Retrieving an O’Shaughnessy’s piece about Iraq vet Phil Northcutt, I came across a site called abovetopsecret.com, to which somebody had sent the link.
A quick note: I know that topics regarding illegal drugs are to be avoided, but I consider this story to be entirely relevant to the discussions here. This man is a true American hero and he was royally screwed by the system for doing nothing illegal. The interview is lengthy, but it documents Sgt. Northcutt’s experiences with Iraq, PTSD, the VA, drug addiction, medicinal marijuana, and the police. It’s truly tragic the way we as a country treat our veterans. It’s been estimated that nearly half of the homeless people in this country are veterans, but no one’s really counting. Politicians always make a big effort to APPEAR to support veterans, but the facts speak for themselves.
Followed by this comment:
It is sad how veterans are treated, but when has it been different? I personally know a few people, my age (mid 20’s) who have served in different branches in iraq and afghanistan. Unfortunately only a few of them, the ones with non-combat MOS’, are close to the same person that I knew. A good buddy of ours was recruited by special forces in the army. He would tell stories of moderate engagements, and speak of blowing a man’s brain to bits like it was nothing. You could tell the time in-country was tearing him up. He would speak of shooting civilians on cell phones, knowing 95% were innocent, but it was standard practice for the SF group he was deployed with apparently, as paranoia of IED’s being activated by cell phones was obvious. I haven’t spoke to him in months but last I heard he sustained injuries in combat and is full-time crazy now…apparently to the point where there’s little hope for recovery. Others are able to manage in front of people, but you can tell there is anger and pent up aggression underneath. War must be hell by all accounts, and when you’re not fighting for the immediate protection of family and friends then all that bloodshed, killing and fear’s effects on the mind must be multiplied. Unfortunately veterans will continue to be ignored…it is my hope that we can at least attempt to look after these dudes (and dudettes) with more care than we did our vets from nam. Unfortunately until people stop raising weapons against each other this will remain a problem.
Interesting that you can be above top secret but not allowed to discuss prohibited drugs. —FG