Ann Jones: Star-Spangled Baggage

  • How America’s Wars Came Home With the Troops 
  • Up Close, Personal, and Bloody 
  • Shooting At Fort Hood Not A Surprise To This Veteran
  • Forty Years After Vietnam Learning Series Launched

Ann Jones, TomDispatch.com

April 17, 2014 | After an argument about a leave denied, Specialist Ivan Lopez pulled out a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and began a shooting spree at Fort Hood, America’s biggest stateside base, that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded.  When he did so, he also pulled America’s fading wars out of the closet.  This time, a Fort Hood mass killing, the second in four and a half years, was committed by a man who was neither a religious nor a political “extremist.”  He seems to have been merely one of America’s injured and troubled veterans who now number in the hundreds of thousands.

Some 2.6 million men and women have been dispatched, often repeatedly, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and according to a recent survey of veterans of those wars conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one-third say that their mental health is worse than it was before they left, and nearly half say the same of their physical condition.  Almost half say they give way to sudden outbursts of anger.  Only 12% of the surveyed veterans claim they are now “better” mentally or physically than they were before they went to war.

Ann Jones, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of Kabul in Winter, among other books, and most recently They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return From America’s Wars — The Untold Story, a Dispatch Books project (Haymarket, 2013).

Full story … 

Related:

Shooting At Fort Hood Not A Surprise To This Veteran, The Stream Team, Al-Jazeera in Popular Resistance

  • Like at other bases I’ve visited, I met so many soldiers on the brink of total self-destruction.
  • Iraq war vet Michael Prysner on the Fort Hood shooting
  • 1,892 US Veterans Are Thought To Have Committed Suicide Since January 1, 2014
  • Forty Years After Vietnam Learning Series Launched 

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Forty Years After Vietnam Learning Series Launched, Larry Johnson, Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 and Making Meaning of Vietnam committee

  • Veterans and Anti-war Activists Say Stories Still Important for America
  • Kick-off Event: Ron Glasser will speak at 7PM, April 10, Macalester Plymouth Church, 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul.
  • Shooting At Fort Hood Not A Surprise To This Veteran

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