Shell Shock Lite

“Shell shock,” the psychological scourge of World War I, occurred after “a man has been buried, lifted, or otherwise subjected to the physical effects of a bursting shell or other similar explosive.”  So wrote Charles Myers, an officer in the British army’s medical corps, in his 1940 book, Shell Shock in France, 1914-18. Additionally, he noted, … Continue reading “Shell Shock Lite”

Mentally Unfit but Serving Anyway

The year began with a story about a 24-year-old ex-soldier who shot and killed a female park ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington before dying of apparent hypothermia, his body face down in the snow. Months before, the mother of Benjamin Colton Barnes’ young daughter reportedly filed for sole custody of their young … Continue reading “Mentally Unfit but Serving Anyway”

Are Veterans Our Only Hope?

WASHINGTON – Joyce Wagner is one of those women who is supposed to be celebrated but instead has had to endure a unique hell seemingly reserved for women in the military. She was sexually assaulted in-theater by a fellow Marine who Wagner had trusted. She didn’t say anything for six years because she thought no … Continue reading “Are Veterans Our Only Hope?”

Study: Vets Are a Massive ‘Unfunded Liability’

Experts say the projected cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has gone up another trillion dollars, but the general sound we hear from Congress isn’t outrage. More likely it’s the sound of crickets. Crickets most definitely from the empty chairs at the House Veterans Affairs Committee, a clear majority of which didn’t bother … Continue reading “Study: Vets Are a Massive ‘Unfunded Liability’”

Tuesday: 53 Iraqis Killed, 123 Wounded

Updated at 2:40 p.m. EDT, Aug. 3, 2010 A rare car bombing in a southern, Shi’ite city and another flag-planting attack on security forces in the capital were just two of the many attacks witnessed across Iraq today. Overall, at least 53 Iraqis were killed and 123 more were wounded. The figures are expected to rise in the Kut bombing. Meanwhile, 26 Kurdish families have crossed the frontier into Iraqi Kurdistan to escape Iranian artillery attacks against suspected Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) rebels.

Downplaying the Mess of War

“Honor those Who lives did give; But now who pays For those that live?” The best part of America’s wars is that, except for limited attacks during WWII, all our conflicts have been fought on somebody else’s soil since the battle of Appomattox. This represents good and careful planning. You certainly don’t want your own … Continue reading “Downplaying the Mess of War”

Grinding Down the US Army

Last week, the U.S. Army released its suicide figures for November. Twelve soldiers on active duty were classified as "potential suicides" for the month, bringing the yearly suicide total to 147, 19 more than for all of 2008, and the fifth year in a row the rate has risen. In the same week, a RAND … Continue reading “Grinding Down the US Army”

Soldiers Forced to Go AWOL for PTSD Care

With a military health care system over-stretched by two ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, more soldiers are deciding to go absent without leave (AWOL) in order to find treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eric Jasinski enlisted in the military in 2005, and deployed to Iraq in October 2006 as an intelligence analyst with … Continue reading “Soldiers Forced to Go AWOL for PTSD Care”

Whistleblower Psychiatrist Warns of Soldier-on-Soldier Violence

MARFA, Texas – Kernan Manion, a psychiatrist who was hired last January to treat Marines returning from war who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other acute mental health problems borne from their deployments, fears more soldier-on-soldier violence without radical changes in the current soldier health care system. Working for a personnel-recruiting company which … Continue reading “Whistleblower Psychiatrist Warns of Soldier-on-Soldier Violence”