Decorated combat vet who died highlights pandemic's effect on mental health
Washington — Rory Hamill was a father of three and a decorated combat veteran in the Marines. Hamill lost his life not at war — but in a growing mental health crisis that's being made worse by the deadliest public health crisis in a century. Hamill was one of many veterans who've been suffering.
"He was a hero to many people," Kristal Franciose said of her ex-husband, Marine Corporal Rory Hamill. A blast from an IED in Afghanistan in 2011 robbed him of his right leg. Hamill had a hard road home.
"A lot of the thoughts going through my head were, 'Why didn't I die?' What am I going to do now with my life?'" He told "60 Minutes" in 2015.
But in the last few years, Hamill got his life back, studying psychology and mentoring other veterans.
"So when the lockdown did happen, it stripped him from everything he knew," Franciose told CBS News. "He couldn't do his public speaking. He couldn't go to school, to his outlet away from his own mind."
In April, Hamill wrote about the pandemic on his Instagram, saying, "My own personal hell has been reignited." Two weeks later, Rory was nowhere to be found.
"One of his friends was actually calling me. They went and did a wellness check and that's when they found him," Franciose explained.
As the nation passed 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, Rory Hamill's name was not on that list, but Franciose is sure that isolation contributed ...
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