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Mar-12-2012 17:00printcomments

PTSD Psychotic Soldier Kills Afghan Civilians

Army superiors should have seen this coming. Will they see the next one?

soldiers in Afghanistan
Photo by Tim King, Afghanistan. Salem-News.com

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - This terrible psychotic act was/is predictable and the soldier involved needs to be in a psychiatric facility as soon as possible. The “system” which put him there for his fourth deployment, the first three in Iraq, is to blame. His immediate superiors, Sergeants and officers at the least should get a reprimand, but better, fines and probable discharges for dereliction of duty which this certainly is.

The Army trained this soldier to be a killer with a hair trigger and behold—what has happened—he snapped. There will most likely be more of these occurrences- a lot of soldiers serving today fit his same profile. They have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and it is not being dealt with.

To say that this was an unprovoked killing is far from fact. He may have believed he was killing his “enemies”. Maybe he was on a suicide mission. I wouldn’t even have been surprised if, like in some historical instances, he had instead shot his immediate superiors for repeatedly placing him in such dangerous situations. While in Iraq, before arriving in Afghanistan, he apparently suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), yet he was re-enlisted and put back in another war.

All around him, perhaps he perceived Afghans killing American soldiers with impunity. Regardless of his ability to be rational, this Sergeant had more than he could take. This was not an “intentional act” as stated by Afghan President Karzai. He went psychotic.

In my war, WWII, when a Nazi death camp was liberated the boys went berserk after seeing literally thousands of dead and rotting bodies, many stacked like cord wood in railroad cars. When the “brass” showed up, they decided not to let the frontline combat troops see these atrocities. They were dead right. We would probably have started shooting Germans randomly. When a battle-worn soldier is angry, any foreseen enemy is a fair game target. It is a volatile situation at best.

I am reminded that especially in Vietnam many civilians were killed wantonly by fed-up soldiers with orders to do so by their officers. About 200 sergeants and officers were killed by their own men in Vietnam who saw them as the real enemy, true or not. That is certainly not the case here, as it appears this civilian massacre was instigated by the one soldier, but what was the tipping point?

The recent Afghan killings are not seen by the Afghans as accidental, and many have made every American in uniform or not, a logical enemy. This puts all of our soldiers at extreme risk, and chills running down their spines because they know they are targets.

The unfortunate burning of the Korans and the cold blooded assassinations which followed are just a false affirmation to the unstable mind that all Afghans are a lethal enemy. This psychotic soldier in his disturbed psyche may have believed he was only protecting himself and his fellow soldiers.

In the meantime, this sergeant is not responsible for his actions, but his immediate superiors certainly are. If he had killed people in battle, he would probably get a Bronze Star, but his officer would get a Silver Star for having a real gung-ho under his direction. Is that why they didn’t get him help?

There will be no medals today.

SOMEBODY PLEASE PROTECT OUR TROOPS!

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ananymous March 13, 2012 5:40 pm (Pacific time)

A very sad incident. To blame is the military which deployed a head- injured soldier to duty.

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