Veterans group comes to aid family of Marine who died by suicide after memorial is stolen
Amanda Simpson knows a pain and loss too familiar to the families of too many veterans. Her late husband Scott Simpson served in the United States Marines from 2000 to 2008
"He was one of the first infantrymen to invade in Nasiriyah in 2003,” she recounts.
Simpson says Scott suffered tremendously from PTSD when he came back. He took his own life in 2020, one of an estimated 22 veterans per day who die by suicide.
After Scott's death, his brother gave Amanda and their daughter a wooden silhouetted memorial to place on the lawn in Scott’s honor. Until one morning a few weeks ago, it was gone. Unfathomably, someone had taken it.
"I understand that people don't know what it means,” Simpson said. “But it was one of the things that was really all I had left."
Enter Dennis Addesso, president of the nonprofit veteran's assistance organization Ma Deuce Deuce. The double twos are a reference to the awful stat on veterans' suicides. He saw Simpson’s post on Facebook about the sign and said, "We just decided to make it right."
Addesso called Mike Legegni, owner of Veteran Wood Company, a custom woodworking company in Parsippany. The company immediately got to work on a new memorial. Addesso, along with Jay Hayden and Tom Kiselow delivered the new sign on Monday. This one is more detailed, two-toned with Scott Simpson's name on it.
"Honestly it's better than anything I could have imagined," Simpson said. "And to see his name on it, it makes it so much more personal now.
They staked it deep in the soil. Pressed it deep and firm so it will stay put - like the memory of Marine Corporeal Scott Simpson.