Letter to the Editor: Justin Crowley-Smilek tried to change his life

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Justin Crowley-Smilek

I have been Justin’s girlfriend for the past year and over this year Justin (Crowley-Smilek) has done everything he could do to change his life for the better. After having been in Afghanistan and Iraq in a combat zone for several years in special operations as a U.S. Army Ranger, Justin was honorably discharged for post traumatic stress disorder.

He came home and struggled daily with civilian life. Since the highly publicized incident at Front Street, Justin had consumed himself in AA, vets group, one-on-one therapy, and holistic treatments. No matter how hard he tried to fight the demons within him ultimately he lost.

The people who were close to him knew Justin as loving, thoughtful, entertaining, funny, and imaginative. I want people to see Justin as a man who served his county and came back broken. We expect our troops to go away and serve our country and do things that we as civilians could not imagine; they are shipped back, given medications and a good luck. Our troops deserve more than to end like this.

I hope this tragic event will shed light on an epidemic. Justin will be missed dearly not only for who he was but for the man he was trying so desperately to be. Please put the attached picture of him to replace the mug shot, the man in the mug shot is not Justin.

Thank you,
Destiny Cook

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