The staggering reality of America's post-9/11 era of perpetual war: For every active duty soldier killed in combat, twenty veterans died by their own hand. This is Daniel Wolfe's story. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
The Other Wounds - "Most Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ injuries didn’t occur during combat. But their ailments have become an enduring consequence of the conflicts." [more inside]
Robina Asti was born in 1921. She used to take the subway to the airport when she started flying in 1936.She fought in World War II, and at the age of 92 is now fighting the government she served to obtain Social Security benefits following the death of her husband, Norwood. The Social Security Administration states that she is ineligible because her legal 2004 marriage was not legal.
It's The Victory Belles! The house vocal trio for the National WW2 Museum's Stage Door Canteen in New Orleans perform medleys of war-time hits in shimmery brown uniforms (or Santa suits).
"Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit." [more inside]
A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury
But as clergy and good clinicians have listened to more stories like these, they have heard a new narrative, one that signals changes to the brain along with what in less spiritually challenged times might be called a shadow on the soul. It is the tale of disintegrating vets, but also of seemingly squared-away former soldiers and spit-shined generals shuttling between two worlds: ours, where thou shalt not kill is chiseled into everyday life, and another, where thou better kill, be killed, or suffer the shame of not trying. There is no more hellish commute.[more inside]
The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
Albert L. Comer Sr., 91, Maryland’s (or the USA's - article ambiguity) last surviving son of a Confederate veteran, died earlier this week. [more inside]
American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later.... [more inside]
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
When the peace came along in Europe in April of 1945, we just practically sat there without anything to do. Most of the gentlemen drew house plans, because they were thinking they were going to get out of the service pretty soon. And I wrote a symphony. (Transcript) The symphony Van Heuvelen wrote sat on the shelf for decades, and last week he got to witness it performed for the first time. [more inside]
Six years ago, US Army Captain Ivan Castro was severely wounded in a mortar attack in Iraq that left him permanently and completely blinded. Today, he's one of only three blind active duty Army officers, and the very first to serve in the US Army Special Forces. Thirteen months and 36 surgeries after the attack, Castro ran the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:14 and the Army Ten Miler in 1:25. And he's still going: In the last 15 months, he's completed 14 marathons. Why? "Because I still can. Because people need to see what's possible." [more inside]
These photos are about Taylor, who lost most of his limbs in Afghanistan, and his girlfriend Danielle. It is a love story, told only in 22 pictures. Background story via Taylor's friend, photographer Tim Dodd.
For Memorial Day weekend, at TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), Vice President Joe Biden talks about grief, and loss, and how "there will come a day, I promise you, and you parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye."
It's the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month where I am right now, so I present to you Europeana, a project collecting memorabilia and stories from the period of the Great War (1914-1918).
Last World War I combat vet dies in Australia. Claude Stanley Choules was 110. RIP, Chuckles.
R.I.P., Frank Buckles, last American World War I veteran, who just passed away at 110 years old. Previously.
War veteran barred from college campus for frank words on killing. After publishing essay on addiction to war, Charles Whittington must obtain psychological evaluation before returning to classes
"A pious, peaceful man, York had fought his country's enemy only after great deliberation and had to be convinced that war was sometimes necessary."1 On this day let us remember Sergeant York.
1 Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign Against Nazism By Michael E. Birdwell.
1 Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign Against Nazism By Michael E. Birdwell.
He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard NixonAlexander Meigs Haig, Jr.,, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85. Haig commanded a batallion during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate. [more inside]
The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. From the Globe and Mail website: "John Babcock, Canada’s last known First World War veteran, has died, the Prime Minister’s Office said Thursday. Mr. Babcock was 109. In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he is deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Babcock’s death. He said that because Mr. Babcock was Canada’s last living link to the First World War, it marks the end of an era. Mr. Babcock joined the military at the age of 16, but because of his age he wasn’t allowed on the frontlines." I could link to bazillions of relevancies but really, so can you. It's all over Canadian news websites. But perhaps just this. Gone west. Rest in Peace, sir. Lest We Forget.
Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died. John Murtha (as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown, and which for most of his service included Shanksville. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive of his blue collar district—Pro-gun, anti-abortion, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but eventually one of its greatest critics. But that criticism came at a price. John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
For the former U.S. marine Michael Elliott the psychological impact of war is the latest and most challenging battle. Private Joseph Dwyer survived rocket-propelled grenades and shocking violence, made his way back to his family and friends, but couldn't escape the “demons” that followed him home. Experts say up to 30% of returning soldiers will require psychiatric help: a number not seen since the end of the Vietnam War. Today 60% of war veterans suffering from PTSD don't receive any help at all.
War Torn: kickoff of the New York Times' penetrating new series investigating the violence that comes home when our soldiers do.
"Henry John Patch would be notable simply by virtue of his 109 years on earth... But Harry Patch is more than a gerontological phenomenon. The man arranging his medals and sitting up straight for a photograph in the conservatory of a nursing home in Wells is the last British man alive to have served in the trenches during the First World War."
Thomas said he and his wife came up with the unprecedented idea to present the president with the Purple Heart over breakfast one morning a few months ago as they discussed the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chief has withstood during his time in office. "We feel like emotional wounds and scars are as hard to carry as physical wounds," Thomas said.
Cruiser Scout WW2 veteran's account of fighting in the Guadalcanal campaign.
Last Post. Evan 'Darby' Allan, the last of Australia's 330,770 World War 1 veterans, was buried with full state honours yesterday, closing one of the most dismal chapters in our history. Joining the navy at 14, Darby avoided the bloody horrors of the Somme and Gallipoli, which contributed heavily to the over 60 000 Australian war dead and 200 000 total casualties (from a population of only about 5 000 000), but he still played his part in what many historians suggest was the prime cause of 20th century totalitarianism, the second world war and the cold war. And it was all so pointless. He seemed like a nice bloke, and the reportage has thankfully avoided most of the 'hero' bullshit (I don't think he would have approved).
Vietnam Veterans for George W. Bush? "This web site was created and personally paid for by a Vietnam combat veteran as a service to his country and has no financial connection with any political party or campaign organization." ...and he does not pussy foot around!
A military honor guardsman has been fired for saying God bless you, while he presented a folded American flag to the family of a deceased veteran, during the burial service. By way of obscurestore.
The transcript of the forum on the press coverage of the current Middle East fighting was presented by a panel of veteran newsmen hosted by Harvard University and the Brookings Institution on April 24. The session, "Tinder Box: How the Press Covers the Middle East," featured former CBS correspondent Marvin Kalb, Glenn Frankel of the Washington Post, Robin Wright of the Los Angeles Times, David Shipler of The New York Times, and Todd Purdum, the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent of the New York Times.