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Parents of Iraq Veteran Receive Mistaken Notice from U.S. Gov't, Not Condolence Letter They Await From Obama
by via Democracy Now
Wednesday Nov 11th, 2009 7:35 AM
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 :The parents of U.S. Army Reserve Specialist Chancellor Keesling, an Iraq war veteran, received a letter yesterday from the VA asking that their son complete his "Post Deployment Adjustment." The only problem is, Chance Keesling had killed himself in Iraq nearly five months ago. We speak with Chance's dad, Greg Keesling, who's still waiting for the letter he's never received: condolences from President Obama. A longstanding US policy denies presidential condolence letters to the families of soldiers who have committed suicide.
The parents of U.S. Army Reserve Specialist Chancellor Keesling, an Iraq war veteran, received a letter yesterday from the VA asking that their son complete his “Post Deployment Adjustment.” The only problem is, Chance Keesling had killed himself in Iraq nearly five months ago.

We first brought you the story of Chance Keesling two weeks ago on Democracy Now. Chance was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he took his own life on June 19th. During his first deployment, he suffered mental health issues so severe he was placed on suicide watch. Despite this, he was called back to duty in May. He killed himself one month later.

Chance’s parents, Gregg and Jannett Keesling, have yet to receive a letter of condolence from President Obama. After making inquiries, they discovered this was not because of an oversight. Instead, it’s because of a longstanding US policy to deny presidential condolence letters to the families of soldiers who have committed suicide.

Gregg and Jannett Keesling joined us on Democracy Now to share their story the first time in a national broadcast. Jannett spoke of why she was calling on Obama to send them a condolence letter.

We are joined now by Gregg Keesling, Chance Keesling’s father. He joins us from Indianapolis, where he lives.

Gregg Keesling, Father of Chancellor Keesling, who took his own life on June 19th while serving his second deployment in Iraq. President Obama hasn’t written his parents a condolence letter because their son’s death was a suicide.

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We should demand a policy changeAnonomousFriday Aug 6th, 2010 3:25 PM
Respect for service already completed.Tracey WilliamsTuesday Dec 29th, 2009 10:47 AM