I am sorry to hear that. I am sending Love your way and praying for those involved.
In Phoenix they have upped the security force to have its own police force on hand at all the VA buildings in the past year. When there is an issue they come up silently and confront the Vet in a calming tone. They have been trained to deal with our mentality, but I am sure if they thought there was an issue it would get nasty quick. I watched them one day ease a situation that could have been real bad for all involved.
"I have sniffed many butt's today. To celebrate I lick your face" Scurvey Dog Posts: 314 | From: Belize | Registered: Feb 2006
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Thank you felintuit, We don't know what happened. He was an AMAZING MARINE - a poster child, he was always running and excelling and was picked up on the Boost program to go to college and get commissioned. Shortly after his commission they diagnosed him with a rare cancer. I remember we actually thought he would plow right through the cancer to get to Iraq(War) - this was in 2003. But that was not to be. He was in fact very, very ill and had a problem with his bone marrow transplant. Because of his struggles with cancer - I would not have been surprised if he had committed sucide in a planned methodical way, leaving an note and instructions and taking care of personal affects beforehand - But this "incident" just leaves us all speechless. Unfortunately he did take firearms to the VA. It is thought he was all pissed off and went into the woods to "pop off a few rounds" and it esculated into this horrible tragedy. He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman who always had his guns. I don't know why he was shooting in the woods. He was not as some articles state right near the VA enterance he was adjacent to the road that leads into the VA - in woods - possibly not even on government property. We do not think it was sucide by cop because his beloved dogs were in the truck and many of his closest friends were law enforcement officers. To hell with people he would have made arrangements for those dogs!!! There is a witness that states he came out of the woods with a rifle and was cooperative. My husband said if his friend would have wanted to kill people at the VA he would have done it sniper style - not just strolled out of the woods with a rifle. My husband is crushed and wants to know was the cop just doing his job (acceptable) or if he was trigger happy? (not acceptable) Whatever the outcome. He should not have been popping off rounds in the woods but I don't think he needed to end up dead either. His family said he was angry because he had not recieved his meds from the VA in over 3 months. I know he suffered terrible pain and depression from the cancer. This is a stupid tragedy - as I drove home from therapy at the VA today I was thinking I would have much rather have had this fine Marine give his life on the battle field and I know he would have rather that too. This was just senseless. I thnk we need black bracelets for our sucided service members - like the POW bands - people need to know the other cost of war . . . for me it was not just losing my friend yesterday, but losing the earlier times - before the wars, before the illness when we were all young and healthy and so proud to serve our county. This is my third loss to sucide in 6 years.
I will end this by saying I am glad I am now in Florida, I don't think I can ever go back to Togus, Maine again and drive past where this happened to such a fine Marine, it was a very sad ending to what was such a promising start.
endure I am sorry it happened to someone you knew so well, the sad thing is that this is happening all across the nation and to many veterans are getting shot down rather than be talked down what happened to negotiating safe ends to stand offs was it even a stand off or was it a trigger happy officer? I doubt if we will ever know the govt has ways to make it just slip away before the inquiries get to deep 37 was to young one would think the fact he was an officer would have lent some credibility to his side of the mess despitehis pain and lack of meds for 3 months I would like to know why he went 3 months without his meds for his cancer and pain? I don't know any form of cancer that does not have pain involved in it I have seen to many people die of to many types of cancer
you and yours will be in my prayers
Posts: 1381 | From: South Carolina | Registered: Jul 2005
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They were messing around with his pain and sleep meds. He was in terrible pain. He had posted a sign on his property before going to the VA that stated his doctors were trying to kill him. It is rumored he put his gun down and was gesturing and yelling and one of the cops fired upon him. Because he was such and outstanding Marine with so many friends in Law enforcement around the country . . . I hope they will investigate in a fair handed way. But we knew him as the amazine Marine he was. It was so nice the news did a beautiful story on him. Please take a moment to watch this compassionate piece by a local news station. RIP James Popkwoski http://www.wabi.tv/news/12837/community-remembers-james-popkowski
What ((((Gale)))) sent me through email: May Our Lord God Comfort the Popkowski family and friends, and wrap His Loving Arms around James in Heaven. - Gale
My husband is trying to locate his DD214. Marines that knew him are being called far and wide and he will be buried with honors.
Posts: 484 | From: FLA | Registered: Feb 2007
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My husband who was Ski's best friend in the Marine Corps, and who has many friends in Law enforcement in the state of Maine, to include the State Police . . . said it DOES NOT LOOK GOOD FOR THE VA POLICE OFFICER. We will keep vigilant watch over this and I will keep this site updated. This is hard because I know other people involved to include James Doherty at the VA who is quoted in articles and whom I was on the commission with. Mr. Doherty a veteran himself is a kind and gentle man and I believe the truth will come out on his watch. I can't tell you how many times he stood up and said "The VA must take care of what the DOD has "broken" - we are not expendable like equiptment, we have to be taken care of" - Mr. Doherty said that many times on the record at our commission meetings DESPITE working for the VA himself. We as Veterans have to OWN our agency!
In HONOR OF JAMES POPKOWSKI I HAVE A RENEWED COMMITMENT TO STAYING IN THE FIGHT FOR VETERANS. Ski had a "rare" form of cancer . . . is it possible it was caused by this newly discovered retrovirus we all might have? Just as the HIV/aids retro virus causes "rare forms of cancer" - My sleeves are rolled up folks and I headed back in. I have to do this. SEMPER FI POPKOWSKI, SEMPER FI.
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