News Release

Vets on Afghanistan War After Nine Years

RICK REYES, JACOB GEORGE, via Maggie Martin
ETHAN McCORD
ZACK CHOAT
Reyes, George, McCord and Choat are veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and are members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Martin is media coordinator for the group, which just put out a statement: “October 7 marks the nine-year anniversary of the Afghanistan war, the longest ongoing war in U.S. history. Pressure from fighting two wars has put enormous strain on U.S. troops, with multiple deployments leading to an explosion of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD makes service members six times more likely to commit suicide. Instead of being treated, troops are often redeployed to combat while still suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma. Officials recognize that suicides and violent crimes are on the rise, with four decorated combat vets killing themselves at Ft. Hood in one week.

“Afghanistan and Iraq veterans will meet at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and embark on a six-mile march to Capitol Hill to announce the launch of Iraq Veterans Against the War’s first veteran-led campaign — Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops. Service members will testify about their experiences being redeployed while traumatized.”

“I was denied treatment for the mental and physical wounds I sustained in battle, like so many others,” said McCord, a veteran whose unit was recorded in the “Collateral Murder” video distributed by Wikileaks. “IVAW’s campaign is critical for soldiers because we are asserting our right to heal. Now, the government has a choice — will it recognize our right to heal, or deny it?”

For more on the veteran march in D.C. on Thursday, see here.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167