Used Up And Thrown Away

[These tragic tales are typical examples of the Army abuse of those unfortunate men who are physically unable to carry-out the soldiers’ primary mission–to kill on command.  Described in military documents as “inadequate soldiers,” these men all became guinea pigs in the American mind-control experiments, where every conceivable drug (LSD) and every known coercive technique or treatment (electro-shock, sleep deprivation, insulin shock) was used to persuade or brainwash them into becoming “warriors.”  The whole “warrior culture” of today’s military is macho bullshit, comic book patriotism,  infused by criminal mind-control into these mens’ minds, reinforced with a wide range of legal drugs, turning many of them into ticking time-bombs, others merely suicidal.

The military culture is killing this Nation, just as it is the world itself.]

Used Up And Thrown Away

Military Resistance 8D16: Used Up And Thrown Away – 28 April 2010

Thomas F. Barton

Military Resistance: thomasfbarton@earthlink.net 4.28.10 Print it out: color best. Pass it on.

Military Resistance 8D16

NOT ANOTHER DAY

NOT ANOTHER DOLLAR

NOT ANOTHER LIFE

A wounded U.S. soldier is carried off of a C-17 transport airplane to an ambulance at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., April 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Used Up And Thrown Away

“Warehouses Of Despair, Where Damaged Men And Women Are Kept Out Of Sight, Fed A Diet Of Powerful Prescription Pills And Treated Harshly By Noncommissioned Officers”

“All They Do Is Make Things Worse”

“Many Soldiers At Fort Carson Complained That Discipline And Insensitive Treatment By Cadre Members Made Wounded Soldiers Feel As If They Were Viewed As Fakers Or Weaklings”

One Army Specialist “Said He Was Ordered To Perform 24-Hour Guard Duty Repeatedly Against The Orders Of His Doctor”

[Here it is again.  Same old story.  Used up, thrown away, and the politicians couldn’t care less.  To repeat for the 3,543rd time, there is no enemy in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Their citizens and U.S. troops have a common enemy.  That common enemy owns and operates the Imperial government in Washington DC for their own profit.  That common enemy started these wars of conquest on a platform of lies, because they couldn’t tell the truth: U.S. Imperial wars are about making money for them, and nothing else. Payback is overdue.  T]

[Thanks to SSG N (ret’d), Phil G & Clancy Sigal, who sent this in.]

April 24, 2010 By JAMES DAO and DAN FROSCH, The New York Times [Excerpts]

Christina Perez, the wife of a transition unit soldier from Fort Carson, said she got into an ugly fight with a member of the cadre who was furious that she had gone over his head to request additional therapy for her husband, a sergeant first class who had sustained a brain injury during one of two tours in Iraq as a tank gunner.

In a meeting, the noncommissioned officer shouted that Ms. Perez’s husband did not deserve his uniform and that he should give it to her instead, Ms. Perez said in a police complaint

April 24, 2010 By JAMES DAO and DAN FROSCH, The New York Times [Excerpts]

COLORADO SPRINGS — A year ago, Specialist Michael Crawford wanted nothing more than to get into Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with physical wounds and severe psychological trauma.

A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with confidence, he had returned emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two concussions from roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to death.  The transition unit at Fort Carson, outside Colorado Springs, seemed the surest way to keep suicidal thoughts at bay, his mother thought.

It did not work.

He was prescribed a laundry list of medications for anxiety, nightmares, depression and headaches that made him feel listless and disoriented.

His once-a-week session with a nurse case manager seemed grossly inadequate to him. And noncommissioned officers — soldiers supervising the unit — harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.

Last August, Specialist Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and an overdose of painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.

“It is just a dark place,” said the soldier, who is waiting to be medically discharged from the Army.  “Being in the W.T.U. is worse than being in Iraq.”

Created in the wake of the scandal in 2007 over serious shortcomings at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Warrior Transition Units were intended to be sheltering way stations where injured soldiers could recuperate and return to duty or gently process out of the Army.  There are currently about 7,200 soldiers at 32 transition units across the Army, with about 465 soldiers at Fort Carson’s unit.

But interviews with more than a dozen soldiers and health care professionals from Fort Carson’s transition unit, along with reports from other posts, suggest that the units are far from being restful sanctuaries.

For many soldiers, they have become warehouses of despair, where damaged men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of powerful prescription pills and treated harshly by noncommissioned officers.

Because of their wounds, soldiers in Warrior Transition Units are particularly vulnerable to depression and addiction, but many soldiers from Fort Carson’s unit say their treatment there has made their suffering worse.

Some soldiers in the unit, and their families, described long hours alone in their rooms, or in homes off the base, aimlessly drinking or playing video games.

“In combat, you rely on people and you come out of it feeling good about everything,” said a specialist in the unit. “Here, you’re just floating.  You’re not doing much.  You feel worthless.”

At Fort Carson, many soldiers complained that doctors prescribed drugs too readily.

As a result, some soldiers have become addicted to their medications or have turned to heroin.

Medications are so abundant that some soldiers in the unit openly deal, buy or swap prescription pills.

Heavy use of psychotropic drugs and narcotics makes it difficult to exercise, wake for morning formation and attend classes, soldiers and health care professionals said.

Yet noncommissioned officers discipline soldiers who fail to complete those tasks, sometimes over the objections of nurse case managers and doctors.

At least four soldiers in the Fort Carson unit have committed suicide since 2007, the most of any transition unit as of February, according to the Army.

Drugs and Addiction

Sgt. John Conant, a 15-year veteran of the Army, returned from his second tour of Iraq in 2007 a changed man, according to his wife, Delphina. Angry and sullen, he reported to the transition unit at Fort Carson, where he was prescribed at least six medications a day for sleeping disorders, pain and anxiety, keeping a detailed checklist in his pocket to remind him of his dosages.

The medications disoriented him, Mrs. Conant said, and he would often wander the house late at night before curling up on the floor and falling asleep.

Then in April 2008, after taking morphine and Ambien, the sleeping pill, he died in his sleep.  A coroner ruled that his death was from natural causes. He was 36.

Mrs. Conant said she felt her husband never received meaningful therapy at the transition unit, where he had become increasingly frustrated and was knocked down a rank, to specialist, because of discipline problems.

“They didn’t want to do anything but give him medication,” she said.

Other soldiers and health care workers at Fort Carson offered similar complaints.

They said that most transition unit soldiers were given complex cocktails of medications that raised concerns about accidental overdoses, addiction and side effects from interactions.

“These kids change their medication like they change their underwear,” said a psychotherapist who works with Fort Carson soldiers and asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the transition unit.

“They can’t even remember which pills they’re taking.”

Some turned to heroin, which is readily available in the barracks, after becoming addicted to their pain pills, according to interviews with soldiers and health care professionals at Fort Carson.

“We’re all on sleep meds, anxiety meds, pain meds,” said Pfc. Jeffery Meier, who is in the transition unit and said he knew a dozen soldiers in the unit, including a recent roommate, who had used heroin. “The heroin is all that, wrapped into one.”

Jess Seiwert offers a cautionary tale. A staff sergeant and sniper who was knocked unconscious by roadside bombs in Iraq, he returned to Fort Carson in late 2006 with post-traumatic stress disorder, burns and a variety of aches. Prone to bouts of rage, he often drank himself to sleep and began abusing the painkiller Percocet.

Medical records show that Sergeant Seiwert’s captain thought he was a danger to his wife and needed inpatient psychiatric care. Instead, the sergeant was transferred into Fort Carson’s transition unit in 2008.

In a recent interview, Mr. Seiwert, now discharged from the Army, said he received minimal therapy in the unit but was given ample medication, including the painkillers he abused. “I should have been in inpatient rehab to get me off the drugs,” he said.

Last summer, just months after being medically discharged, he badly beat his wife while bingeing on alcohol and Percocet. He pleaded guilty to a second-degree assault charge and is likely to face five years in prison.

‘Making Things Worse’

Like private outpatient clinics, Warrior Transition Units aim to provide highly individualized care and ready access to case managers, therapists and doctors.

But the care is organized in a distinctly Army way: noncommissioned officers, known as the cadre, maintain discipline and enforce rules, often using traditional drill-sergeant toughness with junior enlisted soldiers.

At the top of the command are traditional Army officers, not health care professionals: Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, head of the Warrior Transition Command, was an artillery officer, and Colonel Grantham an intelligence officer.

Beneath them is what the Army calls its triad of care. Members of the cadre keep a close eye on individual soldiers, much like squad leaders in regular line units. Nurse case managers schedule appointments and assist with medications and therapy. And primary care managers — doctors, physicians’ assistants or nurse practitioners — oversee care and prescribe medicines.

The structure is intended to ensure that every soldier gets careful supervision and that Army values and discipline are maintained.

But many soldiers at Fort Carson complained that discipline and insensitive treatment by cadre members made wounded soldiers feel as if they were viewed as fakers or weaklings.

James Agee, a former staff sergeant who transferred into the transition unit after returning from his second tour of Iraq in 2008, said he frequently heard cadre members verbally abuse medicated soldiers who were struggling to get out of bed for morning formation or stay awake for all-night duty.

“They would say, ‘These guys can’t do this because they are crazy,’ ” said Mr. Agee, who received a medical discharge from the Army.

“It would make you feel like you were inferior.”

One Army specialist in the unit, who received diagnoses of post-traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injury, said he was ordered to perform 24-hour guard duty repeatedly against the orders of his doctor.

The specialist, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared repercussions, said he experienced flashbacks to Iraq during the long hours by himself.

In many cases, the noncommissioned officers have made it clear that they do not believe the psychological symptoms reported by the unit’s soldiers are real or particularly serious.

At Fort Hood, Tex., a study conducted just before the shooting rampage there last November — which found that many soldiers in the Warrior Transition Unit thought their treatment relied too heavily on medication — also concluded that a majority of the cadre believed that soldiers were faking post-traumatic stress or exaggerating their symptoms.  (read HERE)