State News

Mom to bury slain Fort Bragg soldier

Posted July 3, 2012

— Linda Tisdale, of Bryan, Texas, had planned to see her son on Thursday for the first time in three years.

Instead, she will bury him.

Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale, 42, of Alvin, Texas, was killed Thursday afternoon during a safety briefing at Fort Bragg, where he commanded the 525th Brigade Special Troops Battalion.

Military officials say Spc. Ricky G. Elder, 27, of Hutchinson, Kan., opened fire, shot Tisdale and another soldier before turning the gun on himself.

Tisdale died of his injuries Friday, and the third soldier, Spc. Michael E. Latham, 22, was injured but survived.

"The children bury their parents, but you don't bury the children," Linda Tisdale told KBTX News in Bryan, Texas.

Her son's body will be transported to Texas this week, and the family plans to hold a funeral on Thursday.

A Texas A&M graduate, he will be buried in the Aggie Field of Honor, an area of a College Station cemetery set aside for Aggies and their supporters.

Roy Tisdale, a married father of two, had survived deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and received decorations including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Meanwhile, the Army Criminal Investigation Command is still looking into the shooting and what might have prompted Elder, who was facing a court-martial for stealing a tool kit.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Tuesday that Elder had posted on his Facebook page about an hour before the shooting that his "mind, in the past couple of years, has folded on itself" and that he had just learned that he "tested positive for dementia."

He had also posted his medical records, which described him as suffering a concussion from an explosion in Iraq, according to the newspaper's report.

A friend told the newspaper that Elder had a traumatic brain injury and should never have been deployed to Afghanistan.

The friend said Elder was not a "cold killer" but a war hero.

The newspaper also reported that he had expressed bitterness about his upcoming court-martial.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • MitziGaynor Jul 5, 2012

    affirmativediversity...listen dip. Have you ever served? Have you ever been in a situation that you said "well, I'm going to die, there is no way we are getting out of this"? I just spoke with a service memeber that experiences his PTSD in his sleep, never knew it until his gf said he was reliving out loud every night the day he was ejected from the humvee. Or I can hit closer to home and talk about my son when he said goodbye to his wife, son and family because they were hit and being fired upon and totally disabled.

    I am not defending what this soldier did, I am defending ALL soldiers that have suffered from PTSD and are looke upon like it's made up, non-existant. You are an insult to America.

    I am sure this soldier will be "handled" properly, unlike the Ft. Hood terrorist that is not being called that.

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Jul 3, 2012

    prayers and thoughts to the family of a fallen hero.

    it's very sad that she was planning on seeing her son, and instead, she has to bury him. reminds me of my sister in law in 2009, she was planning on a surprise visit to see her brother (my husband) and instead, she came down for his funeral because he was killed in hit and run.

  • affirmativediversity Jul 3, 2012

    My thoughts to the entire Tinsdale family and the family of the other soldier hurt by this murderer.

  • affirmativediversity Jul 3, 2012

    "The friend said Elder was not a "cold killer" but a war hero."


    Dear Friend of Spc Elder...any time someone shoots someone in cold blood they automatically zero out any "hero" points they may have earned.

    Also, I'm not sure about anyone else BUT I'm getting a little tired of every slacker, thief, druggy, loser or wife beater who just happened to volunteer for the US Armed Services and spent some time in either Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Haiti or where ever USING that service as THEIR EXCUSE.

    Lots of people, in this world, suffer serious closed head injuries and/or concussions (from MVA's or sports or falls etc) BUT they don't SHOOT PEOPLE...oh and they also don't get to claim a life long government check for it either!

  • bombayrunner Jul 3, 2012

    What a bizzar set of circumstances.

  • halfpint1552 Jul 3, 2012

    Where is the wife and children they take about? Are they also in Texas? How are they handling this loss? The one place our soldiers should be safe is at home. I am sad for everyone involved.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 3, 2012

    I feel sorry for anyone who has to bury their children.

    Praying for those who loved him, especially his mom and children.

  • Wendellcatlover Jul 3, 2012

    I can't imagine going 3 years without seeing either of my children and then to end up burying them on the day that was supposed to be so special... My heart goes out to this mother and family. Please know that he was a hero for his service to this country and I appreciate what he did for me!!!

  • llf Jul 3, 2012

    Sorry for my oversight. It may not mean that she is personally paying or choosing where he is burried. If I lost a child grown and married or otherwise. It may be mentioned that I am burrying a child of mine. It may be stated that way just to represent her loss that she has lost a son before his natural time. Again my apologies.

  • Fireflies Rock Jul 3, 2012

    This is devastating; I grieve for this brave soldier and all his loved ones. To survive wars on foreign soil to be killed by one of our own...awful. Rest in Peace, LT Col Roy Tisdale.