Showing posts with label 10th Mountain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 10th Mountain. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

10th Mountain lost three soldiers to suicide this month

Army investigating the suspected suicides of 3 Fort Drum soldiers this month

NBC News
By Corky Siemaszko
September 29, 2021
"We want to know the trigger," the 10th Mountain Division commander said.
Three soldiers at a U.S. Army base in upstate New York are suspected of dying by suicide during a 72-hour span earlier this month, including one who was among the last to return home from Afghanistan.

All were members of the 10th Mountain Division, which is based at Fort Drum, the division said in a statement. All three deaths are under investigation.

“Immediately when we have a situation when a Soldier is suspected of taking their own life, we want to know the trigger,” Maj. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., the 10th Mountain Division commander, said in an email to Army Times.
The dead soldiers were identified by the Army Times as Staff Sgt. Angel Green, 24; Pfc. Tyler Thomas, 21; and Spc. Sika Tapueluelu, 26.
The deaths of the soldiers, who were assigned to different units on the base, were announced Sept. 19 by the base public affairs team.
read more here

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Bannister passed away

Coroner releases cause of death for Army general who died while on leave
Major General Jeffrey Bannister, 57, who was on transition leave in Lake Murray, died Sunday due to natural causes, coroner Margaret Fisher said.
Retiring Army general dies while on leave in South Carolina
Published: May 30, 2018

The Rome, Ga., native served in Iraq and led divisions at Ft. Carson, Colo. He commanded the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., from 2015 until May of last year. His time there included an 11-month deployment to Afghanistan.
An Army general died Sunday while on leave in South Carolina and his death is being investigated, according to a statement from Shaw Air Force Base.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Bannister, 57, was on the verge of retirement and on transition leave when he died at Lake Murray near Columbia, S.C., base officials told WIS-TV.

Bannister, who served in the Army for 34 years, was assigned to Shaw as a special project officer for the Chief of Staff of the Army, the report said.
read more here

Monday, April 30, 2018

Veteran sits in jail, instead of getting help he sought from VA?

First, weapons are not allowed on VA property. Do not try to take them with you. The veteran in the following report pulled out a knife and a security guard shot him.

The biggest thing to take away from this report is for all the "help" out there, it is mostly too little, too late, because no one cared enough to make sure veterans did not find coming home, harder than combat.

None of this is new and that is the most depressing part of all. Anyone in Congress have an answer for what they failed to do, or are they still too busy talking about sending our veterans into the same mess everyone else has to settle for?

This is what mental health is like for civilians in crisis.
A viral video from Baltimore is drawing attention to a crisis that's unfolding in emergency rooms across the country: Surging numbers of patients with psychiatric conditions aren't receiving the care they need.
On a cold night in January, a man walking by a downtown Baltimore hospital saw something that shocked him. He started recording the incident on his phone.
Imamu Baraka's video, which has been viewed more than 3 million times, shows security guards walking away from a bus stop next to the emergency room of University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus.
And now what happened to the veteran who sits in jail.

Father of Army vet shot at Oregon VA clinic feels betrayed
Apr 30, 2018
Brent Brooks, who served with Negrete in the 10th Mountain Division, said he was a "really driven, goal-oriented" soldier. Their unit maintained Kiowa helicopters and sometimes came under mortar fire. In Afghanistan, their second deployment, a mortar round tore apart a wooden shack 20 yards (meters) from their own, wounding all the soldiers inside, Brooks said.
In this undated photo provided by Alyss Negrete, she poses with her with husband, Gilbert "Matt" Negrete and their children, from left, Aubree, Mya and Camren. Negrete, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in jail awaiting trial for attempted assault and other crimes after he allegedly pulled a knife during an altercation with veteran clinic staffers in January 2018, in White City, Ore. (Courtesy of Alyss Negrete via AP)
The father of a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who was shot at a government clinic in Oregon blames Veterans Affairs for letting down his son.

Gilbert "Matt" Negrete, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in jail in the former timber town of Medford, charged with attempted assault and other crimes after he allegedly displayed a knife during a confrontation at the VA clinic in nearby White City on Jan. 25. A VA guard shot him in the chest.

"First they shoot him, now they're gonna try to put him away," his father, Gilbert Negrete, told The Associated Press in a Facebook message. "You would think they would have some concern about us. My son needs help not prison."
read more here

Friday, March 4, 2016

Tom Young Committed Suicide After Waiting for Help

"There is no voice mail today, I can assure you of that. That's unacceptable. That was done by a contractor," said Dr. David J. Shulkin, Undersecretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Pretty much sums up why veterans like Tom Young turned to the VA for help to live only to be left waiting.

It happened to Tom Young when he called and when they called him back the next day, it was too late to listen to him.

ABC 7 News Chicago

By Chuck Goudie and Christine Tressel
Thursday, March 03, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A staple of the American military is to "leave no man behind" on a foreign battlefield.
Army veteran Tom Young was left behind by the VA, according to his family. They say Young asked the Veterans Administration for help on four occasions, but only received phone calls back after he was dead.

This is a story that we begin at the end. July 23rd, 2015. Tom Young is struck and killed by a Metra train headed to the northwest suburbs.

"He took his life," says Will Young, Tom's brother. "And, uh, the day after, we got a call from the VA that, um, a bed was available and then about 20 minutes later, we got a call from the suicide hotline returning his call."

The 30-year old had apparently called the VA'S suicide hotline, leaving a message that he needed help. Someone from the hotline called him back a day later, after he had put himself in the path of the Metra train.
read more here

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fort Drum Soldier From Georgia Died in Afghanistan

Soldier who died of noncombat injuries in Afghanistan identified
Stars and Stripes
Published: September 22, 2015

The Pentagon has identified the U.S. Army soldier who died from noncombat-related injuries Monday in eastern Afghanistan.

Spc. Kyle E. Gilbert, 24, of Buford, Ga., died in Bagram, Afghanistan, while supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel, the Defense Department said in a news release Tuesday. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

The incident is under investigation
read more here

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Is Army Shutting Down River Hospital When It Works Wonders?

PTSD Program Will Continue At River Hospital - At Least For Now

‘It saved my life and my marriage’: Soldiers object to Army cutting River Hospital PTSD program
Watertown Daily Times
“Ever since I left the River Hospital, my life has turned around amazingly,” he said. “I would stand on top of a building and yell it for that place.”

ALEXANDRIA BAY — When Charles R. “Chuck” Wilkerson graduated from River Hospital’s Community Wellness Program in the summer of 2013, he was a changed man.

Mr. Wilkerson, who served in the 10th Mountain Division for 11 years, had spent about 100 days in the program to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. He said his healing process took slightly longer than those of others in the program, but his transformation was incredible.

“If it wasn’t for the River Hospital,” he said, “I would be dead today.”

On Thursday, River Hospital CEO Ben Moore III announced that the Army was pulling the program from the hospital to create a similar program on post at Fort Drum.

The announcement, which came in a letter from Fort Drum Medical Activity Commander Col. Matthew E. Mattner, shocked River Hospital officials, Mr. Wilkerson and other members of the program and community.

“How can they take away something that saves people’s lives?” Mr. Wilkerson said over the phone from his home in Lexington, Ky.

Mr. Wilkerson said the River Hospital program was able to provide him care that the Army could not.
The River Community Wellness Program, which is the only civilian institution in the country to offer an outpatient treatment program for soldiers with PTSD, came to River Hospital in February 2013 at the request of the Army.
read more here

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

10th Mountain Veteran: "end this tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans"

Rate of veterans committing suicide has not changed since those days. President Obama is not more aware of all of this than he was back in 2008 while still on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. He went to the Montana National Guards to talk to Spc. Chris Dana's family after he committed suicide.

Nothing has changed yet members of Congress still push bills that only repeat what already failed and in the end, only the veterans are held accountable for leaders failures. In the end, they are still suffering and no one has been held accountable to them for their lives.
10th Mountain veteran shares his story of near-suicide
JAN 12, 2015
"I felt damned. I felt terrible. I felt hopeless. I felt like there was nothing to look forward to. What was I going to do — go back over there and die myself or put up with much more misery? So I put the gun in my mouth and I’m reaching for the safety," he said.

Former Fort Drum soldier Stephen Carlson in his home in Washington, D.C.


Since 2001, more active-duty American soldiers have killed themselves than were killed in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama acknowledged the soaring suicide rate in the United States military in a speech in North Carolina last summer. Obama said, "We have to end this tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans. As a country, we can't stand idly by on such tragedy, so we're doing even more.”

The Pentagon responded with new tools to reach troubled servicemen and women, things like more mental health counselors, and regular screening for post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries.

But a powerful stigma persists among the rank and file that getting help for having suicidal thoughts is a sign of weakness. Many soldiers simply don’t trust the military’s medical system.

This is the story of one former Fort Drum soldier who never asked for help and almost pulled the trigger.
Carlson said he used to think suicide was a coward's way out. He said even brave men and women struggle. He hopes by sharing his story, others will summon their courage and speak up too.
read more here

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Life After War “Lots of struggles. Lots of anger. Lots of impatience,”

Largest conference of wounded vets
UT San Diego
By Jeanette Steele
OCT. 6, 2014
“I’ve had more downs than ups,”
says one Chula Vista veteran in attendance
Army veteran Shiloh Harris speaks at the Road to Recovery conference. Deployed with the 10th Mountain Division, Harris was wounded by an IED in Iraq, retired, and has become a motivational speaker to returning veterans.
John Gastaldo/U-T San Diego/Zuma

CORONADO — For Richard Silva, injured during 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq, the road to recovery has been long.

Actually, he is still on it.

“I’ve had more downs than ups,” said Silva, 42 of Chula Vista, who still walks with a cane. He just received full disability status from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs after a long paperwork ordeal.

It has also been a trek for his wife of 23 years, Carmen, and their 21-year-old daughter, Sarah, who is certain that she has “secondary post-traumatic stress disorder” from absorbing the shock of her father’s physical and mental wounds.

“It’s come at great cost,” Richard Silva, a former infantryman, said Monday. He was diagnosed with PTSD, traumatic brain injury and severe survivor’s guilt after losing teammates from Camp Pendleton’s 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.

“Lots of struggles. Lots of anger. Lots of impatience,” he said. “Financially. My marriage. For me to open up to my kids and admit I needed help.”

These are some of the uncomfortable topics on the agenda at this week’s Road to Recovery Conference in Coronado.

More than 50 injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are here for what may be the nation’s largest gathering for combat-wounded troops.

The event — organized by the Virginia-based, nonprofit Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes — is being held on the West Coast for the first time.
read more here

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fort Drum Soldier's death in Afghanistan

Fort Drum soldier dies in non-combat related incident in Afghanistan
June 10, 2014

Logar Province, Afghanistan (WSYR-TV) - A Fort Drum soldier has died from a non-combat related incident while serving in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced on Tuesday.

34-year-old Spc. Terry Hurne of Merced, Calif., died on Monday in Logar province while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Hurne was assigned to the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum.
read more here

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

10th Mountain mourning loss of 2 soldiers in Afghanistan

2 Drum soldiers killed in Afghanistan, DoD confirms
Army Times
Apr. 30, 2014 - 05:37PM

Pfc. Christian J. Chandler, 20, left and Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, were killed in separate locations, according to DoD announcements released Wednesday.
Two soldiers from 10th Mountain Division were killed Monday in Afghanistan, the Defense Department has confirmed.

Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, and Pfc. Christian J. Chandler, 20, were killed in separate locations, according to DoD announcements released Wednesday.
read more here

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bond during military life leaves veterans with a void

Camaraderie of military life leaves veterans with a void
'Ugh. I miss it.' Transitioning from war to isolation
The Washington Post
By Eli Saslow
Published: April 27, 2014

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. — The only light in the vast Wyoming darkness came from the lit end of another 5:30 a.m. cigarette as Derric Winters waited alone for sunrise on the porch of his trailer. He never slept well, not anymore, so he smoked and stared across the three miles of barren landscape that separated him from town. He checked his voice mail, but there were no messages. He logged on to Facebook, but no one was awake to chat. The only company now was the hum of the interstate behind his trailer, people on their way from one place to the next. He walked out to his truck and joined them.

His shirt read "ARMY," his hat read "10th Mountain Division," and his license plate read "Disabled Veteran." Five bullets rattled on his dashboard as he swerved around another car with his right fist pressed against the horn. "Come on," he said. "Go. Just go!" It had been five years since he returned from 16 months at war, and some days he still acted like he was back in Afghanistan. Many days, he wished that he were.

"The lonely process of overcoming combat" was what one doctor called it as he prescribed Winters the latest in a series of anti-anxiety medications. But what the doctor didn't seem to understand was that this was the place Winters was failing to overcome — the America where he felt discouraged and detached, and where his transition seemed like a permanent state. "What the hell am I supposed to do next?" he had asked his commanding officer when he was medically discharged from the Army, which had provided his income, his sense of purpose, his self-esteem and 15 of his closest friends in a platoon they called "The Brotherhood."

He had tried to replace the war by working construction, roughnecking in the oil fields and enrolling in community college. He had tried divorce and remarriage; alcohol and drugs; biker gangs and street racing; therapy appointments and trips to a shooting range for what he called "recoil therapy." He had tried driving two hours to the hospital in Laramie, proclaiming himself in need of help and checking himself in.
read more here

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fort Drum Soldiers in Afghanistan Running Marathon in Remembrance

Fort Drum soldiers to run shadow Boston Marathon in Afghanistan
Watertown Daily Times
From left, Capts. Mike Giaquinto, Matt Peterson and Stephanie Stuck of the 101st Airborne Division pose with Boston Marathon shirts in Afghanistan before today’s running of a shadow race comparable to the Boston Marathon.

Days before runners take to the streets for the Boston Marathon on Monday, deployed Fort Drum soldiers and other military personnel will take part in their own version of the iconic race today in Afghanistan.

Rather than the windy roads by sites like the Ashland clock tower and Boston College, or the crushing climb of Heartbreak Hill, 600 entrants from a range of units and countries will run 26.2 miles on the roads of Bagram Airfield.

This year’s race was organized by Capt. Lukasz Willenberg, a chaplain in the 10th Mountain Division’s headquarters who ran in Boston last year.

The Barrington, R.I., native completed the race, for a fourth consecutive year, about two hours before a set of bombs went off near the race’s finish line at Copley Square.

After a beautiful day of running and beating a personal best time, “all the magic of that day was ruined.” Capt. Willenberg said he and other entrants planned to run in honor of soldiers who have died in Afghanistan, along with victims of last year’s bombings in Boston.
read more here

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Death of 21 year old soldier in Afghanistan under investigation

Department of Defense
Release No: NR-078-14
February 11, 2014

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Joshua A. Gray, 21, of Van Lear, Ky., died Feb. 10, in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident currently under investigation.

He was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Soldier who died remembered as bright, giving

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fort Polk soldier's death in Afghanistan under investigation

DOD Identifies Army Casualty
No. 676-13
September 21, 2013

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. William D. Brown III, 44, of Franklin, N.C., died Sept. 19, in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat incident. The soldier's death is under investigation.

Brown was assigned to the 94th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Polk, La.

Soldiers told new rules governing tattoos

Soldiers told new rules governing tattoos, grooming standards on the way
Stars and Stripes
By Josh Smith
Published: September 22, 2013

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

JALALABAD, Afghanistan — In the works for more than a year, strict new rules governing things like tattoos and grooming for soldiers have been approved by the Secretary of the Army and are only awaiting a final signature, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler said Saturday.

Speaking to troops at bases in eastern Afghanistan, Chandler said Secretary John McHugh has approved but not yet officially put his name to the changes to Army Regulation 670-1.

“We’re just waiting for the secretary to sign,” Chandler said during a town hall meeting with soldiers from the 4th Combat Brigade Team, 10th Mountain Division, at Forward Operating Base Gamberi. He made similar remarks to troops at FOB Fenty in Jalalabad.
Media reports last year identified potential changes to rules governing things such make-up and fingernail polish, hair styles, body piercings, and the length of sideburns, among other items. Chandler, however, only confirmed changes to the policy on tattoos.

Under the new policy, new recruits will not be allowed to have tattoos that show below the elbows and knees or above the neckline, Chandler told troops. Current soldiers may be grandfathered in, but all soldiers will still be barred from having any tattoos that are racist, sexist or extremist.

Once the rules are implemented, soldiers will sit down with their unit leaders and “self identify” each tattoo. Soldiers will be required to pay for the removal of any tattoo that violates the policy, Chandler said.
read more here

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Amputee Afghanistan Veteran grateful lifeguard goes ‘above and beyond’

Veteran grateful lifeguard goes ‘above and beyond’
Rescuer searched nearly 2 hours to recover prosthetic leg.
Daily News
By David Rogers and Michele Dargan
Staff Writers
September 8, 2013

What the ocean takes, a lifeguard can sometimes return.

On Aug. 2, Wellington resident Justin Callahan was swimming off Phipps Ocean Park.

The 32-year-old Army veteran felt a rip current pull him into deeper water. Then the unexpected happened: The current ripped away his prosthetic leg.

His girlfriend, Katie Riker, was sitting on the beach.

“All of a sudden, he was yelling, ‘Help. Help,’ ” Riker said. “He said, ‘I lost my leg.’ Thank God he was OK.”

Shocked, the two waded through the water, trying to find the limb that completed his left leg.

“The riptide was really strong that day,” Callahan said. “I thought it was long gone in the ocean.”

Riker searched to no avail, Callahan said. The two left the beach dismayed — the limb costs about $8,000 and is hard to replace.

In January 2004, while Callahan was working as part of a ordnance and mine-sweeping unit with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device blew up and ripped off the lower half of his left leg.
Lifeguard Dennis Wytrykush took the call and then spent nearly two hours searching the water where the leg was lost, even figuring out which way the tide had been going the previous day. read more here

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vietnam Veteran on vacation in Europe informed son killed in Afghanistan

U.S. Soldier Killed In Afghanistan Was Son Of Vietnam Veteran (Video)
By Beth Ford Roth
August 30, 2013

Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, 24, died August 28, in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The young soldier was killed when insurgents attacked his unit with what the Department of Defense reports as "an improvised explosive device, small arms and indirect fire."

Ollis was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light) at Fort Drum in New York.
read more here

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division among soldiers heading to Afghanistan

DOD Identifies Units for Upcoming Afghanistan Rotation

The Department of Defense today identified three units to deploy as part of the upcoming rotation of forces operating in Afghanistan. The scheduled rotation involves elements of one infantry brigade combat team (IBCT) with roughly 2,000 personnel; elements of two combat aviation brigades -- one with roughly 1,450 personnel and one with roughly 2,100 personnel to rotate in fall 2013 in support of the combatant commander’s mission requirements. The deploying units include:

3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

1st Cavalry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

1st Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Riley, Kan.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Making malfeasance in war "look pretty" with PowerPoint

It happens in every war. We've read the books but the men we sent died because needless mission meant more than their lives. Wait until you read this one and then wonder what it must be like for the survivors to know their lives meant so little.

Courage and malfeasance in Afghanistan: “Anyone we drop off will die”
Officers ordered an Afghanistan outpost built knowing it was vulnerable. Then the Taliban arrived and soldiers died
NOV 18, 2012

It was madness.

At Jalalabad Airfield, in eastern Afghanistan in the summer of 2006, a young intelligence analyst named Jacob Whittaker tried with great difficulty to understand exactly what he was hearing.

The 10th Mountain Division of the United States Army wanted to do what?

Whittaker had to choose his words carefully. He was just a low-ranking specialist with the Idaho National Guard, a very low man on a very tall totem pole. A round-faced twenty-six-year-old, Whittaker had simple tastes — Boise State football, comic books — and a reputation for mulishness belied by his innocent appearance.

Whittaker stared at his superior officer, Second Lieutenant Ryan Lockner, who was running this briefing for him and Sergeant Aaron Ives. Lockner headed intelligence for Task Force Talon, the Army’s aviation component at Jalalabad Airfield, in Nangarhar Province, adjacent to the Pakistan border. Military leaders considered this area, officially designated Regional Command East, the most dangerous part of an increasingly dangerous country.

Lockner had an assignment. Soldiers from the 10th Mountain — a light infantry division designed for quick deployment and fighting in harsh conditions — had recently come to this hot corner of Afghanistan and would soon be spreading throughout the region, setting up outposts and bases. More specifically, they would be establishing a camp in Nuristan Province.

Many troops were far more proficient in PowerPoint than they were with firearms, so Whittaker understood just what Lockner meant by “make it pretty”: the slides for the presentation needed to look crisp and to make a compelling case.

“What’s the point of this base?” Whittaker asked. “It’s on the low ground. It can’t be supported in any meaningful way. The troops there will be horribly outnumbered by potential bad guys in the town next door. They can’t even really go out and do anything because the rivers, the town, and the mountains will block any patrol routes.”

He couldn’t stop himself.

“All they can do is die,” he added.
read more here

Saturday, October 13, 2012

10th Mountain Division Soldier awarded Soldier's Medal

Sgt. Jacob Perkins Named 'Soldier Of The Year' For Saving Passengers From Burning Bus
Huffington Post Posted: 10/12/2012

Though he served on the frontlines in Iraq, Sgt. Jacob Perkins was named “Soldier of the Year” for a valiant act he offered up far away from the battlefield. He saved a number of passengers from a burning bus on the New York State Thruway last summer.

While driving home to Missouri from his Fort Drum, NY base in July 2011, Perkins stopped short when he saw a New York-bound tour bus engulfed in flames, according to ABC. As soon as he heard the words, “they’re still in there,” the 29-year-old raced into the inferno and pulled off as many people as he could, the Fort Drum Public Affairs Office reports.

read more about Sgt. Jacob Perkins here