Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

October 11th, 2010 6:54 PM

VIDEO: Tenth Year of War, March to Stop Deployment of Traumatized Troops

Thursday marked the beginning of the 10th year of war in Afghanistan. There is much to protest about U.S. action there–some performed a die-in to highlight the use of drones ( – and a group of veterans of The Global War on Terror used the day to launch a campaign that could bring meaningful change to actions in Afghanistan.

Together with a dozen or so other veterans, I arrived at Walter Reed hospital to launch a campaign to pressure political and military decision makers to halt the deployment of traumatized troops. A brief press conference was held out front of the hospital housing many whom the war has damaged physically, several members of our crew went inside to visit with the injured, and the rest of us began a march to focus on those damaged psychologically.

When I returned from a fourteen month deployment from Iraq in 2008, I applied as a conscientious objector and part of the process was to have a psychologist see if I was crazy so that I could be removed from the military for reasons other than moral conviction. The wait for the required fifteen minute meeting with the psychologist was three weeks! I could wait, but many of my comrades were having a much harder time calming the ghosts of war and this kind of wait time can seem like ages to a haunted mind. Several friends of mind were denied care or told to come back in six weeks and in the absence of professional help, self medicated with alcohol, sleeping pills, aerosol sprays, and drugs–prescription and non.

Some soldiers with psychological disorders did not even attempt to seek help. A newspaper article about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was taped on the wall of our offices and the word “PUSSY” written across it sent a clear message as to how soldiers seeking help were seen.

For the diagnosed and those too intimidated to, we marched with simple black and white signs stating “Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops.” For the 20% to 50% of those suffering with PTSD, some faced with redeployment, we marched. For the 20% of women reporting Military Sexual Trauma we marched. For the 33% of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who say they cannot see a mental health professional when they need to, we marched. (Facts at:

But the implications are greater too. When troops with psychological disorders are redeployed, given weapons and authority, and turned loose into a civilian population overseas, the results can not only be tragic, but also completely counter-intuitive to the supposed reasons why the troops are there to begin with. The recently publicized Afgan “Kill Team” of soldiers who murdered for sport was reportedly spearheaded by a leader who carried over his practices from his Iraq deployment to Afghanistan; added to the long list of atrocities carried out in both countries and it doesn’t take much imagination to see why most people in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t perceive us as liberators and nation builders. If ever there was a recipe for infuriating a population, torturing it’s members and killing for sport seems like a surefire plan.

These thoughts swirled in our minds as we trekked six miles from Walter Reed to the Capitol. Mounting the steps of the a Senate office building, several veterans shared their stories as another press conference. Before we could end however, the Capitol Hill Police repeatedly warned us to leave; the conference was nearly concluded when the paddy wagon rolled up in a telling scene of our government’s priorities, we were removed to a nearby park.

But we would not be silenced. Regrouping, we marched into the halls of the senate offices. Our determined group went to each office of Senators on the Armed Services Committee, asking for legislative support, information on who determines deployment orders, and a congressional hearing.

Rushing over to Russia Today, we continued to get the word out that the longest war in U.S. history is damaging those who fight them and the civilian populations in the U.S., in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. In nine years, haven’t we learned that terror cannot eliminate terror?

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? Ray McGovern Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Second Guessing a Life: US Health Care System Robs Security and Human Dignity Donna Smith The dysfunction of the US health care system...

Feb 27th
1:40 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles