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Patricia Driscoll counted Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield as close friends and great men.

These two guys were very big patriots, she said.

Driscoll is the president and executive director of the Armed Forces Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based charity that organizes special events for troops, and helps pay the bills of wounded veterans and their families.

The foundation also educates the public about post-traumatic stress disorder in servicemen and servicewomen returning from the battlefield.

A lot of people are afflicted with it, Driscoll said.

One person who has claimed to be afflicted is former Marine Eddie Routh, the man accused of the cold-blooded killings of Kyle and Littlefield at a Glen Rose gun range last weekend.

Driscoll doesn t doubt Routh's claim, but her study of the issue leads her to issue this caution: This is the first thing people claim when they do something stupid.

Driscoll says before the pubic makes its judgment in this case (and certainly before a jury does), it s imperative we get a better understanding of exactly what was going on with Eddie Routh long before last weekend; and for that matter, before he ever entered the military.

Unfortunately, the military is taking a beating for these issues because people say, 'Well, they went to war, and that s why they are crazy,' Driscoll said. A lot of guys join the military especially the lower enlisted because of family issues, to get away from the family and the small town. Who knows what kind of problems they had?

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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