“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?”
Among other topics, the service-members and veterans on this page testified to the effect of the military drawdown and the Army’s subsequent push to discharge and discipline soldiers at much higher rates.
“A couple of times, in the middle of the night the pain hit me so bad that I had to be escorted to the emergency room. I’m laying there crying. And they’re like, ‘Well, you’re in the Med Board process, we can’t give you anything.'”
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, something is not right.’ He sounded like a whole different person. My friend was there, and I sort of dropped the phone to her and said, ‘Hold on, I need to get some fresh air.’ It was that drastic of a difference.”
“There is a schoolhouse about a block and a half away. And on Sundays during the school year they’ll test their fire alarm. If my wife is asleep when that sound goes off, she is hearing an alarm for incoming rounds. And I can’t count the number of times she’s thrown herself over me trying to protect me from some round that is forever incoming.”
“One of my very, very close friends was raped by someone in our barracks. And they kept him in the barracks. They didn’t send him to jail. They didn’t do anything like that. They kept him in the barracks. So every time she saw him in the barracks she’d just freeze, and I’d be like, ‘What’s wrong?’ And then I’d look around, and be like, ‘Oh.’ ”
“I just decided to pay out of my own pocket to see a neurologist at Central Texas Neurology. I explained to him my situation—that there wasn’t much being done to help me or to evaluate me. The Army can say that they tried to help me by putting me through physical therapy, but they didn’t help me. You can’t put somebody through physical therapy without identifying the problem.”
“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.”