By Debbie Gregory.
Army psychologist Capt. Peter Linnerooth helped many soldiers deal with the demons of PTSD, depression and anger. Unfortunately, after returning home to Minnesota, he wrestled with the same PTSD demons as those he counseled, and lost. The wonderful man and officer who helped so many others, was not able to save himself. Peter Linnerooth died by his own hand in January, 2013. A fight with his wife, alcohol and a loaded gun proved a tragic combination.
Linnerooth had the magic touch. He was genuinely empathetic. He listened to the soldiers’ stories and comforted them. He was their counselor and their friend. He knew how to sooth soldiers returning from the battlefield, after losing their buddies who were killed by bombs. He comforted medics reliving the horrors of death all around them.
Linnerooth helped soldiers who suffered from nightmares, reliving the horrors they had witnessed. He soothed the heavy hearts of soldiers with insomnia. He was there for soldiers suffering from PTSD and depression. When the Iraq war was at it bloodiest, Linnerooth easily put in 60 to 70 hours a week. He carried the pain of those around him on his shoulders. He had the right stuff to help others.
After leaving the military, Linnerooth became a college professor in Minnesota. He continued to counsel veterans in California and Nevada. He always felt that he could have done more to help the troops. At the same time, he struggled with his own demons. He struggled with PTSD, depression and anger.
Linnerooth was always there for others, but in the end, he gave up on himself. Peter Linnerooth was a devoted father and an admired Army captain. He was 42, but in reality, he was much older. Working to help others, no matter how much he accomplished , he never felt it was enough. But to the many soldiers who are alive today because of his counsel, it was. Our sincere condolences to the loved ones of Captain Peter Linnerooth who made a huge difference for so many. Rest In Peace.