Monday, June 20, 2005

'Am I Next?'

A compelling article in Washington Post; puts a human face on
platoon's experiences in Iraq. Recommend. Lengthy, not posted in entirety here.

The Question Haunts the Members Of a Casualty-Depleted Platoon

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 20, 2005; Page C01

Spec. John Wayne Miller was killed by sniper fire in Ramadi, Iraq, on April 12.


Ramadi is a grim destination for U.S. troops. No battalion stationed inside the city has so far escaped a tour without serious casualties. More than 120 troops have been killed and hundreds more wounded since the summer of 2003 -- proportionally more than in Baghdad. And not all the deaths are from combat: One homesick 19-year-old recently shot himself in the head.

Miller's platoon of the 224th Combat Engineer Battalion headed to Ramadi in late February with 31 soldiers. Six weeks later it was down to 25.


Edgington, so traumatized by the losses that he has been unable to go on missions,is one of hundreds of soldiers in Iraq being treated for combat stress each month, even as they confront new dangers every day in the war zone. Only about 2 percent of troops with combat stress are evacuated, Army psychiatrists in Baghdad say, based on a belief they have a better chance of recovery if they stay with their units.

But as in Edgington's case, staying in Iraq also heightens the risk of repeated exposure to trauma, considered the greatest cause of post-traumatic stress disorder. About 17 percent of troops who serve in Iraq are expected to suffer from major depression, anxiety or PTSD, according to an Army study published last July.


Read entire article 'Am I Next?'

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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