Voices from the Frontlines

Jay Shaft of the Coalition For Free Thought In Media sent me a pointer to his latest article, the bulk of which consists of three letters from pissed off Iraq veterans with PTSD. These are first person accounts of what the soldiers on the front lines are going through and having to put up with… and what they (if they survive), and their families will have to cope with for the rest of their lives. Some majorly f*cked up sh*t. Stuff you don’t hear about in your local newspaper. (and why is that?)

These guys are being sent back to Iraq… and they’re not happy about it. One of them views himself as so screwed in the head that he’s a danger to the men around him, and can’t get anyone in the Army bureaucracy to take him seriously.
Reading through these letters, I suddenly get how so many soldiers qualify for disability, even though they might not have been directly in combat, or wounded. Not too many men or women can be expected to spend months on end living in the middle of a minefield, and come out whole and sane at the end of it. This is Vietnam all over again, only perhaps worse, since I don’t get the impression that the Vietnamese were willing to blow themselves up to get off-duty American soldiers in an urban settting.
Truly, there is no “behind the lines” in Iraq.

4 thoughts on “Voices from the Frontlines

  1. When these poor guys with PTSD come home, they’re going to be a danger on the streets too unless they can get treatment. If they report that they’re in trouble with PTSD they’re probably dismissed as just trying to get out of doing their “duty.” I’ve also been hearing that, because so many are wounded by high explosives while they’re in vehicles, there’s an awful lot of brain damage among our troops. Much higher than in past wars.
    We thought Vietnam and its effects on our veterans was horrible. This is going to be much, much worse. Urban combat is quite different from jungle fighting.

  2. I want you to know that there is an avenue of information available to stay at home moms to get a small idea about what is going on here via daytime T.V.
    There is a more realistic reality television show called “Starting Over” where women live together and work out their issues. One of the women on the current show is the daughter of a woman who died in the towers on 9/11 learning to live with it and the wrath it has brought about.
    Next up, a soldier who wants to join the house to deal with combat stress. That’s one way to do it, and it is good and public although very respectful.
    I think it is both terrific and tragic as it would draw more attention to the problem at hand and the fact that there really isn’t much available to those soldiers because of this administration’s financial and warmongering priorities.

  3. War Vets Chewed Up by Iraq Are Going Back!?

    Veterans of the Gulf War II are being treated shabbily by the DOD. They are in tough psychological condition after multiple tours of Iraq and are being forced to go back. A few have anonymously spoken out. Thanks to Thomas Leavitt of Seeing the Forest …

  4. Reading these letters and various other postings from troops who have been so damaged, both physically and mentally, by this debacle in Iraq breaks my heart! It is appalling to me that this Administration (filled with never-served, “five deferments”, and spoiled “children” of affluence [read: “Bush”]) treat our military men and women as if they were robots or mechanical toys, sending them back into the frey over and over and over, etc.! I recently heard about a soldier who was killed during his THIRD deployment….made it through twice, only to lose his life the third time! The incidences of suicide, divorce, domestic violence, addictions, and stress and strain on military families are downplayed by those “in power” and, as if that weren’t enough, they fight to CUT any health and financial benefits OWED to the men and women who are continuously put out there to do the dirty and dangerous work of this “war”. I will never comprehend the military mentality or the lack of compassion of the “war mongers” of this embarrassing Administration! I live for the day when a grieving wife, mother, father,or child of a dead soldier, when confronted with “condolences” from Mr. Bush finally says, on national television: “Go to Hell, Mr. President!! This is NOT a noble cause and this NOT an honrable death! It is the result of your stupidity, arrogance and cowardice!”

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