Thursday, December 22, 2005

Army Specialist Joshua Lee Omvig

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Joshua Lee Omvig, 22, Grundy Center, Iowa.

SPC Joshua Omvig of the 339th MP Company, was born in Wyoming on November 18, 1983 to proud parents, Randy and Ellen Omvig, and left a hole in his families hearts when he passed on December 22, 2005 at the age of 22 at his home in Iowa.

The following is an excerpt from the website honoring Joshua which is maintained by his aunt, Julie Westly. Please visit this memorial website for more information on Joshua, and to learn more about PTSD.

Spc. Omvig was a Proud American, an American Hero and a member of the United States Army Reserve 339th MP Company based in Davenport, Iowa. He recently returned from an 11 month tour of duty in Iraq, fighting for his country and it's people in "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Josh was a PROUD member of the Grundy Center American Lutheran Church, the Grundy Center Volunteer Fire Department, and the Grundy Center Police Reserves.

Josh insisted on graduating early from high school after joining the reserves at just 17 years of age. He was so excited about his future, he wanted to get into basic training as fast as he could....He had wanted, his whole life to be a police officer, and to serve and protect his country, and the citizens of his country, America. The Army Reserves was his ticket to achieving that dream.

......then came 911, The War Against Terror, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Iraq.

While serving is duty in Iraq for an 11 month "tour" the conditions where unimaginable, and worse yet were the UNSPEAKABLE "jobs" and "duties" they had to do.

Josh was a proud American, loved his country, and was proud to defend her and the freedoms of it's people. He knew why he had to do the things he and others did, he was just never able to recover from having seen and done them.

He came home a year ago with PTSD (POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER) and was never the same.

Army Specialist Joshua Lee Omvig died as a result of untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on 12/22/05.

Update 11/06/07:

President Bush Signs Joshua Omvig Suicide Bill into Law
By Becky Ogann

DES MOINES (AP) - President Bush has signed the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Bill, providing improved screening and treatment for at-risk veterans.

The law is named after Joshua Omvig, a 22-year-old soldier from Davenport, who committed suicide in December 2005 after he returned from Iraq.

The bill requires mental health training for Veterans Administration staff, screen suicide risk factors for veterans who receive VA care, refer at-risk veterans for counseling and designate a suicide prevention counselor at each VA medical facility.

Veterans Health Administration mental health officials estimate as many as 5,000 veterans a year commit suicide.


melissa said...

I just want to say God Bless all of our heroes. Sorry for the loss of Joshua and any other falling hereos. It is such a sad thing. Why can't this be over, bring home our soldiers.

Gary Nichols said...

Gary Nichols

I am 59 years old and worked with Josh. He had Iraq, I had Vietnam.
We had long conversations about the troubles he had going through his head. He would ask how I dealt with the past, and like so many vets I'd say,"you just have to bury it". I guess you can call it denial. Some where along the like he got tagged with the nickname "Peaches". Don't asked me where it came from, maybe because he was so sweet to the girls, or maybe it was just his personality. Who knows? One thing for sure he hated it which made it even more fun when you asked to speak to Corporal Peaches. So tonight Peaches I will be going out and lift one for you, just like my buddies from Nam. I just wish I could have gotten through to you.

Gary Nichols Naval Intelligence

SPC Betsy Galbreath said...

I served with Josh in Iraq in the 339th. I didn't know him very well because we were in different platoons, but his death changed my life. I think about him every day.

Anonymous said...

I was with Josh in Iraq. He was a funny guy. I feel terrible what happened, but people need to know tht the conditions were not bad. We did not see any action. We were guards. I myself have trouble from being over there, but no one in our company had any action. We lived in Tents with A/C. I'm not taking anything away from him, because I know there are some of us from the 339th with troubles, but its not because of what we saw, or the "horrible conditions". Please know this is not a knock on Josh or anyone with PTSD. I myself have it. I just wanted to get that off my chest. Its the beginning of my healing.