It is simply perfect reporting: Finnegan interviews the veteran's widow, the brothers' parents and other loved ones, as well as marine buddies -- all this within 3 months of their deaths. He perfectly captures the veteran's charm and wit, and the depth of love his wife had for him; as well as the clinical experience of PTSD and the men's path towards self-destruction.
There are just some wrenching quotes. A sampling:
He and Kellee planned another family weekend, but Travis didn’t show up. Kellee was furious. When he finally arrived, on Sunday evening, he was drunk. She wouldn’t let him in the house, or allow him to see the girls. Instead, they sat together on the front porch and talked for half an hour. Her regrets from that night are ferocious. “If I had just brought him inside,” she said. “Just taken him upstairs and made love to him, or tried to. Just told him it would be O.K., played that role.” She never saw him again.
Nancy [the mother] recalled a letter Travis had sent from Iraq to be read at his younger sister’s wedding. “It said, ‘You may not be able to see me, but I’m there.’ I thought of that when we saw him so messed up. We could see him, but he wasn’t there. It just wasn’t him.” Douglas said, “None of us had ever seen him like that. It was like he was in a trance. He didn’t sound like himself. He was flatlining, like he had no personality. He had lost all that stuff of his, that love of trying to fool people. He said, ‘Dad, I think I’m very sick.’
Please, read this article. It'll mess you up right.
Another interesting and disturbing detail: the Pink Floyd cd "The Wall," about suicide and trauma, was found in the car in which the men killed themselves. Trauma breeds trauma: I wonder how Roger Waters will cope with this impact of his music?