U.S Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan A. Soto-Delgado
The documentary series, “Charlie Foxtrot,” recently released online, examines the fact that 300,000 post-9/11 veterans have received less than honorable discharges. To put that number in context, approximately 2.7 million veterans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan during that time. The film’s contention is that many of these discharges are due to the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, and that the military’s handling of these veterans amounts to a charlie foxtrot, using the NATO phonetic alphabet for “c” and “f,” or in common military parlance, a clusterfuck.
“The true cost of war — that’s what this week is about for me. That’s why I am here,” says Steve Acheson, a former Army forward observer and Iraq War veteran. Acheson, now an engineer and a farmer, speaks with a genuine honesty, indicative of his Midwestern roots. The Wisconsin native enlisted in the Army out of high school to go fight a war he truly believed in. And he’s still fighting. But this time on Capitol Hill for the warfighters no one talks about with fellow veterans, Kristofer Goldsmith, Thomas Burke, Alexander McCoy, and David Anderson.