(Linday Wise, Houston Chronicle)
Timothy Swenson was 6 years old when his father, a soldier, died by suicide at Fort Hood. Thinking to spare the little boy, his mother told him that Daddy had died of a heart attack.
But Timothy’s grandparents, who had been taking care of him at their home in Humble, wanted to be as open as possible. They told him the truth. “He didn’t believe us,” said his grandmother, Judi Swenson. “He said, ‘Nobody was in the apartment when he died. Nobody knows. I know he didn’t commit suicide.’ ”
It took Timothy years to come to terms with how his father died. Now 13 and a student at Timberwood Middle School, he wants to help other grieving military kids heal.
“Let your feelings out. And just, like, don’t hide it,” Timothy advises. “Don’t keep it to yourself.”
For adults, he has this message: “Suicide is not the answer.”
Timothy’s father, Spc. David Paul Swenson Jr., served in the U.S. Army and Texas Army National Guard. He is among a record number of Guard members, reservists and active-duty service members who have killed themselves in the decade since the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Their children, like Timothy, grow up grappling with a complicated legacy of patriotism and pain.
“Timmy was extremely close to his daddy,” Judi said. “His daddy was his hero.”
(Read the full story at the Houston Chronicle)
- Concerns, But Not Outright Opposition, Mount for HISD Bond (Houston Chronicle)
- Houston Area Leads State in Child Drownings (KPRC 2 News)
- Brazoria Co. Investigators Find Obstacles in Battle Against ‘Bath Salts’ (KHOU 11 News)
- Galveston Housing Director Resigns (Galveston Daily News)
- Last Person Guilty in Sex-Trafficking Sentenced (Houston Chronicle)
- Providing Health Care, One Carrot at a Time (Houston Chronicle)
- UTMB-Galveston Adds Three New Master’s Programs (Galveston Daily News)
- EPA Wins Court Test on Right to Limit Greenhouse Gases (Houston Chronicle)
STATE, NATION & BEYOND:
- Troubled Cancer Institute Remapping its Future (Houston Chronicle)
- Charter Schools, Parents to File School-Finance Suit (Texas Tribune)
- Decision on Juvenile Sentences Stirs Questions in Texas (Texas Tribune)
- Payouts to Jobless Troops Exiting Military Approach $1B (USA Today)
- Senate Deal Would Freeze Student-Loan Rates for Year (Washington Post)
- Seventy Dead, 200,000 Stranded in Bangladesh Floods (AlertNet/Reuters)