learnee² used to find out what works best overall and in individual cases.

Emphasis is on getting veterans helping veterans without undue and burdensome bureaucracy. Process is rapidly implemented and mistakes or problems are quickly corrected.

Dysfunctional: Requires long debates on what to name the program, extensive training and background checks of volunteer veterans before they can be linked up with a disabled veteran, and training of volunteers cannot begin until training program is developed and approved by bureaucracy.

Multi-year delays in implementation result and no mechanisms for correcting mistakes or bad practices are built in. In fact, criticism is retaliated against.

Restorative justice works better

There can be little doubt that functional veteran courts work to help veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), crippling wounds and disabilities, substance abuse, and other issues related to their military service when they enter a civilian justice system. For example, virtually any manifestation of PTSD looks like domestic violence (DV) in the civilian world and is likely to result in an arrest. But, in essence, a DV conviction leaves a trooper a dead man walking. Thus, the deferred prosecution and treatment inherent in a functional veteran court can save the veteran, his family, marriage, and career in many cases where their PTSD and other impairments can be recognized and successfully treated. Society benefits both by reducing costs for courts and incarceration, and returning veterans to productive lives.

Conversely, dysfunctional civilian courts, or veteran courts that operate on a drug-court model that requires a guilty plea and only accepts non-violent first offenders doesn¹t begin to address the problems that typically lead veterans into trouble with the civilian justice system. Current catch, convict, and release practices often leave a veteran homeless and commonly result in their committing even more crimes, or suicide. Hardly the outcome society desires for men and women who have given so much for their country!

Costs of dysfunctional courts

As noted in the forward, the five bases surrounding Colorado Springs are losing ~40 active-duty military a month largely due to dysfunctional civilian courts. If just half of those troops could be returned to duty by a functional veteran court, savings in training and associated costs, assuming such costs average $5 million for each trooper (combat veteran noncoms are not cheap or easy to replace), would be $100 million per month to the military budget.

That is for only one functional veteran court!

Colorado Springs almost certainly has one of the highest arrest rates of active-duty military in the nation. But a number of other jurisdictions must be losing at least 10 troopers a month to dysfunctional civilian courts who might be suitable for return to duty with a functional veteran court. Assume two Marine Corps bases and five other Army bases are losing 10 Marines or troopers a month that could be helped by a functional veteran court. That suggests at least 90 military personnel a month, or a thousand troops a year might be retained on active duty by functional veteran courts. The potential savings are a billion dollars in the defense budget.

El Paso County (Colorado Springs), and other local jurisdictions, also stand to save a considerable amount by instituting a functional veteran court. Dividing total yearly costs by the number of arrests and bookings into the El Paso County (Colorado Springs) jail suggests each booking costs the county at least $130. Preliminary data show there are between 3,000 and 3,200 veterans a year booked into the El Paso County jail. With current practices at least one-third of these veterans will be rearrested within a year, or at least 1,000. If a functional veteran court cuts recidivism in half then only about 500 veterans would be rearrested, saving the county at least $65,000 in jail costs alone. Cost reductions for police and courts are probably of the same magnitude suggesting the county should save upwards of $200,000 per year with a functional veteran court. And I suspect these estimated cost savings are low because I¹ve omitted many factors, e.g., lost time at work, lost jobs, etc.
 - by Dr. Charles E. Corry

Friday, October 8, 2010

Court agrees to treatment for Iraq war veteran Brock Savelkoul before legal proceedings

By LAUREN DONOVAN Bismarck Tribune

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 2:10 am
WATFORD CITY — Brock Savelkoul didn’t look like a free man when he got into the pickup with his sister out in the McKenzie County jail parking lot Wednesday afternoon. This was no rejoicing “yeehaw!” moment.
He looked like a man leaving with the most serious orders he’d ever been given: to save a life.

His own.

Seventeen days ago, he faced deadly force in a two-hour standoff between a raving, suicidal Iraq war veteran and police trying to stop the craziness.

On Wednesday, the law put its long arm firmly around his shoulder and sent him from the McKenzie County jail directly to a Veterans Administration treatment center in Fargo.

This is no get-out-of-jail-free card.

If he leaves treatment, he returns to jail.

Savelkoul, 28, will be back in court in December to face felony and misdemeanor charges for his alcohol-fueled rampage through the county Sept. 21. He doesn’t remember writing a suicide note for his family in Minot that day, his wild sunset ride into Watford City, or taking two guns into a convenience store and pointing them at clerks and customers. He doesn’t remember speeding away from town with police in pursuit and the long, cold standoff on a dark stretch of U.S. Highway 85 when he fired his guns twice and begged cops to kill him.

Monday, October 4, 2010


 Iraq war veteran in jail two years after Pahrump shootout


My husband, who is a VETERAN, and proudly served this country - has been in the Nye County Detention Center for TWO YEARS without a trial - and the Sheriff of Nye County had this comment to the Las Vegas Review Journal:

“I’m sure the deputies involved can’t wait to get this behind them,” DeMeo said.

To anyone living in Nye County, remember DeMeo is running for re-election. 

Kirk Vitto, Bob Beckett and Tony DeMeo could have made a difference in my husband's life.  They made the decision not to do so.

There are better answers for our Veterans than incarceration.

I hope that everyone that has followed this story gets really upset - all 17,840 of you that have touched this blog, making you a part of my husband's life. 

Here is the latest story from the Las Vegas Review Journal.

(click below for complete story)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Iraqi vet asks for treatment, not jail after armed standoff

September 29, 2010
Bismarck Tribune

Brock Savelkoul in a family photo with
his sister, Angie Savelkoul Heinze.

WATFORD CITY — A nightmare video of bombs, dead bodies and screams in blinding sunlight won’t stop playing in Brock Savelkoul’s mind.

He takes his guns and his Purple Heart and drives down North Dakota highways like a crazy man — at that moment he is a crazy man — until he runs out of gas hundreds of miles away. Police cars surround him.

He grabs his gun and yells into the strobe of flashing lights and the dusky light at the end of day, “Kill me! I want to go out in a blaze of glory!”

He fires, once into the ground, once into his pickup. “I want to die!” he screams.

He has never been so lost. Or so far from home.

He’s a hero, a decorated U.S. Army Field Artillery Infantryman with three tours of duty in Iraq, only 28 years old, never in serious trouble his whole life.

(click below for complete story)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


It is 1:00 a.m. - September 19, 2010

At this time two years ago lives had begun to spin out of control, and lives were on the verge of complete destruction. 

How sad that I couldn't have had a clue what was going to happen in an hour and a half.  I can think of so many things that I could have done differently if I had only known that hell was about to erupt and destroy the lives of Pat and Sue Lamoureux...............

But it's history now, and I can't change it.  But I pray every day and every night for a new beginning and that justice will prevail and Pat Lamoureux will get his freedom.   I pray we will soon be able to pick up the pieces and begin to put our new lives together.  That is what has to happen.  Pat has been punished, he deserves to have the chance to rebuild his life.

Thank you everyone for your support in the past, and please continue to stand by and support Pat Lamoureux.  I will never give up fighting with every ounce of my life to save his life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

9/7/2010 Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett arrested again

Former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss Played Role In DA's Arrest

Beckett Arrested For Second Time Since May


Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Tuesday night.  The Nye County sheriff's office confirmed the arrest, which happened about 9 p.m. after Beckett was found sleeping in the driver's seat of a car parked on a Pahrump roadway.

Beckett, 51, failed a field sobriety test and a preliminary breath test, according to the sheriff's department. He was issued a citation and booked for driving under the influence.

This was not Beckett's first arrest for drunken driving.

In 2008, Beckett was charged with drunken driving in California after crashing two vehicles on the same desert highway six hours apart.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


September 1, 2010

Last night I did something I have not done previously; I listened to Mr. Obama give a speech on the ABC Nightly News.

Some 50,000 troops remain in Iraq, as Mr. Obama announced the “end of the war in Iraq”. Then, afterwards I listened to the commentary by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopolous.

There were several things that struck me about this news broadcast last evening. Some of the remaining troops were interviewed by a news correspondent. The reporter asked if they felt the war was over. One soldier responded, the others looking uneasy to respond to such a direct question. The soldier responded with:

“We are combat troops; we are still here and we still have a job to do. The name’s changed, but the mission is pretty much the same.” The reporter pressed the soldier further, “So, you don’t feel like combat is done?” to which the soldier replied “Not at all sir.”

Since March 19, 2003 4,427 Americans ages 18-60 have been killed in Iraq. In the month of August alone, as the war was winding down, there were 560 IED explosions in Iraq. The last American died in Iraq 10 days ago. Not one state of the United States of America has been spared loss of life since the beginning of the war. 

I think the one statistic that was ‘quoted’ last evening that upset me the most was this one: 34,268 troops have been ‘wounded’ as of August 31, 2010. 

COME ON AMERICA – wake up, educate yourselves, get informed, understand what is going on – whatever label you want to put on “get a reality check”.

Once again the media sanitizes war and tells the American people what the government wants the American people to hear. ANYONE who believes that only 34,000+ troops have been “wounded” is ignorant to the plight of our Veterans returning with PTSD and TBI. The media once again fails our Veterans and I wonder if anyone but me caught that "wounded” statistic.

As long as the media does not broadcast the fact that PTSD and TBI are WOUNDS OF WAR the American people will NEVER get it.

I am so aggravated…………

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dad: GI shot dead seemed happy, Army failed him

"Sue Lamoureux believes that a lack of appropriate and accessible mental health treatment for military members and veterans is contributing to the number of soldier-on-police incidents across the country."

By Matthew D. LaPlante

The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated Aug 28, 2010 11:12PM

There was something different about Brandon Barrett when he came home from Army basic training in early 2007.

Bill Barrett had always been proud of his son. But now, the Marine Corps veteran noticed, “Brandon held himself higher. Joining the Army was a life-changing experience for him. It was a good change.”

But Bill Barrett now fears that his son’s experiences at war brought on another change — something deeper, something darker.

Something deadly.

The younger Barrett, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, was wearing full battle gear and carrying a loaded rifle when a police officer confronted him in downtown Salt Lake City on Friday afternoon. A police spokeswoman said Barrett opened fire, striking the officer in the leg. The officer returned fire, killing the 28-year-old soldier, whose bloodied body fell in a patch of grass behind the Grand America Hotel, near one of the city’s busiest intersections.
(click below for entire story)

Army vet killed, officer wounded in SLC shootout

By Matthew D. LaPlante, Sheena McFarland and Lindsay Whitehurst
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated Aug 28, 2010 07:11PM

He was dressed for war. And he died in a hail of gunfire.  But the battlefield upon which Brandon S. Barrett waged his final fight was not in a distant, dangerous place, but rather, it would appear, in his own mind. 
In a situation that has become disturbingly frequent across the United States, an armed soldier squared off against a police officer in downtown Salt Lake City on Friday afternoon.  Barrett, a 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran recently home from Afghanistan, was in full battle dress, armed with an assault rifle and dozens of rounds of ammunition.  It took four minutes from the moment that a frightened witness called 911 to the time that Barrett’s bloodied body lay on a small patch of grass behind the opulent Grand America Hotel. The soldier was dead.  A police officer wounded.
And the fog of war was thick.
“It’s  heartbreaking,” said Terry Schow, director of the state Department of Veterans Affairs, who has tirelessly fought for greater mental health services for those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This is so troubling, on so many levels, I cannot even begin to say.”And yet, Schow said, the officer may have had little choice in his response. “We understand that officer, and public safety is so very important,” he said.
(click below for complete story)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Over-medication contributes to military suicides, advocates say

The Charleston Gazette
August 12, 2010

By Veronica Nett

CHARLESTON, W.Va -  The suicide rate among military veterans has ballooned in recent years, in part because of overmedication of service members and a lack of support for veterans, advocates for treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder said Thursday.

Psychiatrists sometimes prescribe drugs as a cure without an actual understanding of what the drugs do, said Dr. Peter R. Breggin, a psychiatrist and author from Ithaca, N.Y.

In 2008, the Army's suicide rate -- 20.2 per 100,000 -- exceeded the civilian suicide rate for the first time. The civilian suicide rate has held steady for years at about 18 per 100,000, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Breggin and seven panelists addressed a crowd of about 50 therapists, social workers, members of the state Veterans Affairs department, in addition to service members and their families at the 2010 PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Education and Awareness Conference.

Care-Net, a branch of the state Council of Churches, sponsored the conference at the Blessed John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston.

PTSD is the brain's natural reaction to extreme stress and traumatizing experiences, said Breggin, the conference's keynote speaker. Tramuatic brain injury looks just like PTSD, he said.

"There is no drug that improves the function of the brain," said Breggin, who said he will not prescribe psychiatric drugs as treatment for any disorder.

Psychiatric drugs, such as antidepressants and anxiety medication, alter the chemical balance in the brain, disrupt the release of serotonin and, in many cases, have the same effect as street drugs, Breggin said.

Patients using psychiatric drugs have experienced psychotic and violent behavior, attempted suicide and are unable to think clearly, Breggin said.

Mary Lahas talked about her son, Michael, who she said stuck IV needles into his arms in a suicide attempt.

Her son, an Army infantry member, survived roadside bomb explosions, and witnessed the shooting death of civilians in Iraq, Lahas said Thursday.

He returned from his first deployment in 2008 with PTSD and TBI and suffered from headaches, anxiety, guilt, tinnitus and memory problems, Lahas said. He refused to seek help, she said, because he saw other soldiers ridiculed who did.

When he finally did seek help, he was given a "cocktail of death," that included antidepressants, anxiety medications and sleep aids, Lahas said.

"He was so over-medicated he could not care for himself -- eat, sleep or brush his teeth," she said.

The drugs and stress led him to try to take his own life, and while standing in his bathroom bleeding, he drew a smiley face on the wall in his own blood, she said.

Her son's wife found him and called for help. He was sent to a civilian clinic where he was diagnosed with PTSD. The military never diagnosed him with PTSD, just said that he had similar symptoms, she said.

"We gave them a normal teenager and they gave back a broken soldier that looked like a concentration camp survivor," Lahas said.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that more than 6,000 veterans from past and ongoing conflicts will commit suicide this year.

"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