28 July 2009

The stress of war

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday...

The Gazette based its report on months of interviews with soldiers and their families, medical and military records, court documents and photographs...

"Toward the end, we were so mad and tired and frustrated," said Daniel Freeman. "You came too close, we lit you up. You didn't stop, we ran your car over with the Bradley," an armored fighting vehicle.

With each roadside bombing, soldiers would fire in all directions "and just light the whole area up," said Anthony Marquez, a friend of Freeman in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. "If anyone was around, that was their fault. We smoked 'em."

Taxi drivers got shot for no reason, and others were dropped off bridges after interrogations, said Marcus Mifflin, who was eventually discharged with post traumatic stress syndrome...

Marquez was the first in his brigade to kill someone after an Iraq tour. In 2006, he used a stun gun to shock a drug dealer in Widefield, Colo., in a dispute over a marijuana sale, then shot and killed him...

"If I was just a guy off the street, I might have hesitated to shoot," Marquez told The Gazette in the Bent County Correctional Facility, where he is serving a 30-year prison term. "But after Iraq, it was just natural."

The Army trains soldiers to be that way, said Kenneth Eastridge, an infantry specialist serving 10 years for accessory to murder.

"The Army pounds it into your head until it is instinct: Kill everybody, kill everybody," he said. "And you do. Then they just think you can just come home and turn it off."


  1. This just exemplifies the necessary care we, as a country, need to take when welcoming home our combat military veterans. I've had a lot of experience with combat military veterans who join the police force and have trouble distinguishing a patrol beat and the real threat of a combat zone. While this is certainly not PREVALENT, it happens often enough that we should make more of an effort to provide psychological counseling for all returning combat veterans.

  2. Good comment, Brian--especially the emphasis on 'not prevalent.' The actions of a small number cannot make us forget the vast majority who manage to make the transition back to civilian life. And, yes, we do need to provide counseling to all returning troops, and to identify those having trouble returning to normal life so we can provide more care for them.

  3. Whoa... you guys are missing one of the main points of the article. You're saying we need to evaluate and take care of these guys when they return. You're not even looking at the part about what happened in Iraq.

    These guys are admitting to war crimes. They frankly say that (because of stress) they killed innocent civilians. They shot taxi drivers "FOR NO REASON".

    I don't know why TWYK posted this but that's my take-home message. This is why "they" hate us - we invade their country and indiscriminately kill their civilians. Whoever did these things should get counseling - for sure - and also be tried for war crimes.

  4. This is for those who think we've done wrong for killing taxi drivers, you dont know who the enemy is there. One minute they are your friends the next your watching your friend being shot to death bye the same man. Anthony Marquez was my friend and my brother in arms. I was injured the same night he was, and you dont know what fear is til you've had a first hand experience. So shut your mouths and deal with it. At least thats one more drug dealer gone. Daffern

  5. so when your friends die in a bullshit war it's okay to murder random people and perpetuate the pointless violence. nice.

    i know war is hell, that's why I oppose it. But if we don't talk about these things people will still have the bullshit idea that war is okay and only bad people die. If you're dropping people off of bridges you're no fucking different than Saddam, and that's the sad tragedy of it all.

    We probably create more enemies than we kill this way.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...