Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deployments, PTSD

Beverly Hills-Courier reports reports a send-off ceremony took place for 500 National Guard members who are deploying to Iraq. The Missoulian Independent Record reports 25 members of the Montana Army National Guard is leaving for Fort Hood and then Iraq and that there will be a send-off ceremony tomorrow, 7:00 a.m., at the Helena Regional Airport. And Tracy Bell (Stafford County Sun) reports, "About 850 Virginia Army National Guard soldiers received a mobilization order late last week to enter active duty beginning June 1 for duty in Iraq."

Meanwhile Iraq Veterans Against the War have launched Operation Recovery and this week they're doing outreach:

The Campaign Team and Chapters from across the nation are starting an effort to do regular outreach on and around military bases and universities.
The Campaign is in the popular research and base building phase. To win this struggle, hundreds of IVAW Members, Veterans, Service Members, and Allies are needed to help organize. Service Members and Veterans are in our communities and looking to be part of a community of people that understands them.
If you are a member of IVAW
and want to learn more about how to get involved and do outreach click here.

Last week, at Truthout, Sarah Lazare reported on Iraq War and Afghanistan War veteran Jeff Hanks who has self checked-out in an attempt to get treatment for his PTSD: "I am just trying to get help. My goal in this situation is to simply heal. And they wonder why there are so many suicides." He turned himself in on Veterans Day and Kristin M. Hall (AP) reported, of his attempt to get help before turning himself in, "He returned to Fort Campbell to seek behavioral health treatment, but when he was referred for a meeting with a therapist, he said he was told by his commanders that they wanted him medically cleared to return to Afghanistan the next day. He spoke to a therapist for less than two minutes and was instructed to get marriage counseling when he came back." Bill Van Auken (WSWS) reports:

As the US marked Veterans Day Thursday, an American soldier who had refused redeployment to Afghanistan over the Army’s failure to treat his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) turned himself in.
Specialist Jeff Hanks, a member of the 101st Airborne Division and a veteran of deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, reported to his unit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky Thursday afternoon after having gone absent without leave last month to seek medical care that the Army had denied him.
Speaking to the World Socialist Web Site by telephone from outside the Army post on Thursday, Hanks said that he did not know what action the Army would take, but that he could face discharge or even imprisonment over his absence.
“No matter what happens, I know I am doing the right thing,” said the 30-year-old infantryman.
Hanks was accompanied at Fort Campbell by his wife, Christina, a retired Army sergeant, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and other supporters. He chose Veterans Day to make his return in order to call attention to the alarming growth in the number of troops being deployed with PTSD, the record number of soldier suicides and the military’s refusal to provide needed aid and treatment.

Blake Farmer (WPLN) adds, "Fort Campbell has been at the center of the Army’s growing problem with soldier suicides, and commanders admit to a need for more psychiatrists." Jake Lowary (Leaf-Chronicle) explains, "Stress and anxiety have affected Hanks' service and personal life since he deployed to Iraq in 2008. Hanks separated from his wife, was mean to his two daughters and kept the pain he felt inside, he said." Armen Keteyian (CBS News) notes, "It was clear during my exclusive hour-long interview with Hanks (to run on the CBS Evening News soon), that this 30-year-old with two tours under his belt was both highly emotional and extremely rational about his decision - balancing the weight of leaving his unit against a need to once again be the man loved by his wife and two little girls." And click here for the interview.

The following community sites -- plus, L-Studio, Washington Week and War News Radio -- updated last night and today:

And we will close with this from US Senator Byron Dorgan's office:

For Immediate Release CONTACT: Barry E. Piatt

Friday or Jennifer Bronson

November 12, 2010 PHONE: 202-224-2551


Senator says ban on proprietary trading must be enforced to protect the American people from Wall Street interests

(WASHINGTON, DC) – U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) has written the Financial Stability Oversight Council urging its members to stay true to the Congressional intent of the “Volcker Rule” and implement a broad ban on proprietary trading.

The “Volcker Rule” is a crucial piece of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed by Congress and signed into law. Named after the former Fed chairman, the provision contains a broad prohibition on proprietary trading at federally-insured banking institutions.

Dorgan says that if properly enforced, the “Volcker Rule” will protect American taxpayers from risky trading by some of the nation’s largest financial firms who have already taken advantage of the system, contributing to this country’s near financial collapse.

“The American people have every right to expect that banks that have taxpayer-backed deposit insurance are not gambling with their money on risky and speculative derivatives trading. Strong regulatory enforcement is one way to ensure that this severe risk to the U.S. economy is reduced,” Dorgan writes in his letter to the Council.

Dorgan urges the Council to reject the efforts by Wall Street interests and Republican Congressmen like House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus to weaken the implementation rules and regulations of the Volcker Rule.

“In order to protect American taxpayers and stay true to the law’s intent, it is essential that the Financial Stability Oversight Council oppose the push by some for a watered-down ban on proprietary trading,” Dorgan said. “Enforcing strong regulation of the Volcker Rule will be a cornerstone of effective implementation of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.”

Senators Ted Kaufman (D-DE) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) also signed the letter sent to the Council on Friday.

See attachment for the letter to the Financial Stability Oversight Council.



Jennifer Bronson

Press Secretary

US Senator Byron Dorgan

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends