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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/13/2012 10:21:22

Good Morning.

Today is our 3,810th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing war, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan 1,909
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan 1,005

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$1, 311, 459, 175, 000 .00


You've no doubt seen the news this past weekend. More fuel on the fire, IMHO. President Obama, who was so forceful and eloquent in opposing the war on Iraq, seems to have a tin ear on this one. We need to get out, now. I won't spend a lot of time on this, but one thing has come out....the soldier's home unit has a multitude of problems.


JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — A soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers Sunday comes from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, one of the largest military installations in the U.S. — and one that has seen its share of controversies and violence in the past few years.

The base, home to about 100,000 military and civilian personnel, has suffered a spate of suicides among soldiers back from war. The Army is investigating whether doctors at Lewis-McChord's Madigan Army Medical Center were urged to consider the cost of providing benefits when reviewing diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Most famously, four Lewis-McChord soldiers were convicted in the deliberate thrill killings of three Afghan civilians in 2010.

The military newspaper Stars and Stripes called it "the most troubled base in the military" that year.

"It's another blow to this community," said Spc. Jared Richardson, an engineer, as he stood outside a barbershop near the base Sunday. "This is definitely something we don't need."

Catherine Caruso, a spokeswoman for Lewis-McChord, said she could not comment on reports that the soldier involved in Sunday's shooting was based there. A U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity told the AP that the shooter was a conventional soldier assigned to support a special operations unit of either Green Berets or Navy SEALs engaged in a village stability operation.

It wasn't immediately clear if the soldier was with Lewis-McChord's 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which sent about 2,500 soldiers to Afghanistan in December for a yearlong deployment. The brigade had deployed to Iraq three times since 2003; this is its first deployment to Afghanistan.


And in one of those jarring transitions that seems to be the hallmark of Ask A Vet, we'll go immediately to the home front. Students of WWII are well familiar with the story of the USS Juneau and the Sullivan brothers...all five serving aboard, and all five lost when the ship was sunk on 13 November 1942.

Since there is no draft in these United States, our all-volunteer force is there by choice. For some families...it's a way of life. But by extension, those families often carry a heavier burden than the rest of us with no direct involvement. One family has paid the ultimate price twice. Since the Sullivans, the military has changed their policies regarding siblings serving together in combat, so another member of the family in uniform won't be going back to war.


PRESCOTT, Ark. — When their older brother Jeremy died in Afghanistan, Ben and Beau Wise did what loyal brothers and soldiers do. They stood solemnly in uniform at his memorial, laid red roses in front of his picture, and Ben spoke bravely to a chapel full of loved ones who came to mourn.

Soldiers themselves, Ben and Beau knew what their fallen brother had experienced and seen. They knew the difficulties of being a warrior and a devoted husband, and what a testament it was to Jeremy's character that he had excelled at both.

"Jeremy, I miss you and I love you, brother," Ben said. "And see you again."

Two years later, Ben died at a hospital in Germany after an insurgent attack left him with injuries that first cost him his legs, then cost him his life. He was 34, a year younger than Jeremy was when a suicide bomber killed him at a CIA base where he was working as a defense contractor.

For a family that had already paid the highest price of war, it was time for another funeral, another eulogy, another grave.

The eldest Wise boys are two of the thousands of Americans who have died since the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan began. But they share a link that most do not: They were brothers.

"They laid down their lives, both of them, so that others could live," their mother, Mary Wise, said.

***

They moved Jeremy's grave so that the brothers could lie side by side in Suffolk, Va.

"To lose Jeremy was devastating," his widow, Dana, said. "To lose Ben was just ... you throw your hands up in the air."

Each brother's tombstone cites part of the Bible. Jeremy's points to a chapter that's often read at happier times: 1 Corinthians 13. Part of it reads: "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."

The family still calls them boys.

The youngest, Beau, is planning to move closer to Ben's family. Later this year, his mother says, he'll transfer from his base in Hawaii to one on the mainland. He'll remain in the military, at least for now.




At what point do we say, "enough"?

59 comments (Latest Comment: 03/13/2012 23:58:51 by TriSec)
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Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 12:46:51
Morning

Is there still no motive for what this guy did?

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 12:58:01
Allow me to pick a nit. The soldier in question's "home unit" isn't Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That is where is his unit is stationed. His "home unit" would be one of the companies in one of the battalions of 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Just sayin...

Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2012 13:25:44
Mornin' all..

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 13:35:12
I've said this before and I will say it again, this behaivor that we are seeing in the military is a sign of a breakdown in command and moral.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 13:43:50
Chris there are varying degrees of the South - Virginia is a far different place then Mississippi

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 13:48:32
Quote by wickedpam:
Chris there are varying degrees of the South - Virginia is a far different place then Mississippi



Really, Mala. Spend more time in south of Richmond or in southwestern VA

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 13:57:56
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
Chris there are varying degrees of the South - Virginia is a far different place then Mississippi



Really, Mala. Spend more time in south of Richmond or in southwestern VA



I've been there, it probably leans a little more Tennessee/NC but its still different from MIssissippi and Alabama. Then there is the difference between the southerns who live on a coast line vs the mountains or city's vs country

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 13:59:52
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
Chris there are varying degrees of the South - Virginia is a far different place then Mississippi



Really, Mala. Spend more time in south of Richmond or in southwestern VA



I've been there, it probably leans a little more Tennessee/NC but its still different from MIssissippi and Alabama. Then there is the difference between the southerns who live on a coast line vs the mountains or city's vs country



I dunno about that, Mala. I mean I'm near the coast and I've met many ignorant, dim witted, ugly racist here.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 14:00:46
But then again Jacksonville is an extension of rual southern Georgia.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:06:08
Quote by Mondobubba:
But then again Jacksonville is an extension of rual southern Georgia.



Probably, not all the south is the same, just like not all the north is the same. They don't have lily white hands up there either. I've lived on both sides of the Mason Dixon, the northern states go blue but they still have red streaks and vice versa for the south. I mean, what would VA be without the big blue spot that is NoVA that can swing the whole state if there is good voter turn out

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 14:11:35
Good morning.



Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 14:14:29



Alexandra Pelosi visits Mississippi for Real Time.

:thud:

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:14:56
is that caller saying you can't have certain beliefs and believe in science?

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 14:16:17
WRT to the blog, Bloomberg has this:
Obama administration officials are considering an accelerated schedule for U.S. troop withdrawals that could nearly double the planned reduction in troops within a year, the New York Times reported, citing White House, Defense Department and State Department officials it didn’t name. The U.S. has said it will bring home 22,000 of its 90,000 troops in Afghanistan by September, and as many as another 20,000 could be withdrawn by June 2013, the report said.


I think we will be seeing the end sooner rather than later.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:16:45
All of VA is below the Mason Dixon, the whole state is in the south (whether people want to believe it or not -they are in frickin denial)

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:17:49
Quote by Raine:
WRT to the blog, Bloomberg has this:
Obama administration officials are considering an accelerated schedule for U.S. troop withdrawals that could nearly double the planned reduction in troops within a year, the New York Times reported, citing White House, Defense Department and State Department officials it didn’t name. The U.S. has said it will bring home 22,000 of its 90,000 troops in Afghanistan by September, and as many as another 20,000 could be withdrawn by June 2013, the report said.


I think we will be seeing the end sooner rather than later.



I thought the generals were saying they wanted to wait till the 2014 dates?

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 14:22:40
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

Is there still no motive for what this guy did?
I have read multiple reports that he suffered from some sort of Brain injury but was still deemed fit for combat. he was on his 4th tour, first one in Afghanistan and reportedly had marital problems.

It sorta sounds like he finally snapped.


Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 14:22:46
Quote by wickedpam:
All of VA is below the Mason Dixon, the whole state is in the south (whether people want to believe it or not -they are in frickin denial)



Hell the capitol of the United States is below the Mason-Dixon line.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 14:24:31
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

Is there still no motive for what this guy did?
I have read multiple reports that he suffered from some sort of Brain injury but was still deemed fit for combat. he was on his 4th tour, first one in Afghanistan and reportedly had marital problems.

It sorta sounds like he finally snapped.


There is much discussion that the the medical command at JBLM hasn't diagnosising PTSD because it costs too much to treat.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:24:35
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

Is there still no motive for what this guy did?
I have read multiple reports that he suffered from some sort of Brain injury but was still deemed fit for combat. he was on his 4th tour, first one in Afghanistan and reportedly had marital problems.

It sorta sounds like he finally snapped.


I'd heard about the brain stuff that the tours but not the marital problems. Geez, these guys are tired, they need to come home

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:26:37
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
All of VA is below the Mason Dixon, the whole state is in the south (whether people want to believe it or not -they are in frickin denial)



Hell the capitol of the United States is below the Mason-Dixon line.


and yet there are people who don't understand where MD is and think this part of VA is really part of the "north" - idiots - these are the little things about BASIC history that people should know!

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:30:14
oh dear

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 14:32:01
Quote by wickedpam:
oh dear
I am surprised that word got on the air. eep!


Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 14:35:24
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

Is there still no motive for what this guy did?
I have read multiple reports that he suffered from some sort of Brain injury but was still deemed fit for combat. he was on his 4th tour, first one in Afghanistan and reportedly had marital problems.

It sorta sounds like he finally snapped.


There is much discussion that the the medical command at JBLM hasn't diagnosising PTSD because it costs too much to treat.
I was just reading that myself. From Wired:
UPDATED: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where the accused soldier was treated for TBI before being deployed to Afghanistan, has recently been implicated in an investigation over misdiagnosed PTSD cases. Again, officials haven’t stated whether soldier in particular had been diagnosed with PTSD at any point during enlistment. But as reported in the Washington Post today, Army investigators are currently poring over thousands of cases to see whether soldiers with PTSD at Lewis-McChord were diagnosed with a lesser ailment (like personality disorder). Already, the medical diagnoses of 285 soldiers will be re-evaluated by doctors.




Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 14:36:38
Quote by wickedpam:
oh dear



And what was that? I didn't get to hear

Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 14:39:28
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
oh dear



And what was that? I didn't get to hear



one of the callers let the n-word fly

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 14:41:22
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
oh dear



And what was that? I didn't get to hear



one of the callers let the n-word fly



:Mrs Miller: On, dear!

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 14:49:31
The Commander has been placed on leave.
The commander of Lewis-McChord's Madigan Army Medical Center has been placed on leave during the investigation, and a leading forensic psychiatrist has resigned.

Some military-support groups near Lewis-McChord have criticized base officials for not allowing troops sufficient time to heal from a variety of injuries between deployments.






Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 14:54:16
Quote by wickedpam:
I thought the generals were saying they wanted to wait till the 2014 dates?
They are, I believe -- but the President said something very cryptic last night. I remember saying to Bob that it sounded like we would be getting out sooner rather than later. Finding this article kinda confirmed that for me. I am still trying to find the interview he gave.


Comment by TriSec on 03/13/2012 14:56:11
hey guys. just passing thru via phone.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 15:03:08
I think I found it. Video at the link.
The president stressed that removing tens of thousands of U.S. forces is logistically complicated and needs to be done "in a responsible way," using the Iraq withdrawal as model. Doing so, he said, will allow the Afghans to "protect their borders and prevent al Qaeda from coming back."

Asked if that meant he did not want to speed up the withdrawal, Mr. Obama said he is "more determined" to make sure the troops come home.

"It's been a decade, and you know, frankly, now that we've gotten {Osama} bin Laden, now that we've weakened al Qaeda, we're in a stronger position to transition than we would have been two or three years ago," Mr Obama told KDKA.


Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 15:03:39
Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 15:07:50
Quote by Raine:
I think I found it. Video at the link.
The president stressed that removing tens of thousands of U.S. forces is logistically complicated and needs to be done "in a responsible way," using the Iraq withdrawal as model. Doing so, he said, will allow the Afghans to "protect their borders and prevent al Qaeda from coming back."

Asked if that meant he did not want to speed up the withdrawal, Mr. Obama said he is "more determined" to make sure the troops come home.

"It's been a decade, and you know, frankly, now that we've gotten {Osama} bin Laden, now that we've weakened al Qaeda, we're in a stronger position to transition than we would have been two or three years ago," Mr Obama told KDKA.



I hope they do come home sooner then later. At this point I think we are less welcome then we were before

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 15:22:17

and her husband, it appears. This is going to get even more interesting.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 15:27:09
Speaking of Murdoch...

So I Was watching the local news (fox 5) last night, and saw this young reporter doing a silly report. as they said his name, Peter Doocy, I realized it was Steve Doocy's Son.

I wanted to know a little bit more about this and I found this from 2009. Looks like he's down here in DC now.


The younger Doocy, who graduated from Villanova in May, had previously interned for Fox News. But he is most well-known for asking John McCain about Hillary Clinton's drinking during Chris Matthews' Hardball College Tour in April 2008. Shortly thereafter, his father congratulated him for the question on "Fox & Friends," and Keith Olbermann named him one of the Worst Persons in the World. Steve Doocy then attacked Olbermann, calling him "a guy who picks on people's children."




Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 15:38:37
Quote by Raine:
Speaking of Murdoch...

So I Was watching the local news (fox 5) last night, and saw this young reporter doing a silly report. as they said his name, Peter Doocy, I realized it was Steve Doocy's Son.

I wanted to know a little bit more about this and I found this from 2009. Looks like he's down here in DC now.


The younger Doocy, who graduated from Villanova in May, had previously interned for Fox News. But he is most well-known for asking John McCain about Hillary Clinton's drinking during Chris Matthews' Hardball College Tour in April 2008. Shortly thereafter, his father congratulated him for the question on "Fox & Friends," and Keith Olbermann named him one of the Worst Persons in the World. Steve Doocy then attacked Olbermann, calling him "a guy who picks on people's children."





Steve Doocy used to be a fixture on local tv here so I'm sure he's got strings he can pull to get his son a job. Only thing I like about the local fox5 is that Tony Perkins does weather (I've always thought that elven Topper was jealous of him)

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 15:51:51
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
Speaking of Murdoch...

So I Was watching the local news (fox 5) last night, and saw this young reporter doing a silly report. as they said his name, Peter Doocy, I realized it was Steve Doocy's Son.

I wanted to know a little bit more about this and I found this from 2009. Looks like he's down here in DC now.


The younger Doocy, who graduated from Villanova in May, had previously interned for Fox News. But he is most well-known for asking John McCain about Hillary Clinton's drinking during Chris Matthews' Hardball College Tour in April 2008. Shortly thereafter, his father congratulated him for the question on "Fox & Friends," and Keith Olbermann named him one of the Worst Persons in the World. Steve Doocy then attacked Olbermann, calling him "a guy who picks on people's children."





Steve Doocy used to be a fixture on local tv here so I'm sure he's got strings he can pull to get his son a job. Only thing I like about the local fox5 is that Tony Perkins does weather (I've always thought that elven Topper was jealous of him)



I think I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Before Doocy was on "Fox and Friends" he was the "wacky" general assigment reporter for WRC. You know the guy who was heavy on puns who covered dog fashion shows and waterskiing squirrels. You know an amiable doofus that you didn't expect heavy journalism from

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 16:00:43
Quote by Mondobubba:
I think I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Before Doocy was on "Fox and Friends" he was the "wacky" general assigment reporter for WRC. You know the guy who was heavy on puns who covered dog fashion shows and waterskiing squirrels. You know an amiable doofus that you didn't expect heavy journalism from
That is exactly what the son was doing in NY -- It appears he's been given a step up here in DC.

I suspect they are grooming him for NAtional Fox. Sheesh.


Comment by wickedpam on 03/13/2012 16:04:08
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
Speaking of Murdoch...

So I Was watching the local news (fox 5) last night, and saw this young reporter doing a silly report. as they said his name, Peter Doocy, I realized it was Steve Doocy's Son.

I wanted to know a little bit more about this and I found this from 2009. Looks like he's down here in DC now.


The younger Doocy, who graduated from Villanova in May, had previously interned for Fox News. But he is most well-known for asking John McCain about Hillary Clinton's drinking during Chris Matthews' Hardball College Tour in April 2008. Shortly thereafter, his father congratulated him for the question on "Fox & Friends," and Keith Olbermann named him one of the Worst Persons in the World. Steve Doocy then attacked Olbermann, calling him "a guy who picks on people's children."





Steve Doocy used to be a fixture on local tv here so I'm sure he's got strings he can pull to get his son a job. Only thing I like about the local fox5 is that Tony Perkins does weather (I've always thought that elven Topper was jealous of him)



I think I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Before Doocy was on "Fox and Friends" he was the "wacky" general assigment reporter for WRC. You know the guy who was heavy on puns who covered dog fashion shows and waterskiing squirrels. You know an amiable doofus that you didn't expect heavy journalism from



he was also a friend of the Don & Mike show so that added to wacky stuff he had to cover - like with D&M dipped themselves in chocolate and had listeners break off a piece or when the ran the bus through a giant blow up pix of Tiffany

Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2012 16:26:42
Good day everyone. It does seem like the Doocy family are the real-life versions of Ted Baxter in terms of journalistic chops and intelligence. Except for the one weather guy who is respected, Fox 5 here has descended into the same pile of crap as Fox News and many Fox O&O's are practicing the same style of right-wing hackery as the News Channel.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 03/13/2012 16:46:22
Good morning, bloggers!

TriSec, thanks for an excellent and very sad blog. It is time that we try to leave Afghanistan with what dignity that we have left. I think that there is little good that we can do there, save perhaps to broker a political settlement that will let the country have some measure of peace.

As for myself, I am home today -- but running to storage. We have highs predicted in the 70s this week and I need even lighter clothing than I just got out of storage.



Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 16:48:56
:Fires up chainsaw. cuts three hunks off of the blog log: Portland Timbers win their season opener against the Philly Union. 3-1!

Seriously the Timbers' mascot carries a chainsaw and cuts a log apart every time they score a goal.



Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2012 17:32:45
Someone's got to be an MLS fan. Although I will be doing some Red Bulls games this season so I will see what they are up to this season.

Comment by BobR on 03/13/2012 18:40:43
Quote by Mondobubba:
:Fires up chainsaw. cuts three hunks off of the blog log: Portland Timbers win their season opener against the Philly Union. 3-1!

Seriously the Timbers' mascot carries a chainsaw and cuts a log apart every time they score a goal.


I might actually go to a DC United game this year.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 18:53:48
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
:Fires up chainsaw. cuts three hunks off of the blog log: Portland Timbers win their season opener against the Philly Union. 3-1!

Seriously the Timbers' mascot carries a chainsaw and cuts a log apart every time they score a goal.


I might actually go to a DC United game this year.



I wonder when DC United is going to hold the city hostage for a new stadium. They play in the decaying pit that is RFK.

Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2012 19:08:48
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
:Fires up chainsaw. cuts three hunks off of the blog log: Portland Timbers win their season opener against the Philly Union. 3-1!

Seriously the Timbers' mascot carries a chainsaw and cuts a log apart every time they score a goal.


I might actually go to a DC United game this year.



I wonder when DC United is going to hold the city hostage for a new stadium. They play in the decaying pit that is RFK.

I remember when the Red Bulls played in Giants stadium to only maybe a quarter of the crowds that the Giants and Jets are able to get at the same arena. They got a nice little mid-size arena just outside of Newark which gets a decent crowd for its size.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2012 19:26:43
:chair pogos: The bird is the word!

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 20:00:34
I would dare say it is officially hot outside!

Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2012 20:24:17
Just below 60 here. Decided it was finally time to get rid of the winter growth.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2012 20:44:59
My seeds are sprouting, I should be able to put the plants in the ground in a few weeks...

I planted some daffodils, Hyacinths and Tulips. I love this time of year....

getting ready for the wildflowers to go in too!