Joel grew up in Glenview, IL, right outside of Chicago. As a young Marine, he served in Operation Desert Storm. After a 10 year break from the service, he joined the Army in 2002 where he served two tours in Iraq as an Army Medic. He returned from his second deployment to Iraq in 2009 addicted to pain medications after being the first responder for a young soldier who died by suicide. He served in the Army for 15 years. He was two months away from graduating from massage therapy school in Colorado when he took his own life August 13, 2015.
Joel’s favorite teams were the Cubs and Bears. He loved Van Gogh, art, photography, movies (especially Cohen Brothers) and music.
Joel has three children: a son, Dylan, and his daughters, Ava and Emma.
States he called home include North Carolina (where he served in the USMC), Virginia, and Colorado.
A couple of years before his death, Joel was featured in a documentary about military suicides called “The Hidden Enemy” which explores the impact of psychiatric medications.
“I didn’t see the emergence of psychiatry in the Army until I suffered my own injury, and then it was like, it was a flood,” said former U.S. Army Sgt. Joel Kort.
“I know that I’ve been on Ambien, Seroquel, Paxil, the big ones. Also, a very dangerous drug called Abilify. It kind of puts whatever meds you’re on, on steroids,” said Kort, who’s featured in the documentary. Kort’s experience with a virtual cocktail of psychiatric drugs has fast become the norm in military mental health treatment, said CCHR’s Kelly Patricia O’Meara.
“The problem, as exposed by ‘The Hidden Enemy’ is that the majority of psychiatric drug cocktails have never been studied in combination by national drug regulatory agencies,” O’Meara said.
The link to this article and the documentary:
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