That this is happening to enough soldiers that it’s even necessary:
(CBS News) NEW YORK – Most families who lose a loved one in the war zones receive a letter of condolence from the President of the United States. But there are a few who do not receive this honor. It’s long standing policy – going back many years – that troops who commit suicide in war do not get the president’s acknowledgment.
The CBS Evening News first reported on this last week, and tonight we have learned the White House is changing the policy. CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano brings us up to date with the father who led the fight to change the rules.
“I had doubts – many, many doubts,” Gregg Keesling said. “We are very pleased.”
Last week, Keesling got the call he’d waited nearly two years to receive from the White House.
He learned his family’s long wait for acknowledgement from the commander-in-chief was almost over.
“My oldest son came down and we had a hug and it was very emotional,” Keesling said. “It was a very good moment that this has been worth it.”
Since the suicide of his son, 25-year-old Army Specialist Chance Keesling, in Iraq, Gregg and his wife Jannett, have fought to receive a condolence letter. They’ve written to the president, and asked their local congressmen for help.
Speaking of his son, Keesling said, “He was a good soldier and that’s the part that I want to know — that the country appreciates that he fought he did everything that he was asked to do. It didn’t turn out well for him, but at least this country could write a simple letter and that president represents our country and just say thank you for our son’s service.”
Keesling’s now been told he’ll receive some kind of recognition from the White House – though not an official presidential condolence letter – in memory of his son.