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What Will Happen When the Soldiers Return? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-1-10 08:03:35 |Display all floors
2 soldiers charged with NC bank robberies

Posted: Jan 9, 2009 04:21 PM


Police have charged two Fort Bragg soldiers with robberies at two Fayetteville banks.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Friday that the 82nd Airborne Division soldiers were charged with a robbery on Tuesday as well as one Dec. 22.

The newspaper said 24-year-old Kali Eloi Robinson and 22-year-old Christopher Bernard Jackson have been charged with robberies of different Fayetteville branches of RBC Centura Bank.

Police said the soldiers are members of the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade.
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Post time 2009-4-18 03:55:41 |Display all floors

Desperate american veterans turn to suicide

VA blamed for failing to help Iraq, Afghan veterans

Marney Rich Keenan / The Detroit News

On June 11, 2006, at 8:30 p.m., Randen Harvey, a 24-year-old Marine Corps veteran, walked into the emergency room of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ann Arbor in such a state of despair he warned he "might jump off the roof or put a hose in his car exhaust."

Four hours later, around 1 a.m., he was found on the roof of the nine-story building. Hospital security had to be called to bring him down.

Three days later, on June 15, the Marine who served two back-to-back combat tours in Iraq surrendered to his demons. He was found sprawled on the tile floor in the bathroom of his father's Farmington Hills home, dead from an overdose of street and prescription drugs.

Several branches of the military are reporting significant spikes in the number of suicides committed by both active-duty troops and veterans returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Experts are calling the number of military-related suicides sweeping the country an "epidemic."

Survivors of veterans who committed suicide are starting to file lawsuits, accusing the VA of medical malpractice. The agency also has come under attack by lawmakers and veterans' groups charging that it failed to treat injured veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The agency also has been accused of manipulating suicide statistics to downplay the problem and systematically misdiagnosing returning combat soldiers who suffer mental illness because their resources are tapped.

"We are murdering our own children here," said the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., in an interview with The Detroit News.

"The tragedy is we could have predicted this, what with multiple deployments, the type of urban warfare and the almost inevitable killing of innocent people. Now we have an epidemic on our hands. This is a national disgrace."

Veterans groups say they are bracing for a flood of soldiers coming home from Iraq to a Veterans Affairs system that is ill-equipped to treat them and a country in the grips of a recession with few or no jobs to offer soldiers.

Harvey was honorably discharged less than seven months before he committed suicide. He came home only to find he couldn't sleep, couldn't hold a job, couldn't stand to be in public, couldn't stay sober and couldn't be around the family who loved him.

The night he was found on the roof of the hospital, he told a VA psychiatrist: "I am at the end of my rope. Things would be much easier if I weren't here." But because Harvey had failed a Breathalyzer test, he was discharged.The following morning Harvey returned to the hospital and was examined by Dr. Brian Martis, associate director of psychiatry at the Ann Arbor VA. Harvey told the psychiatrist he felt "hopeless" and "ashamed." Still, Harvey was not admitted to the hospital.

Instead, the veteran who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, panic anxiety disorder and alcohol abuse -- the same patient who had tried to commit suicide two months prior and who, only hours earlier, had been talked down from the hospital roof -- was, in Martis' words, "not certifiable" -- hospital code for not sick enough to be involuntarily committed.

In a lawsuit, Harvey's family claims that Veterans Affairs, the organization President Abraham Lincoln said was charged "to care for him who shall have borne the battle," failed to keep him from taking his own life.
His mother, Jackie Green of Brooklyn, filed the medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Officials at the Ann Arbor Veteran Affairs facility where her son sought help, declined to comment for this story because the case is in litigation.

'The Brothers'

Green referred to her four sons from two marriages as The Brothers, as if they are one unit, one force with which to be reckoned: "You better run that by 'The Brothers,' " she'll say. Or: "The Brothers don't agree." Michael Sheppard is 35, David Sheppard, 33, Ryan Sheppard, 29 and Harvey, the youngest, would have been 27 on Feb. 1.

His relatives describe Harvey as the "glue," the "heart" of the family, with "the most infectious laugh you've ever heard."

The boys grew up on 80 acres in Comins in Oscoda County. Green, then a divorcee, moved from Ferndale to the country where her sons could have four-wheelers, dirt bikes and snowmobiles.

While the brothers have their own share of pain, Michael Sheppard seems the hardest hit. Last February, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Now, Sheppard finds himself thinking about what might have been.
When Harvey announced he was joining the Marines, Sheppard, a four-year Navy veteran who served in the Persian Gulf War, re-enlisted. He joined his little brother at basic training in San Diego. When Sheppard later suffered a ruptured hamstring, the planned tour of duty together was off. In January 2003, his brother shipped off to Kuwait alone.

Family sees difference

After Harvey was discharged in November 2005, Green says she could see the difference in his eyes. "He looked so haunted," she says.

That Christmas, surrounded by relatives, Harvey had to leave his mother's house. He said he felt claustrophobic. By spring he was sleeping outside on the porch with a handmade machete.

He tried working at Best Buy but had a panic attack in the middle of a shift and never went back. Then he tried working for a landscaping business. When a lawnmower engine backfired, he lost it. Humiliated, he said: "I'm afraid of a frigging lawn mower!"

In the span of six weeks, in early 2006, Harvey got two drunken driving tickets. His mother tried to intervene: "I pointed out to him the worst person in the world doesn't just all of a sudden start getting drunk driving convictions. You need help," Green recalled.

On March 31, 2006, when Harvey was first seen by the Ann Arbor VA's urgent care facility, he said he could sleep only four hours a night. He admitted that he'd been cutting himself on his arms, but denied that he was suicidal.

Harvey was given prescriptions for Xanax and Wellbutrin, both antidepressants.
Two weeks later, on April 16, 2006, he swallowed what was left of the prescriptions and ended up in the VA hospital in Detroit for the night. But he downplayed it to his family, saying it was "just a panic attack."
On May 3, 2006, about five weeks before he died, Harvey was evaluated in the post-traumatic stress disorder clinic in Ann Arbor.

A physician wrote in his chart: "Patient says his motor transport unit was assigned 'cleanup duty' of casualties. P. says he felt disgusted and horrified by the site of dead and mutilated bodies especially by those of dead women and children. 'We bagged them and threw them in the truck like it was garbage day.' At one point he says he vomited from those sights and smells."
Real tragedy of war

A day after her son died, Green said she received two phone calls. One was from an intake counselor at the VA Battle Creek Medical Center saying they had a bed available for his long-term residential care. "He was one day away from getting help," she says ruefully. "One damned day."

The other was from the physician in Ann Arbor who had decided hours after his patient climbed up on a roof that he would release him. Jackie says he called to apologize. He said he would not make the same decision again. She screamed at him: "Why didn't you lock my son up? He might be alive if you had."

In retrospect, the grieving mother says: "You know it's a terrible thing to say about your dead son. But he looked so at peace. He just looked like all the war had been drained out of him. And it strikes me as so sad, a tragedy really, that he had to die to be at peace." ... ans+turn+to+suicide

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Post time 2009-4-18 07:20:22 |Display all floors
Originally posted by cossack at 2009-4-18 03:55
VA blamed for failing to help Iraq, Afghan veterans

Marney Rich Keenan / The Detroit News

On June 11, 2006, at 8:30 p.m., Randen Harvey, a 24-year-old Marine Corps veteran, walked into the em ...

Great news!

The millions of Iraqis who have their country and people blown to bits are getting a little payback.
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Post time 2009-8-22 19:14:31 |Display all floors

San Diego Marine faces court-martial in rape case

San Diego Marine faces court-martial in rape case

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A Marine Corps captain will face a court-martial in February in a rape case involving three University of San Diego students.

A judge set the date Wednesday for Capt. Douglas S. Wacker, who was charged with 11 criminal counts including rape, attempted rape and conduct unbecoming an officer.

The alleged crimes took place during a spring break trip to New Orleans in April 2007. The 30-year-old Wacker was on unpaid leave from the military to work on a law degree at the time.

Wacker's attorney, Haytham Faraj, called the defendant a "good guy" and has said the alleged rapes were consensual acts.

Faraj said a USD administrative board is withholding Wacker's law degree pending the Feb. 8 court-martial, but has cleared him of misconduct.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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Post time 2009-12-5 10:05:27 |Display all floors

There is a price to pay for murder of 1.5 million people

Wife of soldier suspected in slayings of 2 servicemen says war in Iraq changed her husband

Associated Press Writer

6:28 p.m. EST, December 3, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Relatives of a Fort Drum soldier accused of stabbing his two Army buddies to death said Thursday that he told them he saw his best friend "blown to pieces" in Iraq and came back a changed man: abusive, violent, sleepless, edgy and plagued by flashbacks.

Spc. Joshua Hunter, a military policeman, was expected to be arraigned on second-degree murder charges Friday morning, three days after the bodies of Waide James, 20, and Diego Valbuena, 23, were found in their apartment just outside Fort Drum, about 140 miles northwest of Albany. Hunter and the two victims served in Iraq at the same time in the same battalion.

They all were based at the wind-swept Army post near the Canadian border, home of the much-deployed 10th Mountain Division, and shared an off-base apartment.

Hunter's wife, Emily Hunter, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that her husband was outgoing before he went to war, but when he returned stateside, he was an emotional wreck.

"He wasn't in any good mental shape at all," Emily Hunter said. "I tried to get him to go to therapy. They prescribed him medicine and stuff, but it just wasn't enough."

She said he saw a therapist at Fort Drum because of his volatile emotions and violent outbursts.

"He'd just burst into tears; spouts of anger or sadness," she said. "There'd be one emotion but it would be really deep, just extremely happy or extremely sad. His emotions were always on the rocks."

"He'd take his rage out on the wall, or throw something," she said.

While he wasn't violent toward his buddies, he was toward her, she said, adding that she went to the hospital a couple of times for treatment of an injured arm and thumb.

She said she moved out two weeks ago because of his violence and is pursuing a divorce.

Emily Hunter said her husband was haunted by one image:

"He saw his best friend get blown up to pieces and he tried to put him back together," she said. "He was never right after that."

Calls to Fort Drum to confirm that Hunter had seen a comrade killed by bomb were not immediately returned.

His wife said she has talked to her husband since his arrest.

"He just cried. They were his two best friends."

Joshua Hunter grew up in Ona, W.Va., and joined the Army in September 2007. Fort Drum officials said he served in Iraq for a year and returned in May.

Hunter said she and her husband grew up together and were members of the fundamentalist Teays Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Hurricane, W.Va.

"He was religious," she said. "But after he came back from Iraq, he said he didn't believe there was a god because of all the things he'd really seen. He didn't think God would let that happen."

In an interview with The Associated Press at the family's home, Judy Hunter said her son was not the same after coming home. He had trouble sleeping and would stay up for days on end. He sometimes suffered flashbacks. Though her son never talked to her about the war, he did confide in his father about "the trauma he went through," she said.

Hunter, who manages a beauty salon, said her son told his wife in a telephone call after the slayings that he blacked out, woke to find his friends dead and panicked.

"In my heart of hearts, I think he snapped," his mother said.

Hunter waived extradition during a hearing in Ohio, where he was arrested early Wednesday in a hotel, and was being sent to upstate New York for arraignment.

James and Valbuena both served in Iraq as drivers in the same battalion and were both from Florida. The pair spent the night together at James' grandparents' home in Port St. John this summer before returning to Fort Drum. James' grandfather, Chuck Mills, remembered Valbuena as the perfect guest: He made his bed military-style and did his own breakfast dishes.

As for his grandson, Mills said "he was just a good kid."

"He had a passion for the outdoors, especially fishing," Mills said.

The shooting contains echoes of the Nov. 5 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, where an Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Hasan, is accused of killing 13 people.

People in the small communities that surround Fort Drum like a necklace wondered if post-traumatic stress disorder played a role. PTSD is a potentially crippling condition that can emerge after terrifying events like combat and is thought to affect as many as one in five veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

In West Virginia, Judy Hunter stared at photographs of her smiling son at his June wedding, in his Army uniform and in family snapshots lining her living room.

"I don't understand when you bring up your children to love the Lord what can happen to change your heart," Hunter said through tears.

"Something went desperately wrong." ... -homicide-fort-drum,0,2679448.story?page=2
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Post time 2009-12-6 00:03:27 |Display all floors
A proper price will be paid if they can all die a horrible and painful death that they subjected the innocent Iraqi population to!
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Post time 2009-12-6 05:32:54 |Display all floors
Originally posted by tongluren at 2008-2-6 11:07
They recruit (aka "con") the dumbest brutes and send them off to terrorize the world. .  ...

So when did you join up, or are you not enough of a "brute".

We all think you qualify on the dumb front !
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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