US Iraq, Afghanistan war veterans become homeless

This video from the USA says about itself:

WAKE UP 200 000 war veterans homeless in the US

For six years of war in Iraq, the Bush administration has done absolutely nothing to take care of the hundreds of thousands of wounded veterans coming home, said Aaron Glantz, a journalist who has been covering the stories of US military vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the San Francisco Chronicle in the USA:

Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans join the homeless

Anna Sussman

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ethan Kreutzer joined the Army at the age of 17 and fought with the 19th Airborne in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. When he retuned home, he had no money, no education and no civilian job experience. He soon became homeless. He slept in an alley off Haight Street, behind two trash cans.

June Moss drove from Kuwait to Iraq as an Army engineer in a truck convoy. When she returned to the United States, she lost her home, and drove her two young children from hotel to hotel across Northern California.

Sean McKeen, a hardy, broad-shouldered 21-year-old with a wide smile, went to Iraq to clear land mines, and to get money for college. When he returned home, he became homeless in less than a week. He found himself sleeping in a cot in a crowded homeless shelter in San Francisco.

They are all part of a growing trend of homelessness among returning war on terrorism veterans.

More than 2,000 military personnel return home to California each month. Most have no specialized job experience, education or an easy familiarity with civilian life. And many have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), making it difficult to get along with friends and family, and almost impossible to hold down a job.

A veteran driven to the brink: here.

BOOKS-US: Wounded Veterans Treated as an Afterthought: here.

The Case for U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan: here.

24 thoughts on “US Iraq, Afghanistan war veterans become homeless

  1. Homecoming Veterans Often Face Inner Challenge

    By Kathleen Doheny
    HealthDay Reporter

    TUESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) — In earlier wars, it was known as shell shock. In later military combat — Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan — the emotional scars veterans brought back with them got new names for old problems: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance abuse.

    As Americans gather for ceremonies throughout the nation Tuesday to honor those who served in the Armed Forces, many veterans are facing emotional and mental problems brought on by combat, and often, they can’t or won’t deal with them.

    The problem has become almost epidemic, according to Linda Rosenberg, president of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, one of many organizations focusing on the mental and physical health needs of returning veterans.

    The ratio of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from PTSD or depression is one-in-five, Rosenberg said, citing a landmark study from the Rand Corp. released earlier this year. That’s about 300,000 veterans just from the current wars, researchers estimated.

    For many combat veterans, the problem is compounded by multiple mental ailments, according to Keith Armstrong, a licensed clinical social worker at the San Francisco Veteran Affairs Medical Center and co-author of “Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families,” a 2005 book that explored the scope of the problem.

    While depression and PTSD are common, according to experts, so are anxiety and substance abuse.

    Making the mental health problems worse, Rosenberg said, is the increase in multiple tours of duty.

    “You can imagine having to go through war once, the danger of that,” she said. “For some, it’s more than twice — it’s three or four times.”

    Many veterans are reluctant to seek help, the Rand researchers found, because sometimes they fear it will harm their careers, both military and civilian.

    But the fallout from mental health issues related to war stretch far beyond jobs, Rosenberg said.

    “The problem is not only [with] the vet, but the vet’s family,” she said. When their soldier is off to war, the family’s functioning is often difficult. Reintegrating as a family, likewise, can be difficult, she added, as spouses who assumed new roles now have to relinquish them. In families with children, the kids may act out at school and elsewhere, causing further stress, she said.

    Organizations focused on mental health and on veterans are trying to raise awareness and offer more help. And once a veteran acknowledges the problem, help is available and treatment is effective, experts said.

    For PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on discussing the traumatic events is commonly used, said Armstrong. “Typically what happens with events you don’t like [such as combat] is you avoid them,” he said. “And you end up perpetuating problems.”

    Armstrong and others who work with veterans encourage them to talk in detail about what happened in combat. This, over time, eases the negative emotions by helping the veteran face the fear he or she carries inside.

    In addition to therapy, medications can help veterans with depression, anxiety and PTSD, experts say.

    And friends and family can also help, by encouraging the veteran to talk about the problems, Rosenberg said.

    “Give them a chance to open up,” she said. “Let them know you’re available to listen. Try to help them figure out where to go to get help.”

    More information

    The Veterans Administration has more on its “Warrior Care” program.


  2. This Veterans Day, U.S. Soldiers Say ‘Stop the War’
    We believe that veterans and active-duty GIs are in a key position to stop illegal and unjust war, and we are inspired by the resistance of troops who stood against the war in Vietnam. . . . It is in this vein that we turn to organizations like Courage to Resist, Iraq Veterans Against the War.,_u.s._soldiers_say_%27stop_the_war%27/

    Antiwar Protesters As Obama and Michelle Tour White House
    Before the president-elect’s arrival, spectators three rows deep pressed against the north gate of the White House, eager for a glimpse. Farther back, antiwar protesters chanted, “No more war!”,0,5420171.story

    MFSO Opposes Delayed “Withdrawal”
    [L]eaving U.S. combat troops in Iraq well into 2010, and leaving tens of thousands of additional troops in Iraq indefinitely, is not ending this war — it is continuing it.


  3. Posted by: “Carl Davidson” carld717
    Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:58 pm (PST)

    Ad-Hoc Committee to Stop the Bush War Pact
    10536 Culver Blvd, #H2
    Culver City CA 90232
    Date:November 11, 2008

    Contact: Emily Louise Walker
    310-559-9522 – messages
    714-307-1737 – cell

    Clergy, Human Rights and
    Peace Leaders Letter to
    President-Elect Obama
    Opposing the Bush Pact with Iraq

    November 11, 2008

    Dear President-Elect Obama,

    We are deeply moved to address you as our nation’s first African-American president and, we proudly note, the first president whose campaign began with a pledge to an anti-war rally. Your courageous speech in October 2002, provided the rationale momentum that led to victory in Iowa and other Democratic primaries, and we still applaud you for that stand.

    We write amidst this exciting week to urge your immediate attention and opposition to the so-called Status of Forces Agreement on Iraq being prepared in secret negotiations by the outgoing Bush Administration. The current United Nations authorization ends December 31st, making it imperative that you take leadership even before being sworn in.

    The proposed agreement is a transparent attempt to circumvent Congress and formally bind your Administration to a war and occupation that far exceeds your stated commitment to a 16 month withdrawal of our combat troops. As your own website specifically states, any agreement should include a commitment to begin withdrawing our troops and avoiding any permanent bases. We also believe that thousands of Iraqi detainees should be treated according to human rights norms, or released in the absence of charges or evidence. You also have committed to a role for Congress in affirming any agreement. Already the Bush administration and Pentagon are threatening “consequences” if the Iraqi parliament fails to endorse this pact.

    We believe instead that you should signal your intention to abide by your pledge and work with the Congress immediately to formulate an agreement consistent with your pledge to end this war as rapidly as possible.

    We propose that you include the withdrawal of all American forces, including trainers and advisers caught in a sectarian crossfire, as recommended by all peace and justice organizations as well as such Washington think tanks as the Center for American Progress.

    In place of this counterinsurgency war. we recommend an immediate diplomatic surge, including talks with Iran, as the only alternative to the continuing quagmire in Iraq which now costs our taxpayers some ten billion dollars per month, puts lives needlessly at risk, and stains our national honor.

    We realize you will be hearing from all sorts of advocates for prolonging the occupation by one means or another. We urge you to keep the faith with the voices of those who put you on the road to the presidency, by implementing your pledge to end the war in 2009.

    TOM HAYDEN, Progressives for Obama
    ARIEL DORFMAN, Author, Human Rights Leader
    MICHAEL RATNER, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
    REV. GEORGE HUNSINGER, Princeton Theological Seminary
    FRANCES ANDERSON, Coordinator, 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
    JEAN STEIN, New York
    REV. JOHN COBB, Claremont Theological School
    REV. ED BACON, Rector, All Saints Church, Pasadena
    REV. RICHARD BUNCE, Interfaith Communities United for Peace and Justice
    TIM GOODRICH, Co-Founder, Iraq Veterans Against the War
    RABBI ALLEN FREEHLING, Executive Director, Human Relations Commission, City of LA
    DAVE ROBINSON, Executive Director, Pax Christi
    ANNE MILLER, New Hampshire Peace Action
    VERNON NAFFIER, President, Progressive Coalition of Central Iowa
    FRANK COWNIE, Mayor, Des Moines, Iowa
    PETER LAARMAN, Executive Director, Progressive Christians Uniting
    ROBERT NAIMAN, Just Foreign Policy
    REV. JAMES CONN, United Methodist Church Urban Ministry
    LESLIE CAGAN, executive director, United for Peace and Justice
    MEDEA BENJAMIN, Co=founder, Global Exchange / CODEPINK

    (Partial Listing, Groups for Identification)

    To add your name to the signers of this letter, go to the following site. There’s no need to respond to the request for a donation, since it goes to the petition software site rather than our project.


  4. Posted by: “frankofbos”

    Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:44 pm (PST)

    Bush Says Our Intel was “Sound”, Bush Says Our Intel was “Wrong” –
    Bush History, 11/12

    President Bush Says US intelligence on Iraq was “sound”. Less than a
    year later, passing the buck , Bush will say US intel was “wrong”
    (failing to mention his own knack for ignoring the correct intel that
    he didn’t want to hear). Also, a Bush deficit update and free gas for
    a year and a half?

    Today’s category: Deficit Mismanagement, Dishonesty, Ignoring Experts,
    Iraq, Proven Wrong


  5. Posted by: “frankofbos”

    Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:02 pm (PST)

    Bush Admin: Taken in by a Con Artist and the US People Pay the Price –
    Bush History, 11/14

    The Bush administration on this date meets with the con artist who sold
    them a bill of goods on Iraq, despite the doubts of ignored, skeptical
    intelligence officials. Also on this date, a blithering Rumsfeld
    spreads some pre-war Iraq lies around. And a related Bushism.

    Today’s category: Bushisms, Iraq, Proven Wrong


  6. Posted by: “frankofbos”

    Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:46 pm (PST)

    Bush Ignores Intel Officers Pleas to Prioritize Nation’s Security over
    Karl Rove – Bush History, 11/15

    On this date President Bush is asked by 16 ex-intel officials to show
    that the commander-in-chief cares more about national security than
    protecting Karl Rove. Bush declines. Also, a Bush official says
    Saddam’s WMD and Qaeda connections are real, and the threat of
    instability in a post Saddam Iraq is highly exaggerated. We now know
    the exact opposite was true.

    Today’s category: Betraying the CIA, Dishonesty, Proven Wrong, Revolt
    of the GOP & Insiders

    365 Reasons to Celebrate the Obama administration – New Bush blunders


  7. Newest Veterans Hit Hard by Economic Crisis
    “You fill out a job application and you can’t write ‘long-range reconnaissance and sniper skills.’ ”

    Report to Congress: Gulf War Syndrome is Real
    Gulf War syndrome is real and still afflicts nearly a quarter of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1991 conflict.,0,7557540.story

    Audio Documentary: Major General Smedley Butler, USMC
    Major General Smedley Butler served his country for 34 years, yet he spoke against American armed intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations.


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