Authorities found the body of who they believe to be Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24 year old United States Veteran, at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State today. The former veteran was found face-down in the snow without any I.D. Benjamin Barnes is suspected of shooting and killing a 34-year-old female park ranger, Margaret Anderson, on Sunday morning…New Year’s Eve.
“He was wearing T-shirt, a pair of jeans and one tennis shoe. That was it,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer, according to The Associated Press.
Anyone looking for triggers to this horrible incident need look no further than the recent events in the life of Benjamin Barnes. ABC News reported that, “Barnes is a military veteran who has a history of criminal violence, including threatening the mother of his child with guns during a bitter custody battle, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.”
Why? That’s it? That’s all there is to this story? I think not.
Benjamin Barnes was an Iraq War Veteran who was involved in a severe custody battle with his ex-wife in the summer of 2011. PTSD should be ringing the bells of anyone looking for a why in this senseless killing, and everyone around him asking themselves how they failed to notice the signs.
The photo, posted by ABC News and many others, was obviously chosen to depict Benjamin Colton Barnes as some sort of gun-toting animal from the wild. These are not the facts of his life, they cannot be! There is more to this young man’s story that define him than the sad act that ended not only his own life, but also the suspected lives of 5 others; including the mother of two young children.
My own son, a Marine Corps veteran, is covered in similarly large tatoos. He is also now studying to become a Catholic Priest. My message to the world (in this blog post) is to ask why nobody noticed the signs of what had to be a fairly severe PTSD disorder compounded by the stress of recent events in his life.
Even if they find drugs in this young former soldier’s body, that will only strengthen my theory. I pray to God every day that more people pay attention to the signs of PTSD, so just in case you’ve missed them in any of my previous blog posts, please learn about them >>HERE
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