Army Specialist Joshua Lee Omvig, born November of 1983, in Gillette, Wyoming, beloved son of Randy and Ellen Omvig; beloved brother of Rachel.
SPC Omvig served an eleven-month tour of duty in northern Iraq with the 339th Military Police Company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Omvig would return from Iraq in November 2005, less than one week before Thanksgiving. While his family celebrated the holiday, Josh, as he was known, kept his thoughts on his experience overseas to himself. He soon began to show signs of depression, suffering from nightmares and flashbacks, and he ultimately confided in his family he believed he had post-traumatic stress disorder. While his family encouraged him to seek help, Josh never sought professional help or counseling because he worried in doing so it would damage his military career.
SPC Joshua Lee Omvig lost his battle with PTS, December 22, 2005, at his home in Iowa. He was 22 years old.
Although Specialist Joshua Omvig is only one of many veterans who have experienced post-traumatic stress and mental health issues from their time spent in a combat zone, Josh would become the face behind a legislative attempt to address the growing epidemic of suicide among veterans.
On November 6, 2007, President Bush signed the ‘Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act’ into law. This law was to provide improved screening and treatment for at-risk veterans. The bill required mental health training for Veterans Administration staff, screen suicide risk factors for veterans who receive VA care, refer at-risk veterans for counseling and designate a suicide prevention counselor at each VA medical facility.