Aug 30, 2007 4:27 pm US/Central
Vet Of Iraq War Honored In Launch Of Foundation (AP) Minneapolis Robert Herubin knew his friend Jonathan Schulze, after a tour of combat duty in Iraq, was on a downward spiral.
Depressed, drinking heavily and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, nobody was able to reach the troubled Marine before he killed himself in January. Herubin and others close to the Purple Heart recipient wondered what more could have been done. An answer has since emerged in the form of the Jonathan Schulze "I Can't Hear You" Foundation, which aims to pair veterans returning from combat with other veterans who have experienced war. Such a relationship might have saved Schulze, believes Herubin, himself a veteran of the first Gulf War.
"This is about these guys being able to talk to someone who's been there and done that.
Someone who knows what it's like to fight and kill," he said. Herubin came up with the foundation's name while he was at Schulze's wake. Herubin had placed a cap next to Schulze's body with the words "I Can't Hear You!" emblazoned across the front.
It's a phrase often doled out by drill instructors to their timid new recruits, but as Herubin stared into Schulze's coffin, it suddenly meant something else. "You were right there," Herubin recalled thinking, "and I couldn't hear you." The group is launching its first chapter at a VFW post in suburban Prior Lake, where Herubin first met Schulze after he returned from Iraq and a grueling tour that included door-to-door combat in the city of Fallujah. go here for the rest http://wcco.com/local/local_story_242173154.html
If you watched Death Because They Served (video at the bottom of this blog) you will see Jonathan in the video, along with over a hundred more. It took a long time to find their stories. Stories very few even want to hear, yet these men and women, so wounded by combat, could not find anyone to help them heal. Love cannot cure PTSD no more than time can. You cannot wish it away or ignore it away. Jonathan tired to get the help he needed but it wasn't there for him when he needed it. Too many have been sent away because no one bothered to prepare for these combat wounded before the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq happened. History had already recorded the battle wounds of those who came from other wars, in other times and in nations around the world because history knew those who participated in combat were only humans exposed to the most horrific experiences known to man.
There are many who succeeded in committing suicide, while many more have tired. They have been redeployed tragically wounded with a boat load of pills to keep them useful, instead of healing their wounded minds. Rob Withrow is one of them. He tried to commit suicide four times but they sent him back all the same.
He is not the only one this happened too. There have been over 22,000 given a dishonorable discharge instead of being appreciated and treated for their wounds received while serving the directives of this administration. They have done every duty the other wounded and fallen accomplished and yet their wounds are to be ignored, treated as a burden to society and cast aside as if suddenly they are no use to the military they loved and the nation they served.
Broken Warrior: One soldier's struggle
First it was the horrors of Iraq. Now, Rob Withrow is locked in a fight with his own Army superiors.
He wants mental health treatment -- they want him to face a court-martial
By CAROL SMITHP-I REPORTER
Rob Withrow was a good soldier until he got back from combat duty in Iraq.
Now by his own admission, he is no longer anyone's idea of a model fighting man. He screwed up, and he's screwed up -- an assessment the Army would agree with.
Mike Urban / P-I
U.S. Army soldier Rob Withrow, photographed among the yellow ribbons tied to the Freedom Bridge across Interstate 5 near Fort Lewis. Since his problems began, Withrow has been reduced in rank from sergeant to private.
But that's where their agreement ends.
Withrow wants mental health treatment. He has tried to commit suicide four times since returning from Iraq. He has been hospitalized in Madigan Army Medical Center's inpatient psychiatric unit on multiple occasions and is currently on a cocktail of antidepressants and psychoactive drugs. He is a month out of treatment for an addiction to narcotic pain pills that he began taking to "numb out" the month he returned from Iraq and he does not fit the Army's new criteria for deployment.
But now the Army wants to redeploy him to Iraq, and court- martial him over there.
The charges stem from his pattern of not showing up on time, or sometimes at all.
The shame is shared by everyone in this nation who believes sticking a removable magnet to the back of their vehicle is all that is needed to support those we send. It is remarkable that this is also the attitude they show to the wounded where their "support" is as removable as the magnet that leaves no trace when taken away. The traces they cannot see or feel because that is reserved for those who truly cared about them and for them.
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington