At Jedadiah Zillmer’s funeral, folks who shared stories said that what happened was not planned by him, and that he was a loving and giving individual who wanted to draw attention to the lack of help veterans are experiencing in the United States. The pastor who led the funeral was clearly ignorant about emotional and mental illness as he talked about Jed betraying our love and abandoning loved ones.
This, I believe, just added to their pain. When someone is so mentally and emotionally tortured to do actions that lead to their own death, it isn’t about how much they love family or about abandonment, it is about mental pain so overwhelming that life is no longer worth living.
Jed was a happily married newlywed and worked and attended school at Spokane Falls Community College after serving as a U.S. Army cavalry soldier. He lost part of his foot in Afghanistan from the same bullet that paralyzed his friend. He had received an honorable discharge.
Jed led a chase by police that ended with him holding a gun to his neck and policemen shooting him multiple times. As a society, we have gravely failed another young man and his family.