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Richard Criss

Operation Iraqi Freedom – Army Ranger. Received: National Defense Service Medal, Global War On Terrorism Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal/Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon

Group for our fallen PTSD heroes:

“So here is our story, I hate talking about it because it causes so much added pain. I met Richard a year after he got out of the Army. He had PTSD and major depression. Didn’t matter to me though, we immediately fell in love. It took me about a year to get him to leave the house and ride in a car without getting sick. We spent all of our time together and enjoyed every minute of it. When I went back to work everything got bad. His PTSD and depression got worse, so I convinced him to start going to the VA. All they did was put him on a lot of meds and therapy once a week. I later found out he was also self-medicating and he started drinking again. We loved each other so much and we planned to be married on September 16, 2013.

He tried suicide several times, but I could always get him to stop or get him to the hospital, except August 26, 2013. I went to work that day for a half day, and then we went car shopping. When we got home we went for a walk, held hands and sat down by the river on our bench. We got home and he made dinner. We ate and had a small argument about a truck we were borrowing from someone. Richard hated him because he was taking advantage of me and he definitely was a sick man. I told him I was taking the truck back. I had a weird feeling in my heart so I never made it there. I stopped at the post office only a half block away. Pretty soon I saw the guy I was borrowing the truck from running to the truck. I looked towards the house and Richard came out with a gun, sat on the step and pulled the trigger, it misfired. He went back in the house grabbed another bullet and came out. The guy had a hold of my arm and wouldn’t let me get to Richard. I finally broke free and started running home. I had just crossed the street when he looked me in the eyes and said “Is this what you want”. I screamed no, but he was already sitting on the porch with the gun to his forehead. I screamed, he pulled the trigger and fell off the step. I remember screaming and running to him and rolling him over. The guy had already called 911. I knew he was dying; I just held him and cried. The ambulance took 45 minutes to get there. They airlifted him but it was too late. He was on life support for three days; I stayed with him the whole time. I held his hand and cried the whole time.

I was in shock for a week. I was soon diagnosed with PTSD and major depressive disorder. I am on a slew of meds and go to therapy, but nothing helps. I lost my whole world that night at 8:30pm. I attempted suicide one month later. I spend most of my time crying and feeling lost. I am so broken and shattered. I miss him so much.”
Written by his fiancée, Jennifer