The Heartbreaking Tale of the Vet and the Woman Who Came Here to Slay the Demons


What you see above is the video -- the short film, really -- that accompanied a weekend Wall Street Journal story about two recent Dallas residents: Ian Welch and girlfriend Katie Brickman. Welch is a native Texan, born and raised near College Station; Brickman's from Mentor, Ohio. The couple, boyfriend and girlfriend, moved here for two reasons: to be close to the Dallas VA Medical Center, and to be near Ian's mother, Nancy, a psychologist and the Coordinator of Veteran Services at Texas A&M.

Ian's a vet -- a Marine whose battalion was attacked outside Baghdad on April 7, 2003. Two soldiers were killed; Ian, wounded, more deeply than anyone initially suspected. He would write in a letter to a friend, a fellow Marine, shortly after the incident, "Our penance will be the sleepless nights, the fools we will make of ourselves at loud noises, the looks on our faces at the sight of swerving cars, and the pains in our chests when no one is awake." Michael M. Phillips of The Journal writes that the missive, the handiwork of a former wonder boy who loved art and English as a boy only to fall down the rabbit hole known as PTSD, would prove "starkly prescient."

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