Veteranclaims’s Blog

December 4, 2009

Iraq war changed soldier accused in slayings according to wife

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 12:12 am

Full Article at: Wife: Iraq war changed soldier accused in slayings

By MARY ESCH (AP) – 37 minutes ago

ALBANY, N.Y. — “Relatives of a Fort Drum soldier accused of stabbing his two Army buddies to death said Thursday that he told them he saw his best friend “blown to pieces” in Iraq and came back a changed man: abusive, violent, sleepless, edgy and plagued by flashbacks.

Spc. Joshua Hunter, a military policeman, was expected to be arraigned on second-degree murder charges Friday morning, three days after the bodies of Waide James, 20, and Diego Valbuena, 23, were found in their apartment just outside Fort Drum, about 140 miles northwest of Albany. Hunter and the two victims served in Iraq at the same time in the same battalion.

They all were based at the wind-swept Army post near the Canadian border, home of the much-deployed 10th Mountain Division, and shared an off-base apartment.

Hunter’s wife, Emily Hunter, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that her husband was outgoing before he went to war, but when he returned stateside, he was an emotional wreck.

“He wasn’t in any good mental shape at all,” Emily Hunter said. “I tried to get him to go to therapy. They prescribed him medicine and stuff, but it just wasn’t enough.”

She said he saw a therapist at Fort Drum because of his volatile emotions and violent outbursts.

“He’d just burst into tears; spouts of anger or sadness,” she said. “There’d be one emotion but it would be really deep, just extremely happy or extremely sad. His emotions were always on the rocks.”

“He’d take his rage out on the wall, or throw something,” she said.

While he wasn’t violent toward his buddies, he was toward her, she said, adding that she went to the hospital a couple of times for treatment of an injured arm and thumb.”

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