Dr. Thomas Simpatico, director of the division of public psychiatry at the University of Vermont, said the more families know about the disorder the better.
“If your father is all of a sudden flying off of the handle or breaking dishes, or whatever, and it happens to be after you said something, one might make the wrong conclusion that his behavior is the result of your activity,” he said.
Amy Miner said the last night of her husband’s life got off to an amazing start. They attended a wedding in Vermont with two of their four children, dancing and celebrating with good friends.
But afterward things went wrong. Kryn Miner became verbally abusive toward his wife on the ride home and began to hit himself. Prosecutors say he threatened to kill his family, assaulted his wife, and then threw a loaded handgun to their teen child who came to her aid.
“Do you want to play the gun game?” the sniper-qualified Miner asked the teen, according to authorities. The teen fired six shots when Miner pulled another gun from a bag. Prosecutors ruled the April 26 shooting justified and did not bring charges against the teen.
Miner joined the military in 1987, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. He became a paratrooper, ranger and sniper, jumping into Panama and serving in the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Not long before his death, his typical day was filled with anxiety, anger and depression, his wife wrote at the time. He felt lost, empty, worthless, and was suspicious; he felt guilty for being home while some of his comrades died or were overseas and for the distress he caused his family.
He had tried therapy at a Veterans Affairs facility but often had to wait for hours to see different counselors, Amy Miner said. He had stayed overnight at a VA hospital but doctors told him it wasn’t the place for him; he had gotten into another treatment program unrelated to the VA and learned how to cope with some of the depression and anxiety, but the program didn’t deal with PTSD.