Woman’s Efforts To Honor Her Slain Soldier Son Fall Apart
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(CBS) — A Chicago woman whose son took his own life after serving in Afghanistan says her heart has been broken again – because plans have been scrapped to honor her son’s memory.
It was a year and a half ago when 22-year-old Ryan Patrick Kennedy killed himself.
His mother Linda says he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan.
She says she was approached by the mother of another soldier in Traverse City, Mich., and they made plans for a treatment center there for soldiers who had PTSD.
It was to be called the Ryan Patrick Kennedy House.
She began raising thousands of dollars here in the Chicago area.
And then a few weeks ago, Linda Kennedy says she got a devastating call from Traverse City. The board members there voted to take her son’s name off the project.
“It’s not as bad as the day I lost Ryan, but it’s close.”
The board members in Michigan reportedly told her she should do something for her son in Chicago because his name doesn’t mean anything to people in northern Michigan.
Now she feels betrayed.
“And to honor Ryan’s name – that would’ve been outstanding. To save someone else, at least one person if not more. Wouldn’t that be great to save someone else and honor my son at the same time?”
Linda Kennedy says she has no problem locating the treatment facility in Michigan.
“They have an issue with us being in Illinois and them being in Michigan. But they knew that last July when this was proposed to me.”
Kennedy says she has raised most of the money for the project here in the Chicago area.
She says she is inclined to give the money she and her oldest son have raised to an established charity for veterans.
“Now that it’s been taken away. We will not give Ryan’s name to anyone else. I don’t trust anyone else now.”
WBBM is trying to reach the board members in Traverse City.