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Parents Of Marine Found Dead Seek PTSD Awareness

Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: May 29, 2013 at 05:38 PM

Becky and Kevin Hall addressed the media in front of the Deep Creek home where their son, Eric, was living when he disappeared. The Halls and Eric's brother, Justin, came out at 12:20 p.m. to speak in front of eight television crews and other media.

Kevin Hall talked about his son's injury in Iraq, which required 17 to 20 surgeries, noting that, regardless of their opinion on the war, "it seems like the American people is in favor of the warriors."

"Being his advocate, I tried to do the best that I could do."

Eric Hall

"He was on pain medication for a long time."

"Supposedly when the mind-changing, altering drugs are not there, the bad dreams start to come back."

Kevin Hall talked about a vehicle wreck Eric caused in Indiana when he hallucinated a road block in front of the jeep he was driving.

"I'm almost positive now that there was several other episodes that I'm not aware of.

"It would come and go. He would have real good days. He would have bad days.

"He was hurt in Fallujah. He was carried off the battlefield."

Kevin related how Eric Hall passed through hospitals in Iraq and Germany before returning to the United States.

"PTSD is real. Believe me. Everybody believe me.

"The motorcycle was still running, by the way. It was not wrecked."

Kevin Hall said he thinks his son stopped the motorcycle to smoke a cigarette, and that the cigarette caused a brushfire that Eric tried to escape by crawling into the culvert, where the 24-year-old succumbed to smoke inhalation. Kevin Hall thinks that water pushed his son's body about 60 yards into the culvert, where Eric's Hall remains were found.

"He was overwhelmed by smoke in that pipe.

"When we found a body, we pretty much knew it was him."

To other parents of soldiers returning from Iraq: "Even though your child didn't get hurt, he's traumatized.

"We understand now that the pain medication he was on was probably blocking his clear thoughts.

"As the chemicals in the medicine wore off, these dreams started to come into play."

Becky Hall said: "Our hope is that with the tragedy we've gone through with out son, we'll be able to change things.

"VA programs need to be stepped up."

"Not once did anyone every say anything about PTSD," Kevin Hall said.

"Eric was not knocked out during the explosion.

"He remembers everything, and that just kept coming back to haunt him, and we think in some ways he even tried to hide it from us.

"He would have talked about it with people who were there.

"We do need to raise awareness of PTSD."

Eric "was pretty tough. I have a concern for the reserves that are over there fighting now.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we really want to let you know that for three years off and on we thought we had a perfectly normal son and we didn't."

Becky Hall said: "Charles Shaughnessy is probably a Godsend.

"He made the 60-yard crawl on his stomach with no room to turn around."

Kevin Hall said Eric "would have been a career Marine."

"He like that each person [in the U.S. Marines] was treated equal.

"It was his tenacity. He always played with the bigger kids.

"He was the peewee out there, give him the tenacity to compete."

"At some point down the road, we're going to check into having him buried in Arlington," Becky Hall said.

The family asked that donations be sent to the Semper Fi Fund.

Kevin Hall told the media that "We do not want this death to go for tragedy, tragic as it is, we want this to be known.

"People, this is real, this PTSD is real. ... For anybody that has a loved one over there, be conscious of that."

"We want to take this to Washington. We want something done," Becky Hall said.

The Charlotte County Medical Examiner's office officially identified the body found Sunday in Deep Creek as that of missing Iraq war veteran Eric Hall, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

The cause of death had not been determined. A detective informed the family this morning of the medical examiner's findings, the release said.

Hall, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, went missing Super Bowl Sunday after a video game triggered a flashback, family members said.

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