Operation Recovery

The Fort Hood Testimony Report


Among other topics, the service-members and veterans on this page talked about their own thoughts of suicide, or the experience of losing others to suicide.

“(My Commander) said, in front of my counselor, with me in the room, ‘If you had not been drinking that night, you would never have been raped. It is your fault, because you were drinking.’…Nothing was done according to regulation..Honestly, it makes me realize why so many victims do not report.”

Read the full testimony of Rebekah Lampman, US Army veteran, Broadcast Journalist


“Prior to going, our unit was so low in numbers that we actually took soldiers into Afghanistan who were on crutches. We’re walking fifteen, twenty cliffs a day at 10,000 feet elevation through the mountains. The guy just got off crutches and you expect him to be able to do that?”

Read the full testimony of Chas Jacquier, US Army veteran, Military Police, NCO

“I wanted to tell my doctor, ‘These drugs don’t feel good. I don’t want to take these any more, but I don’t know if I can just stop. Or is this a normal feeling? Are the first few days always kind of crazy?’ And I can’t get ahold of him. I don’t have his number. I had to make an appointment for another month out.”

Read the full testimony of Ryan Holleran, US Army veteran, Infantry


“I was more or less told, especially when it came to smoking soldiers, and writing them up, to do everything I could to fuck them up without breaking their profile. Like, some people’s profiles say, ‘Run at own pace and distance.’ The Army takes that as, ‘You run until you fucking die.'”

Read the full testimony of Jim Frank*, US Army veteran, NCO


“The drinking made it worse, and worse. And then, it got so bad that I really couldn’t even do anything but sit there. Some nights I would just cry all night. It was horrible.”

Read the full testimony of Jake Leighton *, active duty US Army, Infantry


“My care began when I was in Iraq, after an incident where I pointed a weapon at somebody, and I had to go see a shrink. They had my weapon back in my hands within three days.”

Read the full testimony of Malachi Muncy, Army National Guard veteran, truck driver


“From the time I said, ‘I want to get out,’ until the time I got home to the VA, I didn’t get any treatment. Alls I got was drugs.”

Read the full testimony of Curtis Sirmans, US Army veteran, Cavalry Scout


“I had another doctor who just sat in on the weekends and he looked like he was high as a kite, and he looked at me flat-faced when I told him my story, and he said, ‘Well, honestly, I don’t think that the best psychologist would be able to help you. You’re essentially a hopeless case.'”

Read the full testimony of James Cleary *, active duty US Army, Chaplain’s assistant


“Seeing a psychiatrist? That was reasonably easy. You might have had to be on a waiting list, it might take a few weeks unless you were suicidal or homicidal at that moment. But, once you saw the psychiatrist, they gave you the whole cabinet full of pills and they sent you on your way, pretty much.”

Read the full testimony of Mark Simons *, Conscientious Objector


“Last week I got my rating from the VA finally, after two and a half years of being out of the military. They’re gonna finally rate me at 100%. I’ve been unemployed the entire time, just because of the disabilities I received in deployment.”

Read the full testimony of Devon Sawyer *, US Army veteran, Tanker


“We have to abandon this idea of machismo and become a more intelligent and capable military. Too many biases of individuals have spread throughout the ranks and affected many soldiers who need help.”

Read the full testimony of Max Diaz *, US Army veteran, Cavalry


“I just kind of snapped. And that’s when the red flags went up. It took something like that for people to realize that I was legitimately having issues. When before whenever I’d say, ‘Hey, I think I need to go talk to somebody,’ they’d be like, ‘Oh, don’t be stupid. It’ll ruin your career.'”

Read the full testimony of Ian Augusto *, active duty US Army, Tanker


“Whenever I used to have to go to sick call, I’d get that scornful look from NCOs. And the stigma never really stops. They would say, ‘Oh, he’s weak. Screw him, he’s weak. He’s trying to find an excuse, he’s trying to malinger.’ It didn’t stop me from getting help though, because at the end of the day, it’s my health.”

Read the full testimony of Jesse Bowe *, US Army veteran, seven years