Jodi Rave: Lakota soldier not the same after Iraq
"As an active duty soldier, Ryan LeCompte spends most of his days sleeping at his home on the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota.

“He's not the same kid who left,” said Orville “Red” Langdeau, a Lakota and uncle to the war-injured LeCompte. “He's different. He came back damaged.”

LeCompte, who was an Army scout with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fort Carson, Colo., served two tours in Iraq before coming home physically and mentally wounded after participating in more than 160 combat missions.

He is now among the thousands of military men and women suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder after performing their military duties of war.

Since returning to their home units, soldiers like LeCompte have faced new dangers - dishonorable discharges and the loss of all military benefits. Mistreatment of Fort Carson soldiers, in particular, has been the subject of several federal investigations.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., is among a group of congressmen and their staffs working to help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. They have met with Tammie LeCompte, Ryan's wife.

They've since been “pushing on the bureaucracy and the leadership at Fort Carson and the Pentagon to help the family,” said Shana Marchio, Bond's communications director.

After LeCompte's military commanders failed to acknowledge his war injuries, Tammie LeCompte picked up her own weapons - faith and perseverance."

Get the Story:
Wife's persistence helps save Private Ryan (The Missoulian 8/24)

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