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What is going on with our soldiers and how can we help?

LORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Some Fort Carson, Colo.-based soldiers have had trouble adjusting to life back in the United States, saying they refused to seek help, or were belittled or punished for seeking help. Others say they were ignored by their commanders, or coped through drug and alcohol abuse before they allegedly committed crimes, The Gazette of Colorado Springs said.

The Gazette based its report on months of interviews with soldiers and their families, medical and military records, court documents and photographs.

Several soldiers said unit discipline deteriorated while in Iraq.

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 11:47 PM on Jul. 26, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Toward the end, we were so mad and tired and frustrated," said Daniel Freeman. "You came too close, we lit you up. You didn't stop, we ran your car over with the Bradley," an armored fighting vehicle.

    With each roadside bombing, soldiers would fire in all directions "and just light the whole area up," said Anthony Marquez, a friend of Freeman in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. "If anyone was around, that was their fault. We smoked 'em."

    Taxi drivers got shot for no reason, and others were dropped off bridges after interrogations, said Marcus Mifflin, who was eventually discharged with post traumatic stress syndrome.

    "You didn't get blamed unless someone could be absolutely sure you did something wrong," he said
    Soldiers interviewed by The Gazette cited lengthy deployments, being sent back into battle after surviving war injuries that would have been fatal in previous conflicts, and engaging in some of the b

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 11:47 PM on Jul. 26, 2009

  • Since 2005, some brigade soldiers also have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, DUIs, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides.

    The unit was deployed for a year to Iraq's Sunni Triangle in September 2004. Sixty-four unit soldiers were killed and more than 400 wounded — about double the average for Army brigades in Iraq, according to Fort Carson. In 2007, the unit served a bloody 15-month mission in Baghdad. It's currently deployed to the Khyber Pass region in Afghanistan.

    Marquez was the first in his brigade to kill someone after an Iraq tour. In 2006, he used a stun gun to shock a drug dealer in Widefield, Colo., in a dispute over a marijuana sale, then shot and killed him.

    Marquez's mother, Teresa Hernandez, warned Marquez's sergeant at Fort Carson her son was showing signs of violent behavior, abusing alcohol and pain pills and carrying a gun. "I told them he was a walking

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 11:48 PM on Jul. 26, 2009


    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 11:48 PM on Jul. 26, 2009

  • Ive heard that the problem is the VA.Dr.s are putting everyone on strong anti-depressants that are causing them to snap. also most of their ammo. is radioactive and our soldiers are getting sick and dying, We must help them,, now!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:08 AM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • What needs to happen is more therapy sessions for these guys to get it out! They also need commanders who are more attentive and willing to listen to concerns and complaints. The problem is that you're sending these guys out into extremely stressful situations and then shutting them out. They are made to feel stupid if they ask for help or try to seek help (like therapy) and they feel like no one is listening to them. Just try to imagine what that's like! Couple all that with stresses from home. Then when they get to come home, they are passed over for jobs or can't find jobs which just adds to the stress and they, again, feel ignored. They are not provided enough outlets to get it all out and it's causing them to snap hardcore. Something needs to be done, but the government already wants to cut military funding, so good luck getting programs in order.

    Answer by beadingmom17 at 12:41 AM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • My brother in law spent three months in Afghanistan and it took a good 2 years for him to readjust to civilian life. He was angry and paranoid and drank far to much. He ended up in therepy, but initially refused because he was a MAN and didn't need therepy. Now he is more relaxed and the drinking is considerably better.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:52 AM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • I think they need access to mental health care without the stigma attached. That, and we need to get the hell out of Iraq so that so many of these units are not being deployed for years with multiple deployments.

    But the mental health care is key. There are several units around here - 2 of them National Guard who are on their second and third deployments. Living in a war zone changes you, and you have to desensitize in some ways to live, or so my Vietnam vet father and FIL tell me. They are very worried for the soldiers there. They saw the effects of non-treatment up close and personal for years, both of them.

    Answer by LiliM at 2:22 AM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • This problem is having a horrible affect on military families. I almost think counseling at the nd of a tour should be mandatory...these guys see shame in asking for help....

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 9:47 AM on Jul. 27, 2009

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