They also included the public surrender of an injured AWOL soldier, Army Specialist Jeff Hanks, at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Hanks went AWOL to resist redeployment to Afghanistan last fall after the military refused to treat him for severe PTSD. Supported by military and civilian allies alike, Hanks and other veterans testified about the military's negligent and often abusive treatment of severely traumatized soldiers seeking care. Hanks decided he wanted to turn himself in publicly to draw attention to these widespread practices. If he is court-martialed, he could face up to two years in prison and a lifetime felony conviction on his record. The Army could also attempt to forcibly deploy him again. At the gates of Ft. Campbell, 25 supporters stood with Hanks as he told his story to reporters. Another AWOL soldier from his unit traveled to join the rally, disclosing similar experiences. One supporter explained that her husband, who is currently deployed, was sent against medical advice.
In the weeks following the November 11 actions, a number of other soldiers gone AWOL from the 101st due to mental health struggles have reached out to Operation Recovery for support.
Visibility and support are important factors influencing not only the morale of traumatized troops and their families, but also the military's treatment of people who go public. Aaron Hughes of IVAW shared with supporters that, "Jeff's command was extremely hostile when he turned himself in on Veterans Day, but after the CBS story aired on Friday, they changed their tune" (Hanks was interviewed by Katie Couric).
I think about that and the December protest outside the White House and I hope that it means the activism level is going to kick back up; however, I am equally aware of how few have the guts to call out Barack. I was reading one of the magazines that had ignored electoral politics, a Marxist magazine. so one of the few I could still enjoy. Those who whored in 2008 are magazines I no longer read.
So I now have about six political magazines I can still read. So imagine my shock to come across an article about how evil and illegal and wrong Hillary was. From a magazine that's never managed to call out Barack.
They can trash Hillary. But they can't even hold Barack accountable. I'm so damn sick of it. (I voted Gravel in the 2008 primary, I voted for Ralph in the general election.) They're so harmful to any kind of real movement forming because they indulge in women hatred and think it's wonderful. But it's not and it's already ripped the Democratic Party apart so you'd think Marxists would know better than to take part. But apparently sexism can't be resisted.
Next month, Iraq Veterans Against the War has an event:
February 25, 2011 9:30 - 10:30 am Busboys & Poets, Langston room 14th & V st NW Washington DC This report back will be to answer questions from media and the peace movement about the recent trip back to Iraq by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The war is not over but it is not the same as it was in years past. What is the humanitarian situation in Iraq? How can we do reparations and reconciliation work? Speakers are all returning from this delegation and include: Geoff Millard (IVAW) Hart Viges (IVAW) Haider Al-Saedy (Iraqi Health Now)
Richard Rowely (Big Noise Films)
C.I. noted that one on Sunday in "Iraq Roundtable" and it's the next event that I'm aware of.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):