Staff Sgt. Brad Eiffert, a veteran of the war in Iraq, found himself in the woods behind his house with a .45 caliber pistol pressed to his head. Meridian Township police were deployed in various defensive positions around Eiffert’s home and in the woods. The stand-off was nearing 3 hours when the officers heard shots ring out, and the bright muzzle of Eifferts gun in the darkness. Unable to pull the trigger with the weapon against his temple, Eiffert fired 9 rounds into a nearby tree. He then dropped the weapon and ran through the woods into his front yard yelling “shoot me, shoot me, shoot me!” Showing remarkable restraint, the officers did not shoot Eiffert, but instead tasered him and took him into custody.
He was later booked and came before Judge David L. Jordan, who runs a Veteran’s Treatment court twice a month in the Ingham County District Court. Veteran Treatment Courts are normally unavailble to those who commit crimes using guns, however the prosecutors made an exception after hearing the history of Mr. Eiffert. He joined an increasing number of deployed veterans who, after returning home, plunge into a downward spiral, propelled by post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional problems.
Their descent is chronicled in suicide attempts or destructive actions that bring them into conflict with the law — drunken driving, bar fights, domestic violence and, in extreme instances, armed confrontations with the police of the kind that are known as “suicide by cop.”
Such stories often end in death or prison, the veteran in either case lost to the abyss.
Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/us/18vets.html
Source: NY Times