My husband, Michael Shawn Price, enlisted in the USMC at the age of seventeen. He was deployed to:
He fought in the Gulf War. I will never know what he did; the VA has advised that he was an “elite soldier”, and that his work required a very high level of security clearance. I never knew this man, only to learn of his honor after his death.
After his return to the United States, he became an alcoholic with a gross spending problem. Within two years, he knew he could not live as a civilian; he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served in the Army for four years, ranking an E6 at the time of his departure into the civilian world.
Next, he was contracted as a civilian for the U.S. Coast Guard.
When we wed, he joined the Indiana National Guard as he was struggling living as a civilian. At first, he was quite successful. Four years into his enlistment, he started to have psychosis and anxiety the night before he was scheduled to leave for the weekend. I had him hospitalized twice.
During the span of the next two years, Michael exhibited signs of PTSD. Three out of four doctors and three therapists diagnosed him with combat-related PTSD. Michael denied the importance of his service, sometimes blatantly lying to others. I was one of those “others”. After his death, I found a wealth of terrorizing poems he wrote while in the war and while serving with the U.S. Army.
On February 8, 2014, Michael was no longer able to be deployed and/or carry a gun per the Army doctors; he was medically discharged due to his psychiatric maladies. On February 8, 2014, I watched my husband sob,”If I am not a soldier, what good am I. The only thing I ever did well was serve as a soldier.”
The VA denied request for medical assistance, stating,”He made too much,”; his disability claim was denied as well. I contacted the VA to no avail. I was advised that I could file an appeal. My husband stated,”You don’t know the military. You will not win, so please don’t try.” I have yet to receive a dime from the VA after my husband served nineteen years and eight years despite a document I have stating that he was eligible for a pension.
On February 18, 2015, my husband died from a single gunshot wound to the head as a result of combat-related PTSD. I had him hospitalized twice within the last six weeks of his life due to psychosis.
My son’s final words to his father were,”This is all my fault. I was so mean to him.” He vomited the instance he learned of my husband’s death.
My daughter’s last whispered words were, “Goodbye, Daddy.” I cannot reconcile with this moment. I will live with this moment.
Behind closed doors, our marriage motto was,”always faithful”. I did not sign up for the military life. I am, in fact, now the soldier. I now carry the sorrows of a soldier. It has been my absolute honor to be of service to this man and this country.
Always faithful, Michael. Always faithful.
Yours, Stephanie Mckenzie Price
Wife, Michael S. Price
Michael Shawn Price, 45, passed away Wednesday, February 18, 2015 in Fort Wayne. Born in San Diego, CA, Michael worked as a radio communication tech with the Fort Wayne Police Department. He served his country as a member of the US Marine Corp, the US Army, and the National Guard. He was a very decorated solider that accomplished much during his time of service. He served in active duty during the Desert Storm. Michael was a member of St. Vincent Catholic Church. Michael’s motto in life was to be, “always faithful, in God, country, and family”.
“One of the most caring and compassionate men I have ever had the pleasure to serve many years with. Funny, witty, intelligent, passionate about everything and everyone he touched. One of a kind. Brother I love you man. I will see you at the gates that you so safely guard. We shall meet again brother. Until then your spirit and life resides in my heart forever. We are forever spiritually connected brother.”
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)