A highly decorated veteran of the Iraq war shot and killed his wife before fatally shooting himself at their home yesterday.
Jason Pemberton, who had won three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following his service in the Middle East.
The 28-year-old soldier was described as a 'hero' by the local police chief, who said that Tiffany Pemberton, 25, was 'a casualty of war' despite never having fought.
Tragic: Iraq vet Jason Pemberton killed himself and his wife Tiffany
Authorities found the bodies of Mr and Mrs Pemberton on Sunday morning after a neighbour in Daytona Beach, Florida called the police about a dog on the couple's balcony.
The neighbours had knocked on their door, and contacted authorities when they received no reply.
‘Mommy’s in the trunk’: Sons of missing Utah woman gave chilling account of mother’s disappearance before they were killed by father in suicide gas blast
Man's body lays undiscovered in home for FOUR YEARS after suicide - and is only discovered by realtor who came to repossess house
Police said the shootings most likely occurred on Saturday, as a neighbour told them he had heard two gunshots that evening, though he did not report it at the time.
Mrs Pemberton appeared to have been shot in the chest with a rifle, and her husband had apparently shot himself in the head.
Army: Mr Pemberton was awarded multiple medals for his service in Iraq
Home: The horrific murder-suicide took place in Daytona Beach, Florida
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition often suffered by people who have undergone disturbing experiences, such as bereavement or being a victim of crime.
The symptoms can include flashbacks to traumatic events, depression and anxiety.
Members of the military are disproportionately likely to suffer from PTSD if they have served on active duty.
While fewer than 10 per cent of the general public can expect to suffer from the disorder at some point in their lives, up to 20 per cent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are expected to suffer from PTSD.
Following the Vietnam war, around 30 per cent of the troops who served there succumbed to PTSD.
The prevalence of PTSD among veterans is thought to increase their levels of unemployment, homelessness and crime.
Neighbours told police that they had frequently heard the couple, who had been married for about a year, arguing in their apartment.
In July, Mr Pemberton called the police and said that his wife was causing a disturbance, but sent officers away as soon as they arrived.
'This kid was a hero,' Dayton Beach police chief Mike Chitwood said. 'It's a horrific tragedy.
'You have a 25-year-old woman who never set foot in Iraq, yet she is a casualty of the war. Clearly, the staff sergeant had issues as a lot of returning veterans do.'
Mr Pemberton grew up in a military family in Alabama, his uncle told the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
He served three tours in Iraq as a staff sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division - winning 'ribbons like you wouldn't believe', according to a neighbour.
After his distinguished service in Iraq, he was discharged from the army with a back injury when his parachute opened incorrectly.
Together: But the Pembertons were said to have argued frequently
Married: Mrs Pemberton was described as 'a casualty of war' by the police
'He did what he was supposed to do and came out injured for life,' his uncle said.
Mr Pemberton had also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and had moved to Dayton Beach in order to study motorcycle mechanics.
'He was a man that had a big heart and he just snapped,' a neighbour told My Fox Orlando.
'He was highly decorated, three Purple Hearts, was really not happy about the way he was being treated by the VA.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-20...l#ixzz1le0uOwZU