"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."
: Surge in discharges includes wounded soldiers"
: No break for the wounded"
: Army struggles with wounded soldiers"
posted by andoatnp
on Jun 2, 2013 -
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]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on May 17, 2013 -
"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 -
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]
posted by zarq
on Mar 15, 2013 -
The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1
. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jan 4, 2013 -
"The Soldier Portraits Project
...consists of portrait photographs of soldiers of the United States Army, primarily of the 3rd Infantry Division...[t]he photographs are made using the 150 year old collodion wet plate process - the same process that was used to document much of the period (and many of the soldiers) of the Civil War." [more inside]
posted by cjelli
on Jan 25, 2012 -
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 -
"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 -
A Year at War:
One Battalion's Wrenching Deployment to Afghanistan
: "Some 30,000 American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division" out of Fort Drum, NY., based in Kunduz Province
, Afghanistan. Over the next year, The New York Times will follow their journey, chronicling the battalion’s part in the surge in northern Afghanistan and the impact of war on individual soldiers and their families back home. (First link is an interactive feature containing images and autoplaying video, and requires flash. Second link is a standard-style article.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 21, 2010 -
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.
, interviewed in TNR (reg required, free)
on his frequent USO visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
posted by Ethereal Bligh
on Apr 13, 2007 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
Soldiers Challenge Enlistment Extensions
You sign a contract for a specific period of service, when that service is up you're supposed to be done but that doesn't happen if its a contract with the US government. Soldiers are now suing to try and get out of their extended duties.
Yes, there is the Pentagon's "Stop Loss" program but "The lawsuit contends the policy [stop loss] is a breach of the service contract because it extends the length of service without a soldier's consent. It also alleges the contracts were misleading because they make no reference to the policy, said Staughton Lynd, an attorney for the soldiers."
posted by fenriq
on Dec 6, 2004 -
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 -
Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting According to their contracts, expectations and desires, all three soldiers should have been civilians by now. But Fontaine and Costas are currently serving in Iraq, and Eagle has just been deployed. On their Army paychecks, the expiration date of their military service is now listed sometime after 2030 -- the payroll computer's way of saying, "Who knows?"
The three are among thousands of soldiers forbidden to leave military service under the Army's "stop-loss" orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions.
As Helena Cobham notes
, They don't want to call it a draft but it sure ain't your father's "all-volunteer military" any more... Marine's Girl
, Cobham's cause celebre
of some time ago, writes about stop-loss here
. See also Army reservists choosing to be citizens, not soldiers
posted by y2karl
on Dec 30, 2003 -
Support out troops?
The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.
posted by whatever
on Aug 14, 2003 -
Books Go To War
Between 1943 and 1947, the Council on Books in Wartime published 1322 small-format books
(4 in. x 5.75 in. — designed to fit easily into the pockets of service uniforms) for distribution to United States service personnel. These books were unabridged volumes
spanning a variety of topics: popular fiction, humor, classic literature, music, psychology, war stories, etc. Because the books were distributed only
to overseas troops, and printed on cheap paper (intended to be read, passed around, and discarded), they've become hard-to-find, the subject of museum exhibits
and, in the case of the rarer titles
, the object
posted by jdroth
on Jul 25, 2003 -
Jules is a thief.
The fact that "all the embedded reporters were doing it" does not make it right. Presumably the US soldiers who were overseeing the embedded reporters knew of this kind of cultural theft -- more than likely, many were a party to it themselves.
I'm sending him an email
to remind him of that fact, and I will also contact his bosses
, urging disciplinary action.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Apr 23, 2003 -
I really don't know what to say about this site. Except that I didn't even know a .mil domain extension existed until now. The link comes from a letter to the editor of my hometown, small-town Indiana newspaper
(also see "Operation Dear Abby"), where people are generally in support of the war. A boy from my hometown was killed. He was a really good kid; I knew his family, who are just the kind of people you think of when you think of small town John Couger-style, pink-housed, middle class America. I am against this war in principle, but how can you say this really decent kid's life
was wasted? All questions, no answers, probably a bad post. Apologies all around.
posted by _sirmissalot_
on Apr 3, 2003 -
Special Operations Soldiers return from Afghanistan and kill wives.
With all the talk about going to war with Iraq, is it time to take a serious look at what the effects of modern combat have on the soldiers who we send to fight? In the past six weeks four soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg (all recently returned from Afghanistan) killed their wives by shootings (2), strangulation (1) or stabbing (50 times) and burning the body (note - not a special opps soldier for this one). Are these killings just the tip of the iceberg for a future trend, and what can the US military do to make sure that the training they give to soldiers not turn them into domestic terrorists upon their return?
posted by DragonBoy
on Jul 31, 2002 -
So what's the difference
between the latest suicide bombing and the incursion in Jenin? Both targeted off-duty combatants (13 of the 17 killed on the bus were armed soldiers, the majority killed in Jenin were armed combatants) and both had "collateral damage" of civilians. If one argues that Jenin was a military operation that pursued combatants and unfortunately civilians were caught in between, couldn't one argue the same about this bus bombing? Disclaimer: I oppose both as immoral.
posted by laz-e-boy
on Jun 5, 2002 -
The Green Fields of Vietnam
There was an interesting program aired tonight on RTE (Irish TV), about Irish born soliders who fought in the Vietnam War. Although only one Irish born solider is officially listed as having been killed, there were 20 others, who gave their US address when they enlisted. It's believed that 2000 Irish born men served in that conflict (they had emigrated and a Greencard means you can be conscripted) but the vast majority of these remain unknown.
posted by tomcosgrave
on Apr 23, 2002 -