“I Came For Help, They Threw Me Out Like A Stray Dog”


These were the chilling words of Army Veteran Sgt. John Toombs in a video he made after his release from the VA and before committing suicide at the TVHS Alvin York Campus in Murfreesboro.

The incident, still under investigation by the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, was reported early Wednesday when Sgt. Toombs was found hanging in a vacant building on the York Campus. This was the day after his release according to his father.

Toombs was released from the VA just 2 days before Thanksgiving, he recorded the video on his phone shortly after.

The Official Statement from the VA:

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ Health System Director, Jennifer Vedral-Baron, released the following statement Monday afternoon:

A tragic incident occurred at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) Alvin C. York campus in Murfreesboro, TN. At approximately 6:40 a.m., Wednesday, November 23, 2016, personnel arriving for work discovered Mr. John Toombs, an Army Veteran, deceased in an apparent suicide.

This is a heart wrenching tragedy for everyone involved. Out of respect for the Veteran and his family, we are unable to speak further about the specifics of his care and benefits in accordance with his privacy rights under HIPAA. Management and staff of TVHS offer our sincere condolences, and our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Toombs’ family and friends.

Suicide is a tragic outcome and even one suicide is one too many. VA is committed to ensuring the safety of our Veterans, especially when they are in crisis. Veterans, Servicemembers, and their loved ones in crisis can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.


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