Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan A. Soto-Delgado
I had been out of the Army for about a month when a guy I’d served with texted me to say that one of the soldiers in my old squad had gone missing. The circumstances were strange. The soldier, whom I’ll call Barnes, had vanished after being taken to the military police station on Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Rumor was he got caught taking discrete cell phone photos of men pissing in the urinals at a local bar. Now he was facing criminal charges. The guy who contacted me suspected Barnes had gone AWOL, to avoid the humiliation.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Nearly half of all Veterans Health Administration clinicians did not complete suicide risk management training within the timeframe mandated by the Department of Veterans Affairs last year, according to a new report released May 18 by the Department of VA Inspector General.
Derek Weida, founder of Straight Legless Clothing, doesn’t speak for all veterans, but he does speak for a certain type. His audience is largely shared by a growing number of military-oriented companies, organizations, and blogs that celebrate, rather than lament, the experience of being a veteran in post-9/11 America. It’s an audience that could be described, bluntly and without risk of causing offense, as a bunch of unapologetic grunts.