( CNN) A decade ago, US Marine Col. Michael Stahlman was serving in Iraq when he was found in his couch, mortally wounded with a gunshot meander to his left temple. Stahlman was vacated by air for emergency treatment, and later moved to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside, where he died 2 months later.

But CNN’s Deborah Feyerick reports that when his wife, Kim Stahlman, received the news that her husband was determined with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his left temple, the first thing she thought was, “He’s not left-handed.”

When he died in 2008, Stahlman was one of the highest-ranking policemen to die in the Iraq war. He was a senior Marine lawyer working in the Anbar province with a division tasked with rebuilding the war-torn country’s police and court system.