GI SPECIAL 6E15:
This Information Could Save Your Sanity, Or Your
Somebody Tries To Drug You Or A Buddy Or Family
Member, The Fact The Information Below Appeared In
Army Times Can Be A Powerful Weapon Of Self-Defense
Because of the extreme importance of this
information to every members of the armed forces,
for or against the war, it is being reprinted again
from a previous GI Special
This news report below makes clear that there is now
new evidence based research about what works and
what doesn’t work for troops experiencing PTSD.
credibility and importance of this research --
initiated by the Department of Veterans Affairs – is
underlined by publication of the findings in Army
Times, rather than appearing on some obscure web
site or other as somebody or other’s opinion.
V.A. has long practiced drugging troops with all
kinds of very dangerous pills as a “treatment” for
PTSD. As this article documents, that’s useless.
And dangerous: overdoses can kill. Benzodiazepines
[Valium & Librium are well known examples] are
viscously addictive and potentially deadly drugs
handed out to troops like bags of popcorn.
the article below reports, the only effective
treatment for PTSD so far is “exposure therapy;
reliving a traumatic experience by writing or
talking about it.”
lot of quacks, including at V.A. facities as well as
privately, are hustling other bullshit phony
treatments, ranging from moving your eyeballs around
to eating herbs and weeds.
Excuse a personal note, but I’ve been working
professionally with traumatic stress survivors for
over 30 years, both military and civilian, both at
VA and private facilities, and can testify that the
research finding reported in this article is 100%
right: the only effective treatment for PTSD so far
is “reliving a traumatic experience by writing or
talking about it.”
you don’t have to believe that.
Here’s the report, from Army Times.
Assuming you give a shit about whether troops live
or die, send it around, word for word, and be sure
to mention it comes from Army Times in case some
idiot thinks you sucked it out of your thumb.
Most important, if somebody in command or at the
V.A. tries to drug you or a buddy or family member,
the fact this information appeared in Army Times can
be a powerful weapon of self-defense:
“Research Has Not Shown Serotonin Re-Uptake
Inhibitors, Such As Prozac, Zoloft Or Celexa, To Be
Effective In Treating PTSD”
“Exposure Therapy -- Reliving A Traumatic Experience
By Writing Or Talking About It -- Is The Only
Therapy Proved Effective By Independent Research”
April 14, 2008 By Kelly Kennedy, Army Times
“Problems related to
getting troops adequate mental health treatment
cannot be resolved unless two issues — stigma and
access — are addressed,” Todd Bowers, director of
government affairs for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
of America, told the House Veterans’ Affairs
subcommittee on health on April 1.
Almost 59,000 veterans
of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been
diagnosed with PTSD by the Department of Veterans
Affairs. Army post-deployment health assessments
have found that 20 percent of active-duty and 40
percent of reserve-component troops had symptoms of
PTSD, and some experts say the real numbers could be
But because PTSD
hasn’t been addressed until fairly recently — the
first scientific paper about the disorder in
veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War didn’t come
out until five years after that war ended — VA and
Pentagon officials say much needs to be done to
determine good screening techniques and therapies.
“This is the first war
where DoD and VA recognized the psychological impact
going in,” said Army Col. Charles Hoge, chief of
psychiatry and neuroscience at the Walter Reed
Institute of Research.
Combat vets are not
sleeping, experience startle reactions and are
“All of these things
that we label as symptoms are things they need in
combat,” Hoge said. “No sooner are they transitioned
back home than they’re right back in rotation.”
At the House hearing,
Hoge said an Army assessment last summer showed that
the numbers of soldiers with PTSD is going up with
“There’s a direct
connection between mental health and multiple
deployments,” he said, adding that troops also need
more time between deployments.
David Matcher, of the Institute of Medicine’s
Committee on Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress
Disorder, said a recent study found that research
has not shown serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, such
as Prozac, Zoloft or Celexa, to be effective in
Exposure therapy — reliving a traumatic experience
by writing or talking about it — is the only therapy
proved effective by independent research, he said.
Other treatments exist, but they have been tested
mainly by the same people who developed them.
That’s an important point because the Defense
Department and VA use several such methods,
including group and drug therapy, to treat combat
MORE NEWS STORIES ABOUT PTSD:
Drugging At Drum;
Malpracticing Army Quacks Dishing Out Worthless,
5.5.08 By Claudia
Parsons, (Reuters) [Excerpts]
Fort Drum, a bleak
U.S. Army base in upstate New York, is a test case
for how the military is handling a looming mental
The military and its
critics agree on one thing -- there are not enough
therapists to treat all the soldiers who return from
Iraq and Afghanistan traumatized by the experience.
The 10th Mountain
Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT) is the
most-deployed brigade in the U.S. army since 2001.
It served two tours in Afghanistan, totalling 11
months, and was sent to Iraq twice for tours of 12
and 15 months.
Christopher Smith, 23,
a tank mechanic who served in Ramadi, returned from
Iraq in January 2006 and left the army. In the
following six months, he grew increasingly withdrawn
and isolated and was unable to hold down a job.
Despite what his wife
Cara says were clear signs of PTSD, he managed to
re-enlist in December 2006 without the recruiter
noticing a problem. Sent to Fort Drum, he was
diagnosed with PTSD and judged undeployable. He has
been on a string of different medications, none of
which he says have worked.
“It’s so frustrating,”
Cara Smith said, describing the base as unfriendly
“The doctors up there,
they say ‘Come to group therapy, we’ll help you.’
But because of his duty and his orders and stuff he
has to do, he missed two group therapy sessions and
got kicked out of group therapy,” she said.
Now, she said, he has a 30-minute individual therapy
session around every six weeks. “It’s not really
therapy, it’s more of a medication appointment,” she
Soldier Killed By PTSD Drugs The Pentagon Now Knows
[Thanks to Ward
Reilly, Veterans For Peace, who sent this in.]
May 1, 2008 by Joseph
Shapiro, NPR [Excerpts]
The last time Susan
Nichols brought her husband home from Brooke Army
Medical Center in San Antonio, she knew something
was very wrong.
He couldn’t even play
with their 6-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.
Instead, he just watched them play basketball with
the neighborhood kids.
“He was constantly
dizzy, or he just couldn’t handle being out because
of the pain, or the medication just knocked him out
completely and he couldn’t even walk,” Nichols
recalled while sitting on the patio at her home in
“And the last day that
we all saw him, he could barely stand up straight
without leaning against a wall to prop him up.”
Two days later, on
Jan. 22, Sgt. Robert Nichols was found dead in his
room at Brooke Army Medical Center.
The autopsy report
said he died of an accidental drug intoxication from
the pills he had been prescribed by his Army
doctors. Some of them, mixed together, made a deadly
Since June, there has
been a rash of overdoses at Army hospitals,
including some, like Nichols’, that have resulted in
Eleven medications were found in Nichols’ body,
including painkillers to treat his physical wounds
from an explosion in Iraq and drugs to ease the
nightmares, insomnia and memory loss caused by his
post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain
Susan Nichols said that several times before he
died, Robert Nichols asked his doctors to reduce the
medications “because he felt like he was a zombie
and he could only function for a small portion of
Robert Nichols’ widow
said multiple doctors gave her husband multiple
Walter Reed Practicing Medical Fraud On Iraq &
Afghan War Vets
[Remember what you just read? “Exposure therapy —
reliving a traumatic experience by writing or
talking about it — is the only therapy proved
effective by independent research, he said.”
[Now check out what the incompetent fools at Walter
Reed are malpracticing: useless worthless bullshit
dreamed up by some idiot, and approved by even
bigger idiots. T]
May 6, 2008 Washington
Some 20 percent of
approximately 1.6 million U.S. military personnel
who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from
symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Yoga instructors at Walter Reed are trying to train
them how to relieve their stress by using guided
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
U.S. Soldier Killed By IED Southwest Of Baghdad
May 23, 2008 Multi
National Corps Iraq Public Affairs Office, Camp
Victory RELEASE No. 20080523-12
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – A
Multi-National Division – Center Soldier was killed
in an improvised explosive device attack 12 miles
southwest of Baghdad, May 22.
Wounds Six Marines In Falluja
May 23 (Reuters)
Six U.S. marines were
wounded and their Arabic-speaking interpreter was
killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their
patrol in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad,
the U.S. military said.
Terrorists In Action:
U.S. Command Orders Mass Arrests Of Civilians In
Mosques Violated, “Old Men And Even Children” Taken
[Thousands more moved to hate the occupation and
join the armed resistance. They are right to do
so. Payback is coming, and it will be bloody. U.S.
troops will pay the price for the U.S. command’s
terrorism as long as one U.S. soldier remains in
Iraqi police and US
troops detained 400 people during search operations
in two Shiite neighbourhoods of southwest Baghdad
over the weekend and also seized weapons, the US
military said on Saturday.
A spokesman for the
Shiite radical movement of anti-US cleric Moqtada
al-Sadr put the number of people held at more than
The search operations
lasted from 11 am to 2:30 pm (0800 to 1130 GMT) in
the neighbouring districts of Al-Amal and Al-Bayaa,
a stronghold of Sadr’s movement, the witnesses said.
"The Iraqi and US forces raided a mosque in Al-Amal
as well as a neighbouring market and rounded up
dozens of people, some of them elderly men or
teenagers," Al-Amal resident Hazem Mohammed, 27,
three brothers, one of whom’s only 12, were picked
up and so was my cousin," Mohammed said, adding that
he had only narrowly escaped detention by the Iraqi
witnesses interviewed by AFP confirmed the scale of
the round-up, carried out as the streets were busy
with weekend shoppers.
A Sadr movement
spokesman in Al-Amal, Hamadallah al-Rikabi, said:
"Iraqi and US soldiers picked up more than 400
people... including old men and even children."
He said the troops had
no arrest warrants and he accused the soldiers of
humiliating the detainees.
Sadrist lawmaker Hassan al-Rubaie said Iraqi forces
also raided a mosque in the Baghdad district of Amil
before prayers on Friday and arrested more than 350
"We see that there is
a big nationwide conspiracy against Friday prayers.
They (the government) fear it, because the Friday
prayers will stand against the plots of our
enemies," al-Rubaie told a press conference,
referring to the anti-U.S. rhetoric common in prayer
sermons run by al-Sadr loyalists.
Fellow Sadrist lawmaker Aqeel Abdul-Hussein said
Friday prayers also were prevented at Sadrist
mosques in Baghdad’s Shiite district of Shaab and
the southern city of Nasiriyah.
The government is
"moving forward in its project to liquidate all the
national figures in a more savage way than the
previous (Saddam Hussein) regime," Abdul-Hussein
told the press conference.
Terrorists In Action:
Collaborators Order Iraqi Soldiers To Open Fire On
People Attending Religious Service In Basra
May 23, 2008 Reuters
BASRA, Iraq: Iraqi
government soldiers opened fire to disperse
supporters of nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who
were gathering for prayers in Basra on Friday,
jeopardizing a fragile peace in the southern city.
Police said Iraqi
troops fired in the air to disperse hundreds of
worshippers, whom they said had no right to gather
in a square in northern Basra, wounding six.
But Sadr supporters
accused the Iraqi armed forces of attacking the
worshippers and of indiscriminately opening fire on
They said one person
was killed and five wounded.
The police said the
worshippers had no right to meet in the square, but
Sadr supporters said the mosques in the area were
too small and they had held prayers in the same
square for the last two Fridays without incident.
religious rituals is something granted by the
constitution. Banning Sadrists from Friday prayer is
a serious breach (that) we will not tolerate," a
Sadrist member of parliament, Ahmad al-Masoudi, told
What do you
think? Comments from service men and women, and
veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box
126 , 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657
or send email
firstname.lastname@example.org: Name, I.D.,
withheld unless you request publication.
address to unsubscribe. Phone: 917.677.8057
GUESS WHO’S WORRIED
GUESS WHO ISN’T
A U.S. Army soldier
from the 4th Infantry Division runs past their house
during a patrol in the Sadr City, Baghdad May 12,
2008. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
May 22, 2008 The
Associated Press & May 23 (AFP)
In the southern city
of Kandahar, a remote control bomb on a bicycle
exploded as an Afghan army convoy was passing on
Thursday, killing one soldier and wounding another,
said police officer Wali Mohammad.
In western Nimroz
province, a roadside bomb hit a road construction
company Thursday morning, wounding an Indian
engineer, said Nimroz Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad.
A bomber blew himself
up among Afghan soldiers in eastern Afghanistan on
Friday in the eastern province of Khost. The bomber
was on foot near a military vehicle on a main road
about 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the border with
Pakistan, they said. Four soldiers were killed and
four wounded, defence ministry spokesman General
Mohammad Zahir Azimi told AFP. Taliban spokesman
Zabihullah Mujahed told media that his group was
responsible for the attack. He also said four
soldiers were killed.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
END THE OCCUPATION
Charges To Be Brought Against Marine Officers In
Massacre Of 19 Afghan Civilians:
Marine General Says Mass Murder Is “In Accordance
With The Rules Of Engagement And Tactics”
May 24, 2008 THE
KABUL, Afghanistan -
Afghan officials are expressing outrage at the
decision by the U.S. military not to charge two
Marines involved in a shooting spree that left 19
Afghan civilians dead in 2007.
officials announced Friday that no criminal charges
will be brought against the officers in a unit
accused of firing indiscriminately at vehicles and
It came after their
convoy was hit by a bomber March 4, 2007 in eastern
Witnesses and Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights
Commission concluded that Marine special operations
troops opened fire along a 16 kilometre stretch of
road, killing up to 19 civilians and wounding 50
Lt. Gen. Samuel
Helland, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces,
Central Command, decided not to bring charges
against Maj. Fred C. Galvin, commander of the
120-person special operations company, and Capt.
Vincent J. Noble, a platoon leader, the Marines
Helland determined the
Marines in the convoy "acted appropriately and in
accordance with the rules of engagement and tactics,
techniques and procedures in place at the time in
response to a complex attack," the Marines said.
am very angry," said Kubra Aman, a senator from
Nangarhar. "This is too much. They are killing
people. First, they say it is a mistake, and after
that they let them go without charges."
Marine spokesman Lt.
Col. Sean Gibson said Friday that the finding of the
Court of Inquiry - some 12,000 pages - will not be
released to the public.
Army Times Reports Crippling Defects In Current GI
Says “The GI Bill Was Obviously Created By Someone
Who Never Paid For College, Because No College That
I Know Takes Tuition On A Month-By-Month Basis”
Can Promise You Every Veteran That Has Ever Used The
GI Bill Has Had A Moment Where They Just Didn’t Have
The Money Because They Didn’t Get Paid When They
May 26, 2008 By Rick
Maze, Army Times [Excerpts]
Service members and
veterans have high hopes for GI Bill improvements as
Congress and the Bush administration work to
overhaul the program for the first time in more than
[The Senate passed an improved benefits bill this
week. The House has not yet done so. T]
More than 70 percent
who buy into the GI Bill use at least some of the
benefit, said Keith Wilson, VA’s education service
director. But only 6 percent exhaust all their
benefits, Wilson said, and the average GI Bill user
claims only 17 of the 36 months of benefits.
No one knows why the
rate isn’t higher, but lawmakers and troops indicate
that the method and size of GI Bill payments may be
the biggest factor:
Most vets can’t afford to go to school on the GI
Bill without either living at home or working full
or part time.
In interviews and
correspondence with more than 100 past and present
service members, troops and veterans called for:
Former Marine Cpl.
Brian Horner, who left the Corps in 2007 and is
using the GI Bill to attend New Jersey Institute of
Technology, said the money isn’t enough.
“The money I’m paid per semester covers my books,
parking pass and tuition-related fees,” he said, but
he still pays $1,500 to $3,000 a semester in other
costs. And he doesn’t always have the money because
getting the payments isn’t simple.
veteran should not have to take out student loans
and be forced to work a part-time job” to use the GI
Bill to attend college, added former Army Staff Sgt.
Rodney McGuire, a student at the University of
Make Payments Upfront
“The GI Bill was
obviously created by someone who never paid for
college, because no college that I know takes
tuition on a month-by-month basis,” said former Army
Staff Sgt. Luke Stalcup, who attends Columbia
University on the GI Bill.
Monthly benefits leave veterans “in a chronic
crisis,” he said.
“The slow trickle of money means individuals have to
work out some way to get the cash up front, then
either pay it back as you get it, or work to pay it
off and live off the GI Bill,” he said.
“I can promise you
every veteran that has ever used the GI Bill has had
a moment where they just didn’t have the money
because they didn’t get paid when they needed it,”
he said. “This is a design flaw.”
Retired Army Chief
Warrant Officer Johnnie McGovern, who used the GI
Bill to complete a master’s degree, had to pay for
classes before getting any money.
“I had the money in
savings to start schooling prior to receiving
payments, but as a full-time student, my school was
over $2,000 for the first term, excluding books.
“If I did not have the
money in savings, I would have had to apply for a
loan because I did not receive any benefits from my
GI Bill until after I started attending school.”
Retired Air Force
Tech. Sgt. Gerald McIntosh, who lives in Louisville,
Ky., said that after paying to enroll in the GI
Bill, he shouldn’t have to pay a college and then
wait for reimbursement from VA, when VA could verify
his enrollment and reimburse the college directly.
Pay Living Expenses
Navy Ensign Nathan
Deunk, assistant public works officer at the Pacific
Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, used GI Bill
benefits in 2002 to attend a community college in
Oklahoma City, where the cost of living was low and
his monthly rent was $300.
“It was extremely
tough to afford school with two children, which is
how many service members find themselves after five
to six years in the service,” he said.
Deunk suggests single
GI Bill users should be provided a free dorm room,
and married people, or those with children, should
be eligible for an on-campus apartment with a rent
credit equal to the cost of a dorm room.
Cover Book Costs
The GI Bill does not
cover textbooks, a sore point for many.
Navy Senior Chief
Quartermaster (SW) Amy Coppedge, based at the
Virginia Capes Fleet Area Control and Surveillance
Facility, said she used the GI Bill while on active
duty because she maxed out her tuition assistance
benefits getting a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
But for her master’s
degree, she found herself paying about $300 out of
pocket for each class, a total of $2,376 for eight
courses — plus about $1,500 for books.
Allow Transfer Of Benefits
Army 1st Sgt. Billy
Martin, a 10th Mountain Division member in Iraq on
his fourth deployment, said he wished he could use
his GI Bill benefits to pay for college for his
wife, Jessi, who attends Ball State University as an
Martin said he first
learned in 2007 about an Army pilot program that
allowed GI Bill benefits to be transferred to family
members, which could have meant his “financial
problems with my wife attending college would
finally come to an end.”
Combined with the
tax-free combat pay he draws while deployed, the GI
Bill would have covered the costs.
have served over 20 years, and it seems as if every
benefit that is thrown out there, I’m just too late
to enjoy,” Martin said.
Air Force Reserve
Tech. Sgt. Brian Starr, a career adviser at
Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, said he
supports allowing anyone who has served 10 or more
years to share GI Bill benefits with family members.
“My children could use
my GI Bill to help offset these college loans,” he
said. “If the military wants to send a strong
message that they care about our families, then
please allow us to pass the GI Bill to our
Repay Student Loans
Air Force Staff Sgt.
Matthew Roberts, assigned to Sheppard Air Force
Base, Texas, wants to use his GI Bill benefits to
pay more than $10,000 in student loans he
accumulated before enlisting.
He has used tuition
assistance to pay for three associate degrees and a
bachelor’s degree but is still struggling with the
“If I had the choice,
I would pay off my absurdly high-interest rate
college loans with the supposedly nearly $40,000 I
have in the GI Bill,” he said.
Allow Late Enrollments
With a few exceptions, active-duty service members
have a one-time opportunity to enroll in the GI Bill
program: during basic training.
Army Reserve Master
Sgt. Anthony DiFondi, on full-time active duty with
the Army Human Resources Command, said he thinks
that’s a mistake. At a minimum, he’d like a second
enrollment opportunity after re-enlistment.
have 20 years in service, and feel I have earned
another chance at this program,” DiFondi said. “I
would be happy to pay for that option now that I can
Air Force Senior
Master Sgt. Ben Wilkes, an operations superintendent
at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., said he made a
“poor decision” 23 years ago in not signing up for
the GI Bill.
“I was newly married
and could not afford the $100 a month,” he said.
“Today’s new enlistees are paid well and can more
easily afford the monthly payment.”
Provide More Admin Support
Former Army Capt.
Christopher Franco, who left the Army for medical
reasons after two tours in Iraq, intended to use the
GI Bill for college but kept getting mixed messages
about whether he was eligible because he was an ROTC
student before he was commissioned.
ROTC students with
four-year scholarships do not have benefits, but
those with two-year scholarships, such as Franco,
“We need to make sure
people are being properly briefed,” he said.
“Several other officers that I know ... wound up
being eligible for the GI Bill after they were told,
‘No, you are not.’”
Retired Army Sgt. 1st
Class Eric Arnold said dealing with VA tries his
patience. “VA is a difficult bureaucratic nut to
crack,” he said.
“VA is not ...
customer-oriented. If VA were a civilian business,
they would have gone under years ago.”
Air Force Tech. Sgt.
Mark Anderson-Henrichon, stationed at Travis Air
Force Base, Calif., also said he has had problems
getting information about using GI Bill benefits on
active duty. His base education office, VA and the
college he has been attending, American Military
University, “give me different responses on how to
claim the funds.”
“I’m a family man, and
if I can’t get my Montgomery GI Bill to reimburse me
for paying out of pocket, I might not reach my goal
of graduating in 2009,” he said.
Cover VEAP-Era Members
A large group of
career service members have no GI Bill benefits
because they entered the military during the decade
between the end of the Vietnam-era GI Bill in 1976
and the launch of the Montgomery GI Bill in 1986.
The only benefit
offered to them was the Veterans Educational
Assistance Program, which paid a modest $2
government match for each $1 contributed by the
member, with a $2,700 cap on the member’s
Many people never
signed up for VEAP, and some who did withdrew their
money, sometimes on the advice of education or
financial counselors, in the mistaken belief that
they could always contribute again later.
Air Force Senior
Master Sgt. Michael Jenks, assigned to Langley Air
Force Base, Va., said he was told by a career
adviser not to sign up for VEAP because the
Montgomery GI Bill “was coming down the line and it
was going to be better.”
“I decided to wait,”
closed, and participants were given an opportunity
to transfer into the new GI Bill program — but those
who had not signed up for VEAP, such as Jenks, were
Jenks, who said he’s
“very close” to a bachelor’s degree through tuition
assistance, said he’d like to see GI Bill enrollment
provided in combination with re-enlistment.
Marine SSG Using Active Duty Tuition Reports An
“Inordinately High Number Of People In The Chain Of
Command Who Believed That Enlisted Marines Should
Not Go To College On Active Duty”
May 26, 2008 By Rick
Maze, Army Times [Excerpts]
Service members who
sign up for GI Bill benefits often find they don’t
need them because, with some persistence and help
from their commands, they can get a college degree
using tuition assistance, which covers 100 percent
of tuition and fees.
If they can use it,
Army Sgt. 1st Class
John Drummond, deployed to Iraq, has found that
fitting college courses into a military career can
Marine Staff Sgt. Chris Hearn, who, in 14 years of
service, has used a combination of tuition
assistance and GI Bill benefits to complete a
bachelor of science degree and is now working on a
master’s degree, said the only problem he
encountered was “the inordinately high number of
people in the chain of command who believed that
enlisted Marines should not go to college on active
“There was and still is a prejudice against school
because when your tuition assistance document is
signed, they believe that their flexibility with
your time is lost as they cannot make you go to a
meeting that was just dreamed up because you have
got to go to school,” said Hearn, assigned to Naval
Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
Other service members
say that if you max out your tuition assistance in a
given year, trying to use your GI Bill benefits
while still in uniform can pose problems.
Army 2nd Lt. Darin
Breunig, assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash., was in that
situation. He said using the GI Bill on active duty
resulted in reduced benefits because it paid for
just one course for four months, providing about
$600 in benefits.
He said he would be
paid more than $4,000 for four months of benefits if
he waited until he separated and became a full-time
“It was my choice to
use the benefit that way, but it doesn’t seem
right,” he said.
They Suffer The Horrors Of PTSD Nightmares And
Flashbacks, Let’s Dump Them On The Streets With The
Least Amount Of Help And Benefits Possible, As
Cheaply As Possible”
“God Help Us If They All Get College Degrees And
Figure Out What We’ve Done To Them”
May 22, 2008 By JOSEPH
L. GALLOWAY, McClatchy Newspapers [Excerpts]
On Capitol Hill, our
lawmakers debate the pros and cons of a new GI Bill
that would provide our latest combat veterans with
education benefits at least equal to those that
their grandfathers received when they came home from
winning World War II.
Our president has
threatened to veto that bill if Congress passes it.
The Republican candidate to succeed him, Sen. John
McCain, a veteran and former prisoner of war
himself, refuses to support that GI Bill and offers
a watered down, cheaper substitute.
The Pentagon and the
Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, a former
university president, oppose better educational
benefits for veterans, for fear that offering them
might entice more young troops to leave the service
for the campus.
This is odd, coming as
it does from a president who talks a lot about
supporting our troops, from a senator who draws a
100 percent military disability pension and from a
former college president who surely knows the value
of higher education.
But if they come home
wounded, their brains rattled by the huge IED’s of
the new way of war, and if they suffer the horrors
of PTSD nightmares and flashbacks, let’s dump them
on the streets with the least amount of help and
benefits possible, as cheaply as possible.
sure we don’t want to improve their chances, better
their future prospects, by offering them the same
college benefits we gave their grandfathers six
help us if they all get college degrees and figure
out what we’ve done to them.
Infected Beef Sold To Troops At Military Bases
May 26, 2008 Army
Beef sold at some
military bases around the country may have been
contaminated with E. coli.
The Defense Department
has issued a voluntary recall on all 85 percent of
lean ground beef sold at Bolling Air Force Base,
Washington, D.C.; Carlisle Barracks, Pa.; Fort
Carson, Colo.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Fort McCoy,
Wis.; Fort Monmouth, N.J.; Naval Air Engineering
Station Lakehurst, N.J.; Naval Station Great Lakes,
Ill.; Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn.; and
Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.
In a statement issued
May 15, the military suggested that anyone who
bought the meat this month should throw it away or
return it for a full refund.
E. coli can cause
potentially deadly diarrhea and dehydration.
The elderly and the
young are particularly prone to the foodborne
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE SERVICE?
Forward GI Special along, or send us the address
if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA,
this is extra important for your service friend,
too often cut off from access to encouraging
news of growing resistance to the war, inside
the armed services and at home. Send email
requests to address up top or write to: The
Military Project, Box 126 , 2576 Broadway, New
York, N.Y. 10025-5657. Phone: 917.677.8057
When The Intellect Can No Longer Censor The Soul—
Truth Is Born
From: Mike Hastie
To: GI Special
Sent: May 19, 2008
Soldier II Investigation
Winter Soldier II
March 13-16, 2008
When the intellect can no longer censor the
soul--the truth is born.
U.S. Army Medic
Photo and caption from the I-R-A-Q (I Remember
Another Quagmire) portfolio of Mike Hastie, US
Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his
outstanding work, contact at: (email@example.com)
SUCCESSFUL ANTI-WAR REBELLION OF THE ARMED FORCES IN
Vietnam: They Stopped An Imperial War:
Honor And Respect To Them All
[Thanks to Mark
Shapiro, who sent this in.]
Excerpts from an
article by Col. Robert D. Heinl, Jr., North American
Newspaper Alliance, Armed Forces Journal, 7 June,
MORALE, DISCIPLINE and battleworthiness of the
U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient
exceptions, lower and worse than at anytime in this
century and possibly in the history of the United
every conceivable indicator, our army that now
remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching
collapse, with individual units avoiding or having
refused combat, murdering their officers and non
commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited
where not near mutinous.
Elsewhere than Vietnam
, the situation is nearly as serious.
To understand the
military consequences of what is happening to the
U.S. Armed Forces, Vietnam is a good place to
It is in Vietnam that
the rearguard of a 500,000 man army, in its day and
in the observation of the writer the best army the
United States ever put into the field, is numbly
extricating itself from a nightmare war the Armed
Forces feel they had foisted on them by bright
civilians who are now back on campus writing books
about the folly of it all.
"They have set up separate companies," writes an
American soldier from Cu Chi, quoted in the New York
Times, "for men who refuse to go into the field. Is
no big thing to refuse to go. If a man is ordered
to go to such and such a place he no longer goes
through the hassle of refusing; he just packs his
shirt and goes to visit some buddies at another base
Operations have become incredibly ragtag. Many guys
don’t even put on their uniforms any more... The
American garrison on the larger bases are virtually
disarmed. The lifers have taken our weapons from us
and put them under lock and key...There have also
been quite a few frag incidents in the battalion."
"Frag incidents" or
just "fragging" is current soldier slang in Vietnam
for the murder or attempted murder of strict,
unpopular, or just aggressive officers and NCOs.
With extreme reluctance (after a young West Pointer
from Senator Mike Mansfield’s Montana was fragged in
his sleep) the Pentagon has now disclosed that
fraggings in 1970(109) have more than doubled those
of the previous year (96).
Word of the deaths of officers will bring cheers at
troop movies or in bivouacs of certain units.
one such division -- the morale plagued Americal --
fraggings during 1971 have been authoritatively
estimated to be running about one a week.
Yet fraggings, though
hard to document, form part of the ugly lore of
every war. The first such verified incident known to
have taken place occurred 190 years ago when
Pennsylvania soldiers in the Continental Army killed
one of their captains during the night of 1 January
Bounties, raised by common subscription in amounts
running anywhere from $50 to $1,000, have been
widely reported put on the heads of leaders whom the
privates and Sp4s want to rub out.
Shortly after the costly assault on Hamburger Hill
in mid-1969, the GI underground newspaper in
Vietnam, "G.I. Says", publicly offered a $10,000
bounty on Lt. Col. Weldon Honeycutt, the officer who
ordered (and led) the attack. Despite several
attempts, however, Honeycutt managed to live out his
tour and return Stateside.
"Another Hamburger Hill," (i.e., toughly contested
assault), conceded a veteran major, is definitely
issue of "combat refusal", and official euphemism
for disobedience of orders to fight -- the soldier’s
gravest crime – has only recently been again
precipitated on the frontier of Laos by Troop B, 1st
Cavalry’s mass refusal to recapture their captain’s
command vehicle containing communication gear, codes
and other secret operation orders.
As early as mid-1969,
however, an entire company of the 196th
Light Infantry Brigade publicly sat down on the
battlefield. Later that year, another rifle
company, from the famed 1st Air Cavalry Division,
flatly refused -- on CBS-TV -- to advance down a
While denying further
unit refusals the Air Cav has admitted some 35
individual refusals in 1970 alone. By comparison,
only two years earlier in 1968, the entire number of
officially recorded refusals for our whole army in
Vietnam -- from over seven divisions - was 68.
"Search and evade" (meaning tacit avoidance of
combat by units in the field) is now virtually a
principle of war, vividly expressed by the GI
phrase, "CYA (cover your ass) and get home!"
That "search-and-evade" has not gone unnoticed by
the enemy is underscored by the Viet Cong
delegation’s recent statement at the Paris Peace
Talks that communist units in Indochina have been
ordered not to engage American units which do not
molest them. The same statement boasted - not
without foundation in fact - that American defectors
are in the VC ranks.
Symbolic anti-war fasts (such as the one at Pleiku
where an entire medical unit, led by its officers,
refused Thanksgiving turkey), peace symbols,
"V"-signs not for victory but for peace, booing and
cursing of officers and even of hapless entertainers
such as Bob Hope, are unhappily commonplace.
Only last year an Air
Force major and command pilot for Ambassador Bunker
was apprehended at Ton Son Nhut air base outside
Saigon with $8 million worth of heroin in his
The major is now in
Early this year, and
Air force regular colonel was court-martialed and
cashiered for leading his squadron in pot parties,
while, at Cam Ranh Air Force Base, 43 members of the
base security police squadron were recently swept up
in dragnet narcotics raids.
the foregoing facts – and mean more dire indicators
of the worse kind of military trouble – point to
widespread conditions among American forces in
Vietnam that have only been exceeded in this century
by the French Army’s Nivelle mutinies of 1917 and
the collapse of the Tsarist armies in 1916 and 1917.
Sedition – coupled with disaffection within the
ranks, and externally fomented with an audacity and
intensity previously inconceivable – infests the
At best count, there
appear to be some 144 underground newspapers
published on or aimed at U.S. military bases in this
country and overseas. Since 1970 the number of such
sheets has increased 40% (up from 103 last fall).
are not mere gripe-sheets that poke soldier fun in
the "Beetle Bailey" tradition, at the brass and the
Vietnam," writes the Ft Lewis-McChord Free Press,
"the Lifers, the Brass, are the true Enemy, not the
enemy." Another West Coast sheet advises readers:
"Don’t desert. Go to Vietnam and kill your
least 14 GI dissent organizations (including two
made up exclusively of officers) now operate more or
less openly. Ancillary to these are at least six
antiwar veterans’ groups which strive to influence
lawyer groups specialize in support of GI dissent.
Two (GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee and new
York Draft and Military Law Panel) operate in the
open. A third is a semi-underground network of
lawyers who can only be contacted through the GI
Alliance, a Washington , D.C. , group which tries to
coordinate seditious antimilitary activities
throughout the country.
One antimilitary legal
effort operates right in the theater of war. A
three-man law office, backed by the Lawyers’
Military Defense Committee, of Cambridge, Mass., was
set up last fall in Saigon to provide free civilian
legal services for dissident soldiers being
court-martialed in Vietnam.
Besides these lawyers’
fronts, the Pacific Counseling Service (an umbrella
organization with Unitarian backing for a prolifery
of antimilitary activities) provides legal help and
incitement to dissident GIs through not one but
seven branches ( Tacoma , Oakland , Los Angeles ,
San Diego , Monterey , Tokyo , and Okinawa ).
Another of Pacific
Counseling’s activities is to air-drop planeloads of
sedition literature into Oakland’s sprawling Army
Base, our major West Coast staging point for Vietnam
the religious front, a community of turbulent
priests and clergymen, some unfrocked, calls itself
the Order of Maximilian.
Maximilian is a saint said to have been martyred by
the Romans for refusing military service as
un-Christian. Maximilian’s present-day followers
visit military posts, infiltrate brigs and stockades
in the guise of spiritual counseling, work to
recruit military chaplains, and hold services of
"consecrations" of post chapels in the name of their
By present count at
least 11 (some go as high as 26) off-base antiwar
"coffee houses" ply GIs with rock music, lukewarm
coffee, antiwar literature, how-to-do-it tips on
desertion, and similar disruptive counsels. Among
the best-known coffee houses are: The Shelter Half
(Ft Lewis , Wash. ); The Home Front (Ft Carson,
Colo.); and The Oleo Strut (Ft Hood, Tex. ).
Virtually all the
coffee houses are or have been supported by the U.S.
Serviceman’s Fund, whose offices are in new York
City’s Bronx .
While refusing to
divulge names, IRS sources say that the serviceman’s
Fund has been largely bankrolled by well-to-do
One example of this
kind of liberal support for sedition which did
surface identifiably last year was the $8,500 nut
channeled from the Philip Stern Family Foundation to
underwrite Seaman Roger Priest’s underground paper
OM, which, among other writings, ran do-it-yourself
advice for desertion to Canada and advocated
assassination of President Nixon.
"Entertainment Industry for Peace and Justice," the
antiwar show-biz front organized by Jane Fonda, Dick
Gregory, and Dalton Trumbo, now claims over 800
film, TV, and music names. This organization is
backing Miss Fonda’s antimilitary road-show that
opened outside the gates of Ft. Bragg, N.C., in
performances (scripted by Jules Pfeiffer) as the
soldiers’ alternative to Bob Hope, Miss Fonda says
her case will repeat the Ft Bragg show at or outside
19 more major bases.
Freshman Representative Ronald V. Dellums (D-Calif.)
runs a somewhat different kind of antimilitary
a Congressman, Dellums cannot be barred from
military posts and has been taking full advantage of
the fact. At Ft Meade, Md., last month, Dellums led
a soldier audience as they booed and cursed their
commanding officer who was present on-stage in the
post theater which the Army had to make available.
SUCCESSFUL ANTI-WAR REBELLION OF THE ARMED FORCES IN
“Unpunished Sedition, And Recalcitrant Antimilitary
Elected Enlisted Men’s Councils “Made Up Of Privates
And Sp 4s (NCOs Aren’t Allowed) Which Sits At The
Elbow Of Every Unit Commander Down To The Companies”
[Thanks to Mark
Shapiro, who sent this in.]
By Col. Robert D.
Heinl, Jr., Armed Forces Journal, 7 June, 1971
the end-product of the atmosphere of incitement of
unpunished sedition, and of recalcitrant
antimilitary malevolence which pervades the world of
the draftee (and to an extent the low-ranking men in
"volunteer" services, too) is overt action.
During 1970, large
armory thefts were successfully perpetrated against
Oakland Army Base, Vets Cronkhite and Ord, and even
the marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton, where a
team wearing Marine uniforms got away with nine M-16
rifles and an M-79 grenade launcher.
Operating in the
middle West, three soldiers from Ft Carson, Colo.,
home of the Army’s permissive experimental unite,
the 4th Mechanized Division, were recently indicted
by a federal grand jury for dynamiting the telephone
exchange, power plant and water works of another
Army installation, Camp McCoy, Wis., on 26 July
The Navy, particularly
on the West Coast, has also experienced disturbing
cases of sabotage in the past two years, mainly
directed at ships’ engineering and electrical
It will be surprising,
according to informed officers, if further such
tangible evidence of disaffection within the ranks
does not continue to come to light. Their view is
that the situation could become considerably worse
before it gets better.
Part of the defense establishment’s problem with the
judiciary is the now widely pursued practice of
taking commanding officers into civil courts by
dissident soldiers either to harass or annul normal
discipline or administrative procedures or the
Only a short time ago,
for example, a dissident group of active-duty
officers, members of the concerned Officers’
Movement (COM), filed a sweeping lawsuit against
Defense Secretary Laird himself, a well as all three
service secretaries, demanding official recognition
of their "right" to oppose the Vietnam war, accusing
the secretaries of "harassing" them, and calling for
court injunction to ban disciplinary "retaliation"
against COM members.
Such nuisance suits
from the inside (usually, like the Laird suit, on
constitutional grounds) by people still in uniform,
let alone by officers, were unheard-of until two or
three years ago.
Now, according to one Army general, the practice has
become so command that, in his words, "I can’t even
give a /34/ directive without getting permission
from my staff judge advocate."
Other reports tell of
jail-delivery attacks on Army stockades and military
police to release black prisoners, and of officers
being struck in public by black soldiers. Augsburg,
Krailsheim, and Hohenfels are said to be rife with
Desertions And Disasters
With conditions what
they are in the Armed Forces, and with intense
efforts on the part of elements in our society to
disrupt discipline and destroy morale the
consequences can be clearly measured in two ultimate
indicators: man-power retention (reenlistments and
their antithesis, desertions); and the state of
In both respects the
picture is anything but encouraging.
Desertion, to be sure,
has often been a serious problem in the past. In
1826, for example, desertions exceeded 50% of the
total enlistments in the Army. During the Civil
War, in 1864, Jefferson Davis reported to the
Confederate Congress: "Two thirds of our men are
absent, most absent without leave."
Desertion rates are
going straight up in Army, Marines, and Air Force.
Curiously, however, during the period since 1968
when desertion has nearly doubled for all three
other services, the Navy’s rate has risen by less
than 20 percent.
1970, the Army had 65,643 deserters, or roughly the
equivalent of four infantry divisions.
This desertion rate
(52.3 soldiers per thousand) is well over twice the
peak rate for Korea (22.5 per thousand).
If desertions continue
to rise (as they are still doing this year), they
will attain or surpass the WWII peak of 63 per
thousand, which, incidentally, occurred in the same
year (1945) when more soldiers were actually being
discharged from the Army for psychoneurosis than
The marines in 1970
had the highest desertion index in the modern
history of the Corps and, for that year at least,
slightly higher than the Army’s. Meanwhile, grimly
remarked one officer, "let the bastards go. We’re
all the better without them."
But letting the
bastards go doesn’t work at all for the Army and the
Navy, who do need a lot of recruits and whose
reenlistment problems are dire.
Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., chief of naval
Operations, minces no words. "We have a personnel
crisis," he recently said, "that borders on
The Navy’s crisis, as
Zumwalt accurately describes it, is that of a highly
technical, material oriented service that finds
itself unable to retain the expensively-trained
technicians needed to operate warships, which are
the largest, most complex items of machinery that
man makes and uses.
Washington once remarked, "is the soul of an army."
In January 1781, all
the Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops in the
Continental Army mutinied. Washington only quelled
the outbreaks by disarming the Jersey mutineers and
having their leaders shot in hollow square – by a
firing squad made up of fellow mutineers.
(The navy’s only
mutiny, aboard USS Somers in 1842, was quelled when
the captain hanged the mutineers from the yardarm
while still at sea.)
If Washington was
correct (and almost any professional soldier,
whether officer or NCO, will agree), then the Armed
Forces today are in deep trouble.
What enhances this
trouble, by exponential dimensions, is the kind of
manpower with which the Armed Forces now have to
early as three years ago, U.S. News and World Report
reported that the services were already plagued with
"… a new breed of man, who thinks he is his own
Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and
Attorney General. He considers himself superior to
any officer alive. And he is smart enough to go by
the book. He walks a tightrope between the
regulations and sedition."
Yet the problem is not
just one of trouble-makers and how to cope with
The trouble of the
services – produced by and also in turn producing
the dismaying conditions described in this article –
is above all a crisis of soul and backbone.
entails – the word is not too strong – something
very near a collapse of the command authority and
leadership George Washington saw as the soul of
military forces. This collapse results, at least in
part, from a concurrent collapse of public
confidence in the military establishment.
Elected Enlisted Men’s Councils
General Matthew B.
Ridgway, one of the Army’s finest leaders in this
century (who revitalized the shaken Eighth Army in
Korea after its headlong rout by the Chinese in
1950) recently said, "Not before in my lifetime …
has the Army’s public image fallen to such low
But the fall in public
esteem of all three major services – not just the
Army – is exceeded by the fall or at least the
enfeeblement of the hierarchic and disciplinary
system by which they exist and, when ordered to do
so, fight and sometimes die.
Take the case of the
noncommissioned and petty officers.
In Rudyard Kipling’s
lines, "the backbone o’ the Army is the
In the 4th Mechanized
Division at Ft. Carson, Sp 4 David Gyongyos, on his
second year in the Army, enjoys an office across the
hall from the division commander, a full-time
secretary, and staff car and driver also assigned
full time. He has the home phone numbers of the
general and chief of staff and doesn’t hesitate to
use them out of working hours when he feels like it.
Gyongyos (with a bachelor’s degree in theology and
two years’ law school) is chairman of the division’s
Enlisted Men’s Councils, a system of elected
[councils] made up of privates and Sp 4s (NCOs
aren’t allowed) which sits at the elbow of every
unit commander down to the companies.
represent, electively, " Gyongyos expansively told
this reporter, "the 17,000 men on this post."
The division sergeant
major, with a quarter-century in the Army, who is
supposed to be the division’s first soldiers and –
non-electively – father and ombudsman of every
soldier, has an office with is on even on the same
floor with the general (or Sp 4 Gyongyos either). He
gets his transportation, as needed, from the motor
The very most that
Gyongyos will concede to the sergeant major, the
first sergeants, the platoon sergeants – the
historic enlisted leadership of armies – is that
they are "combat technicians." They are not, he
coldly adds, "highly skilled in the social
[councils] of the 4th Division represent an
experiment in what the Army calls "better
the rest of the Army do not quite duplicate those at
Carson, but the same spirit is abroad. And
experienced NCOs everywhere feel threatened or at
Most major units of the Army, Navy, and Air force
have some form of enlisted men’s councils, as well
as junior officer councils.
Even the trainee companies at Ft. Ord, Calif. have
councils, made up of recruits, who take questions
and complaints past their DIs to company commanders
and hold weekly meetings and post minutes on
General Pershing, who
once said, "All a soldier needs to know is how to
shoot and salute", would be surprised.
for the officers, said a four-star admiral, "We have
lost our voice."
foregoing may be true as far as admirals are
concerned, but hasn’t hampered short-term junior
officers (including several West Pointers) from
banding together into highly vocal antiwar and
antimilitary organizations, such as the Concerned
Officers’ Movement (COM).
Norfolk, the local COM chapter has a peace billboard
outside gate 2, Norfolk Naval Station, where every
sailor can profit by the example of his officers.
Good News For The Iraqi Resistance!!
U.S. Occupation Commands’ Stupid Terror Tactics
Recruit Even More Fighters To Kill U.S. Troops
Iraqi citizens huddle
together as foreign occupation troops from the US
soldiers search their house during home invasion in
the Sheik Marouf neighborhood, Karkh district ,
Baghdad, May 23, 2008. (AP Photo/Petros
Iraqi citizens have no
right to resist home invasions by occupation
soldiers from the USA. If they do, they may be
arrested, wounded, or killed.
[There’s nothing quite like invading somebody else’s
country and busting into their houses by force to
arouse an intense desire to kill you in the
patriotic, self-respecting civilians who live there.
[But your commanders know that, don’t they? Don’t
The women and children were moved into a room,
where they huddled together in silence. The men
had been forced down onto their knees wherever
they were apprehended, their hands secured
behind their backs with plastic handcuffs and
their eyes covered by makeshift blindfolds.
YOCHI J. DREAZEN, Wall St.
“In the States, if police burst into your house,
kicking down doors and swearing at you, you
would call your lawyer and file a lawsuit,” said
Wood, 42, from Iowa, who did not accompany
Halladay’s Charlie Company, from his battalion,
on Thursday’s raid. “Here, there are no
lawyers. Their resources are limited, so they
plant IEDs (improvised explosive devices)
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
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