Showing posts with label Iraq deployments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq deployments. Show all posts

Friday, June 25, 2021

Who failed Nicholas Mavrakis and his family?

When you read this story, notice that it was known he had PTSD and had been deployed multiple times. The last listed deployment was in 2008. The question is, why didn't he get the help he needed to heal during all these years back home?

Did the Army fail him? Did the VA fail him? Did all the suicide awareness groups out there fail him? The truth is, they all did and so did the rest of us!

Greek-American Man Suffering from PTSD Kills Family in Murder/Suicide
Greek Reporter
Patricia Claus
June 25, 2021
The Greek-American man had served in the U.S. Army from April 1993 through July 2013 and retired as a staff sergeant according to US Department of Defense records. He had been deployed to Afghanistan from January 2002 to July 2002, and served in Iraq twice, from February 2003 to February 2004 and then again from September 2007 to November 2008.
Nick Mavrakis and his family. Mavrakis shot and killed his own family on Father’s Day in a murder/suicide. Credit: Facebook/Nick Mavrakis

Nicholas Mavrakis III, of Jackson Township, outside Canton, Ohio, allegedly shot and killed his wife and two children before turning the gun on himself in a murder/suicide on Father’s Day.

The shocking incident took place at the family home in Jackson Township, five miles from Canton, Ohio according to police and local media reports.

The Greek-American man was a U.S. Army veteran who had served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Local police, in a post on Facebook, reported that Mavrakis, along with his wife Lesley Mavrakis, 37, and children Ace Mavrakis, 13, and Pippa Mavrakis, 5, “were found dead shortly after 4 PM Sunday in their home.”
read more here

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

MOH ceremony for Army Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins

Trump presents Medal of Honor to family of Iraq war hero

By Associated Press
March 27, 2019

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump can recognize individuals for contributions to the arts and humanities, to science and technology and for other gifts to American society, but the Medal of Honor is one of the only awards he gives out regularly, recognizing military members living or dead for acts of bravery against an enemy.
President Donald Trump presents a posthumous Medal of Honor for U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins, to his surviving son Trevor Oliver, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on March 27, 2019. On June 1, 2007 while serving in Iraq, Atkins tackled a suicide bomber, shielding three of his fellow soldiers from the explosion, but resulting in his own death.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
Trump on Wednesday presented his eighth Medal of Honor, this time to the family of Army Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins, who gave his life in 2007 to save fellow soldiers from an Iraqi suicide bomber.

The president, who received a series of deferments to avoid military service during the Vietnam War, speaks highly of medal recipients. He recounts for White House guests the details of the heroic acts for which the recipients are being recognized and, at times speaks of them using language that suggests he could not have matched their bravery.

"America is the greatest force for peace, justice and freedom the world has ever known because of you and people like you," Trump said at the October ceremony for retired Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley , the most recent medal recipient. "There are very few. There are very few. Brave people, but very, very few like you, John."

The 80-year-old Canley's heroism during the Vietnam War included twice scaling a hospital wall in view of the enemy to help extract wounded Marines.

At an earlier ceremony, Trump said Medal of Honor recipients are a godsend.

"Our nation is rich with blessings, but our greatest blessings of all are the patriots like John and all of you that just stood, and, frankly, many of the people in this room — I exclude myself, and a few of the politicians, who, like John, carry our freedom on their shoulders, march into the face of evil, and fight to their very last breath so that we can live in freedom, and safety, and peace," he said before presenting the medal to the widow of John A. Chapman. The Air Force sergeant was critically wounded and died in 2002 while trying to rescue a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan.

Trump asked past Medal of Honor recipients attending the August 2018 event to stand and be recognized.
read more here

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Marine Raider took out armored vehicle with Javelin

A Marine Raider was awarded a Silver Star for taking out an armored-vehicle IED with a Javelin

Marine Corps Times
Shawn Snow
February 12, 2019

A Marine Raider and sniper with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion has been awarded the nation’s third highest award for combat bravery for his heroic actions during the outset of the campaign to liberate Mosul, Iraq, from ISIS fighters, according to military officials.
A U.S. Marine fires an FGM-148 Javelin, a shoulder-fired anti-tank missile near At Tanf Garrison, Syria, Sept. 7, 2018. (Cpl. Carlos Lopez/Marine Corps)

The elite Marine commando with Marine Forces Special Operations Command, or MARSOC, is the only Marine thus far to be awarded the Silver Star for actions against ISIS militants in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, according to Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Marine Corps Times agreed to withhold the name of the Marine out of operational security concerns as he is still operating with MARSOC.

On Oct. 20, 2016, the Marine Raider was a staff sergeant serving as an assistant element leader with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion as his unit assisted other forces in an operation to isolate Mosul for its future liberation.

During the day, his team was hit with sustained enemy fire and the unit decided to occupy a point between two enemy controlled villages, according to details in his award citation obtained by Marine Corps Times.
read more here

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Green Beret was shot twice but kept fighting

Green Beret killed 6 insurgents and saved his men despite being shot twice and hit with a grenade
Military Times
By: J.D. Simkins
1 day ago

A 12-man team from the Colorado-based 10th Special Forces Group was advising Iraqi National Police on Sept. 10, 2007, during a mission to capture a high value target from the Islamic State of Iraq in the area of Samarra, Iraq.
(Left to right) Halbisengibbs, Lindsay, Chaney. (Army)

Two helicopters were originally scheduled to deliver the men at 2 a.m. to a field on the outskirts of the village, but when the pilots saw the planned landing zone covered in water, they had to set the assault teams down closer to the target.

The noisy arrival alerted the bodyguards of Abu Obaeideah, the area’s kingpin who had been wanted for a year for killing Iraqis — and their families — who considered joining the police force.

Over the course of a hellish 10 minutes, the three-man assault team killed Abu Obaeideah and 11 of his crew and helped free a hostage.

“Pretty much the three of them single-handedly secured that objective,” Maj. Will Beaurpere, the men’s commander, told Stars and Stripes.

All three would recover from their injuries.

For his actions, Jarion Halbisengibbs received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second highest award for valor.

Capt. Matthew Chaney and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lindsay were presented with Silver Stars.
read more

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Two Florida Airmen killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Two Patrick AFB airmen among those killed in Iraq helicopter crash
Florida Today
Eric Rogers
March 17, 2018
“No words can heal the pain from the loss of these true American heroes,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, commander of the 920th Rescue Wing, in a statement. “You can be proud knowing that MSgt. Posch and SSgt. Enis gave their last full measure performing their mission and serving our most noble Pararescue creed: ‘These things we do, that others may live.'"

Two airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing out of Patrick Air Force Base were among the seven crew members killed in a helicopter crash in western Iraq on Thursday.

Master Sgt. William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic,
Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, chief of Air Force Reserve, presented Master Sgt. William Posch, 308th Rescue Squadron, with her commander's coin for her appreciation of his diligence and dedication over the last month in response to the back-to-back hurricanes. Posch and his teammates rescued 235 people, 21 dogs and five cats during Hurricane Harvey in Texas before returning home to Florida a few days later to evacuate their families and wing assets in preparation for Hurricane Irma. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice

and Staff Sgt. Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee
Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, was among the seven Airmen killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq, March 15, 2018. He was assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Enis was a Tallahassee, Florida, resident who joined the unit in 2010 and served for 8 years. Courtesy/Air Force
Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, based out of Patrick.
read more here

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Army mishandled 200 bomb-sniffing dogs!

Army mishandled bomb-sniffing dogs from Afghanistan, report says
Associated Press
March 4, 2018

WASHINGTON — A report finds that the Army failed to do right by some of the more than 200 bomb-sniffing dogs that served with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, detecting roadside bombs and saving lives.
A 3-year-old chocolate lab and tactical explosives detector dog chews on a tennis ball at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., in 2012. (Sgt. Christopher M. Gaylord/Army)
The Defense Department’s inspector general has determined that, after the program ended in 2014, some soldiers struggled or were unable to adopt the dogs they had handled.

This included two dogs among 13 that were given to a private company to be used as service dogs for veterans but then abandoned at a Virginia kennel.

read more here,,,,then contact Congress TO DO THE RIGHT THING!

Three Non-combat deaths Operation Inherent Resolve this year

Mystery surrounds 'non combat' death of female soldier battling ISIS in Iraq as her body is returned home and Department of Defence announce an investigation
Daily Mail UK
Associated Press
March 3, 2018
The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that 26-year-old Christina Marie Schoenecker, Arlington, died Monday in Baghdad, Iraq
The department did not release any details about her death and said it is under investigation
The Army Sgt. was the third soldier to die since the beginning of 2018 in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS called Operation Inherent Resolve
The military noted that 51 U.S. military members have died since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2014

Mystery surrounds the death of an Army Reserve soldier from Kansas who has died in Iraq in a non-combat situation.

The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that 26-year-old Christina Marie Schoenecker, Arlington, died Monday in Baghdad, Iraq.

The department did not release any details about her death and said it is under investigation.

The Department of Defense announced Tuesday that 26-year-old Christina Marie Schoenecker (Pictured), Arlington, died Monday in Baghdad, Iraq
The Army Sgt. was the third soldier to die since the beginning of 2018, according to The Kansas City Star. 

All three deaths in the ongoing, U.S.-led fight against ISIS called Operation Inherent Resolve were non-combat related. Schoenecker enlisted in the Army in May 2009 and was on her first deployment, which began last June. A human resources specialist, she was assigned to the 89th Sustainment Brigade out of Wichita. read more here

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Did you deliver early after deployment? You're not alone.

For pregnant soldiers, recent deployment linked to higher risk of premature delivery
Stanford Medicine
Erin Digitale
March 1, 2018

Giving birth soon after military deployment is linked to greater risk of premature delivery, a Stanford study of U.S. servicewomen found, but deployment history itself does not raise prematurity risk.

Female soldiers who give birth within six months of returning from military deployment face twice the risk of having a preterm baby as other active-duty servicewomen, a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

The study, which examined 12,877 births to American soldiers from 2011-14, published online March 1 in the American Journal of Epidemiology. In total, 6.1 percent of births studied were premature, meaning the baby was born three or more weeks early. But among women who had recently returned from deployment, 11.7 percent of deliveries were premature. Women giving birth soon after deployment were, on average, younger than other military mothers, and with lower education and lower pay, the study found.
read more here

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Death of Soldier in Baghdad Under Investigation

Army identifies soldier killed in noncombat incident in Baghdad 
Published: February 20, 2018 

The Pentagon has identified a soldier who died in a noncombat incident Monday in Iraq while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State campaign. 

In a statement Tuesday, the military said Sgt. Christina Marie Schoenecker, 26, of Arlington, Kan., died in Baghdad. The circumstances of her death are under investigation, which is standard for fatal events. 

Schoenecker was assigned to the 89th Sustainment Brigade, Wichita, Kan. 
read more here

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Twins couldn't wait for Marine Dad to be back from Iraq

Marine from Perry flies home from Iraq deployment to greet his twins born 12 weeks premature
The Daily News
Jessica Dillon
February 3, 2018

“There were only a few hours when I was at work when I was able to communicate with people,” Dan said. “And then later on in the evening I’d be able to call, or her mom would call and give me the latest update, but it was definitely interesting living everything through Facebook Messenger.”

ROCHESTER — Perry native Daniel Cooley, a U.S. Marine on a several-month deployment to Iraq, woke to a buzzing phone in the early hours of the morning, dry desert heat already rising with the sun.

The screen lit up with one message after another — variations of ‘Michaela is on her way to the hospital,’ and ‘Hey Dan, just so you know, Michaela is in the hospital,’ poured in urgently from family and friends. They gave no further explanation.

“I was like, ‘OK, uh, cool,’” Dan said. And then, as duty called, he set off for another 10-hour workday, his thoughts drifting the thousands of miles back home to his wife, now six months pregnant with two unborn baby boys.

Things there were chaotic. The contractions Michaela had originally thought were just a false alarm became increasingly worrisome. Doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital did their best to get a handle on things, but nothing seemed to be working.
The Ronald McDonald House has provided Dan and Michaela with a place to stay so that they don’t have to make the hour drive into Rochester each day to visit their babies, where they’re now spending the majority of the day, every day.
read more here

Monday, December 25, 2017

Fort Bliss Soldier's Death in Iraq Under Investigation

Fort Bliss Soldier Dies in Non-Combat Incident in Iraq
By Richard Sisk
December 22, 2017

A 20-year-old soldier with the 1st Armored Division has died in Iraq in a "non-combat incident," the Defense Department announced Friday.

Army Spc. Avadon Chavez. (Facebook)
In a release, the DoD identified the soldier as Spc. Avadon A. Chaves, 20, of Turlock, Calif. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, of the 1st Armored Division, at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Fort Bliss Soldier's Death in Iraq Under Investigation

Defense Dept. identifies American casualty in Iraq
The Washington Times
By Carlo Muñoz
November 27, 2017

The Defense Department on Monday identified Cpl. Todd McGurn as the latest American service member to die in Iraq this month.

Cpl. McGurn, a California native, died while conducting support operations for the U.S. coalition, according to a Pentagon statement. His death was tied to a “non-combat related incident” that took place in Baghdad.

Assigned to assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment in the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team,1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas, Cpl. McGurn’s death is currently under investigation by command officials, the statement says.
read more here

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gunnery Sgt. Thought Hating Recruits Was A Good Thing?

‘The more you hate them, the better you train them’: Parris Island’s most notorious drill instructor on trial

Marine Corps Times
Jeff Schogol
November 6, 2017

“You have to hate recruits to train them,” Felix told the investigator, according to Marine prosecutor Capt. Corey Wielert. “They get three meals a day, sleep eight hours. The more you hate them, the better you train them.”

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — ­Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix is a 15-year Marine, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and the father of four daughters. But he’s also become the Corps’ most ­notorious drill instructor, the Marine at the center of the Parris Island hazing scandal and now the defendant in a general court-martial that began Oct. 31 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

Felix is accused of improperly hazing many recruits — for example, when one recruit puked in his chocolate milk, Felix allegedly made the squad leader drink it.
read more here

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Marine Thought I'd Care Enough to Change

Do We Care Enough to Change?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 10, 2017

Ten years ago today, this site started because of a Marine serving in Iraq. I had another site for years, Screaming in an empty room. He was a regular reader but was bothered by my political views and didn't want to have to read them while searching for posts on PTSD. There are over 8,000 posts on it, so he had a lot to read.

Anyway, he sent me an email explaining how much it bothered him. Naturally, I was an idiot in the responding email. I explained that I had the right to post what I wanted, basically telling him if he didn't like it, don't read it. (Ya, I know! I was a real jerk and it isn't easy admitting it, anymore than it was back then.)

What was the Marine's response? One question. "Are you doing this for yourself or us?"

As soon as I read it, I lost my vision because the tears did not stop coming. Imagine, being a Marine, serving in Iraq, asking someone back home for a tiny little thing like keep politics out of something he thought was helpful, and all he got back was my rant and anger. Then imagine what it took for him to simply reply with that fantastic question that changed everything!

I made him a promise that from that day on, I'd have a new site, where the only thing political he'd ever read, was when a politician did something for them or against them. I had fallen into the same trap I had complained about for years. As a matter of fact, I am so ashamed of all of it that I left the old posts up to remind me of how easy it is to turn into a real jerk and forget that when it comes to the men and women risking their lives and our veterans, politics should stay out of it.

If you can't understand that, then think of it this way. Congress has been responsible for how our veterans are treated since 1946. This mess didn't happen overnight. Until we get that through our thick sculls, nothing will ever changed. When it comes to our veterans and currently serving troops, it is up to us to fight for them!

In these ten years, over 28,000 posts and well over 3.3 million page views, it turns out that Marine was right! Politics has no place here and the truth does matter. So do facts.

I track news reports from across the country and in Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, Scotland and a few others. Most of the great reporting being done is from towns and cities with their local reporters. It gets harder to track them because I work a full time job and do what I can working with veterans with PTSD.

I love this country and that is why I expect so much more out of it. I know we have some of the best minds and have seen acts of human kindness proving that there is nothing we are not capable of, yet far too many seem all too willing to settle for the way things are. Nothing will change as long as we stop believing we not only should do better, but we can do better!

One of the first posts I put up here, was read over 8,000 time and it is about suicides. Hard to believe it was ten years ago, but you can read it for yourself. I was searching for reports on military suicides for a video I was doing. 

Back then, it was one of those topics no one really wanted to talk about. Much like PTSD itself, but the thing is, we were talking about all of it for decades. No one was listening.

I came across a report on suicides and it caused me to take all the reports I found putting together the video, and put them all online.

Why Isn't the Press on a Suicide Watch?
You'd never know that at least 3% of all American deaths in Iraq are due to self-inflicted wounds. And that doesn't include the many vets who have killed themselves after returning home.
By Greg Mitchell
NEW YORK (August 13, 2007) -- Would it surprise you to learn that according to official Pentagon figures, at least 118 U.S. military personnel in Iraq have committed suicide since April 2003? That number does not include many unconfirmed reports, or those who served in the war and then killed themselves at home (a sizable, if uncharted, number).
While troops who have died in "hostile action" -- and those gravely injured and rehabbing at Walter Reed and other hospitals -- have gained much wider media attention in recent years, the suicides (about 3% of our overall Iraq death toll) remain in the shadows.
And I added in my two cents after that and before the reports on far too many names.

Thank you Greg Mitchell for doing this!
That 118 number is the number they will admit to. There are a lot more.
Consider a few things. "Under investigation" hides many of these suicides. If the DOD does not finish an "investigation" then that death is not counted as a suicide, even if it is.
The DOD would not be in emergency mode if there were only 118 suicides considering there have been years of occupations in two nations. I am in no way trivializing 118 suicides but what I am suggesting is that the DOD will not jump into action unless there is a crisis. They know they have a crisis.
The VA during testimonies before congress have admitting they have 1,000 committing suicide every year within their system alone. They also stated that there are an additional 5,000 committing suicide yearly.
When I was doing the research for the video, Death Because They Served, I was looking into the reports of the "non-combat deaths" while taking a look at the reports from the other nations involved in both occupations. What I found was startling. There seems to be a consistent pattern of information buried. What appears to be a suicide when the DOD releases a death press release is that it is always "under investigation" but there is never a follow up release that can be easily found. The other tactic they use now is they do not release the name. This makes follow up research impossible.
I really suggest you read the piece from Editor and Publisher. If the following is not enough to compel you to push the media to do their job, then you must be among the people Bush told to go shopping to show their support for the troops.

Looking back over the old posts, it is sicking to see that the numbers of suicides went up, homeless veterans still walk the streets, the stigma of PTSD is almost as strong as it was back then and families, well, still feel as lost as I did over 3 decades ago when I met my husband.

There has been over 200 videos, three books and 4th one as soon as I can finish it and right now, I feel like a failure because of how little most people have learned in all these years.

Don't get me wrong, I wish I could find the email for the Marine responsible for this work, but I've been searching for a long time now.  
All I know is that he was in Iraq on August 10, 2007 when he decided I just may care enough to change.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Grandmother Sent 7,000 Letters to Deployed Troops at 98!

Grandmother writes 7,000 letters to the troops 
WTOL 11 News 
Saturday, May 27th 2017
Cooper first wrote Staff Sgt. Chris Cantos years ago when he was in a remote area of Afghanistan with no wireless internet. The only contact that the Marines there had with home was letters.
An elderly woman started sending letters to America’s troops back during World War II. They've gone to soldiers in harm’s way and the wounded in hospitals. (Source: KCAL/KCBS/Snapshots Provided by Soldiers/Cooper Family Photos/CNN)
LAKEWOOD, CA (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) - A 98-year-old California woman has made it her mission to send letters to the heroes serving this country overseas.
It started years ago with her son, who served in the Vietnam war.
At a time when most conversations are instant, Alleen Cooper proves the art of letter-writing isn't lost.
She started sending letters to America’s troops back during World War II. They've gone to soldiers in harm’s way and the wounded in hospitals.
All of Cooper's letters are at least four pages long, and she keeps track, making sure no two are alike.
What Cooper's serving up at her kitchen table is comfort food for soldier's souls, and they can't seem to get enough.
They've sent her commendations and even flags from their bases.
Friday, she was connected with one of her Marines.
read more here

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Nebraska National Guard Soldiers Deploy Again

Nebraska National Guard soldier prepares to leave wife and kids as he deploys
James Wilcox
April 16, 2017

Amid the crowd at Alfonzo W. Davis Middle School, there are soldiers ready to serve their country. There's also a father preparing to leave his family.
"I've been to Iraq twice, and that's actually where Sherri and I met," said Staff Sergeant Gale Maberry, with the Nebraska National Guard.

He met his wife while deployed overseas. Both were serving with the Nebraska National Guard.

Sherri Maberry said, "We were friends throughout the deployment. We started dating when we got back. Over ten years and two little ones later now."

Their kids are three-year-old Brianna and 10-month-old Matthew.

"The first steps, the first teeth. All these things I'm going to miss with these kids," said Staff Sgt. Maberry.

He'll miss both their birthdays while he's deployed to Cuba. It's his third deployment, but his first since they've been born.

"I worry about my wife. She's going to be home with these two little ones by herself, trying to take care of them," he said.

He's one of 50 Nebraska National Guard soldier's with the Omaha-based 402nd Military Police Battalion that'll spend nearly a year at Guantanamo Bay.
read more here

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Soldiers Death in Iraq Under Investigation

Death of Mass. soldier in Iraq under investigation 
WCVB 5 News Boston 
Feb 21, 2017
Brian Patrick Odiorne
WARE, Mass. — A soldier from Massachusetts died Monday in a non-combat related incident in Iraq, according to the Department of Defense. 

Pfc. Brian P. Odiorne, 21, of Ware, was part of Operation Inherent Resolve in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. 

The fatal incident is under investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the DOD said. read more here

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Marine dog handler wounded in Iraq

Marine dog handler wounded in Iraq
Marine Corps Times
By: Jeff Schogol and Andrew deGrandpre
January 2, 2017

A Marine was severely wounded in Iraq on Dec. 30, according to an online fundraising campaign for his family.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Maloney was on his fifth combat tour when he was “critically wounded,” according to a GoFundMe account that was established on Dec. 31.

The “Help wounded Marine and his family” account raised $11,201 out of a $15,000 goal by Monday afternoon. It did not contain any information about how Maloney was wounded.

“Please consider donating to help Patrick and his entire family during this very tragic time and the long road they have ahead of them,” the account said. “Donations will be used to offset any expenses accrued during Patrick's long road to recovery.”
read more here

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fort Campbell Welcomes Home 101st Airborne from Iraq

Soldiers return home to spend Thanksgiving with families
ABC 3 News
Posted: Nov 24, 2016

WSIL -- This Thanksgiving, members of the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky can celebrate with their families after returning home from the battle to retake Mosul in Iraq.

Fort Campbell troops are greeted by no shortage of cheers after returning from a deployment in Iraq last week. Family and friends embrace these soldiers who spent nine grueling months training and advising Iraqi troops, under the command of Major General Gary Volesky.

Volesky says the 101st Airborne Division leaves the Middle East with no regrets.

"We said it was a marathon but we are going to sprint the whole way and they hit that tape sprinting so I couldn't be more proud of them," he said.

Their focus was on helping the Iraqis retake the key city of Mosul from Islamic State.

"The enablers we bring the fires and the advise assist and the training clearly are getting them where they need to be," said Volesky.

Much of the training from U.S. and coalition forces focused on Iraqi commanders.

"Leadership matters you can have the best unit, but if you don't have great leaders they won't be as effective," added Volesky.
read more here
WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Research Looks At Suicide Among Deployed and Non-Deployed Soldiers

Several things to consider when reading the following. All military forces are "trained in prevention" after being going through medical and psychological testing. If that training did not work on the non-deployed to prevent suicide, then how did they expect it to work on those with multiple deployments? The data researchers were looking at in this study is not new. With the reduction of force size in the Army has gone down, why hasn't the number of suicides been reduced accordingly? Above all, why hasn't the number of suicides reached that often quoted "One too many" the Army finds acceptable?
Suicide Attempts Among US Army Soldiers More Likely Before Combat: Study
Medical Daily
By Susan Scutti
May 27, 2016

"The study looked at a total of 163,178 enlisted soldiers. Of these, 9,650 had attempted suicide: 86.3 percent were men, 68.4 percent were younger than 30"
Over the past decade, suicide attempts have increased in the United States Army. Despite the issue's urgency, little has been done to understand these failed attempts at self-destruction. New research from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences suggests enlisted soldiers never deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan were at greatest risk of a suicide attempt, particularly in their second month of service.
Never-deployed soldiers were at highest risk of a suicide attempt between 2004 and 2009 of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Reuters
“The higher risk among ND soldiers in their second month of service, a stressful time during basic training and Army acculturation, reinforces the importance of developing and evaluating effective risk detection and intervention strategies early in a soldier’s career,” noted the researchers. “Whether this risk pattern was associated with expanded Army recruitment during war or anticipated deployments or is a persistent pattern of risk among soldiers in training remains to be determined.”

The team also discovered soldiers on their first deployment were most at risk for a suicide attempt during their sixth month of deployment, while previously deployed soldiers were most at risk five months after they returned from the warzone.

“Understanding how people go from health, to suicide ideation, to suicide plans, to suicide attempts, to completed suicide will help us help those at risk and those who are distressed but do not complete suicide,” Dr. Robert J. Ursano, lead author, told Medical Daily.

Among soldiers with one previous deployment, odds of a suicide attempt were higher among those who screened positive for depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after their return and particularly at follow-up screening, about four to six months after deployment.
read more here