Showing posts with label Afghanistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Afghanistan. Show all posts

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Global War On Terror fallen deserve honor, not excuses

There is no excuse to block building a memorial to the fallen Global War On Terror service members!

Bill allowing Global War on Terrorism Memorial on National Mall could set bad precedent, senator argues
SEPTEMBER 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — An effort to pass legislation that would allow for the construction of a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall was blocked Monday out of concern that its passage would be unfair and create a bad precedent for any future memorials.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, asked on the Senate floor Monday evening that her colleagues approve the bill under unanimous consent, meaning the chamber could pass the legislation unless someone stood to object. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., blocked the vote.
This graphic shows three locations in Washington, D.C., where organizers of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation prefer for a new memorial honoring post-9/11 veterans. An effort to pass legislation that would allow for the construction of a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall was blocked Monday out of concern that its passage would be unfair and create a bad precedent for any future memorials. (Contributed by the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation)
The bill seeks to exempt the Global War on Terrorism Memorial from a 2003 law that prohibits any more development on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“This legislation would override this provision,” Manchin said. “This precedent would reopen fights to locate other memorials on the National Mall, create conflict, and ultimately delay the construction of this memorial.”

Organizers behind the effort to establish the memorial are renewing their push for it to be located on the National Mall following the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in August.

They held a news conference Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol, urging Congress to consider the bill.

“We’re at a significant moment in the history of the Global War on Terrorism,” said Marina Jackman, an Army veteran and the president of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation. “Service members and their families are asking themselves what their service means. Now more than ever, the service member and veteran community needs a place to gather, reflect and heal.”
read more here
According to CNN this memorial will be paid by private donations and according to the act, the power is up to the committee to do it. 
Lyn Schultes Franco, a spokesperson for the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, says a national competition is possible but has not been confirmed yet as the design process.

The Global War on Terror Memorial Act was signed into law in 2017 by then-President Donald Trump. The bill authorized the creation of the memorial on federal land in Washington, which is to be privately funded, but did not specifically designate where and when it would be built.
The Commemorative Works Committee
§ 9–204.13. Authority of the Committee.
(a) The Committee shall act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and the Council to:
(1) Develop criteria to be used to review, evaluate, approve, or deny applications for placement of commemorative works on public space in the District;
(2) Review each application for placement of a commemorative work on public space in the District, by considering: the appropriateness of the location, subject matter, and design of the commemorative work, including the aesthetic, environmental, traffic and parking, and financial impacts of the proposal upon the surrounding community and the District; and the sufficiency of the sponsor to fund the construction and maintenance of the commemorative work;
(3) Refer each application for a commemorative work on public space in the District for review and comments by affected advisory neighborhood commissions, by affected District agencies and public utilities, by the Commission on Fine Arts if required by law, by the National Capital Planning Commission if required by law, and by the National Capital Memorial Commission; and
(4) Recommend to the Mayor and the Council a disposition of each application for placement of a commemorative work on public space in the District.

Some say that the Global War On Terror is ongoing and it is too soon for a memorial. Well that is a false argument too. The Vietnam War Memorial was designed to all for additional names to be added because of the wounds that would cause more to die as a result of their service.

From We Are The Mighty
The eligibility dates span Nov. 1, 1955, through May 15, 1975, though the first date on The Wall during its dedication was from 1959. A service member who died in 1956 was added after The Wall was dedicated – and names have actually been added on multiple occasions.
10 more names were added to The Wall in 2012 and the statuses of 12 others were changed. The 10 servicemen came from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Air Force, and died between 1966 and 2011. The Department of Defense determined that all deaths were the result of wounds sustained in Vietnam.

It is time to do the right thing and honor those who paid the price to serve this country as requested by 4 presidents and an endless number of politicians who sent them!  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

you served for a reason

What Does God Look Like?
PTSD Patrol
By Kathie Costos
September 1, 2021

Today on I wrote something I would like you to read if you are struggling with the way the war in Afghanistan ended.

Set aside the politics and decisions leaders made. The facts will all come out but you are not responsible for what they decided to do. You are only responsible for what you decided to do, and that was risk your life for the sake of those you served with, for our country, and to help a many Afghan people as possible. The rest is, as they say, "above your pay grade."

I know what it is like to struggle with not being able to save all the ones you wanted to. No, I didn't serve but for almost 4 decades I struggled with not being able to save all veterans that my heart was ripped out and I had to walk away for a while. Then I was reminded that God, with all His power, and Jesus, could not save everyone. The thing is, They did not give up on those they could save. 

Please read the following and then go to the link for the rest so that you will see that you served for a reason.

What color is God? What color eyes does God have? What color is God’s hair? What size is God? When you think about the image of God, what does God look like to you?
God has plans for all of us. Some of us do not follow where our soul leads us and they remain unhappy. Others, always seem to know exactly what they are supposed to do with their lives and they are happy. Right now I am thinking about all those who served in Afghanistan for almost 20 years. They are struggling with the outcome and wondering what all their sacrifice was for if the country returned to Taliban control, just as it was 20 years ago.

The thing is, it is not the same as it was because military men and women gave them a chance to change. Some rejected it. Others had longed for it and did everything they could to make the lives of others better. Afghanistan will never be what it was because of what all of you did for their sake.

Each one of you, risked your life for those you served with and volunteered to join the military knowing all the hardships you’d have to endure along with all the risks to your life. That desire came from your soul and God equipped your soul to be able to do it, as well as putting into place all you need to heal from all of it.
read more here

Friday, August 27, 2021

Trump surrendered to Taliban, but GOP didn't care

"Freedom comes at a cost,’ Marine commandant says after 13 troops killed in Afghanistan" was the headline on Military Times but while the nation grieves for all the lives lost and prays for the wounded, along with all the others in harms way this was something that was forced onto President Biden.

What makes all this worse is, none of it had to happen. The truth is, Trump surrendered to the Taliban and brought all of on our troops.

Afghan conflict: US and Taliban sign deal to end 18-year war
What's in the agreement?
Within the first 135 days of the deal the US will reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600, with allies also drawing down their forces proportionately.
The move would allow US President Donald Trump to show that he has brought troops home ahead of the US presidential election in November.
The deal also provides for a prisoner swap. Some 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 Afghan security force prisoners would be exchanged by 10 March, when talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are due to start.
The US will also lift sanctions against the Taliban and work with the UN to lift its separate sanctions against the group.
In Kabul, activist Zahra Husseini said she feared the deal could worsen the situation for women in Afghanistan.
"I don't trust the Taliban, and remember how they suppressed women when they were ruling," the 28-year-old told AFP.
"Today is a dark day, and as I was watching the deal being signed, I had this bad feeling that it would result in their return to power rather than in peace."
read it here

Trump left the Afghan government out of the discussion and that sent a clear message to the Afghan forces our troops trained and our taxes funded for almost 20 years, that they could not depend on anyone. Later, after Trump was no longer going to be held accountable, he bragged about the deal and stated clearly it could not be undone.

We do not know all the negotiations the Biden administration was doing to further extend the deadline Trump had originally arranged. We do not know everything his advisors were telling him about security threats or why so many Americans and Afghans did not head the warnings.

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Thursday strongly defended his decision to pull U.S. military forces out of Afghanistan, saying the Afghan people must decide their own future, rather than sacrificing another generation of Americans in an unwinnable war.

Speaking in the White House East Room, Biden said the Afghan military has the ability to repel the Taliban, whose major advances in recent weeks have raised fears the country will slide into civil war.

Biden set a target date of Aug. 31 for the final withdrawal of U.S. forces, minus about 650 troops to provide security for the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
The article went on to say this.
Biden's order in April to pull out U.S. forces by Sept. 11 after 20 years of conflict has coincided with major gains by the Islamist militant Taliban movement against overwhelmed Afghan forces after peace talks sputtered.

Now it seems as if far too many in Congress, who allowed Trump to do whatever he wanted without any congressional restraints, are avoiding how their own actions became part of this deadly outcome.

So, Trump surrendered to the Taliban, but the GOP didn't care until they could blame Biden for the outcome that could not be undone. Much the same way he surrendered to COVID-19 and they didn't care. This explains why they are trying to take away the American people's right to vote and refuse to stand up protecting it instead of taking it apart.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Trump's own words: Admits he arranged what happened in Afghanistan

I am still on hiatus working on the new book but this couldn't wait. Too many veterans are, understandably upset, over what has been happening in Afghanistan.

If you really want to know why pulling troops out of Afghanistan and all that came with it, look no further than Donald Trump. In this video clip, he took credit for it, along with repeatedly saying "21 years" instead of the actual "20 years" he also said that his plans could not be undone. So dear readers, it appears that he arranged this outcome after making it harder for people who helped our troops, get the clearance to leave there. With all of his failures, this apparently was a success.

I saw this on the Rachel Maddow Show last night and fully repulsed by what he did.

Trump Tries To Have It Both Ways, Bashing Biden For Afghanistan Deal He Locked In

Add in the fact he is responsible for the leader of the Taliban being released from prison.

Politifact verified it.
In 2010, Baradar was captured by the United States and was imprisoned in Pakistan until 2018. During that time, however, officials inside and outside Afghanistan considered him one of the few Taliban leaders who they might be able to negotiate with.

In 2018, as negotiations to end the Afghanistan war were taking shape, the Trump administration urged Pakistan to release Baradar. He would become the head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, Qatar, from which he would participate in the negotiations.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

DOD was not ready to test deployed troops for COVID-19 and still not testing!

‘No availability’ of coronavirus tests for troops in Afghanistan

Roll Call
By John M. Donnelly
Posted March 13, 2020
The committee has asked Defense Department officials similar coronavirus questions about U.S. troops stationed or deployed in or near other risk countries in addition to Afghanistan. The committee is still waiting for replies, an aide said.

In a March 11 letter to Pentagon and National Guard leaders, Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin asked if testing is available in Afghanistan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
U.S. troops in Afghanistan are not being tested for the novel coronavirus, U.S. military officials told the House Armed Services Committee.

There is “no availability of testing for COVID-19” for troops there, a U.S. Central Command representative told the committee in a March 12 statement made available by the committee on Friday.
Members of Congress are particularly concerned about the nearly 13,000 troops in Afghanistan because many of them are deployed near Iran.

Iran has more than 11,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the third most in the world behind China’s 80,000-plus cases and Italy’s more than 15,000, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Many U.S. troops are stationed in Italy.

South Korea, another nation with a substantial U.S. military presence, has nearly 8,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the fourth most in the world.
read it here

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

CBS This Morning: Coming Home

Coming Home: Families adjust to Marines returning from war
CBS News
August 6, 2018

When the Riveras are separated, with Paul serving in dangerous combat zones, they rely on their faith. "I'd wake up and just go in my closet and pray for 15 minutes, and that was one thing I did every day," Lily said. "I just felt like I needed that pick up."

"CBS This Morning" continues to follow the lives of our nation's bravest as they return from war. We were there earlier this year when a group of Marines came home to North Carolina from Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

It's been six months since that emotional reunion. Now as part of our series, "Coming Home," we focus on the families of two Marines, Major Ethan Krumnow and Major Paul Rivera.
Major Ethan Krumnow's family must now adjust to his return following a lengthy deployment to Afghanistan. CBS NEWS
You hear this phrase all the time when we're honoring our nation's heroes: "Families serve, too."

But what does that really mean for a family to serve? How do they cope when this huge hole opens up in their home, and then when their loved one comes home and so much has changed – especially for those with young children?

When Majors Krumnow and Rivera first saw their families, you could feel the relief.

But after nine long months in Afghanistan, Krumnow and his wife, Christina, faced some surprises.
read more here

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Marine Veteran Killed As Contractor, GoFundMe Account Used By Selfish "Friend"

After their dad died, a family friend set up a GoFundMe account to help. Then she raided it.
Washington Post
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
October 17, 2016
Holder pleaded guilty on Wednesday to felony theft by conversion. She will spend two years in prison and eight on probation.
This cached photo shows Barry Sutton’s daughters as they appeared on a GoFundMe site made by a woman who bilked a town out of nearly $5,000. (Via GoFundMe)
Barry Sutton was working as a civilian contractor when he was killed by a car bomb in Afghanistan last year, but he received a soldier’s homecoming.

Police escorted his casket from the airport to a funeral home in Rome, Ga. People stood on either side of the procession route, waving flags. An honor guard presented colors at his funeral — paying tribute to the former police officer and sheriff’s deputy.

Amid the fanfare, Brandy Holder, a family friend, told people that she wanted to organize something special.
According to his obituary, Barry Dean Sutton had served in the Marines Corps and worked in law enforcement, first with Georgia’s Floyd County Police Department, then with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office. He was also a school resource officer at Armuchee High School, his alma mater. He was working for DynCorp when he was killed in Kabul at the age of 46, the obituary said.
read more here

Sunday, August 14, 2016

DOD Investigating Death of Soldier in Afghanistan

Army officials said Staff Sgt. Christopher Wilbur died August 12 in a non-combat related incident in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Wilbur was 36. He leaves behind a wife and two young children, among others.

Dept. of Defense investigating death of Granite City soldier
KMOV 4 News
By Timothy Godfrey
Updated: Aug 14, 2016

( -- A Granite City solider has died while serving in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced.

Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Wilbur died Aug. 12 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The department said his death was from a non-combat related injury.

The incident in which Sgt. Wilbur died is currently under investigation.
read more here

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rep. Judy Chu Calls for End Of Hazing in Military

New military hazing rules could be part of annual defense bill
Military Times
By Leo Shane III
March 1, 2016

Rep. Judy Chu wants the military to finally get serious about ending hazing in the ranks.

Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, 21, killed himself April 3, 2011, in Afghanistan after being hazed by fellow Marines, according to an investigation. His aunt, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., wants anti-hazing legislation to be in the next defense authorization bill.
(Photo: Courtesy of Allen Lew)
The California Democrat, whose nephew committed suicide in Afghanistan five years ago after a hazing episode by fellow Marines, on Tuesday petitioned House defense leaders to include new anti-hazing initiatives in the upcoming defense authorization bill debate, saying that Pentagon leaders simply have not done enough to address the issue despite years of focus from Congress.

Her renewed criticism stems from a Government Accountability Office report released last month which found poor oversight and enforcement of those initiatives, and still-scattered data on the frequency of such crimes in the ranks.

“Today we have an independent analysis that found that the Defense Department’s anti-hazing policies are not being implemented, training is unclear and tracking systems are highly divergent and underdeveloped,” she told members of the House Armed Services Committee. “DoD is not aware to the extent of which hazing policies have been implemented.”
read more here

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How the US blew $17 billion in Afghanistan

Behold: How the US blew $17 billion in Afghanistan
By Megan McCloskey
Tobin Asher
Lena Groeger
and Sisi Wei
December 18, 2015
In 2008, the Pentagon bought 20 refurbished cargo planes for the Afghan Air Force, but as one top US officer put it, “just about everything you can think of was wrong.” No spare parts, for example. The planes were also “a death trap,” according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. So $486 million was spent on worthless planes that no one could fly. We did recoup some of the investment. Sixteen of the planes were sold as scrap for the grand sum of $32,000. That’s 6 cents a pound.
Chairs at a school built, but never occupied, were stripped for firewood. Credit: SIGAR/Flickr
You’d think someone would have been in trouble.


Nothing happened to anybody in charge of that spectacular screw up. No general even had to make an embarrassing appearance on Capitol Hill. Congress made not a peep.

Even worse, such jaw-dropping waste without a shred of accountability is not an anomaly. It has happened in Afghanistan again and again, and, you guessed it, again. Some of the more outlandish examples have briefly seized the attention of the news media, but really, the running tab for the waste has mounted out of sight of the taxpayers footing the bill.

And what a bill it is. There’s a widely held idea of “just” as in “just a few million.” Like the military officer who wrote that the $25 million blown on a fancy headquarters nobody used was “probably not bad in the grand scheme of things.” But those millions add up. To billions.

The problem, contrary to popular assumptions, is not unscrupulous contractors. Follow the long trail of waste and you’ll be standing at the doors of the military, the State Department and the US. Agency for International Development. It’s their bad decisions, bad purchases and bad programs that are consistently to blame.

ProPublica pored over more than 200 audits, special projects and inspections done by SIGAR since 2009 and built a database to add up the total cost of failed reconstruction projects. Looking at the botched projects collectively — rather than as one-off headlines — reveals a grim picture of the overall reconstruction effort and a repeated cycle of mistakes.
read more here

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tina Fey Reporting from Afghanistan?

Tina Fey heads to Afghanistan in first ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ trailer (Video)
The Celebrity Cafe
Daniel S Levine
December 17, 2015

Tina Fey has a new movie opening this weekend and you might see the trailer for her next one ahead of it.

Fey stars in the new Paramount comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which was directed by Crazy Stupid Love team Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. It is based on Kim Baker’s 2012 memoir The Taliban Shuffle, about her days as a photojournalist during the war in Afghanistan.
read more here
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Trailer (2016) - Paramount Pictures

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Crew Suspended After Hospital Attacked

U.S. suspends military personnel over airstrike in Afghanistan
Tampa Bay Times
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
"The investigation found that some of the U.S. individuals involved did not follow the rules of engagement," said Gen. Wilson Shoffner, the top U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan.
KABUL — The crew of an American gunship that attacked a hospital in Kunduz last month, killing 30, misidentified the target, had suffered a loss of electronic communications, had not been carrying a "no-strike" list though one existed and was beset by "fatigue and a high operational tempo," a U.S. military investigation has concluded.
Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander for Afghanistan, describes the errors that led to the errant airstrike on a hospital. New York Times

"This was a tragic and avoidable accident caused primarily by human error," Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander for Afghanistan, said at a news conference in Kabul on Wednesday. But that human error, he said, was "compounded by systems and procedural failures."

Several American personnel, most likely pilots and special operations forces who made the decision that led to one of the deadliest incidents of civilian casualties of the war, have been suspended and could face further disciplinary action.
read more here

Monday, November 2, 2015

Britney Spears' former boyfriend killed in Afghanistan

Britney Spears' former boyfriend killed in Afghanistan 
“It’s heartbreaking – John went there to try to repair the country."
Australian Women's Weekly
by Caroline Overington
November 2, 2015
The Mirror reports that John Sundahl, 44, was shot down flying a helicopter from the capital Kabul where he had been working for several months as a private contractor ferrying officials across the war-torn country.
A pilot and former boyfriend of Britney Spears, who is credited with helping her overcome her addiction to alcohol, has been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. read more here

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Yochi Dreazen War Correspondents Battle With PTSD

The path not taken: A war correspondent’s struggle with PTSD
Boston Globe
By Yochi Dreazen
OCTOBER 02, 2015
I had full-blown PTSD, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit it. I was a war correspondent; I was a tough guy. Tough guys, I believed, didn’t need help.
Journalists scrambled behind US Marines practicing squad rushes in northern Kuwait in 2003.
Yochi Dreazen is the managing editor of Foreign Policy. His book “The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War,” from which this essay is adapted, will be reissued in paperback on Oct. 6.

I WANTED TO be a war correspondent from the day I entered journalism. In 2003, with American troops massing in the Middle East, I got my chance. I left for Iraq that spring, drawn, like so many of my colleagues, by the excitement and danger of covering a war. I wrote about the invasion, flew back to the United States for a couple of months, and then went back to Baghdad in August to help open The Wall Street Journal’s bureau there. I lived in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 and, after that, went back every few months to do combat embeds with the troops fighting what had by that point become a full-on civil war.

I saw dead and dying Americans; I saw dead and dying Iraqis. I was interviewing a tribal sheikh in southern Iraq once when my translator stepped away to take a phone call, sat back down, and told me that there had just been a major suicide bombing in the nearby city of Karbalah that had killed dozens of Iranian pilgrims, including a large number of children. In Karbalah, I watched a chador-clad woman slowly make her way up and down each row of corpses, pulling back every sheet, until she found the shattered body of her son. At the sight, she let out a scream and then collapsed to the ground. I will never forget the sound of that mother’s grief.
I returned from that trip, and from all of my others to the war zones, far different than when I had left. The war was changing me, hardening me. I felt flashes of pure rage when someone ran into me on the basketball court or cut me off on the road. I chose tables at restaurants that were as far from the front doors and windows as possible, in case a bomb went off outside. I would wake up whenever there was a sound in my bedroom and then be unable to fall back asleep. In some of my dreams, loved ones died. In some, I did. I had full-blown PTSD, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit it. I was a war correspondent; I was a tough guy. Tough guys, I believed, didn’t need help.
read more here

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Georgia SWAT Team Veteran Killed in Afghanistan

Former sheriff's deputy killed in Afghanistan
By La-Keya Stinchcomb, Digital Producer
Posted: Aug 22, 2015
A former Floyd County law enforcement officer was killed in Afghanistan Saturday.

Barry Sutton was a civilian contractor, working with DynCorp International. He was helping to train police officers in Afghanistan as part of NATO's resolute Support Mission, according to the Floyd County Sheriff's Office.

Sutton was one of 12 people who died after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy traveling through a crowded neighborhood.

"Barry was a solid career officer, Floyd County Police Department SWAT veteran and deputy," said Floyd County Sheriff Burkhalter. "I am proud to have associated with him and I mourn with his family and extended law enforcement family."
read more here

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why Is Department of Defense Withholding Documents on Robert Bales?

Three years after Afghanistan killings, military again refuses to release report on Robert Bales
The News Tribune
Staff writer
July 1, 2015

The Defense Department is again denying a Freedom of Information Act request from The News Tribune seeking the release of an investigation into commanders who oversaw Staff Sgt. Robert Bales before he snapped and killed 16 Afghan civilians in March 2012.

A FOIA officer from U.S. Central Command on Tuesday told the newspaper that its latest request for the document would be declined under an exemption that allows the government to withhold information that could influence an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

The News Tribune has been seeking the report since August 2013, when Bales was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Army in March also rejected a clemency request Bales submitted to Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps.

Bales was a JBLM Stryker soldier serving at a small Special Operations outpost in Kandahar Province with a team from the 7th Special Forces Group when he twice sneaked out of the base to murder civilians sleeping in separate nearby villages.

Maj. Alison Aguilar, spokeswoman for Army Special Operations Command, said Wednesday that all disciplinary proceedings for that group of Green Berets have been completed.

As The News Tribune previously reported, one Green Beret was discharged from the military because he provided steroids to Bales. Another soldier from the Special Forces team received a reprimand for drinking alcohol on the deployment. One more was discharged from the Army because of a separate civilian criminal investigation that began before he arrived in Afghanistan.
read more here
linked from

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Arizona Iraq Veteran Killed By Police, Turned Away from VA

Arizona veteran suffering from PTSD killed in confrontation with police 
by Jared Dillingham
Posted on January 19, 2015
MARICOPA, Ariz. --- An Arizona military veteran died after a confrontation with police in his neighborhood south of Phoenix Sunday afternoon.

The widow of 32-year-old Johnathan Guillory says her husband struggled for many years with post-traumatic stress, brought on by a combat deployment in Iraq. He also spent time as a contract worker in Afghanistan.

"Sometimes he couldn't even deal with day-to-day life. It was a struggle for him to get through each morning, but he did," Maria Garcia told 3TV.

DPS is investigating the confrontation with Maricopa Police, which led to the deadly shooting. A spokesman would not comment on why the officers felt threatened, or whether Guillory was armed at the time.

Garcia says her husband proactively sought help for his condition.

"He saw therapists, and was on the phone constantly with suicide hotlines," she says.

Guillory's widow says he went to the VA hospital, where he reported he was having a mental health emergency.

"They turned him away. They told him there was no room, and that he'd have to make an appointment," she recalls.
read more here

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

UN wasted money in Afghanistan including missing weapons

US watchdog: UN misspent more than $200 million in Afghanistan
Foreign Policy
By Colum Lynch
Published: October 7, 2014
Thousands of Afghan government weapons may be unaccounted for, watchdog says
Watchdog: $200 million literacy program misses mark in Afghanistan
Watchdog calls for delay in delivering more C-130s to Afghan air force
IG for Afghanistan paints grim picture of possible narco-criminal state

UNITED NATIONS — The congressionally created watchdog responsible for monitoring U.S. reconstruction funds in Afghanistan blasted the United Nations' chief development agency for exercising a "baffling" lack of oversight of a fraud-tainted, multibillion-dollar program that funds the payroll of the Afghan police.

The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, on Monday disclosed a series of letter exchanges with Helen Clark, the administrator of the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), detailing the allegations.

The accusations could prove particularly awkward for Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand who is believed to be a likely candidate to succeed Ban Ki-moon as U.N. secretary-general when the former South Korean foreign minister steps down in December 2016.

Clark has sought to cultivate a reputation in recent months as a reformer, with a series of budget-cutting measures that threatened layoffs at the U.N.'s chief development agency. In July, UNDP announced a plan to eliminate 10 percent of its 1,700 staffers at its New York headquarters and regional hubs in order to "produce a leaner organization, eliminating areas of duplication and relocating more staff" to the field. The charges leveled by the American watchdog, however, could tarnish that record.
read more here

Monday, September 22, 2014

Afghanistan soldiers caught at the famed Rainbow Bridge

Found! Missing Afghan Soldiers Caught Trying to Enter Canada
NBC News

The three Afghanistan National Army officers who disappeared this weekend during a training exercise on Cape Cod have been found trying to cross the border into Canada near Niagara Falls, officials said Monday.

A top Massachusetts law enforcement officials told NBC News that the three were caught at the famed Rainbow Bridge. It was unclear what the process will be to return them to Joint Base Cape Cod or if they will be returned somewhere else.

The Massachusetts State Police later said in a statement that the men were being interviewed by federal authorities, and there was "no information that suggests the three men committed any crimes."

The three arrived 11 days ago with 200 soldiers and civilians from several countries for training at Camp Edwards on Joint Base Cape Cod. They were last seen Saturday at a shopping mall in Hyannis during a day off. Massachusetts State Police, with the help of the FBI and the Guard, had been trying to find them.
read more here

Sunday, September 14, 2014

OEF OIF Memorial Honors Fallen

Memorial dedicated to WNY Iraq and Afghanistan Heroes
By Brittni Smallwood, News 4 Reporter
Published: September 13, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Bill Wilson’s son, Staff Sergeant William Wilson the third, was killed while he was fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan.

On Saturday he and his wife attended a memorial in honor of the fallen servicemen and women that died after September 11, 2001.

“We took a look at his picture. My wife touched his name and it’s been pretty emotional today” said Wilson.

The new Western New York Iraq/Afghanistan Memorial bears the names of more than 70 military members that lost their lives.

“It’s not just names that carved into a piece of stone. There are stories. There are people here who served with them. There are people and those among us who have troops that we did not bring home” said Dan Frontera of the WNY IAM Committee. “We’re hoping this becomes a point where we can start our healing and our forgiveness process”.
read more here