Warning: The following footage contains graphic scenes
New Jersey police recently released the dashcam footage of a veteran’s violent suicide outside the Atlantic County Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Northfield.
Charles R. Ingram III of Egg Harbor Township died on March 19 after setting himself on fire outside the Department of Veteran Affairs clinic in New Jersey. Although such clinics are set up to serve veterans in locations away from hub hospitals and lack medical or psychiatric specialists, they offer “teleheatlh” conferences to veterans.
The authorities said the 51-year-old veteran was airlifted Saturday afternoon to the Temple Burn Center in Philadelphia, where he was declared dead later in the night.
Ingram reportedly doused himself in gasoline before igniting himself outside the clinic, which was closed at the time. A bystander attempted to extinguish the fire with blankets as firefighters arrived on the scene, but to no avail. The former U.S. Marine was survived by his two young children and wife.
The reason why Ingram decided to take his own life is unknown. However, self-immolation is usually associated with protest.
Although the media has been unusually quiet about Ingram’s suicide, other veterans have been very vocal about the neglect faced by their community.
The suicide rate of military veterans is 50 percent higher than non-military personnel — a fact widely known and addressed by the Veteran Affairs office just a few days prior to the incident.
“We know that every day, approximately 22 veterans take their lives, and that is too many,” said Veteran Affairs Undersecretary for Health David Shulkin. “While no one knows the subject of veteran suicide better than VA, we also realize that caring for our veterans is a shared responsibility. We all have an obligation to help veterans suffering from the invisible wounds of military service that lead them to think suicide is their only option.”
However, for the veteran in question, something clearly fell short on the mental care he needed.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters