“There is a famous quote that says “you don’t know what you don’t know”. I was twenty-two years old when my husband, Sgt. Jeremy Hedrick, died by suicide. He had returned home just six months prior from a deployment in Afghanistan. When I picked him up at that homecoming celebration I thought the war was behind us, but for him…he never left.
My husband was a Marine. He was highly trained. He was prepared to go. But there was a definite lack of training for the families. There were no briefings on how to reintegrate. There was no information about what to expect. It was not until years after my husband’s death that I began to learn so much more about mental health, especially within our military. Jeremy was displaying signs that he was suffering emotionally. He was engaging in risky behavior by drinking too much. He was withdrawing and isolating himself. He was also uncharacteristically agitated. I cannot help but wonder “what if I had known to look for these signs”? Maybe if I had, my husband would still be with us. Maybe if we focus on training the next generation to Know the Five Signs then we will not have a generation of children without parents, wives without husbands, parents without sons, brothers without sisters. Sharing The Campaign to Change Direction’s Five Signs will prevent others from feeling such pain.
Sergeant Jeremy L. Hedrick, 24, formerly of High Point, departed from this life on Tuesday, November 10, 2009. He entered into the Marine Corps in 2005 and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated from High Point Central High School and attended GTCC for two years. He was in the Marine ROTC progr
am while in high school and was a member of the Vocational Honor Society. He was an Eagle Scout with Troop 1 and served as their Troop Leader for 3 years. He achieved his Brown Belt in Karate, loved horses, the great outdoors, country music, metal working and fishing. Jeremy was a devoted and loving husband and father. He was an all-around fine young man, as well as a Marine, who will be missed by all who knew and loved him.