Laila Siddique was on her way to examine a patient at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center when her phone began to tremble. The 25-year-old medical student glanced at the screen. It was a text from her father.
Nasir Siddique kept in close touch with his two children. He had come to the United States from Pakistan as a young man, enlisted in the Army and slowly risen through the ranks, working at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill before retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2010. He had traded the cigars and whiskey of his youth for a tightknit family, a large house in Bel Air, Maryland, and Friday prayers at a Baltimore mosque. And he’d recently landed a job as deputy environmental chief at Aberdeen Proving Ground, a century-old military base where he once served as a military officer.
At 57, with a military pension, the new job, a loving wife, and a son and daughter both studying to become doctors, Nasir Siddique had many reasons to be happy.
Instead, he was deeply disturbed.
“Two reasons for my stress,” began his text to his daughter on Sept. 28 at 10:48 a.m. “1. Very stressful job at APG. 2. APG Commander and Director of Public Works took us to tour the inside of a very old historical house (by the main golf course) last month being prepared for demolition.”
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Image courtesy of The Washington Post