Tuesday, October 04, 2011

PTSD, suicides, veterans issues

KBR is back in the news. No, we're not talking about that disgraceful piece of crap the Houston Chronicle just ran that was nothing but sucking up to KBR while trashing a woman and pretending to know the first thing about rape. That sort of article, in fact, is why no one's going to cry too hard when the Houston Chronicle shuts down (in about ten years). No, no, we're not talking about press whores who lap dance for their corporate masters, we're talking about another example of KBR betraying and harming Americans. Charlie Reed (Stars and Stripes) reports that Judge Nora Barry Fischer didn't buy the multitude of arguments KBR offered on why they shouldn't be sued in the death by electrocution death of Staff Sgt Ryan Maseth who was killed by a KBR shower while serving in Iraq:

Fischer's ruling -- handed down last month in the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania -- means KBR could be found liable and ordered to pay punitive damages to the plaintiffs, Cheryl Harris and Douglas Maseth.
"I'm very pleased. It's been a long 3½ years," Harris, Maseth's mother, told Stars and Stripes from her Pennsylvania home Monday. "KBR is trying to prolong the case and argue everything they can."

KBR is who the Houston Chronicle decided to serve and they climbed in bed with it. May they contract every social disease on the face of the planet as a result. AP explains of the latest ruling, "Instead, Fischer found that KBR’s attorneys were trying to have it both ways. The judge said in a footnote that, in her view, KBR’s litigation strategy 'is one that constantly shifts to a point where it eventually takes contradictory positions'."

G. Wayne Miller (Providence Journal) reports on Iraq War veteran John DiRaimo's struggle with PTSD:

His nightmares continued and sometimes, in his bedroom in the middle of the night, he saw the apparition of a young Iraqi girl who may have been tortured and killed by Saddam Hussein's forces, her mutilated body buried in a distant part of what became the U.S. camp at Ar Ramadi, where DiRaimo was based.
Awake, he cycled through periods of anxiety, anger and depression. His engagement to Susan Storti had ended, the strain of his PTSD having proved destructive, but they remained close friends.
"I just couldn't take it," DiRaimo says. "The nightmares were too strong, too vivid. I was getting no sleep. I was just totally burnt out, and I just felt that life wasn't worth it anymore."

In related news, Park Ranger Christian Zawojski (Baltimore Sun) advocates for more spending on mental health care for veterans and shares, "I recently had the misfortune of seeing a veteran of the war in Afghanistan walk to the site of his suicide. He passed by me early in the afternoon in a Maryland state park where I was working, and I didn't realize until I saw his lifeless body later that day that I had seen him earlier. His wife told me that he was a veteran, that he suffered from PTSD and other mental illnesses, and that he had talked with her about taking his life. He chose a tranquil spot in the park, where water laps against the shore and a breeze always seems to blow. In doing so, he may have been seeking some respite from the trauma he had suffered. He left behind a wife and a baby." Atticus Brigham (Washington Square News) observes, "Prior to 2003, civilian suicides outnumbered military suicides nearly two to one. Now, government statistics show the opposite. For example, the rate of suicides by Texan veterans ages 18-35 is twice the rate of civilian suicides in the comparable population. In Oregon, male veterans 18-24 are almost five times more likely to commit suicide as the comparable civilian population. Californian soldiers under 35 are three times more likely to die of suicide than be killed in Afghanistan or Iraq. Nationally, veterans commit about one-fifth of all suicides, though they comprise significantly less than one-thousandth of the United States' population."

And the deployments continue. AP notes that seven members of the Oklahoma Army Nationl Guard are part 40 of who will be deploying to Iraq.

The following community sites -- plus Antiwar.com -- updated last night and this morning:

No, that's not everyone. Blogger/Blogspot's not reading all the community sites. Except for Third, all listed below updated either last night or this morning:

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