Another soldier down | SkyHiNews.com

Another soldier down

Art Ferrari
Special to the Sky-Hi News

Nearly 150 people attended the memorial service at the Hot Sulphur Springs Cemetery on Thursday, May 5 for Dan Sidles a decorated Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran that committed suicide sometime around April 29 after a long battle with PTSD.

Dan Sidles, a Veteran of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" dies from hidden wounds from that war as he ended his own life sometime around April, 29. A Purple Heart recipient during the war, Dan is a fallen victim to his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While not a long term resident here, those that knew him say he at least found some solace in the great beauty of Grand County.

On Thursday, May 5, around 30 Veterans from Dan's 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, along with nearly 120 family, friends and local veterans and law enforcement officers attended a memorial at the Hot Sulphur Springs Cemetery. The day was warm and the sky was azure blue as the US flag flew at half-mast during the service. Local Veteran, Duane Dailey, led the proceedings which featured a 21-gun salute, bagpipes and a bugle. Dan's sister Amy, from Iowa, was presented with a US flag and warm condolences from many in attendance.

According to lonesurvivorfoundation.org:

"Combat trauma and/or PTSD leaves SM/Vets with painful symptoms such as flashbacks, avoidance, isolation, and hyper-arousal reactions including anger outbursts, tension and hyper-vigilance".

A 2012 study by the US Department of Veteran Affairs reports that there are 22 veteran suicides a day or around 8,000 per year. The VA and many non-profits offer mental health and other services to help support suffering Vets in an effort to help reduce the ultimate cost our service men and women pay long after our guns have left the battle and the rest of us have moved on with our everyday lives.

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