Soldier made famous by picture dies

July 2, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
He gained fame as an Army medic after a photo of him carrying a wounded Iraqi child circulated around the world. Now he's dead.

Investigators say 31-year-old Joseph Dwyer died Saturday from an apparent overdose in his Moore County home.

His parents say the Army could have done more to help their son who suffered from post traumatic stress.

"He just couldn't get over the war," Maureen Dwyer said. "He just couldn't do it. Just wasn't Joseph. Joseph never came home."

Maureen is Joseph's mother.

She and Patrick Dwyer, Joseph's father, spent the past five years trying to get help for their son. Private First Class Joseph Dwyer became an instant celebrity when his picture landed on the cover of magazines around the world.

The young soldier was an Army medic helping a wound Iraqi child. Little did his parents know, their son was developing some psychological wounds of his own.

"His Dust-Off, which makes him sleep like five minutes, it used to last longer," his father explained. "And that was his calming medicine and prescription medicine. He had plenty of that."

While their son's death brings closure to his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, the Dwyers know there are hundreds of families with soldiers returning from war whose fight is just beginning.


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