Monday, August 16, 2010

Another US soldier dies in Iraq

AFP quotes from a US military press release, "One United States Forces - Iraq - soldier was killed when a patrol was attacked in Baquba, Diyala province yesterday." The announcement comes 14 days after Barack Obama gave his "mission accomplished" speech in Atlanta and it brings the ICCC number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the war to 4415.

And while they're apparently unable to post this announcement at the USF-I website, they did manage to 'mourn' the 'passing' of a drone: "BAGHDAD -- A U.S. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) crashed yesterday evening in Iraq’s Diyala province, approximately 2 kilometers northeast of Muqdadiyah. The small UAV impacted an open area outside of a residential suburb after experiencing engine problems. No one was injured during the accident, which remains under investigation."


(Troy Yocum photo taken by John Crosby)

Hike for our Heroes is a non-profit started by Iraq War veteran Troy Yocum who is hiking across the country to raise awareness and money for veterans issues. Bill Johnson (Denver Post) reports:

It is not quite midmorning when a stylishly dressed older woman, tears streaming down her cheeks, walks up to Troy Yocum outside the front doors of the Loews Denver Hotel and wraps him in a tight hug.
They stand that way for long moments, his wife, Mareike, looking on, before the woman sighs, pulls away and presses a $50 bill into his right hand. She pats his cheek and slowly walks away.
"Happens like that all the time," the man says, handing the bill to his wife.
Troy Yocum is a 31-year-old Iraq war veteran who is walking 7,000 miles across the country, trying to raise $5 million for military families in need. He is nearing the middle of the western leg of "The Hike for Our Heroes," having walked into Denver late last week.

While Troy marches, Anne Flaherty (AP) reports that "hundreds of soldiers" were "routinely fired" when they were suffering from PTSD instead of receiving medical treatment. Flaherty notes, "Unlike PTSD, which the Army regards as a treatable mental disability caused by the acute stresses of war, the military designation of a personality disorder can have devastating consequences for soldiers." Kelly Kennedy (Army Times) reports that while "personality disorder" discharges have fallen in number (1,072 to 260 from 2006 to 2009) the military is substituting "adjustment disorder" (1,453 to 3,844 from 2006 to 2009) as their catch-all to avoid treating soldiers.

John Vandiver (Stars and Stripes) speaks with "Lt. Yussef" and "Lt. Amir" -- two Iraqi soldiers with differing views on the war and their country -- Yussef intends to stay in Iraq and is hopeful while Amir is eager to emigrate out of the country.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Lying Photo Ops" and we'll note this from Zed Books:

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