Death of a soldier
There is a sad end to report on a story that first appeared in The Examiner in 2009. Marcus Leday, who graduated from West Brook High School in Beaumont in 2005, has taken his own life. He had enlisted in the Army after graduation, becoming part of the storied First Division – the Big Red One. Marcus was a mechanic, servicing combat tanks and trucks in the deserts of Iraq. He was stationed at a base near Tikrit, about 100 miles north of Baghdad, Tikrit was the birthplace of Saddam Hussein and the site of pitched fighting throughout the war. Marcus developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was soon returned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Riley in Kansas and later discharged from the Army. The focus of our story was attempts by his mother, Marsha Bias, to get help for son. Finally, the VA hospital in Houston agreed to come get him if she would have him picked up on a mental health warrant. They did and it seemed like life had reached some degree of normalcy, but the demons remained. This week, Marcus shot himself in his room at home. The family didn’t even know he had a gun. Bias is a single mother with two children who works at American Habilitation Services assisting the disabled. A fund to help the family with funeral expenses has been set up at Capital One Bank, 3940 Dowlen in Beaumont, account #111901014. Funeral arrangements are pending.