Just days after a former Navy reservist opens fire on the Washington Navy Yard, his mother releases an apology. She, too, has no idea why Aaron Alexis went on the shooting rampage, but officials say he suffered from several mental health problems. YNN's Innae Park spoke with those who have seen similar pain and are issuing a call.
UNITED STATES -- A mother mourning over her son's gruesome legacy: The murder of 12 at the Washington Navy Yard Monday.
In part, Cathleen Alexis’ apology said, “I don't know why he did what he did and I will never be able to ask him why. Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone and for that I am glad.”
Aaron Alexis' motive is still a mystery. However, there are signs of a mind that needed healing.
Alexis' father once said his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress (PTS), triggered by 9/11. Officials confirm the 34-year-old suffered from serious mental health problems.
However, he isn't the only one. Melissa Spicer started Clear Path for Veterans to lift up veterans in need, both physically and mentally.
“No matter if you're a veteran or not, there's a stigma with having mental health issues,” said Spicer.
She and others say it's not just the individual's responsibility, but the burden is on all of us to help with the healing.
“The community has to be there and able and ready to support,” she emphasized.
Earl Fontenot is the operations manager for Clear Path for Veterans and he knows better than anyone.
“When I left Fort Drum, I went back home to Colorado and for two years, I was a mess. I drank a lot, I dropped out of school,” said the veteran. “In the military, it was never a solo process, so it shouldn't be when we get out either.”
He urged, “Give us a hand up, not a hand out and give us a chance to show we can be a productive member.”
Spicer said, “PTS, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), if you will, can be managed. And that's the hopeful message that we as a community must embrace.”
For more information on Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango, visit clearpathforvets.com.