A 30-year-old Air Force Reserve Captain reportedly killed herself with a Smith & Wesson .380 handgun she purchased six months ago, and her family says they believe she was sexually assaulted while serving in Afghanistan.
Jamie Brunette, from Tampa, Florida, was found dead in the back of her locked car near her apartment on Feb. 9, reports the Daily Mail. Brunette left active duty after 11 years last June and joined the Air Force Reserves. Her grieving family says they are shocked by her death and that there was no indication that she was suicidal. In fact, they say, the young woman was in the process of opening her own fitness business and was excited about life.
"She had so much going for her," Brunette's older sister Jackie Leverich told the Tampa Tribune. "She was so full of hope and wonderment and passion and excitement for life."
Her family said they noticed a change in Brunette when she returned home from Afghanistan and attended her sister's wedding. They say they believe she might have been sexually assaulted overseas, but that she didn't open up about her time there. They don't have any proof of it, but say they think that explains why she was so eager to join the Reserves.
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Brunette's roommate reportedly said she confided in her that she was receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and had been depressed.
According to a 2012 Veterans Affairs study, 22 veterans take their own lives on a daily basis.