the blood on their hands

Many wmtc readers sent me stories about the death of former Army medic Joseph Dwyer. Dwyer is the man pictured in this famous photo, which mainstream news outlets used as a symbol of heroism during the invasion of Iraq.


From Greg Mitchell and AP:
Last week, Dwyer called a local taxi service to take him to the hospital after an apparent overdose, Capt. Floyd Thomas of the Pinehurst Police Department told the Fayetteville Observer. When the driver arrived, Dwyer said he couldn't get to the door, according to a police report.

Police kicked in the door at Dwyer's request, and he was taken by ambulance to a Pinehurst hospital. Thomas said bottles of prescription pills were found near Dwyer when police arrived. The former medic died later the night of June 28, according to authorities.

Dwyer served with the 3rd Squadron of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of Fort Stewart, Ga. He earned the Combat Medical Badge and other military awards.

His mother said the military could have done more to help with post-traumatic stress. "He just couldn't get over the war," Maureen Dwyer said. "He just couldn't do it. Just wasn't Joseph. Joseph never came home."

His wife, Matina, said: "He was just never the same when he came back, because of all the things he saw. ... He tried to seek treatment, but it didn't work."

She told a reporter that she hoped that her husband's death would bring more attention to PTSD issues.

Last week, I was watching a baseball game between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Like many games between these historic arch-rivals, this one was televised nationally in the US, as well as many parts of Canada. It was July 4th weekend, and the players were wearing special star-spangled uniforms and caps. The game-worn gear would later be auctioned off, a fundraiser for a Major League Baseball program called "Welcome Home Veterans". The auction is one of many similar gestures being held at ballparks around the US on July 4 and again on September 11.

The goal of Welcome Back Veterans - which MLB calls an "apolitical initiative" (oh yeah? then why will it be held on September 11th?) - is to help returning veterans make a successful transition back to civilian life. It will raise awareness of PTSD, as well as the alarming rates of unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse and violence among veterans as compared with the general population.

I felt so angry and heartsick when I heard this, I could barely watch the rest of the game.

The war criminals who created this war live in the greatest comfort money can buy. They spend billions upon billions of taxpayers' money to secure the massive profits of a few corporations. They create lies and propaganda to induce people to carry out their cause.

And the government that they've hijacked won't even squeeze out enough money to offer the victims of that war proper treatment and a decent life when they return. It's left to private foundations and charitable organizations to pick up the pieces.

It's sickening.

Those of us of a certain age remember a famous bumpersticker slogan, imagining a time when the Pentagon would need a bake sale to raise money. (It was old even when I saw it.)

And here we are in the 21st Century, and we're holding a fucking televised bake sale to care for our walking wounded.

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