This video from the USA says about itself:
Tens of thousands of US soldiers are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. They say they’ve been abandoned by the Bush Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming that government officials are actively trying to cover up the extent of America’s traumatised soldiers.
For many vets, this means not enough help is being offered and their lives are plagued by anxiety and mental health issues. But for some, the results are even more tragic. Dateline video journalist Nick Lazaredes meets the widow of an Afghanistan veteran who was severely depressed by his recall to fight in Iraq. He was killed in a police shootout on Christmas Day, his death dubbed ‘police-assisted suicide’. As Dateline reveals, his story is not an isolated one.
By Alexander Fangmann in the USA:
20 October 2009
A National Guard soldier home on a 15-day leave from the war in Afghanistan committed suicide in a Muncie, Indiana, movie theater October 12. Jacob W. Sexton, a 21-year-old from rural Farmland, Indiana, shot himself in the head, approximately 20 minutes into the violent comedy Zombieland, with friends and siblings sitting around him. The suicide underscores once again the psychological damage done to soldiers charged with carrying out the brutal colonial occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sexton’s death came as a shock to his family and military cohorts, who told the Muncie Star Press they had not seen any symptoms of suicidal behavior or post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet the young man’s behavior before the film showing revealed that the war’s violence was on his mind. When asked by the theater manager for identification proving the group was of age to see the movie, Sexton reportedly snapped at him, “I shot 18 people and you want to see my identification?”
Sexton’s father, Jeffrey Sexton, told the Associated Press, “We just need to watch these boys and the girls coming back home. Something’s just not right. Too much is happening.”
Like many active-duty military members, Sexton had served multiple tours in both Middle East occupations.
U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Chancellor Keesling died in Iraq on June 19, 2009, from “a non-combat related incident,” according to the Pentagon. Keesling had killed himself. He was just one in what is turning out to be a record year for suicides in the U.S. military: here.
As with suicides, the rate of sexual assaults within the US military now exceeds that of the general population. A Pentagon report earlier this year found one in three female service members are sexually assaulted at least once during their enlistment. Sixty-three percent of nearly 3,000 cases reported last year were rapes or aggravated assaults. Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within is a documentary that focuses on the cases of three female service members victimized by rape and other forms of sexual assault. We air excerpts of the film and speak to filmmaker Pascale Bourgaux: here.
British soldiers’ families against the Afghanistan war: here.
Obama Doesn’t Write To Families Of Soldiers Who Commit Suicide; Family Lobbies For Change: here.