Eddie Ray Routh, the Marine veteran accused of murdering legendary Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in cold blood, will soon stand trial for murder. Meanwhile, a veterans group is claiming to have uncovered a significant detail that — if true — could have an impact on the case.
Spencer Walker, board president of the Warfighter Foundation and Marine combat veteran, told TheBlaze in a phone interview on Thursday that they have interviewed several U.S. Marine sources, some who knew and served with Routh, who have confirmed that the accused killer never saw any combat or experienced any traumatic situations while serving overseas.
It has been alleged that Routh was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he shot and killed Kyle and Navy SEAL Chad Littlefield at a remote shooting range in Texas.
TheBlaze has reached out to several PTSD specialists in an effort to determine whether it's common for military veterans who have not served in combat to suffer from some form of PTSD.
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Erath County Sheriff s Office shows Eddie Ray Routh, who was charged with killing former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant says Routh, 25, was shocked with a stun gun and restrained in his jail cell Sunday night after becoming aggressive. Credit: AP
"Basically, we are trying to conclude what led up over the course of [Routh's] military service that led to Feb. 2, 2013. None of us believe it was PTSD," Walker told TheBlaze.
Daniel Racca, a former Marine and COO of the Warfighter Foundation, started by speaking to Sgt. Justin Webster, a former Marine Corps recruiter who "dealt directly with Routh for 11 months" before he went to boot camp.
"Eddie wanted to be a Marine forever, supposedly," Webster reportedly told the Warfighter Foundation. "He joined DEP (Delayed Entry Program) his senior year and participated in the Recruiting Station's pool functions (training events to prepare Marine candidates for Recruit Training) two to three times a week. He was a dumb country kid. Good, but dumb."
The group also reported that Routh barely graduated high school and scored an "incredibly low score on the ASVAB, a "test that helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military."
In a previous Facebook post, the veterans group laid out some of the details they have uncovered:
Eddie Routh served one tour in Iraq in 2007, at Balad Air Base (the 2nd largest U.S. installation in Iraq), with no significant events. No combat experience. Let me say that again, he NEVER SAW COMBAT or any aspect of traumatic events associated with a combat deployment (i.e. incoming mortar or rocket fire). He never left the base, EVER.
He held a non-combat arms occupation of 2111 (Small Arms Repairer/ Technician or more commonly referred to as an Armorer). Balad Air Base had a Pizza Hut, 24 hour Buger King, Subway, Popeye's, Baskin Robbins, movie theater, and even a miniature golf course. It even had a strictly enforced 10-mile per hour speed limit! What a dangerous place...
His tour was comparable to being on a base in southern California, only with MANY more luxuries that were catered to the morale and welfare of the troops who occupied it. He was known to be a drug user and a below average performer while in the Marine Corps.
This has NOTHING to do with PTSD. He was an individual with psychological problems that were not associated with his service. So don't give me that bleeding heart bulls**t that he was a veteran suffering from PTSD.
The Warfighter Foundation ended with this line: “He was a piece of s**t, end of story.”
Walker also said the Warfighter Foundation is looking into claims that Routh may have been a radical Islamist sympathizer, an idea that seems to have originated from a phone call Routh made to his father from Iraq in which he reportedly lamented the prisoners’ living conditions. But Walker said the claim is nothing more than an unproven theory at this point.
Walker and the Warfighter Foundation are also investigating a number of other angles, including whether selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or other anti-depressant medications could have played any role in the killings.
The Warfighter Foundation, a nonprofit with the stated goal of empowering "combat veterans and their families through physical, mental, and emotional rehabilitation," plans to talk to additional sources to obtain more information on Routh and his military service.
Routh’s murder trial is expected to start next week in Stephenville, Texas.
For more information about the Warfighter Foundation, click here.