Howard Berry is dying of cancer. He's stopped all treatment. His life seems less important after he lost his son, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Berry, to suicide in 2013 after battling post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tired of lip service from politicians and lack of publicity, Berry and several others climbed a Mount Adams, Ohio, hillside and planted 660 flags, one for each veteran taking his or her own life each month.
Joshua Berry came home from deployment and was stationed at Ft Hood days before now-convicted gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was to kill 13 soldiers and wound 32 others on base. Joshua was shot at and separated his shoulder while locking down a building and telling people to take cover. That event, plus his deployments caused severe PTSD and he sought help at the VA mental health center. But the PTSD treatment didn't work. And he took his life in despair.
"These vets are so damaged and we just spit them out into the private sector," Berry said. "And they fall through the cracks because there are so many. This has to stop and if it takes a whole hillside of flags to get people to do something then so be it."
Discussions are already underway for more flag displays around Cincinnati and in New Jersey, Berry said.