PTSD Episode During Hurricane Harvey Leads to Combat Vet’s Death in Corpus Christi
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Marine Corps combat veteran Gilbert Soto was deployed overseas three times and served in the National Guard in San Angelo in 2012.
The night hurricane Harvey hit Corpus Christi Soto, 33, something triggered a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) episode in the father of three. Soto and his wife Jennifer and their three daughters had just moved from Abilene to Corpus Christi about a month earlier.
In an interview with the Corpus Christi Caller Times, Jennifer Soto said her husband was suffering, “That night my husband had a really, really bad PTSD episode. He ran off and I couldn’t find him.”
Soto received a traumatic brain injury during his last deployment to Afghanistan when an IED exploded.
Gilbert Soto was stationed in San Angelo with the National Guard. He served retired Sgt. Jose Ruiz, who is retired from the San Angelo Police Department. Ruiz said, “Soto’s MOS was 12B, he was a combat engineer. His job was to search for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). I know he lost two members while he was deployed.” Ruiz said Soto was an E5 Sergeant. “He was really good at helping the younger guys.”
Ruiz described Soto as an all around great guy. “He was a really good man and a great father to his three daughters and a good husband to his wife.”
According to police, Soto was shot while attempting to break into a home in Corpus Christi while hurricane Harvey was storming around him. Officers found him with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital and later died of his wounds.
Police are still investigating and no charges have been filed against the homeowner at this time. The homeowner told police he feared for his safety and the safety of his family.
Rosey Velez, a First Responder’s Chaplin and C0-Founder/Director of the ESRC, works with PTSD patients. Velez says anyone can suffer from PTSD. “17 people can go into a haunted house and each one will have a different reaction.” He described PTSD this way; “17 people can go into combat and each one will have a different reaction.” Velez says each person will have a different trigger. “For some, it’s extreme stress; for others it can be smells or noise and light.”
Jennifer Soto said, “He lost two soldiers over there. He was going through a lot. He had a moment. It went downhill from there. I really don’t know what happened (that night) because I couldn’t find him.”