tagged w/ Vietnam Veterans
Troubling new data has revealed that there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department.
Seven percent of the attempts are successful, and 11 percent of those who don’t succeed on the first attempt try again within nine months.
The numbers show about 18 veteran suicides a day, about five by veterans who are receiving VA care.Troubling new data has revealed that there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each... more
Pfc. Paul Evans was rocking and rolling on his M-16 on a long-ago afternoon in Vietnam, spraying fire toward an unseen enemy hidden deep within the jungle. He was a terrified 18-year-old who knew, as other men fell around him, that he was about to die.
Then out of nowhere, American tanks thundered out of the jungle, Evans later recalled. Alpha Troop had arrived.
The men of Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry, rushed in to rescue Evans and the rest of his infantry company, which had been pinned down for most of the day after wandering into a cluster of North Vietnamese bunkers.
For two hours, Alpha's tanks suppressed fire enough to weaken the enemy. Then, as night fell and the Americans feared being surrounded in the dark, everyone fled through the blackening foliage.
Many of the soldiers tucked away their memories for years, only now describing the day's horror.
Kenny Euge of Belleville, Ill., drove one of the tanks that barreled through the jungle to Charlie Company's aid, closest to the enemy. He recalled a rocket-propelled grenade flying just over his head, like a flaming basketball.
"It was all scary. It was all scary," Euge recalled this week, his voice breaking as he spoke. "Even the drive back was scary. It didn't get un-scary until you got back."
However, the Army overlooked the clash that became known as the Anonymous Battle. When one man ended his tour and was asked about any major battles he'd been in, the soldier who was processing the paperwork shook his head. There'd been no battles that day.
The veterans — and now everyone else — know differently.
Tuesday morning, President Barack Obama gave about 100 veterans of Alpha Troop the Presidential Unit Citation, the highest award for valor that a military unit can earn.
Nearly 40 years after the battle, men with graying mustaches, growing paunches and weakening eyes were honored for that day of hell in March 1970.
more at link...Pfc. Paul Evans was rocking and rolling on his M-16 on a long-ago afternoon in... more
From 1961 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed Vietnam with Agent Orange, which contained large quantities of Dioxin, in order to defoliate the trees for military objectives. Dioxin is one of the most dangerous chemicals known to man. It has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a carcinogen (causes cancer) and by the American Academy of Medicine as a teratogen (causes birth defects).
Between 2.5 and 4.8 million people were exposed to Agent Orange. 1.4 billion hectares of land and forest - approximately 12 percent of the land area of Vietnam - were sprayed.
The Vietnamese who were exposed to the chemical have suffered from cancer, liver damage, pulmonary and heart diseases, defects to reproductive capacity, and skin and nervous disorders. Children and grandchildren of those exposed have severe physical deformities, mental and physical disabilities, diseases, and shortened life spans. The forests and jungles in large parts of southern Vietnam have been devastated and denuded. They may never grow back and if they do, it will take 50 to 200 years to regenerate. Animals that inhabited the forests and jungles have become extinct, disrupting the communities that depended on them. The rivers and underground water in some areas have also been contaminated. Erosion and desertification will change the environment, contributing to the warming of the planet and dislocation of crop and animal life.
The U.S. government and the chemFrom 1961 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed Vietnam with Agent Orange, which... more
It's about time...
It was 1968, and Frank Rochelle was 20 years old and fresh out of Army boot camp when he saw notices posted around his base in Virginia asking for volunteers to test uniforms and equipment.
That might be a good break after the harsh weeks of boot camp, he thought, and signed up.
Instead of equipment testing, though, the Onslow county, North Carolina, native found himself in a bizarre, CIA-funded drug testing and mind-control programme, according to a lawsuit that he and five other veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America filed last week. The suit was filed in federal court in San Francisco against the US department of defence and the CIA.
The plaintiffs seek to force the government to contact all the subjects of the experiments and give them proper healthcare.
The experiments have been the subject of congressional hearings, and in 2003 the US department of veterans affairs released a pamphlet that said nearly 7,000 soldiers had been involved and more than 250 chemicals used on them, including hallucinogens such as LSD and PCP as well as biological and chemical agents.
Lasting from 1950 to 1975, the experiments took place at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. According to the lawsuit, some of the volunteers were even implanted with electrical devices in an effort to control their behaviour.
Rochelle, 60, who has come back to live in Onslow county, said in an interview that there were about two dozen volunteers when he was taken to Edgewood. Once there, they were asked to volunteer a second time, for drug testing. They were told that the experiments were harmless and that their health would be carefully monitored, not just during the tests but afterward, too.
The doctors running the experiments, though, couldn't have known the drugs were safe, because safety was one of the things they were trying to find out, Rochelle said.
"We volunteered, yes, but we were not fully aware of the dangers," he said. "None of us knew the kind of drugs they gave us, or the after-effects they'd have."
Rochelle said he was given just one breath of a chemical in aerosol form that kept him drugged for two and a half days, struggling with visions. He said he saw animals coming out of the walls and his freckles moving like bugs under his skin. At one point, he tried to cut the freckles out with a razor.
Not all the men in his group tested drugs. But he said even those who just tested equipment were mistreated.
"Their idea of testing a gas mask was to give you a faulty one and put you in a gas chamber," he said. "It was just diabolical."
The tests lasted about two months. Later, Rochelle was sent to Vietnam.
Now he's rated 60% disabled by the veterans affairs department, he said, and has struggled to keep his civilian job working on US marine bases. He has breathing problems, and his short-term memory is so bad that he once left his son at a gas station.
Among other problems, he said, his doctor diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and said it came from the drug experiment. He has trouble sleeping and still sometimes has visions from the drug, he said.
A big goal of the lawsuit, Rochelle said, is to get the word out to the thousands of soldiers who were tested. Some may have forgotten all about the tests and not know that's why they now have health problems.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing in 1987 on a similar case:
" 'voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential ... to satisfy moral, ethical, and legal concepts.' If this principle is violated, the very least that society can do is to see that the victims are compensated, as best they can be, by the perpetrators."It's about time...
It was 1968, and Frank Rochelle was 20 years old and... more
Part four of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in 1968 and 1969. Most of these men have not seen each other in over 35 years.
A Reunion was held in 2004.
This is the story of their reunion.Part four of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in 1968... more
Part three of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in 1968 and 1969. Most of these men have not seen each other in over 35 years.
A Reunion was held in 2004. This is the story of their reunion.Part three of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in... more
Part two of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in 1968 and 1969. Most of these men have not seen each other in over 35 years.
A Reunion was held in 2004.
This is the story of their reunion.Part two of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in 1968... more
Part one of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in 1968 and 1969. Most of these men have not seen each other in over 35 years.
A Reunion was held in 2004.
This is the story of their reunion.Part one of a story of a group of Vietnam Combat Veterans who served together in 1968... more
Ron Kovic, the former Marine whose story is told in the movie "Born on the Fourth of July", was outside the DNC giving speeches before leading thousands of protesters in marches and urging protesters to retain the moral high ground during a clash with police.
In the 40 years since being paralyzed in the Vietnam war he has become a notable peace activist that has been arrested over 13 times, led a 17-day hunger strike for better treatment of veterans, spoke at the 1976 DNC he seconded the nomination of draft resister Fritz Efaw for Vice President of the United States, and traveled to London in November 2003 Kovic led a march of several hundred thousand demonstrators on Trafalgar Square, where a huge rally was held protesting the visit of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.
In March 2007, Kovic checked into the Ernest Bors Spinal Cord Injury ward of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach, California, for an undisclosed illness.Ron Kovic, the former Marine whose story is told in the movie "Born on the Fourth... more
It's not the most beautiful site
but it has some interesting information about John McCain's military past.It's not the most beautiful site
but it has some interesting information about... more