D.C.

Arlester Jay's body pulled from Anacostia River

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The body pulled from the Anacostia River Monday has been identified as 36-year-old Arlester Jay, an Iraq war vet.

“He gave his all for the country. I’m hurt... but you know, pray for me," his father says.

Earnest Jay, a retired minister, says the son he knew psychologically died in 2005 following horrific events in Iraq, thing his son simply could not voice.

“They had to pull the vehicle out of the water. They had to take those young men out. Those were his friends... there was a little girl he was in love with. He lost her.”

His son returned to Laurel despondent.

“He said, ‘Dad, I’m scared to drive. You know what happened in Iraq driving striker vehicles. You might get blown up with IED’s.'"

Jay's body was found around 1:45 p.m. near the Langston Golf Course in Northeast Washington.

The VA diagnosed Jay with PTSD and he fell into a vicious abyss of self-medicating with street drugs and alcohol.  His father tells ABC7 he made several attempts to get help for his son but was repeatedly denied by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“'My son is sick,' I explained to the guy. He said 'There’s nothing we can do. He has his rights.' I said 'What? He’s sick,'" says Jay.

On March 11, Jay appeared to want help, sending text messages to his family that he wanted to check in to the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center on Irving Street. He vanished after the last text.

Now mourning is tainted with anger by a dad who says the government should have fought for the man who fought for his country.

“What a profit a man if he gains the whole world yet lose his soul.

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