A suicidal NC Army combat veteran suffering from PTSD and desperately seeking help in a call to the Veterans Affairs health resources center and crisis hotline after days without sleep uttered a few words which changed his life immediately. Prior to this call, the combat vet called on Dec. 23 contemplating suicide – the VA told him he could have an appointment with a psychiatrist Feb. 3rd. When he called again a month later after not sleeping for three days and having horrible visions each time he closed his eyes, he felt betrayed, forgotten and was frustrated that he couldn’t get transferred to speak with a counselor at the Veterans Affairs suicide crisis hotline. That’s when he made the threat.
The NC Army combat veteran began a rant that included a threat to kill doctors and nurses at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Two days later while running errands at least 10 uniformed officers, federal and local, swarmed Army vet Ryan Broderick and his wife with assault weapons. Now, after facing felony charges punishable by up to five years in prison, the NC Army Combat veteran has accepted a deal to plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.
“I was just trying to get help,” said NC Army combat veteran Ryan Broderick. “I had no intentions of hurting anyone.”
Phone Call Lands Veteran in Prison Cell
Ryan Broderick spent 41 months in war zones in 3 tours. When he returned home, he lived with nightmares and other signs of PTSD which led him, like many veterans, to think about committing suicide. Even though he had been told by two VA psychiatrists that he was suffering from PTSD, the Army veteran couldn’t get the VA to understand how urgent his needs were.
Broderick said he constantly badgered the VA with requests to meet with a therapist; he said every time he called, he was scheduled for another appointment for something unrelated to his PTSD. Then came the night he made the threat.
Broderick became agitated during the call and said, “Every day that goes by I get angrier and angrier and want to (expletive) kill people,” according to the affidavit. “If I don’t get some (expletive) help soon I will come to the (expletive) VA and start shooting that (expletive) up. I’m not talking about patients. I’m talking about doctors and nurses. I will come down there and kill you and everybody in that place.”
NC Army Combat Veteran Pleads Guilty
Broderick accepted a plea deal extended by U.S. attorneys because the misdemeanor assault charge spares him a felony conviction with a hefty sentence and the risk of his status in the Army Reserve.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, “On Monday, Senior U.S. District Court Judge W. Earl Britt accepted Broderick’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor assault charge. Britt, an Army veteran, said the case has given him “much concern,” as he expressed empathy for wounded veterans struggling to get the help they need from a beleaguered VA system. He denied the U.S. attorney’s request for 60 days to prepare for a sentencing hearing and scheduled it for Thursday.”
Headline image courtesy of ABC11.com.