Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Douglas Barber: "Iraq Took Away Our Innocence!"

Douglas Barber spent a year in Iraq. Now that he is back from Iraq, he finds himself, like so many other veterans from this war, and the wars of the past, that the biggest fight of his life is now ahead of him—and it’s against the very government that sent him to Iraq, and the grossly underfnded V.A. that is not there for Douglas or the others coming back from Iraq imbued with combat related PTSD. The greater the lies that lead to war, the worse the mental health will be for those who are sent to do the fighting. This nation has learned nothing from its past other than how to lie, and cover the lies up better by tight control over the release of real information by a compliant media. Below is a recent post on Doug's blog, http://soldierfortrhth.blogspot.com/ and right below that is an interview with Douglas by Jay Shaft, which is a must read. -- Jack

Conservative talk show hosts and their stupity towards the troops

I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and many other conservative talk show hosts and it is clear to me that all these guys want to do is run their mouths about things they have no clue about regarding the war in Iraq.

These guys call American Soldiers cowards that speak out against the war after they have served their country honorably and seen the devastation of war first hand such, as my self.

I am an Iraqi Veteran and have recently spoken with Jay Shaft in an interview regarding my experience in Iraq. Jay Shaft is a investigative editor for the “Coalition For Free Thought in Media” who may be contacted at: coalitionforfreethoughtinmeadi@yahoo.com

He conducted an hour long interview with me which is available in text format, and audio as well, for all who want to read it. Just e-mail Jay and request the following interview and he will send it to you Iraq Took Away Our innocence.

These commentators don't know what it is like to pick up a weapon and fight an enemy that wants to kill you just because you represent freedom to the rest of the world. These commentators claim to be experts on Iraq and war; however, all they are are mouth pieces for the Bush Administration. I have a really good term for these wacko's on the radio and that is they are called by me BUSH BOOT LICKERS.

We as Amerikans need to stand up to these wacko's on the radio and challenge them to understand the truth from the soldiers point of view and their families. After all the soldiers are the ones spilling their blood and sacrificing so these idiots on the radio can flap their gums. Rush, Sean, Michael and every other commentator are getting rich off the war as they act on behalf of the Bush Administration.

Those of us soldiers who have fought this war in Iraq come home and wonder way these guys attack us who have sacrificed after we say enough is enough. Bring the Troops home and lets stop the blood shed.

Why dosen’t the Government and these commentators want the Amerikan population to see flag draped coffins or see the damage an IED has caused a soldier? Are they afraid it might cause a serious back lash from the Amerikan population? Are they afraid that bringing this to light might cause Bush's approval rating to drop even further?

The support for the soldiers should not stop when they get back to the states--if anything the support for the troops should be stronger. After all they will have many more issues such as financial, mental, physical, and marital problems.

Amerika says they support the soldiers by waving these magnetic ribbons but who has actually taken a soldier in and helped them get back on their feet?My name is Douglas Barber and I served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004 with the 1485th Transportation Company out of Dover Ohio. We were stationed at LSA Anaconda in the middle of the Sunni Triangle and every day was a nightmare for us. The insurgents would fire mortar rounds at us and we had know way of knowing where they would land. All we could do was sit and pray they were not coming at us.

A real man would step out from behind his microphone and walk a mile in a soldiers shoes. However all these commentators can do is be arm chair quarter backs and flap their gums.

I can be contacted at the following e-mail address--douglasbarber1@yahoo.com

Jay Shaft’s Interview with Douglas Barber:

“Iraq took away our innocence!”

Interview with Spc. Douglas Barber- OIF Vet suffering from PTSD

Interview conducted by Jay Shaft, Editor and Lead Investigative Reporter for Coalition For Free Thought In Media

“When we left America we were so much, uh, we were innocent, you know? I would say Iraq took away our innocence as far as what we seen, what we went through. What we had to do and the things that we were prepared to have to do in order to maintain our security and our level of protection, uh, force protection with our unit.”

I would like to introduce America to Specialist Douglas Barber. Doug went to Iraq in April of 2003 and did not come home until January 2004. Since he has been home he has lost everything both financially and spiritually. He has lost six jobs, an eleven year marriage and is in extremely dire financial straights. He is balancing on the edge of complete bankruptcy and is in the process of selling a lot of his material possessions just to stay a few steps ahead of the bill collectors.

He is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and related depression and anxiety, with a whole host of coping and personal relations issues. Up till this point he has had extreme difficulty getting both treatment and access to disability benefits that he is supposed to be entitled to as a veteran of combat in a foreign country. He is currently living on $329 a month and cannot afford basic necessities of life like utilities, medication, food, or other things most people take for granted. He is faced with the looming possibility that he will lose his home and have to find somewhere else to live on a very meager income.

He words will describe how it is for many of the National Guard and Reserve soldiers who have served over in Iraq, sometimes for a second or third deployment of a year or more. At least 100,000 Reserve and National Guard soldiers have now been redeployed or reactivated for a second or even a third deployment and combat tour in Iraq. By the end of 2006 at least 200,000 US soldiers will have served at least two combat tours in less than four years. There are going to be literally hundreds of thousands of soldiers suffering from long range mental and physical trauma and related complications.

By all reports the VA will not be able to handle the overflow of patients as the flood of new cases is already straining the existing programs to their limits.

Over the next few weeks I will be releasing 20-30 full length interviews with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who are either being treated for PTSD or injuries, or having difficulty getting treatment and counseling. Many of them are finding waits of six months to a year for treatment or services is all too common and increasingly the norm, not the exception. I am also releasing about 30 letters and stories from soldiers who are going through hell after coming home from Iraq or Afghanistan.

In addition I will have letters, interviews, and first hand accounts from VA doctors, nurses, staffers and volunteers about what is going on behind the walls of the hospitals and VA centers. I am publishing several first hand reports from workers who deal with the returning injuries and cases of PTSD on a daily basis. The first letter will be released on Tuesday of next week, along with an interview with a Jack Smith, a veteran who volunteers at VA hospitals and visits the soldiers in the wards. Jack has a very power description of what it is like going in and visiting the soldiers with the most traumatic injuries and psychological problems.

I urge every American to take one day out of their lives and visit a VA hospital in their area for eight hours. Take a look for yourself what is really going on when a soldier comes back home wounded and broken. It should be the duty of every American to see firsthand what this war has done to our troops. The true cost of this war on the returning soldiers must be experienced on a first hand basis to truly comprehend the grim and terrible reality. I can promise that if you go to one of the VA hospitals, your whole outlook and perspective will be forever changed. The sight of the suffering combined with overwhelming desire to recover and move on is something that is truly overpowering. I can guarantee the sights and sounds from a visit to a ward with seriously injured soldiers will leave you speechless with the over whelming reality of the scenes that the public does not ever see.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a transcript of an hour-long interview and two 25-minute follow up interviews. The audio will be available in the next few days on several web sites. This interview is very long, but the reality and starkness of it could not be edited just to fit in to a smaller, more easily read article. I felt the entire interview must be available, even if it takes two or three reads to get all the way through. If you read this interview to the end you will understand the enormity of the issues covered. Many of the upcoming interviews will not as long, but this one had to be given its full range and length for complete understanding of the overall issues.

Anyone who wants a copy of part two and three of the interview may e-mail for a copy. The files are 5.5 Mega Bytes but if you have Yahoo mail, your inbox can easily hold it. I will have compressed 2.5MB MP3 files available after Monday. A copy of the two audio files and additional audio of other interviews are available to any group, organization, or individual who wishes to utilize it for public use, education, research or information.

The initial background interview was conducted on November 22, 2005, followed by the full length interview with two follow-up segments done on November 23, 2005.

Additionally I spoke with Doug over the next several days about the ongoing issues and debates of immediate withdrawal and staying the course being played out until late yesterday, when I released this interview. I will be releasing a print transcription of the two follow up segments, and three additional interviews after Bush delivered several more speeches over the last week.

Doug has some very strongly stated opinions on the overall attitudes in America right now. He gives some very harsh commentary on the ongoing deaths and injury. I spoke to him on the day the death toll hit 2100, and again over the last week at the death toll and injuries skyrocketed. He has some very frank and pained words about watching more soldiers die and bleed in Iraq.

Read Jay’s Full Interview With Douglas Barber Here This is a Must Read


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