Another young veteran has taken his own life in Phoenix, AZ. Luis Mariscal Munoz had been seeing a therapist at the VA hospital in the month prior to his suicide, but the medical professionals involved failed to flag him for possible in-patient admittance despite having noted that he was at serious risk of self-harm. Munoz left his wife a note telling her that it was not her fault and that she should feel no guilt. He hopped in his truck, drove to a local shooting range, put a 9 mm pistol to his head and he pulled the trigger. Luis was 29 years old.
The Phoenix VA has been front-and-center of the national scandals in the Veterans Administration. In the last few weeks a series of suicides have taken place in Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee and several other States. In most of these cases, VA staff failed to intercede though red flags had been raised.
Source: The Phoenix VA Still Has Problems With Suicidal Veterans — Fatal Problems
Luis Mariscal Munoz called the Phoenix VA Health Care System to say he wouldn’t be coming in to work. He drove to a shooting range at the Table Mesa Recreation Area off Interstate 17 and parked. At about 6:30 p.m., having walked about 70 feet from the car, he put a borrowed nine-millimeter handgun to his head and pulled the trigger.
An hour later, Luis’ wife, Lisa Mariscal, arrived at the West Phoenix home the couple shared with their two dogs. Luis had texted her: something about how he was sorry and to read the note he’d left for her. She’d tried to call and text him back, but there was no reply.
Lisa knew that for the past month, her husband had been attending weekly therapy appointments at the VA on Indian School Road, where he worked as a medical laboratory technologist. She was aware that a psychiatrist there had prescribed an antidepressant. But Luis had told her he was just suffering from anxiety.
Then she read the note.
“Please do not feel guilt about my decision,” he had written. “I would like you to feel happy or relieved that I am no longer suffering. You never did anything wrong. No one could have changed my mind.”