Turning Point: When Soldiers Have Had Enough

Nadya Williams, Truthout: "Josh Stieber and Conor Curran spoke to a gathering of Veterans For Peace and civilian peace activists in San Francisco, as part of their six months of walking and biking from the East Coast to the West to engage in dialogue about war and to become involved in community service along the way ... They spoke of their motivations for joining the Marines, their experiences in Iraq and the turning points that made them reject violence."


The Other Victims of Battlefield Stress; Defense Contractors' Mental Health Neglected

T. Christian Miller, ProPublica: "While suicide among soldiers has been a focus of Congress and the public, relatively little attention has been paid to the mental health of tens of thousands of civilian contractors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. When they make the news at all, contractors are usually in the middle of scandal, depicted as cowboys, wastrels or worse."


Carrying a Backpack of Sorrow ... Soldiers on the Edge of Suicide

Nadya Williams, Truthout: "More of our young soldiers are now killing themselves than are being killed in our wars in the Middle East. The sad statistics are at the end of this article, but the following poem by a 24-year-old former Marine, who slashed his wrists twice after four years of duty and two tours of combat, tells it all."



The Picture

By David Glenn Cox

I want you to look very closely at this picture and try and keep it in your minds eye. This was a perfectly healthy twenty two-year-old young man who in the service of his country got half of his head blown off. I think that's important, I think that's newsworthy.


Veteran commits suicide in front of Dayton VA center

Jesse C. Huff, address unknown, was wearing full military fatigues and was armed with a military-style rifle, which he used to shoot himself twice in the head about 5:45 a.m. Friday, April 16, according to police and the Montgomery County Coroner's Office.


18 veterans commit suicide each day

Seven percent of the attempts are successful, and 11 percent of those who don't succeed on the first attempt try again within nine months.


Feeling Warehoused in Army Trauma Care Units

Last August, Specialist Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and an overdose of painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.


Flags, Crosses & Circuses... And Apathy

Visit any church parking lot in my town, during Sunday services, and count the flags, yellow ribbons and bumper stickers that in reality support the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Would Jesus condone what our country is doing?


From Information Clearing House


Shadow army, hidden casualties

by Kelley B. Vlahos


We often talk about the ’shadow army’ fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, describing of course, the tens of thousands of civilian contractors hired by the U.S. military to do everything the regular Army once did — from guarding diplomats and training local police to driving supply trucks and serving chow on base. Then it makes perfect sense to talk about the ’shadow casualties,’ which, as of December 2009, totaled 1,757 deaths and more than 39,000 injuries among all contractors on the U.S. payroll since 2001. Add that to American military casualties so far (4,386 fatalities and at least 88,105 injuries), and you have a good picture of the ‘cakewalk’ these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq turned out to be...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


As Afghanistan Contracting Surges, Who's Following the Money?



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