Showing posts with label Fort Benning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fort Benning. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Stolen Valor: Gregg Ramsdell, 61, of Columbus, Ga faked PTSD for benefits...and job

Army veteran faces federal prison time, fines for Stolen Valor and lying about PTSD

Army Times
Todd South
January 14, 2020
Ramsdell later admitted to FBI investigators that he lied about having PTSD at all.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it a criminal offense for individuals to falsely claim military status and awards to claim service-connected benefits. (Arsenis Spyros)
An Army veteran faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine in a March sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to lying about a fake tour in Afghanistan and Purple Heart and Silver Star Medals he didn’t earn.

Gregg Ramsdell, 61, of Columbus, Ga. pleaded guilty in early December to one count of false statements and one count of violation of the Stolen Valor Act. He’s scheduled for sentencing on March 23.

In 2014, Ramsdell claimed to officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs that he “witnessed horrible atrocities” while deployed to Afghanistan from October 2008 to March 2009, according to court records.
The investigation also found that Ramsdell had listed both the Purple Heart with Cluster and the Silver Star Medal on his application for a civilian job at Fort Benning, Georgia in 2017.

He got the job of logistics management specialist with a base salary of $53,137.
read it here

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Motorcycle crash claimed life of soldier who survived Afghanistan and Iraq

Motorcyclist killed in Saturday crash was JBER soldier
By Chris Klint
October 8th 2018

The man killed last weekend in a Gambell Street motorcycle crash was an Army soldier, military officials confirmed Monday.
JBER soldier Staff Sgt. James Alcorn, 35, died in an Oct. 6, 2018 motorcycle crash on Gambell Street in Anchorage, according to Anchorage police. (Credit: From U.S. Army Alaska)
Staff Sgt. James Alcorn, 35, was a field artilleryman assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division according to U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell.

Alcorn, who joined the Army in 2006, served at Fort Benning, Fort Knox and Fort Bragg in the southern U.S. before being assigned to JBER in July 2016. He had served two combat tours in Afghanistan, as well as one in Iraq.
read more here

Sunday, April 22, 2018

How did Robbie West really die?

Family claims murder as they seek to reopen Fort Benning soldier suicide case
By: Mikhaela Singleton
Updated: Apr 21, 2018
"There was a lack of blood splatter, there was the weapon that was laid in his lap and it was up under a fold of his belly, which how can you shoot yourself in the head, lean over to the right, then the gun fall perfectly under the flap of your belly?" Deanne asks.
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) - Nearly seven years after losing her son, Christopher Robert "Robbie" West's mother says getting his case attention again is bittersweet.

Robbie West was a U.S. Army Sergeant who passed July 17, 2011. The Phenix City Police Department and Army CID ruled his death a suicide and closed the case, but Deanne Miller remains convinced otherwise. That's why she tells News 3 she contacted the Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen to further investigate her son's death.

"It's something of course you don't want to be on TV for, but it's because of the situation and because there's nothing we can change about what happened it's amazing that they contacted us," Deanne says.

Once producers with the show responded to Deanne's request, she and her family's lawyer Thomas Worthy shared the evidence they believe prove Robbie's death was actually a murder.
read more here

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This Police Officer Can Do Job With One Arm

ONE ARM, NO PROBLEM: Army veteran amputee fulfills dream of becoming police officer

Idaho State Journal
By Shelbie Harris 
August 15, 2017

“No matter where you go or what you do there is going to be pros and cons to it. But it all depends on how you picture it. If you look for the bad stuff that’s all you’re going to get. If you look for the positive and the good out of it, no matter what situation you are in you’ll see it.” Carlos Lugo

Pocatello Police Department patrolman Carlos Lugo is an Army veteran who lost half of his left arm in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan. But he didn’t let that stop him from becoming a police officer.

POCATELLO — As a 9-year-old living in Stockton, California, Carlos Lugo grew up in a very low-income family.
His mother, a single parent surviving on government checks to feed the mouths of himself and three younger siblings, bounced around from house to house whenever the rent was too high or the bills began to stack up. That was difficult for Lugo, but watching his mom endure constant episodes of domestic violence inflicted by the men in her life was nearly unbearable.
At the brutal height of one such attack, Lugo got a signal from his mom to run to a neighbor’s house and phone the police for help — something he said she rarely asked him to do.
That’s where Pocatello police Capt. Roger Schei first encountered Lugo.
Schei said Lugo never struggled to keep up.
“Everything that we taught he was able to do,” Schei said. “No matter what he was able to find a way. He never asked for special treatment or considerations, and he just figured out a way to get it done.”
Pocatello Police Chief Scott Marchand has similar praise for Lugo, who has now been on the police force a little less than six months.
read more here 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fort Benning Soldier Shot and Killed

Ft. Benning soldier shot and killed after breaking into apartment on Armour Rd.
Monday, February 6th 2017

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus police have confirmed that 31-year-old Christopher Warden, a soldier stationed at Fort Benning was shot after he broke into an apartment on Armour Road.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, at approximately 7:19 AM, the 911 center received a call about someone trying to break into an apartment in the Armour Landing Apartments at 3929 Armour Avenue.

Warden beat and kicked the door and eventually broke out a front window and crawled into an apartment, which he thought was where his wife had gone to pick up her daughter.

He was warned by his friend that they were at the wrong apartment and a neighbor also told him that he was at the wrong apartment and that he would call 911 if he didn’t leave.
read more here

Friday, September 9, 2016

PTSD Soldier Says "Only Way to Beat That Enemy Is Ask For Help"

Benning soldier says battling suicidal feelings is tougher than combat
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Tribune)
By Chuck Williams
Published: September 9, 2016

“You realize that you are truly facing an enemy that you cannot defeat by yourself — an enemy that knows every secret, every weak point and every ounce of guilt inside you. The only way to beat that enemy is to call for help.”
Staff Sgt. David Mensink
As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader, Army Staff Sgt. David Mensink was trained to deal with volatile situations.
Staff Sgt. David Mensink is shown in this 2010 file photo. U.S. ARMY PHOTO
But the 28-year-old Missouri native assigned to Fort Benning wasn’t trained to deal with the demons that led him to take 57 sleeping pills nearly three months ago in an attempt to end his life.

Thursday, Mensink received the Soldier’s Medal, the highest honor a soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat situation, for his actions at a Birmingham, Ala., hospital when he removed a live grenade from a man’s leg.

Instead of talking about those actions nearly two years ago, Mensink used what should have been his moment of glory to talk about his darkest hour and what has become an urgent military issue: suicide.

“I have personally been pinned down by enemy fire, blown up, have had buddies die in front of me, and I have never felt more embattled than those days I sat alone in my driveway, hours on end, wishing I could do better and wishing I could ask for help,” Mensink told about 75 soldiers at the Maneuver Center of Excellence’s Derby Hall. “At the same time, my pride and my shame and guilt kept me from doing so.”

Mensink, by his count, is no stranger to death. Over his 11-year career, he’s had 13 close friends or colleagues killed in combat — and 11 more who have taken their own lives, he said.
read more here

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fort Benning Pvt. Felix Hall's Murder Remains Unsolved

The story of the only known lynching on a U.S. military base
Washington Post
By Alexa Mills
September 2 2016

The government never solved his murder.

Pvt. Felix Hall’s body hung in this position for about six weeks. His feet rest on the dirt that he dug out of a ravine wall in an effort to release the pressure of the noose around his neck. Photo by Sgt. Robert Templeton, Fort Benning Military Police Detachment, U.S. Army, March 28, 1941. (Department of Veterans Affairs records) (US Army/US Army)
FORT BENNING, Ga. —Pvt. Felix Hall was strung up in a jack-knife position in a shallow ravine. A quarter-inch noose, tethered to a sapling on the earthen bank above him, dug into the flesh of his neck. His feet, bound with baling wire, were attached by a second rope to three other saplings, and his hands were tied behind him.

Hall succeeded in kicking loose his legs and freeing his left hand. Then, while he still had breath, he desperately scraped dirt loose from the ravine wall, trying to scoop out enough of the sienna-colored earth to build up a mound beneath his feet that he could stand on “to take the strain from his neck,” the FBI would later report. He got the dirt up to the arches of his dangling feet. But the earth was soft and loose and ultimately not enough to support his weight.

When investigators eventually arrived on the scene and examined his body, he’d been suspended in this position, in the woods of Fort Benning, for more than six weeks. Maggots were eating his flesh.
read more here

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vietnam Veteran Remembers Battle of the Ia Drang

Not sure about this report. How could a soldier go through basic training in 1963 and not know anything about Vietnam for a year?
1965 Major battle erupts in the Ia Drang Valley
1st Cavalry unit ambushed in the Ia Drang Valley

Something about this story seems off,,,,
Vietnam Voices: Bob Beebe: 'Oh Lord, what have I gotten myself into?'
Billings Gazette
Larry Mayer
Updated Nov 27, 2015

Bob Beebe served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1968. He graduated from Bozeman High School. He served in the Battle of the Ia Drang, one of the bloodiest and most severe, which was highlighted in the book and movie "We Were Soldiers Once and Young." This is part of his Vietnam story.

Gazette: In 1963, did you know anything about Vietnam?

Beebe: "Not until March 1964 — that's when I first I heard about Vietnam because it started hitting the news."

Beebe did basic training in Fort Ord, Calif., and then did artillery school in Fort Sill, Okla., for advanced individual training. In January 1964, he went to "jump school" in Fort Benning, Ga.

Beebe: "The U.S. government at that time was getting interested in the Vietnam War, and we started experimenting with helicopters, so we formed the 11th Air Assault Division ... We spent three months in North and South Carolina in maneuvers and experimenting with helicopters."

Beebe: "The U.S. government at that time was getting interested in the Vietnam War, and we started experimenting with helicopters, so we formed the 11th Air Assault Division ... We spent three months in North and South Carolina in maneuvers and experimenting with helicopters."
read more here

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fort Bragg Soldier From Massachusetts Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Fort Bragg soldier dies from wreck injuries 
Drew Brooks
November 16, 2015
A Fort Bragg paratrooper injured in a motorcycle wreck on post last week has died, officials said.

Pfc. Aaron Cordoba-Martinez, 24, of Taunton, Massachusetts, died Saturday, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division said.

He was injured Thursday, after a wreck on Butner Road near McFayden Pond. Cordoba-Martinez, who joined the Army last November, had been assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team since May.

He served with the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which was his first unit since completing infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia. read more here

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Newest Female Ranger School Graduate Also Mom

Latest Female to Graduate Ranger School Is 37-Year-Old Mother of Two
by Matthew Cox
Oct 12, 2015
Maj. Lisa A. Jaster, 37, carries a fellow soldier during the Darby Queen obstacle course at Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga., April 26, 2015. (U.S. Army)
The last remaining female soldier of the original group of 19 women who tried out for Army Ranger School in April will graduate from the punishing infantry leadership course.

Maj. Lisa A. Jaster, a combat engineer with the U.S. Army Reserve, is 37 and a mother of two children. She will earn the coveted Ranger Tab along with 87 men, according to an Oct. 12 press release from the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia. 

The West Point graduate had to repeat all three phases of the two-month course. Jaster follows two of her Ranger School classmates -- Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, who earned their Tabs in an Aug. 21 in a historic ceremony at Fort Benning. When Jaster graduates on Oct. 16, she will have spent 180 days in the course, the release states. read more here

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fort Benning Vietnam Monument Dedicated to Blackhorse Regiment

Vietnam monument unveiled at Fort Benning
By Brennan Reh
Published: August 20, 2015
More than 1,000 Vietnam Veterans and their families are in Fort Benning until this Sunday for a reunion.
FORT BENNING, Ga. – A Vietnam Monument was dedicated at the National Infantry Museum Thursday. The monument recognizes those who fought in Vietnam.

It is specifically dedicated to “The Blackhorse Regiment,” who served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1972.

Hundreds of veterans came to see the monument. Vietnam Veteran Major General Longhouser said he had a sense of pride being able to see the monument being dedicated at Fort Benning.

“It provides a memorial and a memory in all of our hearts of the sacrifice that was given by friends, by soldiers and by the sons and daughters of Mr. And Mrs. America,” MG Longhouser said.
read more here

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Historic First Women To Earn Ranger Tab

Two women earn Ranger Tabs in a first for the Army
Army Times
By Michelle Tan, Staff writer
August 18, 2015
The women, both officers, started the Swamp Phase on Aug. 1 after three tries at the school's first phase, known as the Darby Phase, at Fort Benning, Georgia, and one try at the second phase, known as the Mountain Phase, in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Two women will graduate from Ranger School and earn the tab, the Army reported.
(Photo: Sgt. Sara Wakai/Army)
The Army on Monday announced two women and 94 men met the standards of the course's third and final phase, also known as the Swamp Phase. Two women will graduate from Ranger School on Friday, becoming the first women to earn the Ranger Tab.

Their graduation ceremony will take place on Victory Pond at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The women are part of the Army's gender-integrated assessment of the grueling two-month Ranger School.

The assessment has drawn a high level of scrutiny, with many questioning whether the Army is lowering its standards for the elite school — which until now was open only to men — while many others have cheered on the female students.

Army officials insisted the standards were not changed in any way.

"Congratulations to all of our new Rangers," Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement.

"Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level.

This course has proven that every soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential."

McHugh added: "We owe soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position where they are qualified and capable, and we continue to look for ways to select, train, and retain the best soldiers to meet our nation's needs."
read more here

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Holy Crap" Christian Chaplain Told He Can't Share Faith?

In 2012, The Chicago Tribune did a study on "non-believers" in the military.
Christianity also dominates the religious makeup of the military. Only about 8,000 out of 1.4 million active duty members in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force identify themselves as atheists, and another 1,800 say they are agnostic, according to the Defense Department.

The article focused on a concert "Rock Beyond Belief" at Fort Bragg for non-believers.
Fort Bragg's garrison commander said allowing the atheist event to be held on base was just the latest manifestation of the Army's efforts to make sure nonbelievers in its ranks were treated like everyone else.

"We don't treat soldiers who are atheists as atheists," said Col. Stephen Sicinski. "We treat them as soldiers."

After rain gave way to sunshine on Saturday, a smaller-than-expected crowd streamed onto the same large field where Christians gathered in 2010. There was again face painting and jumping inflatables for children, but a performer on stage rapped that "creationism is dead wrong" and a T-shirt for sale featured a Bible along with the slogan "Holy Crap."

Over at Fort Benning a Chaplain dared to share his story of struggles and his faith. Chaplain Lawhorn wanted to talk about what he did to help with his depression.
FORT BENNING, Ga., Dec. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Liberty Institute, on behalf of U.S. Army Chaplain (Captain) Joe Lawhorn, responded to the Army's punishment against him on December 8, 2014.

On November 20, 2014, Chaplain Lawhorn conducted suicide prevention training as required by Army regulations. During the training, he discussed his own personal struggles and how he used the Bible to successfully combat his depression. One of the soldiers in attendance complained to an atheist group about Chaplain Lawhorn's presentation. In response, Army Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade Commander, Colonel David G. Fivecoat, issued Chaplain Lawhorn a Letter of Concern alleging that Chaplain Lawhorn "advocated for . . . Christianity and used Christian scripture and solutions" and therefore violated Army regulations.
One soldier complained.

I don't have access to read all the words he used. I didn't have a front row seat to see the soldier getting upset having to listen to someone share his heartbreak as well as what helped him. I don't need to. What I do have is a loss of hope that the best way to help soldiers heal PTSD has to address the spiritual aspect as well as their body and the rest of their mind.

On Mother Jones there is still an article up from 2011 about atheist chaplains. Jason Torpy, an Iraq vet and president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, participated in an interview.
"We've got a considered opinion that chaplains are appropriate, given the modern chaplaincy. The military has heaped upon the chaplains responsibilities for ethical advisement, for well-rounding the person, to provide support to a military that is less than 70 percent Christian and less than 50 percent Protestant, to provide support to a unit and still be relevant. Chaplains are given responsibility for deployment counseling, for family counseling, financial counseling, and now this new resiliency training."

What exactly is free thinking when it seems as if a Chaplain isn't free to share his thoughts? If atheists are so convinced people of faith are so full of nonsense, then what are they afraid of? After all, I am a Christian and a Chaplain, albeit not a member of the military, but my faith is so strong that I don't have to get the approval of atheists. Why do they want the approval of people they disregard as being so stupid they believe in something there is no proof of?

I get the fact they don't seem to be able to grasp the concept of belief not requiring proof above and beyond what it took to get them to decided to believe as much as what it lacked for atheists to choose not to. What I don't get is, how does all of this work in their own minds?

Again, why are they free to think and believe what they want yet others are not? Why do they think they are entitled to shut up a Chaplain, a Christian Chaplain from sharing his faith with those willing to listen?

It is a Chaplains job to share his/her faith and that is why they are in the positions they are in. So what are atheists afraid of? That it will rub off on them? Give me a break! I am not afraid an atheist will take away my belief but I talk to them. I'll listen to what they are going through and talk to them like a person. Whenever I do need to share what I believe in, I tell them that they can think of it the same way they always do. That when I mention God or Christ, it is just a nice story. Sooner or later they get the point that we're not all trying to get them to convert half as much as we're trying to help them with their spiritual warfare.

Atheists struggle with good and evil just as much as anyone else but they are harder to reach when they don't really believe they have a soul but have some type of disconnected emotional part of their brain searching for reason. They can still feel better when they walk away once they are able to at least think of things differently.

I had an argument a long time ago with a veteran hell bent on pointing out how evil I was to support God. He kept telling me that it was impossible to believe in God because of all that is wrong with the world and the hell of suffering going on. This lasted quite a while until I asked him where he thought good came from.

He didn't understand at first. So I asked him if he ever saw anything good in Vietnam. Once he got over being angry, he paused for a bit, then said he never saw anything good. I could tell there was something he was hiding. I asked him what made him cry there. He told me about a young child. Then went off on a rant about kids suffering all over the world.

I asked him, "Where do you think the good inside of you came from that lasted all these years?"

He walked away. I wasn't about to argue with him considering he had a lot to drink. Later at the event he kept looking at me and the expression on his face softened. I talked to more people and kept catching him looking over at me. As I was leaving, he came over, gave me a hug and walked away. I guess I struck a nerve and got him to remember that things are not as bad as we think they are most of the time, because most of the time, we don't notice what is good.

I have no problem with atheists having their own groups but I do have a problem with them wanting to stop believers having the same rights they want for themselves. I have no problem with them not wanting to go to Christian events but I do have a problem with them wanting to take away the rights of others do go to them.

I also have a huge problem with them being so bent out of shape over a symbol of a cross they don't believe in. If they don't believe in it then how can it be so offensive to them they can't stand the thought of it giving comfort to someone else?

There are limits to everything and they shouldn't have to put up with being forced to do anything regarding faith or the lack of it so they should be able to have their own groups but they can't get what they want by taking away the same ability from others.

Atheists believe in nothing but on this point, what they seem to believe in is non-sense. Telling a Chaplain he can't share what he believes in defeats the reason he is there in the first place.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fort Benning Soldier attacked and trigger finger removed?

Update: Sheriff investigating claim soldier's trigger finger cut off
Ledger Enquirer
December 2, 2014

As Russell County authorities investigated an active-duty soldier’s claim that two masked men forced their way into his home Tuesday morning and cut off a portion of his trigger finger, social media reports exaggerated the incident, Sheriff Heath Taylor said.

There were multiple social media posts that there were two incidents of soldiers having a finger amputated. Taylor said those reports were inaccurate.

“We don’t have an attack on our soldiers in this area losing their fingers.” Taylor said during an afternoon media briefing. “We have a soldier who has lost part of a finger, and we don’t know why that has occurred.”

The soldier, who lived on Shadow Ridge Lane near Seale, reported that two men forced their way into his home after he opened the door about 8 a.m., Taylor said. It was after the man’s children left for school and his wife left for work.

The details provided to deputies by the soldier were incomplete, Taylor said.
read more here

Monday, November 3, 2014

Helicopter crashes on Fort Benning, 2 Fort Campbell Soldiers Killed

Helicopter crashes on Fort Benning, two aviators killed

FORT BENNING, GA (WXTX) – Public affairs officials confirm two Special Operations Aviation soldiers died in a helicopter training accident at Fort Benning.

The accident happened Monday afternoon around 4:15 p.m. on a live-fire range at Fort Benning.

We are told the aviators were assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

They died after their AH-6M Little Bird helicopter crashed while conducting routine military training involving Ranger and other special operations personnel.
read more here

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Starbucks CEO Schultz PTSD Advocate

A Cup of G.I. Joe
New York Times
Maureen Dowd
NOV. 1, 2014

Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, center, in May with leaders from the Third Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning in Georgia. Credit Courtesy of 75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army
WHEN I close my eyes, I can easily flash back to a time when it was cool to call people in uniform “pigs” and “baby killers.”

If you had any family members in the police or military in the Vietnam era, you know how searing that was.

Now we give our veterans respect, early boarding at airports and standing ovations at ballgames. Yet it’s becoming clear that it’s not enough.

With no draft and fewer than 1 percent volunteering to serve, most Americans have no personal connection to anyone who went to Iraq or Afghanistan. There’s a schism between the warriors and the people they were fighting for.

Instead of ticker-tape parades, the veterans returned to find Americans in a crouch, wishing they could forget the military adventures of the last decade. Hollywood was turning out movies showcasing heroic veterans, but they were from World War II. And scandals scarred Walter Reed and an ill-prepared Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The government does a very good job of sending people to war,” Howard Schultz, the C.E.O. of Starbucks, told me in New York this past week, “and a very poor job of bringing them home.”
He has organized a Concert for Valor on the Mall on Veterans Day, featuring stars from Bruce Springsteen to Eminem to Rihanna, a way to celebrate soldiers and urge the public to get involved with veterans’ groups vetted by Gates and Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The free concert, put on by Starbucks, HBO and JPMorgan Chase, will be shown live on HBO, even for those without subscriptions.
read more here

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Convicted of murder, soldier says Chantix made him do it

Convicted of recruit's murder, soldier blames anti-smoking drug
McClatchy Washington Bureau
By Michael Doyle
Published: May 4, 2014

WASHINGTON — Early one Sunday evening six years ago, Army Pfc. George D.B. MacDonald made his way through his Fort Benning barracks to the bunk where a 23-year-old recruit named Rick Bulmer lay sleeping.

They were strangers.

Wielding a 3-inch, double-edged knife, MacDonald stabbed and slashed Bulmer more than 50 times. He started with the throat, but didn’t stop there. Bulmer awoke and fought back, but he never had a chance.

With the May 18, 2008, homicide, MacDonald ended one life and tore apart many others. The 19-year-old onetime Eagle Scout created a widow and a fatherless child. He stole a son and took a beloved brother.

“I snapped and didn’t like it,” MacDonald wrote, about nine hours after the killing. “I was stretched and it made me crazy.”

What triggered the promising young paratrooper’s homicidal outburst?

MacDonald blames Chantix, a smoking-cessation drug used to wean people from their addiction to nicotine. A military jury didn’t buy his story, and in December 2009 he was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Sunday, May 18, during drills, his leg apparently hurt and he returned to the barracks. It was just past 6 p.m.

Bulmer fell asleep on his bunk. Elsewhere in the same barracks, MacDonald was reading “Lord of the Rings.”

MacDonald got up to do laundry and without knowing why, he said later, slipped a 3-inch knife into his pocket. He left his room, and came to Bulmer’s bunk. He said later that he thought for about 30 seconds. Then he attacked.
read more here

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fort Benning Soldier Died After Training

Ga. soldier collapses during exercises, later dies
Go Erie
April 27, 2014
FORT BENNING, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in western Georgia say a Fort Benning soldier collapsed and died during exercises over the weekend.

Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says the 20-year-old Fort Benning soldier died early Saturday morning at a hospital in Columbus.
get update here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

20th deployment to Afghanistan Army Rangers

Rangers train for 20th deployment to Afghanistan at Fort Knox
By Lindsay Allen
Posted: Apr 16, 2014

FORT KNOX, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Rangers are the Army's most elite soldiers who are put into some of the most dangerous situations in Afghanistan.

It's just training, but in real life this is what the Army Rangers do best.

"The most intense is the constant tempo that we do it," said First Sgt. Nathan Dunn.

In Afghanistan they do special operations, ambush attacks -- taking out high-level members of Al-Qaeda.

"We have a lot of focus on working on those enemy networks," explained Lt. Col. Patrick Ellis, 3rd Ranger Battalion Commander.

It's a job for the most elite and mentalLY tough. In fact, some of the equipment the Rangers use can't be shown because it's classified.

So why is this happening At Fort Knox? At Fort Benning, the Rangers share training facilities with other more conventional units.

"It can get crowded at times with a lot of the elements there as you know the armor school used to be here but moved to Fort Benning," explained Ellis.
read more here

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fort Benning 2nd LT saved 2 boys from river

Soldier saves child, teen from Chattahoochee River current
The Ledger
March 18, 2014

Second Lt. James Lamoreaux's quick actions saved two lives Saturday afternoon.

Lamoreaux, a soldier recently stationed at Fort Benning, was exploring the Chattahoochee River island near 11th Street and Bay Avenue with his wife, Shannon, when he heard screaming. He spotted two boys — 9 years old and 15 years old — struggling in the current.

"My husband heard the screams of the other people, and just jumped in," Shannon said.

The Columbus Fire Department's swift water rescue team arrived at the scene within three minutes of the boys falling into the water, Fire Marshal Ricky Shores said. By that time, Lamoreaux had already pulled both children to shore.

"He caught up to them and pulled him onto the rocks," Shannon said. "He still had his phone and keys in his pocket. His phone was ruined, but the kids were safe."
read more here