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My older brother, Bill, had lit himself on fire in front of the Veteran’s Hospital where he was being treated for a damaged knee sustained when parachuting in Panama during our “War on Drugs.” He was also being treated for alcoholism, and diagnosed with PTSD.

For treatment, the VA mailed him 1,000 pills of Vicodin (actually generic Hydrocodone) each month, whether he finished the previous prescription or not. My brother Steve had called the VA and asked them to stop giving Bill the drugs. Already troubled, Bill crashed.

Steve, who had once studied to be an actuary, later noted, “Someone in the military probably ran the numbers and figured out it was cheaper to send the drugs so these guys overdose or kill themselves.”

Can you find love after such a terrible loss?

[I]n our short time, he had experienced me broken in almost every possible way, and it hadn’t dissuaded him.

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