V.20 No.2 | 1/13/2011
Courtesy of the Ellis family
An Army of One
Veteran’s sister challenges law enforcement’s PTSD policies
Marine walks across the country barefoot
Today is day 220 of Ron Zalski’s journey across the country. Without shoes, he’s traveled about 2,000 miles. He has another 1,000 to go.
Zaleski is 58 and a grandfather. He left Massachusetts in June. His long journey is intended to bring attention to the high suicide rate of veterans, particularly those who come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s been wearing a sandwich board as he walks alongside America’s roadways. It says “18 vets a day commit suicide.”
Today, he’ll be speaking at the New Mexico Veterans’ Integration Center in Albuquerque (13032 Central SE, near Tramway). And then he’ll keep on walking.
He’s collecting signatures on a petition demanding mandatory counseling for members of the military. He’d like to present them to President Obama on Veteran’s Day in 2011. You can sign the petition electronically at thelongwalkhome.org.
V.19 No.52 |
The Daily Word 12.31.10: 2010 is finally over.
No pardon for Billy the Kid.
Uncle shoots nephew while playing 'cops and robbers' with real gun.
Man hurt playing real 'Frogger.'
Man shot by police had PTSD.
Former President of Israel convicted of rape.
Top Ten Books of 2010.
Tornado kills three in Arkansas.
Flood in Australia the size of Texas.
Stars who died in 2010.
Man strips at Virginia airport.
Restaurant critic gets exposed by restaurant owner.
V.19 No.35 | 9/2/2010
Estimates suggest the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will produce more than 1 million veterans.
In this week’s news section, I highlighted the lack of media coverage on veteran’s issues. I spoke with local members of Iraq Veterans Against the War in January after Kenneth Ellis III, who was being treated at the VA Medical Center for PTSD, was killed by Albuquerque police. He was pulled over for bad plates, and stepped out of the car with a gun to his head.
Romeo Rocha, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, said he hoped Ellis’ death would give PTSD more media attention. "It's still showing up, but it's not making headlines anymore,” he told the Alibi in January.
Even if American media isn’t focused on the issue right now, an Italian documentary at the Venice Film Festival follows three veterans who served in Iraq and how they were treated by the military. It’s called Ward 54, so named for the psychiatric ward of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 2005, Mark Benjamin penned a piece for Salon.com that shined a light on the hospital’s neglect of PTSD patients.
Benjamin spoke of the substandard care for mental disorders caused by the war in a “Democracy Now!” interview:
“... the entire time that they’re at Walter Reed, the Army seems to be more bent on trying to determine that their problems were not, in fact, caused by the war and that, in fact, these soldiers were just crazy of their own accord.”
Though, as the AP story on Ward 54 points out, a report to Congress last month shows that these wars have produced significantly high rates of suicides for the U.S. military. More than 1,100 service members killed themselves between 2005 and 2009. The suicide rate is only going up in 2010.
V.19 No.26 | 7/1/2010
From the Foxhole
Beyond the War Zone II
General Petraeus swapped for General McChrystal in Afghanistan
V.19 No.3 | 1/21/2010
The War Followed Him Home
Veterans discuss PTSD and the suicide of a brother in arms
James Whiton at Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse
Country Western/Swing Dance at CSP Dance Studios
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