Written by: Yosef Hershkop
There’s a raging debate in the media whether the ex-soldier who killed American sniper Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield had PTSD aka post-traumatic stress disorder or just used it as an excuse at his trial. The resurgent coverage on this extremely sensitive and misunderstood illness brought back memories of the first time I was close to someone who suffered from PTSD and its ultimate tragic consequences.
Five years ago while attending Morristown Yeshiva which is also host to a ‘Bal Teshuva’ program. I was privileged to meet and become close with an amazing individual, David Luna. David had just finished serving 7 plus years in an elite unit within the U.S Marine corps. He had served 2 tours of combat in Iraq plus many other missions he wasn’t at liberty to discuss even with his closest friends and family.
While in Yeshiva, David would regularly learn 14 hours plus daily and still have time to voluntarily train a group of Yeshiva students including myself in the most important self-defense techniques, he trained us even though continuing to involve himself in such activities was the furthest thing on his agenda, he worked with us because he felt very strongly that all Jews and especially Chabad Yeshiva students who travel to all kinds of dangerous places need to be prepared for all kinds of bad situations.
During his 2nd year at Yeshiva on an out of state trip to visit family, David had a bad episode which triggered his PTSD to tragic consequences, David died leaving his family and group of close friends the privilege of remembering this American Jewish hero’s name and legacy.
Myself with the assistance of Rabbi Yisroel Hahn of Spokane Washington, the Rabbi who helped guide David on his return to Judaism & who ultimately arranged his burial including the high costs involved. We’ve decided to honor David’s memory by ordering a new large bookcase with lots of holy books to be dedicated in honor of the 5th anniversary of David’s passing.
We’ve so far collected just under 25% of the $2000 cost to the book case, books can be sponsored at $20 each. We hope you will consider donating to this very special and one time fundraiser. This is a great opportunity to honor an otherwise anonymous hero. To donate please click on this link https://jewishspokanecom.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2811415/jewish/Credit-Card-Donation/lang/en