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Other than Honorable

"A Gazette investigation shows an increasing number of soldiers, including wounded combat veterans, are being kicked out of the service for misconduct, often with no benefits, as the Army downsizes after a decade of war."
"Disposable: Surge in discharges includes wounded soldiers"
"Left Behind: No break for the wounded"
"Locked Away: Army struggles with wounded soldiers"
posted by andoatnp on Jun 2, 2013 - 26 comments

"Never, ever let anybody use your gender as an excuse."

"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 25, 2013 - 49 comments

Veterans and PTSD

Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead. "Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference. So, early on Labor Day morning last year, after topping off a night of drinking with a handful of sleeping pills, Quinones barged into Fort Stewart’s hospital, forced his way to the third-floor psychiatric ward and held three soldiers hostage, demanding better mental health treatment." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 21, 2011 - 38 comments

They always did tend towards having the snappiest uniforms

American military planners are fascinated with German/Prussian military history. Busts of Von Clauswitz adorn American military academies where On War is taught, often with the misperception that Von Clauswitz viewed war as a controllable science. Shock & Awe is just the idea of Blitzkrieg with better weapons. Endless exhortations about unit cohesion (a complex, multi-layered idea with no military definition that is nonetheless used to keep gay soldiers from openly serving) comes from admiration for the Wehrmacht, their discipline and courage on the battlefield. So too the idea of a military culture separate and more honorable than the civilians they protect, advancing the professional warrior model at the expense of the citizen-soldier model. But to quote author military/adventure author Tom Clancy, “Why do people have a fixation with the German military when they haven’t won a war since 1871?Previously
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 2, 2010 - 128 comments

Welcome Home, Soldier

"Regardless of political stance, no one can deny the joy felt upon seeing your loved ones return home safely -- WelcomeHomeBlog.com is a site celebrating that amazing feeling. Visit daily for heartwarming stories, videos and pictures of members of our courageous armed forces returning home to their families and friends..."
posted by zizzle on Dec 1, 2010 - 5 comments

They don't know what we do.

"For a lot of soldiers, there are two kinds of people: those who serve, and those who expect to be served, and those who serve are pretty noble.'' The U.S. Army now begins its 10th continuous year in combat, the first time in its history the United States has excused the vast majority of its citizens from service and engaged in a major, decade-long conflict instead with an Army manned entirely by professional warriors.
posted by bardophile on Oct 3, 2010 - 218 comments

Trying to "out-terrorize the terrorists"

Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video have come forward to tell their story. [more inside]
posted by jjoye on Aug 3, 2010 - 30 comments

Team Lioness - Female Soldiers in Combat in Iraq

Team Lioness is the name given to a group of female soliders, (and the documentary about them) who were some of the first women in modern American warfare to engage in frontline combat — something that is officially forbidden by the military. "The female support soliders were assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion and they were recruited to accompany Marine units during raids. Originally, the female soldiers were there to search and detain any women they came upon and to guard the unit's Arabic interpreter. Over time, however, as the situation in Ramadi deteriorated, the Marine units transitioned into a more offensive role, baiting insurgents into firefights in order to draw them out. Until officers higher up the chain got spooked over the possibility of a female soldier killed in combat and quietly disbanded the unit, members of Team Lioness were often right in the thick of things, including some of the fiercest urban firefights of the Iraq War."
posted by nooneyouknow on Nov 14, 2008 - 22 comments

The Downward Spiral

What killed Sgt. Gray? "He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
posted by empath on Nov 11, 2008 - 29 comments

Soldiers at War

Suzanne Opton's haunting soldier portraits, appearing on a billboard near you. (courtesy of Design Observer) [more inside]
posted by puckish on Nov 6, 2008 - 43 comments

US out of Iraq in the year 2525, er 2011

It's (semi) official: Washington and Baghdad have reached a final agreement after months of talks on a pact that would require U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq by 2011, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday. Additionally, "Iraq said it had secured the right to prosecute U.S. soldiers for serious crimes under certain circumstances" "Inside their bases, they will be under American law. Iraqi judicial law will be implemented in case these forces commit a serious and deliberate felony outside their military bases and when off duty." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 15, 2008 - 36 comments

Dog Days of Occupation of Iraq

Endgame in Iraq - 9/11 release of Sean Smith's latest video. This one, finished this summer, is of candid interviews with soldiers in the 101st Airborne in Baghdad. [more inside]
posted by Surfurrus on Sep 12, 2008 - 7 comments

Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan. "Like Vietnam vets did decades ago, a group of soldiers are poised to speak out about atrocities they say the U.S. committed in Iraq and Afghanistan."
posted by homunculus on Mar 13, 2008 - 45 comments

Blog from Iraq by an ex soldier

Frontline Blogger covers war in Iraq with a soldier's eyes. First hand impressions, photos, and reports from a non journalist. A NYT write up.
posted by semmi on Jan 25, 2008 - 27 comments

An update on the 'Marlboro Marine'

Photo-Essay on the Marlboro Marine and PTSD. An update on this story: 1, 2.
posted by salvia on Nov 12, 2007 - 35 comments

Documentary: embedded with US troops in Baghdad

Sean Smith spent two months embedded with US troops in Baghdad and Anbar province. His harrowing documentary exposes the exhaustion and disillusionment of the soldiers.
posted by jouke on Jul 14, 2007 - 152 comments

Interview of Henry Rollins on his USO visits to Iraq in TNR

You'll go by the phone kiosk and you'll hear young men having these very strange, almost surreal arguments or discussions with their wives over something like, "Hey the garage is leaking, how do we fix that?" And what she maybe doesn't understand is, maybe that guy just got ambushed, like half an hour ago, and he's shaking from the adrenaline, and he's just calling her just to hear a familiar voice, and she's like, "We gotta get the sprinklers fixed." And he's like, "Oh, OK ... . I love you." He just wants to get back to the ground. And that's what makes me angry, is what all of this is doing to these very young families. It just makes me mad. It makes anybody mad.
Henry Rollins, interviewed in TNR (reg required, free) on his frequent USO visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
posted by Ethereal Bligh on Apr 13, 2007 - 59 comments

US Soldiers speak .

Voices of the Fallen: the war in the words of the dead-- In letters and journals and e-mails, the war dead live on, their words—urgent, honest, unself-conscious—testament to the realities of combat. What do they have to say to us? ... The result is a window on Iraq we have not had before: the bravery, the fear and the chaos of war, and the loves and hates and dreams and nightmares of the warriors. Things are incredibly busy, then they are not. The Iraqis are welcoming, then they are not. The war is going well, then it is not. The mission makes sense, then it does not. ... (video, audio, email, and text)
posted by amberglow on Mar 30, 2007 - 14 comments

Supporting our troops by making them guinea pigs?

Recombinant Activated Factor VII --the Food and Drug Administration said that giving it to patients with normal blood could cause strokes and heart attacks... the Army's faith in the $6,000-a-dose drug is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and persists despite public warnings and published research suggesting that Factor VII is not as effective or as safe as military officials say. ...
posted by amberglow on Nov 21, 2006 - 17 comments

Middle Eastern troops at Hadrian's Wall in the early fifth century

Iraqi peacekeepers sent to the Scottish border... 1600 years ago. The Notitia Dignitatum, the Roman equivalent of an organisation chart for the imperial bureaucracy in the fifth century, contains a reference to soldiers from the Tigris stationed at Hadrian's Wall. More on the Notitia here; more on Hadrian's Wall here, including a 3D tour of a fort near the Wall, and tablets discovered at another fort (including a request by a commanding officer for "more beer").
posted by greycap on Aug 19, 2006 - 8 comments

...another less attractive but probably more realistic version of modern warfare in Iraq today ...

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow on Aug 5, 2006 - 13 comments

What it's like to lose a son in the Iraq war.

Never Coming Home is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Slate presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.
posted by ND¢ on Jun 12, 2006 - 24 comments

we're the Mafia now

the "Second Liberation of Baghdad" --coming soon, in which we act as "enforcers", providing "protection" --...American and Iraqi troops would move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, leaving behind Sweat teams — an acronym for “sewage, water, electricity and trash” — to improve living conditions by upgrading clinics, schools, rubbish collection, water and electricity supplies. Sunni insurgent strongholds are almost certain to be the first targets, although the Shi’ite militias such as the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical cleric, and the Iranian-backed Badr Brigade would need to be contained. ... Will we be greeted with candy and flowers again as well?
posted by amberglow on Apr 16, 2006 - 65 comments

The human cost of the Iraq "war"

This heart-wrenching 4 part story of the lives of some of the severely wounded US soldiers brought tears to my eyes - the descriptions of what these kids are enduring, the difficulties faced by their families, the courage they display under circumstances that would reduce most of us to useless blobs. These are the true costs of an illegal, immoral war. Truly tragic in scope.
posted by dbiedny on Mar 26, 2006 - 44 comments

"People don't want to know the Marlboro Man has PTSD"

It was an instant icon, with Dan Rather calling it "the best war photograph in recent years." About 100 newspapers ran the photo, dubbing the anonymous warrior the "Marlboro Man." The photograph hit the world on Nov. 10, 2004: a close-cropped shot of a U.S. Marine in Iraq, his face smeared with blood and dirt, a cigarette dangling from his lips, smoke curling across weary eyes. He's quieter now -- easier to anger. He turns to fight at the sound of a backfire, can't look at fireworks without thinking of fire raining down on a city. He has trouble sleeping, and when he does, his fingers twitch on invisible triggers. The diagnosis: post-traumatic stress disorder. The man in the photograph is James Blake Miller, now 21, and he is an icon, although in ways Rather probably never imagined.

Previously mentioned briefly here
posted by stenseng on Jan 29, 2006 - 27 comments

Soldiers in Iraq and sex

The Sex Lives and Sexual Frustrations of US troops in Iraq "Well over a hundred thousand American men and women, most younger than 30, spend a year or more at a time in a foreign country where they are almost totally isolated from the indigenous population. Are all these troops really chaste for those long periods, as called for by military regulations?"
posted by halekon on Jan 2, 2006 - 63 comments

Being There

"He is profane, uneducated, impious, lecherous, and unwashed. He doesn’t care much about the war. In most cases, he misses his mother badly. But the American combat infantryman in Iraq is doing just fine." An in-depth (and apolitical) profile of day-to-day life in the 506th Infantry; "the same regiment that immortalized itself as the Band of Brothers in Normandy and Bastogne during World War II."
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 9, 2005 - 19 comments

Norwegian peacekeepers make better music videos.

A clever satirical video (Windows media) made by Norwegian peacekeepers in Kosovo triggers an international incident.
"Somalia, Grenada, or rescuing Kuwait-a... We screwed ya, Rwanda. Wish we coulda helped ya... Iraqi embargo. That's where we got hustled... Down in Kosovo, we'll kick some ass and then we'll see how it goes. And then we really don't know... Good luck to Kosovo"
posted by insomnia_lj on May 23, 2005 - 28 comments

How to destroy an American soldier.

How to destroy an American soldier. Imagine you're a Marine, just two months back from your first tour of duty in Iraq. Imagine you've gone through a hellish experience that left you isolated, profoundly depressed, and struggling with addiction. The Marine Corps knows you have an untreated mental disorder, but you're still supposed to go back to Iraq next year for a second tour of duty. Now imagine that you have just discovered you may have to go back to Iraq again this year, too. "If I do get chosen that'll mean by 2007 (assuming I'm still alive ha ha) I'll have made 3 fucking trips to that country. Which in return will end up making me a bitter angry salty fucker. . . If I have to go I'm gonna fuck some shit up . . . your whole mentality just shifts cause of that fear. I wish you all who don't have to deal with a life like that could jump into my head for a second you'd wanna go fucking nuts too! ha ha ha ha LET'S GO EAT SOME BABIES AND SHOOT SOME ROO'S"
posted by insomnia_lj on May 18, 2005 - 120 comments

to export violence to the four corners of the globe

Now here's an interesting story. And well worth the read. It mentions some disturbing facts - he reloads and starts shooting again - but is still sympathetic to our hero. Of course if you compare it with this... "nothing to see here folks, keep moving right along!" Oh, and is "frought" a word?
posted by milkwood on Apr 18, 2005 - 25 comments

.

"He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying." --thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU has received documents detailing detention, abuse, and death, of many, including children, at Abu Ghraib. Mostly PDFs, but summaries available on most pages: ... Investigation closed because furtherance "would be of little or no value" ... --statements of that sort are common throughout.
posted by amberglow on Mar 11, 2005 - 94 comments

The journal of an American soldier.

The journal of an American soldier. Although it's typically my policy not to reveal the identity of people I know in Iraq, I am making an exception in this case. The journal above belongs to Michael Smith, a LiveJournal friend of mine who died in Iraq on Tuesday when an RPG hit his Humvee. Mike was 24 years old and leaves behind family, friends, and a newlywed wife, who he married in Korea shortly before he deployed to Iraq. As is tradition on LiveJournal, his last journal entry has become a memorial of sorts.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 13, 2005 - 75 comments

Fighting Tthe Covenant from Baqubah

Gaming in Iraq by US troops. Soon after the battle for Fallujah ended in November, U.S. Marines brought their Xbox consoles, Gameboys and laptops forward and started fighting the Covenant hordes in "Halo," Mario and Luigi's worst enemies and those irksome roommates from "The Sims." Of course such actives during war are nothing new. Iraqies have also gotten in on the action too.
posted by Bag Man on Jan 3, 2005 - 14 comments

Through the eyes of the soldiers

What do the soldiers see? We've been saturated with images from Iraq - from the media and from other sources. Under Mars has images from a different perspective - they were all taken by soldiers in Iraq. Some are wistful, some are painful, and some are just plain great photographs. There are a few that are kind of funny, too.
posted by bedhead on Dec 15, 2004 - 25 comments

The vanquished know war.

Chris Hedges on war. The long-time war correspondent explains why it will be years before we have any idea what's been going on in Iraq, and describes the gulf between here and there:
One of the Marines in the book returns to California and is invited to be the guest of honor in a gated community in Malibu, a place where he could never afford to live. The residents want to toast him as a war hero. "I'm not a hero," he tells the guests. "Guys like me are just a necessary part of things. To maintain this way of life in a fine community like this, you need psychos like us to go out and drop a bomb on somebody's house."

posted by languagehat on Dec 2, 2004 - 45 comments

When is a political statement not a political statement?

Sinclair Broadcasting is demanding its 62 television stations air an anti-Kerry 'documentary' in prime-time, just before the november election. Does the name sound familiar? That's because Sinclair Broadcasting was the same media group that refused to air an episode of 'Nightline' where the names of the troops who died in iraq were read, on the basis that it was 'nothing more than a political statement'. Those upset with this unfairness can do something about it. Write the FCC, and get active. If that's not enough, you can join Sinclair Watch.
posted by FunkyHelix on Oct 12, 2004 - 31 comments

Soldiers say they are being threatened with Iraq duty

Another good one for "the troops". Iraq is being used to blackmail soldiers to re-enlist, or else...
posted by acrobat on Sep 17, 2004 - 37 comments

Thousandth U.S. soldier dies in War on Terror.

Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died in the War on Terror. As of today, 872 soldiers have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 129 in Operation Enduring Freedom. Time for a moment of silence, perhaps, before sharing your reflections on the subject.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jul 7, 2004 - 51 comments

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/06/29/iraq.reserves.ap/index.html

Army to recall former military members It is good to be too old! "The Army is preparing to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve that they will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan, Army officials said Tuesday."
posted by Postroad on Jun 29, 2004 - 136 comments

back from iraq

From the where-are-they-now (-and-I-hope-they-are-doing-ok) file: Jeremy Botter, our medic man in Iraq, has just released all his posts from Iraq as a free downloadable PDF. It contains the story of capturing Saddam, getting bombed at camp as soldiers died, and a whole lot of playstation2.
posted by mathowie on Jun 1, 2004 - 4 comments

The Scandal's Growing Stain

The Scandal's Growing Stain Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"
posted by Postroad on May 9, 2004 - 18 comments

The other shoe drops.

The other shoe drops. The L.A. Times releases details from Major General Antonio M. Taguba's findings into prisoner abuse in Iraq, including evidence that convinced him that a U.S. soldier had sex with an Iraqi female.

(Can we all agree that she didn't ask for it...?)
posted by insomnia_lj on May 4, 2004 - 106 comments

British soldiers in Iraq torture photos

British soldiers in new Iraq torture photos. Brutal photos and story in today's Daily Mirror.
posted by iffley on May 1, 2004 - 145 comments

Fun with Lcpl. Boudreaux

Fake Photos from Iraq. Or, do it yourself: Fun with Lcpl. Boudreaux.
posted by xmutex on Apr 26, 2004 - 37 comments

This is what we do to looters

This is what we do to looters (3Mb windows media video) This clip comes from Frontline, showing a US tank crew confronting some Iraqis taking some wood. I'll give a quick preview: it's probably not the best way for Americans to build US-Iraq relations. [via rc3]
posted by mathowie on Apr 25, 2004 - 121 comments

Homeless Soldier

Yesterday, Iraq. Today, homeless in the Bronx. Welcome back, soldier, and god bless America.
posted by PrinceValium on Apr 24, 2004 - 117 comments

servicemen Iraq

One year later "It's easy to send soldiers off to war. It's a lot harder to face them when they come home"
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 20, 2004 - 49 comments

ticker tape

500+ The U.S. military death toll in Iraq surpassed 500 this weekend, roughly matching the number of U.S. military personnel who died in the first four years of the U.S. military engagement in Vietnam.
posted by the fire you left me on Jan 18, 2004 - 50 comments

Contractor served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens

Contractor Halliburton served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens Well, Bush served up clean turkey and these guys were busy overcharging the Pentagon on energy so they could reap big bucks...Cheney remains in his gopher hole.
posted by Postroad on Dec 14, 2003 - 22 comments

15 Days home from Iraq, then back.

15 Days home from Iraq, then back. An interesting article about 1 soldier, out of about 3.600, that get a 2 week furlough back to the U.S., to split apart their now extended stay in Iraq. Shades of "All Quiet on the Western Front".
posted by Espoo2 on Oct 15, 2003 - 7 comments

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