Navy Vet Makes the Ultimate Sacrifice — Sets Himself on Fire to Protest the VA’s Lack of Healthcare

Thursday, April 14, 2016
By Paul Martin

Andrew Emett
April 14, 2016

Northfield, NJ – Doused in gasoline, a former chief petty officer stood outside a Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient clinic when he lit himself on fire and eventually died nine hours later. His wife recently confirmed that her husband was upset with the inadequate care that he had been receiving at the VA facility shortly before his suicide.

A seven-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Charles Ingram III walked nine miles from his home, past an American Legion park and a military veteran memorial, before arriving at the parking lot of the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic around 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. While standing on a grass lawn near the clinic, the 51-year-old poured several gallons of gasoline on himself before committing self-immolation.
After a bystander and two cops were able to extinguish the flames, Ingram was airlifted to Temple University Burn Center where doctors discovered the veteran had suffered severe burns across 100% of his body. The 51-year-old vet survived for another nine hours before passing away.

Serving in the Navy from 1985 to 1992, Ingram had attained the rank of chief petty officer and was deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He left behind a wife and two young children, ages 3 and 5.
According to Ingram’s wife, he had recently lost his job and they were in the process of going through a divorce. She also confirmed that her husband was unsatisfied with the care that he had been receiving at the VA outpatient facility and killed himself in front of the clinic on a Saturday while it was closed. Local police have confirmed multiple calls requesting the facility to start opening on weekends for veterans.

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