How A War Hero Became A Serial Bank Robber.
"Army medic Nicholas Walker returned home from Iraq after 250 combat missions, traumatized and broken. His friends and family couldn’t help him. Therapy couldn’t help him. Heroin couldn’t help him. Pulling bank heists helped him." [Via]
"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"
"Hell Broke Luce" -- a surreal anti-war video
from Tom Waits
for his powerful song based on the harrowing story of Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey
, a 23-year old Iraq war Marine veteran who committed suicide in 2004.
From Waits' 22d album Bad As Me
(2011, AntiRecords) [more inside]
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]
- in honor of Veteran's Day, it might be fitting to check in on the recovery of J.R. Salzman
, known here on mefi as Logboy
The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness.
"Investigating the impact of the war on Iraqi civilians, Chris Hedges
and Laila Al-Arian reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by US troops in Iraq--brutal acts that often go unreported and almost always go unpunished." [Via No Quarter.]
The Iraq Veterans Memorial
is "an online war memorial that honors the members of the U.S. armed forces who have lost their lives serving in the Iraq War. The Memorial
is a collection of video memories from family, friends, military colleagues, and co-workers of those that have fallen." A project of the Brave New Foundation
. [Via Bushflash.]
Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility.
The Iraq war has transformed Walter Reed into "a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients." Meanwhile, despite predictions that the cost of medical care for veterans will skyrocket
, the Bush administration apparently plans to cut funding for veterans' health care
. Tired of waiting for the government, more people are taking the initiative in developing alternative facilities
to help veterans.
Only 2,029 out of 9,145 veterans with post traumatic stress
disorder resulting from combat have been referred to mental health for evaluation/treatment. I say give them the same treatment
the IDF gets.
Are you a Gulf War veteran still suffering from mysterious symptoms
or post-combat trauma? The Veteran's Administration has just the prescription for you: "Obecalp," otherwise known as placebo
. (p.s. -- They'd better start working on an Extra-Strength version
for Iraq War vets.)
Pentagon to close Walter Reed Medical Center
More than 3,700 doctors and other medical personnel will be moved to a new and expanded facility to be built at the Navy's National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., a few miles away. The move will cost nearly $989 million, and is expected to save more than $301 million over 20 years as the Pentagon seeks to streamline care and provide state of the art medical treatment for wounded servicemen and women.
And saving $301 million over 20 years is better than spending a billion dollars within the next 2 years, how?
And never mind those 18,000+ American casualties
coming back from the M.E. I'm sure they'll be able to improvise bedrolls during the renovations up in Bethesda...
Homeless Iraq vets showing up at shelters
U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq are beginning to show up at homeless shelters around the country, and advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era.
Yesterday, Iraq. Today, homeless in the Bronx.
Welcome back, soldier, and god bless America.
The coffins that George Bush doesn't want you to see.
The Memory Hole
filed a Freedom of Information Act request for photographs of American servicemen and women who died in Iraq. After an initial refusal, the request was granted. Over a hundred US troops
have been killed in action in the last month alone.