The Iraq War – It’s Not Really Over


Mainstream television news has begun making a big show of the withdrawal of America’s “last combat troops” from Iraq, but the painful saga continues for our service members.  Many being show by local TV stations returning home to their tearful and joyous families in the coming days will ultimately be sent to serve more tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan and how many media outlets will raise the hard questions as to why or how?

In fact, members of two different units heading to Iraq and Afghanistan are calling on their commanders right now to halt their deployments because they are not physically or mentally ready to deploy.

Posted by: Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, GS-14, U.S. Civil Service-Retired, Veterans Issues Editor, Veterans Today News Network ON BEHALF OF Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)

Will WE stand with any Troops, Veterans, and Military Families that question or oppose continued deployments?

Readers, the collective WE need to understand the media spin that will be placed on the Iraq War and Pentagon Spin that will be placed on troops diagnosed with PTSD being deployable.

What excuses will the Pentagon use in order to be able to deploy back into war zones troops still having difficulty physically and mentally transitioning to civilian life at home here in America?

It is a READINESS Issue that the Pentagon does not want made PUBLIC!

At the same time mainstream media and the Pentagon paints a rosy picture of the successful end of the Iraq War, combat units are still being sent back to Iraq and Afghanistan, into the fray, with troops who are not physically or mentally ready to deploy. That readers is a readiness issue that both the Army and Marines are not going to be willing to admit publicly for it will stop the momentum of the Pentagon-Mainstream Media collaborative media blitz.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), and other Veteran, Military Family, and Peace Activist groups note that at least two different units heading to Iraq and Afghanistan are calling on their commanders right now to halt their deployments because they are not physically or mentally ready to deploy.

We at Veterans Today view this as only the tip of the iceberg as more units begin questioning the rationale of continued deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. We also foresee a Pentagon crackdown on troops, Military Families, but especially whole units questioning let alone opposing deployments to war zones our government and media paint as success stories or almost victories.

For Troops Remaining or Going to Iraq it WILL NOT BE DESK JOBS!

President Obama makes it sound like the troops remaining in Iraq [or en route] will be serving largely administrative and ‘advisory’ functions. But in reality, 50,000 “combat capable” troops will remain in Iraq to:

  • Train the Iraqi military, including accompanying them on dangerous patrols;
  • Support special forces operations in their continued hunt for terrorists; and
  • Provide air support to the Iraqi military (a.k.a overhead artillery and bombing).

In an Iraq which grows increasingly violent each month, does this sound like desk duty?

The 3rd ACR at Fort Hood1

Today, this Sunday, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) at Fort Hood will be shipped out to Iraq.  The military wives and family members of 3rd ACR soldiers say that hundreds of the 5,000 about to go to Iraq are suffering from PTSD and other ailments, and are not fit to deploy.  This week they demanded that those wounded warriors stay home.

IVAW’s Fort Hood chapter and Fort Hood’s military families are asking the civilian community to join their calls for the military to stop deploying traumatized troops.

Call 3rd ACR Commanders and tell them not to deploy soldiers who have PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury.

3rd ACR Commanders:
Regimental Commander – Col. Allen (254) 553-3526
Command Sgt. Major Jonathan J. Hunt (254) 287-0598

Call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and ask for whatever commander you’re ringing by name. If they won’t speak to you, leave them a message or call back. If you get anyone else’s ear, tell them to stop deploying soldiers who are medically unfit.  After you’ve made your call, send us an email at [email protected] to let us know you’ve called.

The 656th Transportation Company2

The 656th is an Army Reserve unit based in Indiana, made up of reservists from several mid-western states.  Is also due to deploy this weekend for Afghanistan, members within the unit have cited lack of training and mental health problems among the reasons they are not fit to go.  IVAW member, Alejandro Villatoro, a Sergeant in the Company, has raised concerns that they have not been trained on the weapons they will be using, and do not know how to operate the vehicles they will have to drive, once in Afghanistan.  There are also serious mental health issues among some of the troops set to deploy.

After Alejandro first exposed this crisis, others in the unit also came forward.  They are now pushing for a Congressional inquiry into their unit’s readiness.  We will keep you posted next week with steps you can take to support their efforts.  For a full explanation of the situation facing the 656th, click here.

Members of IVAW who serve at Fort Hood and in the 656th Transportation Company are counting on your support.

In Solidarity,

Iraq Veterans Against the War

1“Third Armored Cavalry Regiment Prepares for Iraq”, Killeen Daily Herald, August 5, 2010

2“Army Weak: Soldiers Expose Deployment of Unprepared Troops,” Common, August 11, 2010

Below Link added by Veterans Today News Network

3 “Last of the Combat Troops Leaving Iraq? – Only in your Dreams”

Author Details
Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I’ve posted on Veterans Today, I’ve had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I’ve been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I’m now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.
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