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"I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This": A Soldier's Last Words

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Morpheus, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    Honestly I don't know what to say, except for we all have our selves to blame. Do any of us try hard enough to work towards this not happening?

    Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.

    http://gawker.com/i-am-sorry-that-it-has-come-to-this-a-soldiers-last-534538357
     
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  2. PosterGuy

    PosterGuy Hillsboro Member

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    Read this guys letter. He had emotional issues, clearly. Not the best person to go into military service, IMHO. They throw out a lot of good acronyms and titles, but the fact is, he was not a front line soldier. I was. He probably saw one or two things that he could not process or get over, due to his heavily sensitive personality. Once again, probably not the right person to enter the army. His letter is overly verbose and self-loathing. He cares nothing about the people around him, he only cares about his own pain and struggles. He fails to realise his importance, not only as an individual, but as a piece to the larger family around him. He paints himself as a victim, and in the end, victimizes everyone who cares about him.

    I, and many veterans in this country, have had mental/emotional issues caused by our service. But, we deal with them in the best way we can, and take care of our families. I don't care how much pain I'm in, I will serve my family, ALWAYS. By the way, I know many veterans with PTSD who are taken care of, VERY WELL, by the VA.
     
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  3. speeddemon94

    speeddemon94 The Rogue Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan of the VA, personally, but I managed to come out of the military after 18 years with no negative effects mentally. All of my hits were physical, and I hobble around daily because of it.

    So many of these guys join up thinking that it will just be a cruise through for a few years and then they will get out and go to college. They are lied to by recruiters, and told that their MOS is not likely to deploy, and they should have a "safe" 4 years. Then suddenly, reality hits: They find themselves in Iraq, or Afghanistan, where the daily bottle bombs, rockets, mortars, or IEDs, and it takes it's toll on their unprepared psyche. Suddenly, that supply clerk, who thought they would always be safe, is riding in the turret of an MRAP behind an M2, 240B or MK19, and they realize that there are people out there that want them dead.

    Of course, the majority get out unscathed, physically, but they take the mental scars with them because most of today's kids are mentally unprepared for the realities of the world, not to mention war.

    This may be cold, but suicide is the most selfish, inconsiderate thing anyone could do. I also know guys who have PTSD and are taken care of. There are other, far less selfish ways of dealing with this stuff.
     
  4. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    V.A. care sucks in every conceivable way, sorry, that's the truth. Incompetent, unaccountable, bubblegumed up like nothing I have ever seen.
    PTSD care, you have to be kidding. I get care for all that is wrong with me EXCEPT the things I came there to get care for. I have problems each and every single time I have to deal with the V.A. in any way. Not sometimes, but every time. Is it rational to have to have an attorney to deal with the agency that says they are here to help you ? Even the simplest things take a couple years to address. Yes, I have an axe to grind. For you doubters, (and there will be many ) it really is that bad. Please don't dump me into the same place as a pissed off National Guard PFC who slid out on a general discharge and expects a full ride. I did 22 years, retired E-7, and I make my own money. I was told by the American Legion rep that I was just pissed because I wasn't getting disability pay. It has nothing to do with money. I have enough money. I'm talking about medical care here.

    Welcome to Obamacare ! Modelled on the V.A. system.
     
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  5. speeddemon94

    speeddemon94 The Rogue Well-Known Member

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    That is my problem with the VA. In my experience they take anything the military did, throw it out, and try to start over. They ignore what I say, and do what they feel is okay. They ran me out of meds 3 months in a row, and that was enough for me. I've done congressional inquiries, and all sorts of action and they just don't give 2 bubblegums. If they would just authorize a couple of surgeries I could be back to near fully functional, but they wont. It's just easier to keep us in the system, fighting for stability.

    I do have a couple of guys I went to HS with who came out though and have not had one problem with them. I've got a blue ID card too, and I really, really hate the VA. But now they are taking our Tricare Prime away, basically forcing us to have substandard care through the VA.
     
  6. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this. As a civilian, this letter, and the responses (either supportive or not) highlight my failure to accomplish the political mission of a US citizen - to control the actions of my government and ensure that they comply with the Constitution and the 'general welfare' goal it was designed for. I've opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since the beginning, but obviously didn't do much of a job of it, since thousands of young men and women have had to go to these wars.
     
  7. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    The only thing I have ever used since I have been out is the VA mortage on my home. I want no further interaction with the VA or the military in any way.

    James Rub
     
  8. rocky3

    rocky3 oregon coast Active Member

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    I was so lucky, out before Vietnam and old before Iraq. Yup the VA sucks and I use it because it is what I can afford...hospital. Va paid my way through schools.That part was great.
    My grandson went over to Iraq, he was suckered in against my wishes and talking to him. He developed Epilepsy, they placed him on a 50 cal machine gun on a Humbree and was lied to by the army. Two or three years later the VA got him his disability. Now government employees are being told to snoop on their fellow employees. Go Snowden.
     
  9. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    Well...as a disabled vet AND a former VA hospital employee, let me say that the VA does it's best with the money the .gov gives them. Remember, your taxes pay for the VA care that we get. (Although, I must admit, I don't usually get care at the VA, but go to Madigan instead). I served from Nixon to G HW Bush in the army and then G HW Bush to GW Bush in the VA. When people vote democrats into office so the "people" can get more stuff, that usually means less money for defense and VA care.
     
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  10. speeddemon94

    speeddemon94 The Rogue Well-Known Member

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    The VA hospital employees are not the problem. It's the hack doctors they seem to hire, and the folks that process the claims...Why should it take more than a year to change a setting in the system that says a veteran has dependents?
     
  11. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Some acts cannot be undone, and some can't be lived with. When the two coincide it produces tragedy. The truly despicable people are the ones who employ others to perform those acts, and profit from them.
     
  12. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Back in the day we worked with this full-bird Colonel... We (privately) called him Col. Melt-man... In uniform he was hairless and, well... melty-looking. Wearing civies, he would wear this (almost comical) wig... napalm sticks to "'first-louie" platoon leaders in Vietnam, too. Never had nothing but the utmost respect for the man, and was still serving in the 80's! If anyone had a right to sit in sackcloth and ashes, it would have been him.


    Thank GAWD, I never needed anything more than 1st aid from a few "scrapes" that I incurred... a scant few millimeters difference and my nose and left eye (and possibly left cranial hemisphere) would've been missing. I shudder to think of going through life with a strap on nose and an eye patch!


    :paranoid:
     
  13. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I've been writing down my negative V.A. experiences in journal form since I started. I'm always having to add to it. My attorney has a copy...I've been trying to get the media to take a look at it but so far no takers. Someone above said congressional inquiries did nothing. I've also found that to be true. The V.A. is truly unaccountable at every level. They have been that way so long that they don't even try to improve....it's part of the institution and V.A. culture. Here is one recent example: I've had 2 back surgeries in the last 18 mo. I've had nothing but problems with the results and have been as vocal and proactive as a human can be. I spent most of this year maneuvering into a place where a senior surgeon was going to fix the problem. I was literally there for my pre-op appointment. My surgeon fell ill. They shunted me to another surgeon and the process began again. This took another 5 mo. I finally got to see s second surgeon and she decided she can't help me and refers me to plastic surgery, whom I go see in late July.
    They know I'm in pain, quite a lot of it, 24/7 but won't help me there, they defer that job to my primary care doc insisting that pain management is his job. Here is the kicker......he thinks it's THEIR job. I went to see him last week....he didn't even know any of this was going on. He didn't even know I HAD SURGERY. All while reading my file from a computer monitor. ( The file with the big red flag in the corner for pissed off patient) I still haven't been treated for pain nor do I expect to be. Remember this is just one example. I experience this sort of incompetence every single time I deal with them. New problems just stack on top of old problems. Meanwhile I feel like I've been shot in the lower back....oh never mind. It's not like anyone cares anyway.

    I'm service connected at 80% for all of this....but they sure are good about sending me 5 times the blood pressure pills than I could ever use. Anyway, I hate the bubblegumers. Hate.
     
  14. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    Hey, Stomper, the eye patch isn't that bad. Was in a strip club once, wearing mine, and tried to get them to let me in for half price....(hey, only get half the show, right?)

    There was one cute dancer that I was watching, I flipped the eye patch up and pretended to look with both eyes...cracked her up....fun times.
     
  15. Cuthbert Allgood

    Cuthbert Allgood Clark County, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've been in the same deep, dark psychological place before. If Daniel Somers wants me to be glad he's no longer suffering. Then I will be glad for him. I think it takes an awfully huge set of balls to go through with it. The only thing that stopped me from proceeding was the fact I felt a hand on my left shoulder blade and something rang within my mind telling me everything will be fine in the future. There wasn't anybody else in my dark bedroom. I stopped, began re-evaluating myself and everything else, and planned a course of action for my own future. It was like my old mind died, psychologically, and was granted a reprieve. I have been fine since.
     
  16. theficklefinger

    theficklefinger Eugene New Member

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    The crux of it is this....

    You must not blame yourself. The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.

    To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.


    Not every soldier can turn off his morality, be some robot, some German Shepard, that barks, fetches, and bites on command.
     
  17. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    The man was a coward. He could have made it if he had the guts to stand up for himself.

    I agree with what a lot of you have expressed but I can not write anymore but i am boiling inside.
     
  18. ComradAR15

    ComradAR15 Clackamas Member

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    I have been suffering with lower back pain for years. While i was still in the Military I asked a number of docs to get me X-rays to see what is going on with my lower back. The answer I got (Oh you don't need it we can send you to physical therapy and you'll be fine).Or this answer always pissed me off. "I don't think you need X-rays its just back pain it will go away, here is some Motrin and Duck-tape." you take enough M&M's and you get used to them.( That's what we called Motrin in USMC)
    Got out had some X-rays taken with-in months and found out that discs are at a minimum and wedging is occurring. I went through all the proper steps and and jumped through all the hoops and no end in sight. I "hope" to have some answers from the VA by the end of the year or next year. "HOPE" IS THE ANSWER.
     
  19. Keys1971

    Keys1971 Oregon City Active Member

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    This unfortunately is all too common. I too spent 8 years in the Army, jumping out of airplanes. My experiences with the VA are pretty negative as well. Working in law enforcement I come across our veterans all too often. Usually in some kind of crisis. Because of my interactions with fellow veterans I have developed quite a network of private veterans groups within the Portland metro area who do good work and who do care for our fellow vets. If anyone knows of a veteran in need send me a PM and I will get you some names and numbers of non-government veterans support groups. These groups can offer counseling, legal advice etc. Keys.
     
  20. rocky3

    rocky3 oregon coast Active Member

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    Keys, thank you for what you are doing. Here's how it works: all VA money is in the DOD budget, think fighter planes vs human suffering. CIA and CSA gets their share of money from DOD budget. More spy's less VA money...on and on. I raised a ruckus when I suggested maintence drugs to be a year script rather than a 90 day scrip. That went over like a turd in a punch bowl. Drugs are a large part of VA income...screw the veteran. Than we come to OHSU the teaching part of the program: Vets; Ginny pigs and student make believe doctors. As many of you have pointed out the problem is both money, or lack of and the swagger of OHSU as being of no benefit of the Vet.
    As in Cool Hand Luke: "what we have here is a failure to communicate"