In Memory Of:

David Simpson
Air Force

“My Cousin David took his own life. A few nights ago, he became one of the 22 US veterans that commit suicide daily. I know it was not always this way but it is this way now. This happens 22 times a day-people feel like I do starting 22 times a day. He was either the first or the last of the day. He said goodbye on the last day of May in the last hour in his time zone. The outcry of support was overwhelming. People know. This happens too much. He knew it happened too much.

David became medically disabled. He had PTSD and had also contracted Lyme disease during his many years in service. When he returned from service, work within his community and with his fellow veterans became his service. Many also remember him from the video below. He fought for the rights of those four legged soldiers. Now all the two legged ones need to stand up for him. Did this have to be? I don’t think so.

To know how to help veterans overcome suicide, one only needs to know what a veteran who overcame suicide knew. Andrew Jones with The Ripple Effect – Helping Veterans and Families HEAL explained how he did just that. He found words in that dark place that kept him from taking his own life – familiar words “Hold your position.” Hold your position, call for support. That is what a soldier does when he is in trouble. David didn’t have these words in that dark place. All military personnel should be given these words upon their exit into civilian life. If David had orders in respect to his own life, he would have followed them.

David, if I could have said anything to you on that last hour in May it would have been hold your position and call for support. And if I can say anything to the 22 that are starting to die today it is just that: HOLD YOUR POSITION. Why did you not have these words David Michael Simpson? I am so sorry. I cannot stop thinking them now. Hold your position. Call for support.

There are so many people, so many mothers, so many fathers and brothers, wives, husbands…children who wish that their loved one had received this order. But instead these soldiers just come back and die on American soil from unseen injuries they received in battle. PTSD is not a permanent thought process and suicide is not a consistent thought. They need an order to follow when they think these thoughts. Let’s give it to them. I ask for your help. All of you. Every single one of you reading this.
To the 22 veterans today who will face this darkness alone: Hold your position, call for support. You are an American life. It is the duty of the government and its military to protect you. If you are a threat to your own life, hold your position and call for support.
But I cannot say “that is an order”. I am a civilian surrounded by civilians who are watching them all die. So this is just a Facebook post.
They need an order to pull them back from the chaos. So give it to them.
David, support was on its way. You just had to hold your position.”

Obituary for David Michael Simpson
David Michael Simpson, 35
Mulberry- David Michael Simpson of Mulberry, Florida passed away Thursday June 1, 2017 at his home. He was born July 12, 1981 in Phoenix, Arizona to Kevin Simpson and Marilyn (Simpson) Coburn.

After high school, he enlisted in the Air Force and remained active duty for 13 years. He was security forces, until the last seven years, in which he was a K9 handler. His first duty station was Kunsan AFB in South Korea and then he was stationed at Yokota AFB in Japan. He met Erin (Dooley) Simpson in Japan and soon were married. They were stationed next in Iceland at Keflavik Navy Base, where his first daughter Alexandra was born. Next duty station was Las Vegas, when he cross trained into the K9 world and immediately got orders to Spangdahlem AFB, Germany. While in Germany, Erin gave birth to his second daughter, Madison. They traveled extensively throughout Europe and he did many missions with his MWD Robson. They protected Air Force One, the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, and many others. They deployed to Iraq and went on many missions with various agencies on various missions. Unfortunately, while in Germany, he contracted Lyme Disease and suffered from joint and nerve pain continually, which only got worse with time. He also suffered from PTSD from his time in Iraq. Between the PTSD and Lyme Disease, he also suffered from depression. David Simpson was medically retired from the military in 2012 and relocated to Mulberry, Florida.

Erin gave birth to his son, Elijah in the U.S. In 2013 he was able to adopt his MWD Robson, after Robson was retired, and they lived retired life together. After his retirement, he and Robson were heavily involved in the community supporting veterans and military working dog charities benefitting many people. He has a plaque at the War Dog Memorial in Tampa and you may see his picture hanging up in various establishments around Lakeland. David was an amazing man, awesome father and son, and a great husband. Although he battled many things, he will be remembered as an amazing man who would do anything for anybody, anytime a need arose.
He is survived by his wife Erin, daughters Alexandra and Madison, and son Elijah. Brothers Brandon and Zachary. Parents Marilyn and Kevin.