Many American, Canadian
, and British
military veterans opposed to the actions of ISIS in Iraq have been, individually
, going over to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga for some time now, bringing thousands of dollars of military gear and irreplaceable training. There have been so many of them fighting
that the Peshmerga are now actively recruiting
military veterans online
. Not to be internet-outdone, military veterans
have begun investigating forming units of their own
to fight ISIS
-including notable and controversial science-fiction author John Ringo
, who suggested trying to crowdfund for 'a brigade of soldiers'. [more inside]
In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
Veterans Administration hospitals performed lobotomies on more than 2,000 mentally ill soldiers during and after World War II. Today, the Wall Street Journal published the first part of a story extensively documenting
the lives of the men who underwent this procedure, and those who performed it.
"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"
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]
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
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.)
824,273 disabled veterans are currently awaiting a response on claims from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. On average, it takes the government 257 days to respond, and there has been a 7.2% growth in claims over the last 1.3 years -- so the delays are growing. While they wait, veterans often cannot access health care from the agency or receive disability compensation. Plus, the backlog on claim appeals is at least 3.5 years. So how can veterans avoid the backlog? A special investigation by the Bay Area Citizen shows that processing speed is a matter of geographic location: veterans in sparsely populated areas have their claims filled faster than those living in urban centers.
Interactive Map: Where is Worst Backlog
? Related video and transcript
An essay which looks inside the conflicted mind of an Israeli soldier, stationed at a West Bank checkpoint. By Oded Na'aman, currently a student in the Philosophy PhD program at Harvard University, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces from November 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Na'aman is also a member of Breaking the Silence
, a website that gathers and publishes anonymous testimonials
from IDF soldiers -- combat veterans -- about their experiences and the realities of life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
Today, President Obama signed an executive order
which places stricter disclosure requirements on recruiters for for-profit schools looking to recruit veterans and soldiers. The move comes amid growing concern among state and federal legislators
that for-profit educational institutions are doing more harm than good and are employing predatory recruiting practices
especially on veterans who are exiting the military and looking to improve their education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill
. [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]
... it's terribly important for veterans to feel they are continuing a mission that held them together through the violence and stress of war. "PTSD carries a stigma, that you're broken and wounded," said Yount, "And many guys have guilt for not still being in the fight. The idea of Paws for Purple Hearts is you can be part of the war effort while you're getting treatment."
'The unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars reached 14.7 percent in March, according to the latest government statistics.'
It is particularly bad for the youngest veterans - with a jobless rate at 21.1%
for ages 18 to 24, 'well above the national jobless rate of 16.6 percent for nonveterans in the same age group, 18 to 24.' 'Young veterans tell of futile job hunt
' - and the situation keeps getting worse. It was 11.2% a year ago
, but regardless of the accuracy of the statistics
, 'veterans groups say the figures are unacceptable.
"It's unforgivable that new veterans are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn," said Tom Tarantino, legislative associate for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "This is no way to welcome a new generation of heroes home."' [more inside]
The Warrior Writers Project
brings together recent veterans and current service members to be in creative community and utilize art-making processes to express themselves. There is a deep necessity for veterans to create when so much has been shattered and stolen. A profound sense of hope comes from the ability to rebuild and transform.
PTSD: The War Within. A Marine writes about his PTSD experience.
This article from the January issue of the Marine Corps Gazette
was written by USMC Staff Sergeant Travis N. Twiggs
. Twiggs killed himself and his brother
after a long police chase in Arizona earlier this week.
express themselves using Combat Paper
made from their old military uniforms. FAQ
. An associated RI art show
has its opening reception tonight. Sunday night there’s a program
as well at The Beat Museum in San Francisco.
The killing of Jamie Dean.
"Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
When I Came Home:
Iraq War veteran Herold Noel suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and lives out of his car in Brooklyn. Using Noel's story as a fulcrum, this doc examines the wider issue of homeless U.S. military veterans-from Vietnam to Iraq-who have to fight tooth-and-nail to receive the benefits promised to them by their government.
.... Numbers vary but are only going down
has none left. Neither does New Zealand
. Australia losts its last decorated member
, and the remainder are a handful only
. Likewise Canada
, the United States
, the United Kingdom
(notably Mr Anderson
) and France
has a few
, one of which whom share
And let us not forget there were women
As recently as two years ago, some countries could count the numbers in four figures. Today- generally in the low twos. Spare a moment sometime this week to reflect on them now. A lot of them are not going to make it to November 11
(Astonishingly, many countries do not keep tabs on this sort of thing, but anyone who finds this more moving than ghoulish can find updated information here
His name is Leroy Bailey, and he was once briefly famous.
The legacy of war for one Vietnam veteran. Part of an excellent series
in the Chicago Sun-Times, previous article linked here
It's not exactly the same
as being in heaven surrounded by virgins.
One of the Marine Corps' greatest living heroes was dying. A donor liver had been found, but he might not live long enough to get it. Who ya gonna call? Semper Fidelis.
Speaking of Veterans Day,
here in Chicago we have the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum. Art by Vets about the War. Most pieces are on-line with a short essay. The Above and Beyond memorial
is impressive to say the least.
USA's Depleted Uranium Weapons
1 in 7 Gulf War veterans suffer from Gulf War Syndrome, including a high incidence of birth defects, respiratory, kidney and liver problems. There are outrageously high rates of leukemia and severe birth defects among Iraqi civilians. Now Israel uses DU weapons against Palestinians. After DU weapons were used in Kosovo,
Italy wants to know why Kosovo veterans are getting cancer.
Still the pentagon insists that "... we do not believe it poses any significant health risk." Does anybody in the US give a damn?