14 May 2009

A few words on the Camp Liberty shootings

From Castra Praetoria, currently deployed in Iraq.

First of all there are still a number of things we do not know surrounding this particular case. Knowing how long investigations can take, we will not likely know the specifics for some time. Until then, everyone is irresponsibly making conclusions without any information.

Reports surrounding the Camp Liberty incident have stressed the importance of finding out what led to this tragic incident. The media seems to assume combat deployments lead servicemen to commit inappropriate acts of violence, (appropriate being the lawful elimination of enemy forces), as if it wasn’t the shooter’s fault, but the stress of multiple tours which made him do it. This infuriates many of us who have and continue to serve on multiple combat tours. The assumption that all veterans coming home could snap at any moment spraying the area with automatic gunfire is as bigoted a concept as any I have ever heard.

The other implication, that we in the service aren’t taking care of our troops, is a slap in the face to those of us who consider duty and loyalty the highest of human virtues. Our very martial culture revolves around looking out for the guy on our left and right. Marines have waged entire battles in an effort to retrieve the bodies of their slain comrades. Leaving a comrade behind on the field of mental illness or traumatic stress seems equally distasteful.

Read the rest.

h/t yesterday's Dawn Patrol.

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