(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 11.11.09, I caught a couple of important discussions in the continuing known by us veterans are the results of wars and occupations of choice, or any war and occupation, as to the veterans and military personal once they’ve been sent to serve in and then return home, most being discharged from their service obligation after serving the time they signed up for, all at that point or later becoming the veterans of their service.
This first one is just a news report I happened upon but hits on the issue many of us are long time advocates of and adds to the rest posted below it.
November 11, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Along with the common bond of serving the country, many veterans share the burden of dealing with post-war stress…>>>>>
On the NPR Diane Rehm show the following discussion took place in the first hour of her show:
Guest host: Susan Page
On the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan: A journalist and a photographer document, in unflinching detail, the complex, contradictory and often tragic experiences of U-S troops at war.
Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs
David Finkel, author of “The Good Soldiers” (Farrar,Straus & Giroux) national enterprise editor, The Washington Post
Peter van Agtmael, photographer, “2nd Tour Hope I Don’t Die”
Listen to the Show:
It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. He called it the surge. Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, here are the differences, he told a skeptical nation. Among those listening were the young, optimistic army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, the battalion nicknamed the Rangers. About to head to a vicious area of Baghdad, they decided the difference would be them.
Fifteen months later, the soldiers returned home forever changed. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Finkel was with them in Bagdad, and almost every grueling step of the way.
What was the true story of the surge? And was it really a success? Those are the questions he grapples with in his remarkable report from the front lines. Combining the action of Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down with the literary brio of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, The Good Soldiers is an unforgettable work of reportage. And in telling the story of these good soldiers, the heroes and the ruined, David Finkel has also produced an eternal tale–not just of the Iraq War, but of all wars, for all time.
A collection of Peter van Agtmael’s photography of America’s Wars from January 2006 to December 2008
Then on last nights PBS News Hour this was part of their show, first part of a discussion with a veteran of our recent occupations then a discussion on Post Traumatic Stress in many military personal and veterans of all conflicts as to the stress of war:
After returning home from Iraq, Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Workman struggled with the memories of war. As Betty Ann Bowser reports, soldiers like Workman are finding that often time, returning home can mean a new battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
BETTY ANN BOWSER: Eventually, Workman was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In his new book, “Shadow of the Sword: A Marine’s Journey of War, Heroism, and Redemption” Workman chronicles that traumatic day in Fallujah and his five-year struggle with PTSD. After returning from Iraq, Workman was sent to Parris Island to be trained as a drill instructor, a much-respected job in the Marine Corps, but he found it made his PTSD worse.
SGT. JEREMIAH WORKMAN: It was pretty bad. I mean, mentally, it was just killing me inside…>>>>>Rest of Transcript Here with Audio Link
Awarded the Navy Cross for gallantry under fire, Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Workman is one of the Marine Corps’ best-known contemporary combat veterans. In this searing and inspiring memoir, he tells an unforgettable story of his service overseas-and of the emotional wars that continue to rage long after our fighting men come home.
Raised in a tiny blue-collar town in Ohio, Jeremiah Workman was a handsome and athletic high achiever. Having excelled on the sporting field, he believed that the Marine Corps would be the perfect way to harness his physical and professional drives.
In the Iraqi city of Fallujah in December 2004, Workman faced the challenge that would change his life. He and his platoon were searching for hidden caches of weapons and mopping up die-hard insurgent cells when they came upon a building in which a team of fanatical insurgents had their fellow Marines trapped. Leading repeated assaults on that building, Workman killed more than twenty of the enemy in a ferocious firefight that left three of his own men dead.
But Workman’s most difficult fight lay ahead of him-in the battlefield of his mind. Burying his guilt about the deaths of his men, he returned stateside, where he was decorated for valor and then found himself assigned to the Marine base at Parris Island as a Kill Hat: a drill instructor with the least seniority and the most brutal responsibilities. He was instructed, only half in jest, to push his untested recruits to the brink of suicide. Haunted by the thought that he had failed his men overseas, Workman cracked, suffering a psychological breakdown in front of the men he was charged with leading and preparing for war.
In Shadow of the Sword, a memoir that brilliantly captures both wartime courage and its lifelong consequences, Workman candidly reveals the ordeal of post-traumatic stress disorder: the therapy and drug treatments that deadened his mind even as they eased his pain, the overwhelming stress that pushed his marriage to the brink, and the confrontations with anger and self-blame that he had internalized for years.
Having fought through the worst of his trials-and now the father of a young son-Workman has found not perfection or a panacea but a way to accommodate his traumas and to move forward toward hope, love, and reconciliation.
I recently was contacted by Michael Anthony, who last October returned home from a tour of duty from Iraq as an Operating Room Medic with the Army reserves. Upon returning home he began writing a memoir of his time in Iraq. A few months ago he signed a deal and his memoir is now in bookstores. The book is titled: “Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq”
Look around, the drill sergeant said. In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can’t stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there.
It was Week 7 of Basic Training . . . 18 years old and I was preparing myself to die.
They say the Army makes a man out of you but for 18-year-old SPC Michael Anthony, that fabled rite of passage proved a very dark journey. After soliciting his parentsa approval to enlist at only 17, Anthony began his journey with an unshakeable faith in the military born of his family’s long tradition of service. But when thrust into a medical unit of misfits as lost as he was, SPC Anthony not only witnessed the unspeakable horror of war but the undeniable misconduct of the military firsthand. Everything he ever believed in dissolved, forcing Anthony to rethink his loyalties, and ultimately risk his career and his freedom to challenge the military he had so firmly believed in.
This searing memoir chronicles the iconic experiences that changed one young soldier forever. A seasoned veteran before the age of twenty-one, he faced the truth about the war and himself in this shocking and unprecedented eyewitness account.
This is Michael Anthony’s Website with more information about him as well as his book.