Ardmore, OK, US
PVT, 1/21 FA C Company, 1st CAV
7/1/2003, Granbury, USA
My name is Lisa Parris, I currently live in rural Montana. I lost my only child, my son Jesse Bartel, age 20, July 1, 2003. He was 17 when he enlisted right out of high school, induction date 9-11-2000. He did his basic training at Ft. Knox, AIT at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and was stationed at Ft. Hood for his MOS D 52 Generator Mechanic, and some radar, 1/21 C Battery, Field Artillery,1st Cavalry Division. He was diagnosed as bi-polar, mismedicated, and took his life by hanging July 1, 2003, stateside. Although he had been on suicide watch the week before, the family never knew, the Army kept us shut out.
My son was born March 28, 1983 at 12:46 a.m. in Ardmore, Ok. He was a beautiful child inside and out. He was a good kid, a great young man with a bright future. He was loving, caring, compassionate, a good friend, and with his love or children, especially special needs, he would have been a great father when that time came.
He loved to play football, Tae Kwon Do, work on cars or motorcycles with his step dad, physical things. He loved his grandparents very much, he actually lived with them during his high school days-they had better school district and I was working many hours and my husband (Viet Nam Vet combat, disabled, decorated) was having multiple surgeries due to injuries sustained during his service. I was unable to keep everything in order, and the school district we lived in was riddled with gangs and drugs. It was not a good situation. It was a very difficult decision to let him go, but it was best for him. We remained very close and he was happy he could go to a school without problems. He was also very happy to spend time with his grandparents.
He wanted a college education, he had a football scholarship but lost it when he injured his knee and ankle, and we couldn’t afford his education. He admired his step dad, he was 101st, SF, MI, and thought that would be a good way to do 2 things at once-serve his country and earn a college education. He had so many plans for after college, and we hoped he would settle down by 28 or so and make a family. He never married (he was only 20!), therefore left no children of his own, no grandchildren for us. He was like a big brother to all his cousins, he loved them so much. They were devastated when he passed, they were young at the time.
I miss my son more than words can describe. My husband and I have been married 19 years, and we have holes in our hearts, a void that can not be fixed. It’s been almost 7 years, however found no help until last year with TAPS. It has actually reopened wounds I thought were buried deep enough. There were so many things that could have been done differently and it is our belief he would not have passed away in that manner. God may have called him Home, we just weren’t done with him yet.