Not Born on the 4th of July

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Just because you haven’t read something like this in awhile doesn’t mean it’s no longer happening:

It’s common that when a person dies with most of his or her life seemingly ahead of them, friends and family create online memorials. Ian is no different. His sister, Meg, posted one on Facebook over the weekend, and it has overflowed with stories of his compassion, selflessness and sense of humor as a human being and his honor, courage and commitment as a Marine. A key detail hasn’t been shared publicly, though.

Ian killed himself.

With a self-inflicted gunshot wound, he ended his life on the 4th of July, shocking those who know him as an upbeat, kind young man who went out of his way to regularly pick up the spirits of those around him. He left no note explaining why, his family said.

Rightly or wrongly, Ian’s blood is on our hands. He killed himself the day before President Obama decided to send condolence letters to the families of military suicides, so long as they killed themselves in a theater of war, as ably reported at the time by my colleague Mark Benjamin. After a decade of war, this much is clear: home, for many of our veterans, is a theater of war.