By chance I noted this story from the Pentagon News Service after a day devoted to suicide intervention in the Pastoral Counselling Course I’m taking here in Ottawa. I found it heartbreaking but also a moving example of how one military wife is trying to turn the tragedy of her husband’s suicide to the good. MP+

Fri, 11 Jun 2010
Survivor Shares Story to Combat Troop Suicides
By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2010 – Kim Ruocco hung up the phone with her husband, relieved he had finally agreed to seek help for his increasingly severe bouts of depression.

Marine Corps Maj. John Ruocco poses for a picture with his wife, Kim, and children, Joey, right, and Billy, in November 2004. The major committed suicide in 2005 after a long battle with depression. His wife has devoted herself to suicide prevention and assisting survivors. Courtesy photo

Still, she had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. She decided to catch a red eye flight from Massachusetts to California, where her husband’s reserve unit was located, so she could be with him when he sought help.
After Ruocco landed, she called the hospital. He wasn’t there. She called his office. He hadn’t shown up. A sinking feeling set in. Ruocco rented a car and raced over to the hotel where her husband had been staying. When she arrived, several Marines were walking out of his hotel room.

The Marines were crying.

“I didn’t have to ask — I knew,” she said. Her 40-year-old husband, Marine Corps Maj. John Ruocco, an accomplished AH-1 Cobra helicopter pilot and father of two, had hung himself just hours after his conversation with his wife.

Read the whole story here.