Friday, April 30, 2010

Wounded, fallen, PTSD, wedding and other veterans issues

Reuters notes that 1 US service member was injured by a Baghdad roadside bombing last night.
Yesterday the Defense Department issued the following: "The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. Keith A. Coe, 30, of Auburndale, Fla., died April 27 in Khalis, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an explosive device. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. For more information media may contact the Joint Base Lewis-McChord public affairs office at 253-967-0147 or 253-967-0152." The Seattle Times adds the he deployed to Iraq in September of last year. Keith Coe has just turned 30 thirteen days before his death. A Facebook page in his memory, "Remembering Sgt. Keith Adam Coe 4/14/1980 - 4/17/2010" notes:

To remember Fulton native Keith Coe. Keith was killed by a roadside explosion in Northern Iraq on April 27, 2010. Keith was a dedicated, loving husband and father who leaves behind his wife and four children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Keiths family and friends in this time of sorrow. Keith died doing his job, keeping all Americans safe and free. For that Keith will forever be a brave warrior and HERO! Let us never forget Keith!

Matt Misterek (News Tribune) adds, "Coe is the second soldier from Lewis-McChord to die in Iraq in the past week. Staff Sgt. Christopher D. Worrell, 35, died April 22 in Baghdad of injuries sustained in a noncombat incident."

Last week Iraq War veteran Sgt Matthew Christopher Moran died. Chris Roberts (El Paso Times) reports that it appears the 23-year-old, who recently returned from Iraq, took his own life.

Meanwhile Tove Tupper (Oregon's KDRV -- link has video and text) reports on PTSD and TBI, zooming in on Iraq War veteran Shane Hornbeck, only 24-years-old, who experienced multipe roadside bombings, was shot by a sniper (earning him a Purple Heart) and 14 service members he served with died. He returned to the US suffering from PTSD and TBI and had difficulty reaching out to his family and began self-medicating with alcohol ("It allowed me to keep on living and not be suicidal and not be completely depressed and in a dark hole"). He ender up with legal problems and hit his own personal rock bottom. Now he speaks about what he's gone through and has started the organization A Driven Force.

Hike for our Heroes
is another non-profit. Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum is hiking across the country to raise awareness and money for veterans issues. He explains at the website:

I am an Iraq-war veteran who is hiking 7000 miles across America to raise money for struggling veterans, and help get a national "Day of the Deployed" by getting signatures from mayors and governors across America on a custom Louisville Slugger bat

And with over 200 of the 7000 miles completed already, he has another milestone scheduled for the week: He's getting married Sunday. More information and videos can be found at Drum Hike.

William J. Booher (Indy Star) reports
that May is when Troy is set to be walking in Indiana and provides a list of some of the events including "a public barbecue May 7 at American Legion Post 252, 334 U.S. 31 S., between Main Street and Smith Valley Road." That is open to the public and begins at 12:30 in Greenwood, Indiana.

If time and space permits, we'll cover another Congressional hearing on veterans issues in today's snapshot. There wasn't room yesterday for both hearings.

From Tim King and Nahida Izzat's "SPLC, Palestine and Genocide" (Salem-News), we'll note this:

The Southern Poverty Law Center may be as racist as anything else in the deep south. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I finally took the time to visit their Website today to investigate these allegations I have been hearing, about how they will not say a word against Israel's extremely inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people.

I'm a little vague in my overall understanding, I admit that. There were a few things to confirm that they acknowledge the importance of protecting people of Arab descent, but if you enter the word 'Gaza' into their Website, and this is what you get in return:

"Minuteman fence modeled on West Bank, Gaza barriers".


So I thought, let's just do a general search and enter the one word in the world that is synonymous with genocide: 'Palestine'.

I was not ready to see that this anti-racism site would come up empty for such a query. No site with these claims could possibly overlook the hundreds of murdered children in Gaza, that is unless they were another American fantasy, another national disgrace, one more ruse in red, white and blue.

I have always thought a great deal of this group, hearing their stories of championing the rights of black people and Jewish people in the country's southern states, but as I increasingly become aware of the constant daily suffering of the Palestinians, I learn that they are still a cog in the wheel of racism. Really it is worse than that, as SPLC is little more than a pro-Israel political operation.

It seems as though every other word on their pages is 'anti-Semitism' and it is a serious boy who cried wolf scenario. Our team of writers including the acclaimed Maidhc Ó Cathail in Japan, along with distinguished Professors, Dr. Alan Sabrosky and Dr. Paul Balles in the U.S., Award-winning international Writer Alan Hart in London, and noted Author/Attorney Jeff Gates, took the time to explore the mystery of Zionism in a special series[1][2][3][4].

I don't have any regret or moral questions about calling the plight of the modern day Palestinians a tragedy and genocide in the making. It evolves from an attitude, and from hatred toward the Arab people. This hate is extreme and widespread in Israel, and always described as "defensive" when in fact it is rarely that. Everyone in Israel is not this way, many are fighting the racism from within, but it is all tied to that theory that a chosen few get every square inch of land. That is Zionism, and it is used as an excuse for murder, with the bloody hands of America loading the guns.

And we'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "Historian Examines Why Americans Get Upset Over 'Historical Revisionism'" (Veterans Today):

Americans run into trouble evaluating their past “when cherished stories that are part of our identity are investigated and made more complex,” distinguished historian Edward Linenthal says.
This explains the controversies swirling around the battlefield at the Little Big Horn River in Montana where General Custer was defeated in 1876 and the National Air and Space Museum’s(NASM) exhibit on the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Japan that abruptly ended World War II.
Linenthal, a professor at Indiana University and editor of the Journal of American History, says when histories accepted as reflecting accurately on events are revised, “The urge is to lash out at those doing it (the revision) as somehow being subversive.”
When historians ask new questions about evidence or come across new evidence, or look at evidence in a different way, they are looked upon as “revisionists,” he writes, adding: “To my mind, any historian who is not intellectually senile is a revisionist.” Linenthal goes on to say:
“Flashpoint words like ‘political correctness’ and ‘revisionism’ sound like accusations when in fact we are constantly revising who we think we are, not only in history but in medicine and in art and in architecture, and in technology.”

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oh boy it never ends