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.
. I’ve come to bear witness to American folly, to rest my eyes on the flying machines that flattened the forests of Southeast Asia, poisoned its people, and changed my life.
A personal essay about the long-reaching effects of Agent Orange. [more inside]
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.
With the death of Louis de Cazenave
, Lazare Ponticelli
is the last surviving French veteran of World War One, and the country has been wondering how to mark the inevitable.
By contrast, Germany's response to the recent death of Erich Kaestner
has been a more muted affair, indeed, all but unnoted. [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 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."
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.
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.
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.)
Band of Brothers
is an organization of Democratic veterans
running for U.S. Congress. Maybe you'll hear about their DC rally today on the news
(but don't hold your breath). Currently, vets in the Senate
are about evenly split among the GOP and Dems, but Republican vets are the majority in the House
. This is likely to change if the Democrats take control of Congress in this year's elections, in which the Iraq War will be a primary issue. Has a White House
full of chickenhawks
destroyed the GOP claim as the military party?
Ron Kovic writes about returning wounded vets There are things here you can never forget, images and sounds and smells that you will never see on TV or read about in the newspapers.
Marine's Final Salute to fallen comrades
Very emotional piece by the Rocky Mountain News where they shadow'ed a Marine that is responsible for notifying next-of-kin. Seeing as today is Veteran's Day, how 'bout we salute our men and women in uniform ... and leave the political discussions for other forums.
On my 19th birthday in 1917, we were in the trenches at Passchendaele... Haig put a three-day barrage on the Germans, and thought, "Well, there can't be much left of them." I think it was the Yorkshires and Lancashires that went over. I watched them as they came out of their dugouts and the German machine guns just mowed them down. I doubt whether any of them reached the front line.
Harry Patch, Private, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Born June 17 1898.
Of the millions who fought in WWI, only a handful are still alive today -- and all are now well over 100 years old. With the horror of the trenches about to slip from living memory, Max Arthur
has tracked down and interviewed these last survivors of the 'carnage incomparable
"I imagine being a government contract killer
who has taken an active role in an illegal and immoral invasion and occupation must be somewhat stressful.
. My heart
Lots of folks agree with that
apparently. [more inside]
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...
The National Coalition for
says soldiers returning from Iraq and
Afghanistan are beginning
to request help from service providers
: "Advocates for the homeless already are seeing
veterans from the war on terror living on the street, and say the
government must do more to ease their transition from military to
civilian life. Boone said the reasons behind the veterans' housing
problems are varied: Some have emotional and mental issues from their
combat experience, some have trouble finding work after leaving the
military, some have health care bills which result in financial
distress." Philly.com has more
(Reg Req, or view here
) on a recently homeless vet from Philadelphia.
.... 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
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.
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!
SWIFT BOAT LIES
send this to 5 people! "Like most bloggers, I have my beefs with the mainstream media. But you know what? They produce an awful lot of damn fine original reporting.
Case in point. In August the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charged that John Kerry had lied about the events that led to his Silver Star. In order to figure out if the SBVT account was true, Nightline sent a crew to Vietnam, where they visited the hamlets of Tran Thoi and Nha Vi and interviewed the local villagers to get their recollections of what really happened 35 years ago. You can read the resulting story yourself, but it's summarized pretty easily: Kerry was right and SBVT honcho John O'Neill wasn't.
But there was also this:..."
John Kerry's Official Naval Records
Time to put to rest the nonsense coming out of the hate groups. And when you hear about the Swift Boat group who have put out an ad and now a book denouncing Kerry, then turn to this URL to find out about that group of patriots
The Swift Boat Veterans video you didn't hear about.
Shown on CSPAN-2, now available on their website (downloadable video in WMV format), but not widely reported by any major news service. The angriest group of Vietnam vets you might ever see--men who served with and around John Kerry, united in their opposition to his becoming President.
How Kerry Earned His Decorations
For all the loud mouths who shout out that Kerry is a traitor, a guy who did not earn his medals, read this and then compare your medals with his! Did he turn against the war? Sure. Many soldiers did too. The nation also turned against the war and, finally, some responsible for getting us into the war admitted their mistake. "Kerry is one of the Senate's most decorated veterans — though he has far fewer medals than friend John McCain — and his record is impressive for an officer who spent just 10 months in Vietnam. Each of the medals below came with a matching ribbon. Kerry wore his ribbons when he testified before a Senate committee in 1971; the next day, joining hundreds of other vets, he lobbed them at the Capitol. "
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.
Another stadium bites the dust.
Make sure to avoid the Veterans stadium, South Philly area Sunday, unless you would like to witness the destruction first hand. Next on the chopping block? (Insert desired stadium demolition). But coming new in 2004, Petco
and Veterans replacement Citizens Bank Park
Eleventh hour stories
: a project to gather true tales of war from the past 100 years from civilians, soldiers and veterans: " The telling and the receiving of these stories are activities that say: 'This must stop here and now.'"
Veterans for Common Sense seeks to inject the element of Common Sense into debates over war and national security. In an age when the majority of public servants have never served in uniform, the perspective of war veterans must play a key role in the public debate over national security issues in order to preserve the liberty veterans have fought and died preserving.
With the rift growing
between the military and their Executive Branch bosses, here's a different approach
to supporting the troops
It's not exactly the same
as being in heaven surrounded by virgins.
The GOP is reportedly [+
] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War
are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur
to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down
. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron
reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others
reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here
PeaceTrees Vietnam. Reversing the Legacy of War.
"A group of American volunteers, including Vietnam War veterans, helped Vietnamese victims of the war move Thursday into a newly built 'peace village'
on the site of a former U.S. Marine base. The 100 families who will live in the village lost relatives or limbs in explosions of bombs, shells or other ordnance left over from the war. PeaceTrees Vietnam, the Washington State-based nonprofit group which sponsored the $385,000 project, says it spent months digging out 339 pieces of ordnance both American and North Vietnamese to make the 100-acre site safe."
Beautiful project and story....but one can't help wonder how many years will pass before we reverse the legacies of today's (and tomorrow's) wars.
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.
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.
More disturbing mismanagement in Kansas City
This time at the VA hospital:
A recent report in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine said that the hospital in Kansas City was overrun with flies and mice in mid-1998. Nurses even found maggots growing in the noses of two comatose patients. Both patients, astoundingly, were in the intensive-care unit.
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.
In Flanders Fields
- by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
MetaFilter readers wherever you are, please take a moment of silence to honour those who gave their lives so that we could live ours.
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?
has failed to make veterans, especially disabled veterans, a monetary urgency. Congress' attempt to honor and recognize our freedom fighters during their aged years must include the backing of the entire country."