Matthew Perkins TN PTSD Soldier

I visit Matthew Perkins often and he is another inmate that is particularly close to my heart. He is the soldier with PTSD who stabbed to death his girlfriend and her 2 small boys. While this is terrible, it isn’t the worst we've heard and it wasn’t the crimes that drew me to him.

He was part of the recruiting team that recruited my son, now an Army Infantryman, into the Army. It was only 7 miles from our home that Matthew committed his crimes.

His case is one that leaves people shaking their heads and searching for explanations in their own minds. Matthew was a decorated soldier, called "hero" by the same detectives that investigated his case. He saved lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many a soldier can thank him for their safe return to their own families.

One too many bombs, one too many deaths, one too many shots fired between the enemies eyes and something went sour in this soldier’s brain. The years of combat training and the hands-on warfare crept into his mind and devoured it like a cancer.

He had hallucinations, fought invisible Taliban in his backyard, and heard demons whispering to him. He told his doctors. What happened was a perfect example of too little too late.

Matthew received three life sentences. He took a plea bargain because he had no faith that a jury of his peers would give a shit about him. He knew they would not care how big a hero he was or how many times he asked for help.

No one helped Matthew. He slowly realized what he had done and now he lives with that day after day. How is this fair? What have we done to Matthew and other soldiers like him?

His last letter was hopeful. At least for me. Where others have been rambling, incoherent nightmare scenes, this one was readable. He talked about his family problems. He said hed been on lock down due to gang fights in other pods and that hed recently received an honor pod. Thats a pretty big deal. It means privacy and clealiness and a few tiny extras.

He mentioned that the biological father of the boys he killed ha contacted him. He wants closure, to understand. Matthew said he told him what he could as best he understood it.

We can all just hope for the best at this point.

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