Link: Veteran says Memorial Day not a day of celebration, rather a day of self examination
“On Memorial Day, and all these holidays where we take a few seconds out and pause, I don’t think they’re days of celebration. I think they’re days of self-examination,” Mr. Paul Bucha said.
Mr. Bucha, received the Medal of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of this life above and beyond the call of duty” in Vietnam in 1968, when the company he commanded was helicoptered into the midst of an enemy stronghold and spent the night fending off a battalion-sized force.
“I believe, systematically, the soldiers and their families have been ignored in the worst case, and poorly managed and administrated in the most charitable case, since this war began,” Mr. Bucha said recently.
“I’ve attended funerals to see public officials fall asleep in the middle of eulogies. I’ve been to Brooke Army Medical Center, where I saw literally hundreds of young men and women without arms and legs, and some without faces, who were kept out of sight and out of mind.”
Link: My Patriotism Has Been Used and Exploited
Army Sgt. John Bruhns will talk about his tour in Iraq and his opinion of the war.
He concludes: "My patriotism has been used and exploited. I am very proud of my military service, but I'm very disappointed in the civilian leadership and administration for sending us needlessly into combat."
Link: Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés sends Open Letter to Laura Bush
Words That Fall Short of the Soul’s Bar “No one suffers more than their president and I do…”
Link: Treating Trauma
One in three veterans of the war in Iraq, and one in nine of the military operation in Afghanistan, face mental health problems, including depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Link: Author Deanna Mills blogs; another Military Family speaking out
Deanie Francis Mills is the author of 10 suspense thrillers, including ORDEAL and TIGHTROPE, and one true-crime, FACES OF EVIL, (which she co-authored with Houston PD forensic sketch artist Lois Gibson.) Her work has also appeared in numerous national magazines, and she is an experienced public speaker.
In 2004, when her son, Dustin, deployed to Iraq with the United States Marine Corps, Mills found she could no longer sit on the sidelines and watch a war she opposed, not when three close family members deployed, between them, six times to Iraq with the Marine Corps and the army.
In 2006, when her son deployed to Iraq a second time, Deanie started the political blog, "Deanie's Blue Inkblots" (formerly "Blue Inkblots").
Six members of my son's company died yesterday in Diyala Province, Iraq, killed in a massive explosion that entirely destroyed a Stryker vehicle. Only one person survived. My daughter-in-law spent the whole day with her best friend and was with her when she received word that her fiancé had been killed.
- Mothers Day is a very sad day for many, many military families, and six more mothers will be grieving this Sunday.
Link; John Fenton, Another Military Family speaking out on one year anniversary of his son's death in Iraq
On the first anniversary of his son's death in Iraq, John Fenton spoke out against the war Wednesday during a rally in front of the National Guard Armory.
"I just find it frightening," Fenton said. "We're going nowhere and we're going nowhere fast. And it's mostly young kids dying, I just don't understand it."
Matthew Fenton, a 24-year-old Marine Corps sergeant from Little Ferry, was wounded by shrapnel while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province on April 26, 2006. He died at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., less than two weeks later, a day after receiving a Purple Heart.
Lessin is co-founder of Military Families Speak Out. She said today: "April has been an exceedingly violent month with at least 104 U.S. troops killed and we don't know how many Iraqis. This is almost as high as during the offensives against Fallujah. Contrary to the White House line that we need to give their latest escalation more time, it's clear that the occupation is not calming down the violence, it's helping to cause the violence." Lessin is in contact with numerous families of U.S. troops who are in Iraq.