Veteran Sets Himself On Fire Outside VA Clinic

| by Sean Kelly
A veterans clinic in new jerseyA veterans clinic in new jersey

An Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, veteran took his own life by lighting himself on fire outside of a Veterans Affairs clinic.

Charles Ingram III, 51, was airlifted to a burn center in Philadelphia, where he later died of his injuries. Ingram reportedly used gasoline as an accelerant to light himself on fire outside of the clinic.

The Wilmington VA Medical Center issued a statement expressing their condolences to Ingram's loved ones, saying they were "saddened to learn about the tragic incident that took place outside of the Atlantic County Community Based Outpatient Clinic."

Veterans advocate Marco Polo Smigliani, who has been working with vets for 14 years, said he plans to strengthen his efforts to provide mental and physical health care in the wake of Igram's suicide.

"More than ever, we are determined — no, emboldened — to carry on our quest to provide every veteran with the health care they need, when they need it and where they need it," he said. "Hearts are deeply saddened today, and our mission continues so that one among us will not have died in vain.”

According to Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, veterans with physical or psychological problems are able to apply for a waiver program that allows them to receive care at home rather than traveling to the hospital.

"I’m told many veterans — especially older ones — are very proud. They don’t want to ask for a waiver and have to say they have a hardship," LoBiondo said. "But if they don’t say they have a problem, I can’t make it happen.”

A photo of the area where Ingram committed suicide was recently posted to Reddit, with many viewers wondering why the national media has chosen to ignore such an alarming story.

"The sad thing is he probably thought he was making a grand statement but he's had little media coverage and will probably be soon forgotten by the people he had grievances with," one viewer commented.

"The fact that this hasn't received a ton of media coverage is stunning to me," another said. One Redditor added that they lived in New Jersey but were just hearing about the incident for the first time.

Sources: Press of Atlantic City, iBleeedorange/Reddit / Photo credit: Times, iBleeedorange/Reddit