Military.com's lead story yesterday was written by Bob Cox of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and in it Cox quotes Air Force Brig. Gen. "Pugs" Tinsley's widow intimating a connection between the notorious F-22 oxygen issue and her husband's suicide by gunshot to the chest back in 2008. Here's an excerpt:
In a lengthy interview with the Star-Telegram, Joanna Tinsley said her husband experienced big changes during the last few months of his life. He was normally a happy, highly energetic and caring man, but he deteriorated physically and emotionally.The article goes on to mention that a few other Air Force wives -- including those of pilots currently flying the Raptor -- have noticed changes in their husbands' health, including persistent coughs and loss of memory and motor skills.
"He was short-tempered. He was impatient. He would get mad at things that never would have agitated him before," said Tinsley, who now lives in Phoenix.
"He was more foggy-headed. He would ask questions over and over again and then stare at you with a blank look."
Tinsley suffered headaches, his appetite diminished, and he had trouble sleeping. He was plagued by a chronic cough, a common problem for F-22 pilots.
Now, after reading reports of strange occurrences involving other F-22 pilots and comparing notes with other wives, Tinsley said she can't help but believe that the Air Force's prized fighter is a health risk. Something about the F-22, she theorizes, may have triggered her husband's suicide.
"They're seeing the same things, the same changes that I saw in Tom," Tinsley said.
Meanwhile the Air Force is sticking with their story that previous mishaps had something to do with a sticky valve in the pressure vest. No root cause, per se; no "smoking gun."
Where it's not tragic it's very weird . . .