Not sure why I thought of this today, but I did, so I used my Google-fu and found this recent article:http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-druggis ... le/3388041
Oklahoma City druggist Jerome Ersland's record in doubt
Pharmacist accused of murder says he saw gulf war combat, but papers suggest otherwise
BY NOLAN CLAY, Published: July 26, 2009
A pharmacist charged with murder told police he had killed before, while overseas in the first Gulf War. But according to his military records, he was never there.
Instead, Jerome Jay Ersland spent the war in 1991 as the pharmacy chief at the military hospital at Altus Air Force Base in southwestern Oklahoma, records show.
Ersland fatally shot a robber May 19 at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in Oklahoma City.
The shooting attracted national attention when prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder, alleging he went too far while defending himself. Military veterans rallied to his support after he described himself as an Army veteran injured during Operation Desert Storm. He told The Oklahoman in May he hurt his back during a mortar attack.
Ersland, 57, of Chickasha, insisted again Friday that he served in Iraq during the war. He said he flew overseas from Altus to supply Army troops with nerve agent antidotes and spent time in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. He said he was there for about 48 days, both before and after the war started. He said he was in the Air Force but serving as a liaison to the Army. He insisted he was injured while overseas, but didn’t know how bad he was hurt at the time. He said he hid his back injury from the military so "I wouldn’t get kicked out.”
He would not say Friday whether he killed anyone in combat.
"There’s no way to prove it,” Ersland said. "And I found out if you can’t prove it, you can’t say it. ... I know now that I have to be able to prove everything on paper. ... I can tell you one thing, though. That is: I do have dreams, bad nightmares, about that, every night. ... That’s every night. They’re just horrible dreams, about six specific soldiers being dead ... lying beside one another and they haven’t been body bagged yet and I knew all of them. And then I always dream about body parts of Iraqis, of people.
"I can’t ever get rid of that, and so I’m treated with a sleeping medication and anti-depressants to try to get me past that.”
The government last week released to The Oklahoman eight pages about Ersland’s military service, first in the Army and then in the Air Force. Reporters also reviewed other records about Ersland’s military service.
Prosecutors doubted Ersland’s accounts about his Gulf War service, and they subpoenaed his military papers from the government to check his statements. Prosecutors received a thick envelope of Ersland’s military papers Thursday.
"They verify exactly what we assumed about ... his comments about his military record,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said.
Prater said he wanted the records to prepare for possible defenses. Ersland told police he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"We wanted to verify if he’d ever been in combat or not, if he would have had any instance ... of anything that would have led to PTSD, if he had been diagnosed with PTSD at any point,” Prater said.
The U.S. military launched Operation Desert Shield — the troop buildup before the war — in August 1990 after Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait. The war, known as Operation Desert Storm, began in January 1991 with an air attack. Allied forces invaded Iraq and Kuwait on Feb. 24, 1991. Fighting ended four days later. One record specifically reflects Ersland was at Altus Air Force Base on Feb. 25, 1991.
Hours after the robbery, Ersland told police he suffers PTSD "from being in the Gulf War,” a detective reported.
"He said, ‘I killed a lot of people there, but I had to do it. I dream about it every night.’ Ersland said he got hurt there (Gulf War) and that was why he was wearing the medical back and front brace,” the detective reported.
The detective quoted Ersland as saying, "So, I have killed a number of people with a .50-caliber” and "I was a platoon leader from Fort Bragg.” The detective reported Ersland said he was in the Army until he got hurt and then the Air Force let him join because there was a high demand for pharmacists.
Ersland left the Army in February 1989, well before the Gulf War, records show. His first assignment after joining the Air Force was the Altus Air Force Base hospital.
A citation for an Air Force Commendation Medal described his service during the 1990-91 conflict.
"During Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM, he worked many nights and weekends coordinating the uninterrupted flow of medical supplies, nerve agent antidotes and immunizations,” the citation states. "Under strenuous working conditions, with low manning and high demand, his leadership enabled the pharmacy to keep their error rate at an all-time low.”
Defense attorney Irven Box said the case "isn’t about his past, it’s about the 46 seconds ... at the pharmacy that day.”