Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

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Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Zantar on Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:08 pm

The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 23, 2018 3:07PM EDT

SPRINGHILL, N.S. -- A former Canadian soldier returned from multiple tours in Afghanistan psychologically "broken" and struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, friends and family said Friday after his body was found with the remains of a woman who had been living with him in a rural Nova Scotia home.

Jason Hill of North Bay, Ont., said he grew up with Marc J. Poulin and that his childhood friend and former neighbour had told him after returning from three infantry tours in Afghanistan that he was traumatized by deaths and violence he witnessed overseas, which returned to him in nightmares.

Hill said the other person who died, Jennifer Lynne Semenec, was also from North Bay and had been living with Poulin for a relatively short period of time. He said they had moved to the Nova Scotia town together.

The RCMP said the bodies of the 42-year-old man and 45-year-old woman were recovered from the small house on a dead end street in Springhill following a "suspicious fire" at the residence Tuesday. Police have not released the causes of death, but say they are not looking for any suspects.

Hill said before Poulin served overseas he was constantly smiling and friendly, but by 2010 after his last tour of duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan, he was withdrawn and posted on social media about his trauma.

"He was openly sharing his struggles dealing with PTSD on Facebook and how the system wasn't open to him," recalled Hill, 42.

"We knew he came back broken."

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Forces said Poulin was a master corporal who served from January 1999 until he was released in February 2013, after being deployed first to Kabul and then twice to war zones in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She did not reveal the reason for his release.

His last tour was to Kandahar from April to November 2010.

The military said Poulin served as an infantryman, a field engineer and as a combat engineer, spending most of his career with the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa, Ont.

Poulin's wife, Shelley Foster -- who Poulin left last year -- told the North Bay Nugget that Poulin "was different after he returned from duty," and that he was plagued by "illness and its demons."

She told the newspaper that the veteran's traumatic memories included witnessing the death of his best friend when he stepped on an improvised explosive device, and trying to save a woman whose body was severed in an explosion.

"They ate away at him the most," she told the newspaper. "There was nothing he could do to escape those images and guilt."

Poulin's son, Kyle Taylor, a professional musician, posted thoughts of his father in a Facebook posting above a photo of Poulin dressed in his combat uniform.

"I'm trying so hard to be strong for everyone," he wrote.

He also wrote that Poulin was battling with PTSD, saying, "your demons were so loud that you couldn't hear how much everyone was trying to help you and be there for you. I'm so sorry that you let them take over."

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/former-soldier-who-died-with-woman-in-n-s-fire-was-broken-from-ptsd-friend-1.3856114
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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Beefer on Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:38 pm

Springhill fire deaths ruled homicide-suicide

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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Pengo93 on Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:49 pm

Another suicide last Month

Cpl. Ian Coon

Feb 13, 2018


Feb 13, 2018
After a lengthly illness Ian lost his battle with depression on Feb 13, 2018. He died by suicide.

Ian was a proud member of Alpha Squadron 39 Signal Regiment Vancouver BC.

As an attached member Ian also served with 1 PPCLI 1st Mechanized Brigade Edmonton Garrison. He completed an exemplary tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006.

Upon his return from Afghanistan Ian remained active in the army reserve signal regiment. He was a recent graduate of the Primary Care Paramedic Program at the Justice Institute and was working as an industrial paramedic.

We were so proud as parents of the man he came to be. He showed so much kindness, compassion and equanimity. Ian filled a room with love and gentleness. He was a brave and generous soul.

Ian is survived by his mother Lynn Brownell, father Guyle Coon (Karen) and sister Erin Marshall (Keith). The family wishes to thank Ian’s friends Erin Gabin, Morgan Nevison and Adam Yipp for their help and support during this time.

A military service/ celebration of life will be held at the Seaforth Armoury, 1650 Burrard Street Vancouver, BC on April 15@ 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers donations to Wounded Warriors Canada would be greatly appreciated .

https://www.peacearchnews.com/obituaries/cpl-ian-coon/
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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Cal07 on Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 pm

Afghan vet’s friend says anti-malarial drug may have sparked violence

Marc J. Poulin is shown in a handout photo provided by Shane MacDonald. The former Canadian soldier who served in Afghanistan killed his girlfriend and then himself last week at their Nova Scotia home. - Shane MacDonald , The Canadian Press


HALIFAX — The homicidal tendencies of a former Canadian soldier who killed his girlfriend and himself in their new Nova Scotia home last week could be linked to a drug he was required to take before serving in Afghanistan, a close friend says.

Jason Hill, a longtime friend of Marc Poulin's, said Sunday he was aware Poulin was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after completing three tours of duty in the war-torn country.

However, Hill said Poulin had also complained to him about the rage-inducing side-effects of an anti-malarial drug he had taken prior to his initial deployment in 2003.

"I know he mentioned drugs and shots before going that he believed affected him," Hill said in an interview from his home in Callander, Ont.

Last Friday, the Nova Scotia RCMP confirmed that the deaths of 42-year-old Poulin and 45-year-old Jennifer Lynne Semenec were the result of a murder-suicide.

Both were originally from North Bay, Ont., and had recently moved to rural Springhill, N.S. Their bodies were recovered last Tuesday from a house they had recently purchased and were renovating. Police said the two-storey home had been damaged by a fire they considered suspicious.

Hill stressed that before his friend joined the military in 1999, he was known for his charismatic smile, fearless nature, athletic prowess in hockey and football, and an enduring willingness to help others.

"He was a hero beforehand," he said, recalling how Poulin routinely helped older neighbours with their groceries and once stepped in to rescue a female neighbour from being beaten.

"I said, 'Hey, someone needs help,' and before I was even done talking, he was running to get the guy," Hill said. "He was always smiling and he held his head high. He had a lot of confidence."

Shane MacDonald, a cousin and close friend of the former infantryman, said relatives believe Poulin's PTSD was "the critical factor" behind his behaviour.

"There was a treatment plan in place that did identify PTSD," MacDonald said in an interview Sunday, citing a 2013 document. "I saw the paperwork on Friday."

When asked if Poulin's actions could be the result of something other that PTSD, MacDonald said he and other relatives believe it was the main cause.

"PTSD is a mental illness," he said. "Whatever comes out on top of that ... that is the root."

The symptoms associated with PTSD, however, may not fully explain the debilitating meltdowns Poulin suffered after he left the military in 2013, something he routinely apologized for on his now-defunct Facebook page, Hill said.

"He was apologizing all the time for his bouts," said Hill, paraphrasing posts from Poulin that said: "I didn't mean to yell at my son. I didn't mean to cower in the middle of the mall and scare people ... I'm sorry to the old lady who saw me scream at the mall."

Some military advocates have been pushing the Canadian military to stop using the anti-malarial drug mefloquine, which some experts have linked to brain damage.

Last June, the Canadian Forces changed its policy so that other anti-malarial drugs are offered first. But critics want it banned from military use.

At the time, the military and Health Canada released separate studies that concluded there is no evidence the drug causes long-lasting psychiatric problems.

In recent years, some veterans have come forward to complain mefloquine has left toxins in their blood that cause aggression, mood swings, sleep disorders and memory loss.

Poulin's tragic story has striking similarities to the case of former Canadian infantryman Lionel Desmond, an Afghan War veteran who fatally shot his mother, wife and 10-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself last year in the family's rural home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.

One of Desmond's sisters, Cassandra, has said her family has not been able to obtain his military medical records, but they have received anecdotal reports from fellow soldiers that he used mefloquine in Afghanistan. Cassandra Desmond has said she fears mefloquine was somehow connected to what happened to her brother.

Later this year, the Nova Scotia government is expected to convene a fatality inquiry to examine what happened to Lionel Desmond.

Desmond's friends and relatives have long complained he did not get the help he needed after he was diagnosed with PTSD, and some of Poulin's friends and family have said much the same thing.

"He (Poulin) complained about it on Facebook and he was telling me the same thing to my face," Hill said. "Veterans Affairs seemed to be turning their back on him."

A spokesperson for Veterans Affairs Canada has said he can't comment on what treatment Poulin was receiving.

However, Marc Lescoutre said the department has a well-established national network of around 4,000 mental-health professionals who deliver services to veterans. He also pointed to a network of 11 operational stress injury clinics across the country, as well as a 24-hour toll-free help line and short-term face-to-face mental-health counselling and referral services.

Last fall, the military announced a suicide prevention strategy for all military personnel and veterans.

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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Forwardy on Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:03 pm

Family for former soldier involved in
murder-suicide challenges friend's
claims

Friend says he retracts what he said, adding he is 'not
qualified to diagnose'

Marc J. Poulin is shown in a handout photo provided by Shane MacDonald.

March 26, 2018

HALIFAX — A spokesman for the family of a former Canadian soldier who killed his girlfriend and then himself in their Nova Scotia home last week is challenging recent assertions made by a friend regarding the infantryman’s service in Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Jason Hill told The Canadian Press that his longtime friend Marc Poulin had told him he was worried about the impact of an anti-malarial drug he was required to take before serving in Afghanistan.

Hill suggested that the drug may have played role in the murder-suicide, saying he was aware of incidents where Poulin experienced rage that was uncharacteristic for the man he had known for years when they both lived in North Bay, Ont.

However, Poulin family spokesman Shane MacDonald, says Hill’s statements regarding the tragic case are inaccurate, and he says the Poulin family has asked him to stop commenting on the deaths.

MacDonald, a cousin and close friend of the former infantryman, says Hill knew Poulin when the two were in high school in the 1990s, but MacDonald says there was little contact between them after that period.

In an emailed statement Monday, Hill said he wanted to retract everything he said about Poulin that applied after 1998, which would include any comments made about Poulin’s military service.

“Marc’s family and myself do not want any statements from me about Marc after 1998, as I was an outside observer and witnessed very few situations,” he said in an email. “I am not qualified to diagnose, nor do I recall specific details.”

Hill said his previous assertion that the murder-suicide could be linked to an anti-malarial drug was based on communication he had with another veteran.

He did not respond to a request for an interview.

MacDonald says the family believes Poulin’s struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder was “the critical factor” behind what happened in Springhill.

Last Friday, the RCMP confirmed the deaths of 42-year-old Poulin and 45-year-old Jennifer Lynne Semenec in Springhill, N.S., were the result of a murder-suicide.

Both were from North Bay, Ont., and had recently moved to the Nova Scotia town, where their bodies were recovered last Tuesday from a small house following a suspicious fire.

http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/family-for-former-soldier-involved-in-murder-suicide-challenges-friends-claims

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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Samwell on Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:56 am

Experts call for investigation into possible role
of anti-malarial drug in N.S. tragedy

While much is still unknown about a recent murder-suicide involving a veteran in Springhill, some experts are still looking for an investigation into any possible link to an anti-malarial drug.

by: Alex Cooke

March 27, 2018


While much is still unknown about a recent murder-suicide involving a veteran in Springhill, some experts are still looking for an investigation into any possible link to an anti-malarial drug.

Jim Lowther is the president of Veterans Emergency Transition Services.

He says the anti-malarial drug Mefloquine has been used by the Canadian Armed Forces for over 20 years, and that many have complained about psychological effects from the drug.

"I've heard it for years from veterans advocates who talk about it non-stop," said Lowther. "I'll tell you, that stuff just scares the hell out of you."

Dr. Remington Nevin is the executive director of the Quinism Foundation, which studies the effects of Mefloquine and similar drugs.

He says it has similar side effects to those of post traumatic stress disorder, including nightmares, and feelings of anxiety, panic and depression.

"We've known for the last quarter-century that this drug is associated with some unusual and very disturbing acts of violence," said Nevin.

A spokesperson for Marc Poulin's family says they believe PTSD was the critical factor in the tragic event, but Nevin would like to see an investigation into whether the drug could have played a role.

https://www.halifaxtoday.ca/local-news/experts-call-for-investigation-into-possible-role-of-anti-malarial-drug-in-ns-tragedy-875047

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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Stanleyz on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:07 am

Veteran aimed not to 'fall
through the cracks' but still
killed partner, himself

The Canadian Press
Published: April 16, 2018


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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

Post by Charlie on Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:39 pm

Family prepares funeral for 'neighbourhood mom'
killed by ex-soldier

Jennifer Lynne Semenec's children struggle to understand why Marc Poulin, 42, killed her and himself in March

Michael Tutton · The Canadian Press · Posted: Apr 16, 2018

A photo taken three years ago of Alia Woodward (left), with her mother Jennifer Lynne Semenec. Semenec, 45, was murdered by Afghan war veteran Marc J. Poulin on March 20 in Springhill, N.S.


Marc J. Poulin is shown in a photo provided by his friend Jason Hill.


An RCMP vehicle sits outside of the home in Springhill in March.


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Re: Former soldier who died with woman in N.S. fire was 'broken' from PTSD: friend

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