A War veteran was found dead outside of a Veterans Affairs Hospital emergency room entrance. The man was a 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran. Reports indicate that he was found with a gun in his hand and a gunshot wound on the right side of his head.
Police have been led to believe that the death was indeed a suicide.
Officials have not released the veteran's name.
The veteran was found lying on the grass by a passerby who quickly notified the VA police.
Bart Quick is the VA's acting public affairs officer. The Veterans Affairs hospital was located in Des Moines, Iowa.
Quick announced that although it is unclear if the man was an active patient, he was indeed a veteran.
"We take any death of a veteran very seriously," Quick said. "It does affect us and makes us really consider the work that we do."
This fallen veteran is the SECOND veteran to have committed suicide directly outside of a VA hospital in the last few weeks.
Just a few weeks ago Peter A. Kaisen killed himself in the parking lot of the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He had previously had been a patient at the VA hospital located in Long Island. New York.
Reports say that Kaisen was alone when he shot himself outside of Building 92, which was a nursing home at the hospital.
Hours before committing suicide, Kaisen ran into the hospital's emergency asking for help. He pleaded for a mental health professional to help him. However instead of anyone directing Kaisen to the hospitals 24/7 mental health building, they simply told Kaisen that there was not a psychologist present in the emergency room. He was shut down and turned away.
Shortly after he stepped into the hospital's parking lot and took his own life.
One of the workers at the hospital came forward and shared,
"Someone dropped the ball...They should not have turned him away."
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