Specialist Timothy Noble Bowman, of Forreston, Illinois, beloved son of Mike and Kim Bowman.
From the father of Specialist Timothy Bowman:
Tim was a Specialist in the Illinois National Guard from the Bravo Troop, 106th Cav out of Dixon, Illinois. He served in Iraq under the Foxtrot 202/ADA guard unit from Galva, Illinois, when they combined Galva, Dixon and Kewanee units to form Foxtrot and activate for duty in Iraq. F202 started their deployment in March of 2004 at Camp Victory at the Baghdad Airport. They were responsible for patrolling and securing the roads around Baghdad for 9 months, including 4 months on Route Irish, the road to the airport from the green zone. Or as it has been called so many times, “The most dangerous Road in the World”. They patrolled this road without a single casualty, something that no other unit has or had been able to do. Their tour ended at Tarmiya, Iraq when they took a local police station back from the insurgents and then operated it with the local police until they returned in March of 2005.
My son was a fun loving, life of the party type of person when he left for Iraq. When he returned he had deep mental and emotional scars that finally put him into depression that drove him to end his own life with a handgun on Thanksgiving day. He was so tormented by the things that he had been ordered to do while on duty. We tried to get him to talk about his problems but all we would get was “it’s alright, I’m OK, or I can deal with it”. When I asked him to seek counseling he would always tell me “they won’t understand, they haven’t been there”. Tim told me that when Foxtrot was at Ft Polk for demob they went through mental and physical evaluations.
The ghosts and demons of what they had been asked to do would not leave him alone. He suffered from PTSD and depression and we never even saw it. Now that he is gone we have so many signs that were there but we were not trained to know what they were telling us. We will forever miss our soldier, our fireman, our hero, our son.
My goal now is to make sure that no other family has to endure what we are going through right now. The heartache and pain that goes with losing a son is terrible, to lose a son that didn’t have to die is almost unbearable. He survived the war, and lost the battle with his conscience. My son’s battle is now over, mine is just beginning.
We will forever miss our soldier, our fireman, our hero, our son. Our pain will last forever.
SPC Timothy Noble Bowman lost his battle with PTS, November 24, 2005, in Forreston, Illinois. He was 23 years old.