Coming Home

"Since returning from the hospital my ball of twine has been unraveling fast…"

This week, Salon.com is publishing a series of articles about the problems combat veterans are facing coming home.  Untreated PTSD and callous treatment by the military are driving suicide and homicide numbers to the highest levels in decades.  In the first article, we read about Adam Lieberman, whose problems were ignored by the army until he attempted suicide.  Before that, he was a drunk, a fuck-up, anything other than a soldier traumatized by harrowing and gruesome combat experiences.  Just reading about them sends jolts through my nervous system:

"A guy’s face was blown off from his nose to his chin," he said as we sat at his dining room table with Heidi while he was home on leave recently. The U.S. soldier was gagging, drowning in blood without a mouth or nose. A medic performed an emergency tracheotomy. The soldier died anyway.

During another engagement a gunner atop Adam’s Humvee suddenly collapsed in Adam’s lap. Only a thin flap of skin attached the gunner’s head and torso. Beheaded. Adam vomited.

He once saw the lower half of a friend’s body sheared off by a roadside bomb. In the seconds that followed before he died, his friend still moved his right arm and tried to talk. He looked at Adam. Adam described the look in his eyes as "terror."

Even after the attempted suicide, instead of proper treatment, the army charged him with defacing government property for writing his suicide note on a wall.  Then they got his mother to help them whitewash it.

The introduction to the series: "Death in the USA: The Army’s fatal neglect"

The first article: "The Death Dealers took my life!"

© 2009, Fred Bubbers. All rights reserved.

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