What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 19, 2007

More Fallout from Dubya's War

While those of us who want the war to end (now!) are excoriated by dubya's defenders for "not supporting our troops," every now and then something leaks out about how well this Administration is supporting the troops. It's usually the news is abominable.

A while ago, there was news about the deplorable treatment found at Walter Reed.

This time, there's news about the deplorable treatment found at Walter Reed.

The only difference is that this second article focuses on the Army's "treatment" of its soldiers' various mental health issues - mainly Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Meet Pfc. Joshua Calloway.
Calloway, blue-eyed and lantern-jawed, lasted nine months [of his year long deployment in Iraq] -- until the afternoon he watched his sergeant step on a pressure-plate bomb in the road. The young soldier's knees buckled and he vomited in the reeds before he was ordered to help collect body parts. A few days later he was sent to the combat-stress trailers, where he was given antidepressants and rest, but after a week he was still twitching and sleepless. The Army decided that his war was over.
He was sent to Walter Reed for treatment. According to the article, there were lots of psychiatric drugs and little therapy. More fallout from dubya's war:

On an early venture outside Walter Reed, he went to downtown Silver Spring and became enraged by young people laughing at Starbucks. "Don't they know there is a war going on?" he said.

Wearing a rock band T-shirt, Calloway looked like any other 20-year-old on the sidewalk, but an unspeakable compulsion tore through him. He said he wanted to hatchet someone in the back of the neck.

"I want to see people that I hate die," he said. "I want to blow their heads off. I wish I didn't, but I do." He made similar statements to his psychiatry team at Walter Reed.

As if the entire thing weren't so sickening, this next part is frightening. Calloway finally finds a therapist he can work with, but it's late in the process. He's heading home soon and he's worried about how the Army would set his disability pay. However:

His case worker had told him that she could not locate anyone at Fort Campbell to provide written proof that he had witnessed a traumatic event in combat. [His new therapist Lt. Col. Robert] Forsten picked up the phone and within days had an official statement.

What would have happened had Calloway NOT found Forsten? How many Calloways don't? Ever?

How much more damage needs to be done to men and women like Pfc. Calloway before this administration and its diminishing defenders say: enough!

1 comment:

Joshua calloway said...

This is josh calloway.....i appreciate your concern, i really do, but warriors throughout time have gone through these things. And having this disorder i can tell you, its very personal and individual. War is what it is, and free speech is what it is....so im gonna say this, i believe this war can be won, i believe that some people can handle things differently, everyone has there own breaking point. But with more soldiers on the ground, not admin soldiers, sectors can be secured, roads constantly watched for safe travel, and brave infantry soldiers, to take the fight to the insurgents. When we're doing the watching, the securing, the combat patrols, there's no time for rest, to get yourself back together. I support the war still, I support President Bush, more since the surge took place, because i guarantee you the soldiers well into their tour see more convoys, more humvees, and more american uniforms, his morale goes up.....dont complain about the system, all systems are jacked up in someway.....And the next time you decide to type the phrase "dubbya's war" Think about the twin towers, and how the war was brought to our soil LONG before bodies dropped onto theirs, think about american citizens jumping out of a burning skyscraper to avoid being burned to death. The only fallout is anti-war liberals climbing out of the woodwork because they think they finally have someone to blame......free speech....and thanks for not making my story out to be too politically anti-iraq

- joshua calloway