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VA says Marine who killed himself in their parking lot “fell through the cracks”

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The VA Inspector General’s Office released a report on a Minnesota Marine veteran who apparently “fell through the cracks” of the VA system- and died as a result.

The report documented the tragic demise of 33-year-old Justin Miller, who fatally shot himself in the Minneapolis VA Hospital parking lot in February. He was found in his vehicle by VA Police officers.

A musician by trade, Miller went to Iraq with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band in 2005, though he reportedly also pulled double duty as base security.

The death was devastating to his family- especially because Miller attempted to seek help.

“He was having a hard time, there were some stressors in his life, triggered this, he knew enough to go to VA for help,” said his father, Greg Miller.

According to KSTP, Miller called the Veteran’s Crisis Line, who suggested he go to the Minneapolis VA ER, where he would spend four days.

After being discharged, however, he took his own life.

Now, his family want his death to be the last one caused by alleged VA negligence.

“I hope Justin is the last one the VA leaves behind,” said Alissa Harrington, Miller’s sister. “If I can tell his story so no other sister or brother has to be there to put their sibling in the ground, that would be good, that would be enough.”

The Office of Inspector General suggested changes with the current care model after finding “…deficits in the care provided to the patient related to team communication, treatment and discharge planning, and accessing access to firearms.”

The incident was mentioned on Thursday by the US House Committee on Veterans Affairs, where demands for improved care were made.

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