Skip to comments.Post-War Stress Too Much For Marlboro Man's Marriage
Posted on 06/27/2006 6:13:03 PM PDT by blam
Post-war stress too much for Marlboro Man's marriage
By Catherine Elsworth in Los Angeles
A US marine whose photograph touched the hearts of countless Americans has filed for divorce just weeks after his lavish wedding was funded by donations from the public.
An iconic picture of James Blake Miller, 21, was taken in 2004 during a break from combat in Fallujah and was published in hundreds of newspapers.
Showing him grubby-faced and exhausted with a cigarette dangling from his lips, it earned him the nickname Marlboro Man.
After his return to the United States, the lance corporal revealed that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
He also told one interviewer he wished he could have given his wife, Jessica, 23, whom he married in a simple civil ceremony in June 2005, the wedding of her dreams.
Sympathetic readers responded with contributions towards an £8,000 wedding ceremony, which was held on June 3 at a golf club near Mr Miller's home town of Pikeville, Kentucky.
The couple renewed their vows, with the groom in his Marine Corps dress blues and the bride wearing a white dress.
But nine days later, the couple were already living apart, according to court documents. On June 20, Mr Miller filed for divorce, saying the marriage was "irretrievably broken".
"I'm just sad for them," said Eunice Davis, of Pleasanton, California, who spearheaded the campaign to fund the wedding.
Mr Miller, who was discharged from the marines in 2005, has spoken about his struggles with post-traumatic stress and even addressed congressmen in Washington in an attempt to increase funding for veterans suffering from the disorder.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was grateful to those who paid for the wedding but that he had found dealing with day-to-day issues and stress from the war too much. "I love Jessica, I really do, but I can't be with her," he said.
Mrs Miller told the paper she still hoped they could be together. "I think neither one of us recognised the scope of post-traumatic stress disorder and what it does to you and what it does to people around you," she said. "Now he's got to figure out how to deal with it before he can deal with me."
An odd story. He loves her but cannot be with her?
just damn ...
prayers for all involved.
That picture just made all the heroes who died in previous wars smile. Even the Founders stopped rotating for a second.
I think the founders might've even lit one up, too.
In the nonsmoking section -oh WAIT! There were none back then...
Prayers for James and Jessica's lives.
I did two tours in Viet Nam as did many of my friends and cousins, my old man and uncles served in WW2 and Korea, we go back to King Phillip's War, they married, had kids, made it or didn't and died. This Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is an excuse.
Nah. I believe it's real. My brother's (bless his soul) best friend stopped by here today on his way back from the VA hospital in Biloxi. Take my word for it, he really is 'messed-up.' (Vietnam)
Don't you just want to hug him hard?
"This Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is an excuse."
In WWI it was called "Shell Shock".
Odd indeed, buy war can scar a man's soul far more deeply than it can scar his body.
He loves her but cannot be with her?
Perhaps he's protecting her ... from himself. I don't mean 'abuse' in the ususal sense of the word, but from having to deal with whatever demons he's dealing with.
It's a sad story, and doubly sad that it has become fodder for international newspapers.
In any case, I pray for both of them. May The Lord God guard and guide them.
Ever seen a war vet with stress syndrome?
My husband suffered for ten years after his tours of Viet Nam. We don't know if it was PTSD but suspect it was. We didn't know it happened to others for a long time. It wasn't discussed much back then.
Some never get over it. Thankfully, he did.
I heard he caught her posting on DU. Immediately knew that wasn't going to work.
God bless this Marine, he needs our prayers. Hope that he and Jessica can work it out.
I'm not surprised. He's fresh from a war and he's very young to be getting married. Alot on his plate. Hopefully with time and some healing, they can work this out.
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