Marines' 'Poster Boy' for Suicide Prevention Kills Self

Clay Hunt did 'everything right,' still couldn't be saved

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 9, 2011 5:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – When Clay Hunt killed himself at his Houston apartment last week, he became exactly the sort of grim military statistic he'd battled so hard against. The 28-year-old had faced survivor's guilt and battlefield trauma head on, starring in a lauded public service ad campaign that urged his comrades to get help. But ultimately, the deaths of his comrades weighed too heavily on him. "When that last one in Afghanistan went down, it just undid him," his mom tells the Houston Chronicle.

"He tried everything," said his best friend Jake Wood, a fellow Marine. "He tried the medication, he tried (humanitarian) service, he tried moving back closer to family. He tried everything under the sun, and he was fully self-aware." The head of the nonprofit that sponsored Hunt's ad agrees. "This was a guy who was doing all the right things, and we lost him," he says. "If it can happen to Clay, then it can happen to anyone."

A Texas Marine killed himself last week, despite being a so-called poster boy for suicide prevention.
A Texas Marine killed himself last week, despite being a so-called "poster boy for suicide prevention."   (Getty Images)
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