Bronze Star for Valor Cop Bullet for Death

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Jeremiah Wilson Pulaski, 24, of Glendale was shot to death after several rounds were exchanged between him and the officer

by Chaplain Kathie

 

PD: Suspect opens fire on Glendale officer, shot and killed was the way the news first came out. Then came news the “suspect” was a veteran.  Then news came out that Spc. Pulaski had PTSD plus a story to tell beyond how his life ended.

Jeremiah Wilson Pulaski, 24, of Glendale was shot to death after several rounds were exchanged between him and the officer

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another PTSD Veteran killed by police after shootout

Friends: Man Killed by Police Officer Struggled With PTSD
Suspect shot man outside of bar

Published : Sunday, 27 Mar 2011

A man killed in a shootout with a Glendale police officer in the west valley early Saturday morning was apparently struggling with post traumatic stress disorder. Jeremiah Wilson Pulaski, 24, of Glendale was shot to death after several rounds were exchanged between him and the officer.  FOX 10 has learned that Pulaski was a military veteran who returned to the U.S. in January, and he was having a difficult time dealing with the stress from his deployment and return. Police said Pulaski had been involved in another shooting outside a Glendale restaurant just moments before he was stopped by the officer.(click link for more of this)  Read More >>>

We read the end of his story, but we didn’t know all of his story.

How many people read about the end of his life and thought he must have deserved it? Honestly? Had I not been so involved in tracking all of these reports for this long, I may have thought the same thing because it is so much easier to just figure this guy was a criminal and the world is better off without him walking around terrorizing civilians. But I know too many of their stories to ever think that way again.

A criminal hardly ever enters the military unless there is a lack of troops and a judge cuts them a deal. They are just too selfish to think of it on their own. A bad kid won’t go unless he is forced to by his parents. Pulaski, well, as we can see by what happened while he was deployed, he was no coward and he sure as hell was not selfish. He wouldn’t have been able to do all he did to receive the Bronze Star for Valor and a lot of his buddies made it back home because of him. When his life ended, especially the way it did, how many in his community treated him like the hero he was when he was laid to rest?

His family and friends, all the people he served with, are left to mourn the loss but beyond that loss, the way his life ended.

The officer, Sgt. April Arredondo, was not the only one left to cope after this.

Mother-in-law on Ride-Along During Glendale Police Shooting

by Lisa Halverstadt – Mar. 29, 2011 04:02 PM

The Arizona Republic
A Glendale police sergeant who fatally shot and killed an Afghanistan War veteran early Saturday was accompanied by her mother-in-law.  Patty Bird, 52, rode with Sgt. April Arredondo over the weekend because she wanted to better understand her daughter-in-law’s job, Glendale police said.  Just after 1:30 a.m., Arredondo stopped Jeremiah Pulaski, a 24-year-old Army veteran who police said shot another man outside a Glendale bar near 59th Avenue and Greenway Road.  Read More >>>

There are many stories we never know about until someone cares enough to tell us. The following article is one of the reporters out there caring enough to tell their stories. We send them, plain and simple, no matter how you feel about it, if you think it is right or wrong. It doesn’t matter if you think they shouldn’t go or not because they went, so even if the wars we send them to fight last “six days, six weeks or I doubt six months” in the words of Donald Rumsfeld, there are ramifications no matter how long they are gone. Physical wounds are only part of the story. Anguish is another, but then add in the stress on families, divorce, financial problems and everything else that goes with re-adjustment back into polite society, you’d have to be a fool to even begin to think the war is really over for any of them. Coming home after combat should never, ever be harder than combat itself but we lose more after combat than during it. We are not losing 18 a day in Afghanistan or Iraq. According to Icasualties.org there have been 149 killed this year in Afghanistan and 24 in Iraq. Almost six months of combat 173 killed. This is day 149 of this year meaning at least 2,682 veterans have taken their own lives so far. At least? Yes, because if the are not in the VA system with an approved rating, they are not counted by the VA. No one is counting them if they have been discharged by the DOD and not in the VA system.

When you put down the BBQ tools, put down the beer to remember the fallen tomorrow, think of all of the men and women not counted as war dead but died because of it anyway.

After Combat, the Unexpected Perils of Coming Home

by James Dao

Published: Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 5:10 a.m.

Pvt. Johnnie Stevenson cleaned his truck one last time, scraping off the barnacle-like mud and pulling crushed water bottles from under seats. But deployment to Afghanistan was almost over, and his thoughts drifted elsewhere. Was his pregnant fiancée ready to be a mother? Facebook provided so few clues. Nor could it answer him this: Was he ready to be a father?    Capt. Adrian Bonenberger made plans for his final patrol to Imam Sahib. But inside, he was sweating the details of a different mission: going home. Which soldiers would drive drunk, get into fights or struggle with emotional demons, he wondered. What would it take to keep them safe in America?   Sgt. Brian Keith boarded the plane home feeling a strange dread. His wife wanted a divorce and had moved away, taking their son and most of their bank account with her. At the end of his flight lay an empty apartment and the blank slate of a new life.

“A lot of people were excited about coming home,” Sergeant Keith said. “Me, I just sat there and I wondered: What am I coming back to?”   For a year, they had navigated minefields and ducked bullets, endured tedium inside barbed-wired outposts and stitched together the frayed seams of long-distance relationships. One would think that going home would be the easiest thing troops could do.   But it is not so simple. The final weeks in a war zone are often the most dangerous, as weary troops get sloppy or unfocused. Once they arrive home, alcohol abuse, traffic accidents and other measures of mayhem typically rise as they blow off steam.

Weeks later, as the joy of return subsides, deep-seated emotional or psychological problems can begin to show. The sleeplessness, anxiety and irritability of post-traumatic stress disorder, for instance, often take months to emerge as combat veterans confront the tensions of home and the recurring memories of war.
read more here.   Read More >>>

I urge you to read the whole article. 

How can anyone in their right mind expect them to just come home and go back to the way they were before?

(from the above article)

Three weeks later, Specialist Jeremiah Pulaski, who had returned from Afghanistan in February, was shot and killed by a police officer after he shot and wounded a man outside a bar in Arizona. He was 24.

Specialist Pulaski was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor for dashing across an open field during an ambush in December, drawing enemy fire away from his platoon. Later that same day, he killed several insurgents as they were trying to ambush his unit near a village called Haruti.

Captain Bonenberger, Specialist Pulaski’s company commander, said the soldier saved his life twice that day — and it gnawed at him that he had been unable to return the favor.

“When he was in trouble, he was alone,” Captain Bonenberger said. “When we were in trouble, he was there for us. I know it’s not rational or reasonable. There’s nothing logical about it. But I feel responsible.”

So what if we finally made sure none of them came home without everything they needed to heal from where they’ve been and what they’ve done? Do we spend a lot of money to train them to go? Training them to use their weapons and strengthen their bodies? So why don’t we feel the same need to spend whatever it takes to help them come back home all the way?

UPDATE
I was reading the story of Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and how he saved the lives of his men. Then I got really sad wondering if Spc. Pulaski had lived, if he would have ended up with a Medal of Honor too or not. He drew fire from the enemy by running across a field and then, then he killed several insurgents, saving more lives while putting his own life on the line. It takes a long time for these heroes to end up getting the Medal of Honor, so what if he was still alive? Would he end up with it too?

Did he draw his gun? Yes. After coming home from combat, do you think if he wanted this other man dead, he would have been killed?

Police said that about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Jeremiah Wilson Pulaski and a friend left Tony’s Cocktail Lounge near 59th Avenue and Greenway Road. A man approached them and the conversation turned hostile. Pulaski drew a handgun and shot the man, who did not suffer life-threatening injuries, police said.

Read more: Man killed in Glendale police shooting was war veteran

We should not forget the man was shot but we cannot forget that Pulaski was trained to kill but didn’t. We should not forget that he was also a hero in combat and put his life on the line more than once but men like him don’t get honors. Men like him end up not getting what they need to heal from all they were willing to do for the sake of someone else.

Wounded Ranger to be awarded Medal of Honor
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will be the second living Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

When Petry and Robinson entered the courtyard and crossed an open area, an enemy fighter opened fire. A bullet went through both of Petry’s legs. Robinson was hit in his side plate by another round.

Petry led Robinson to cover behind a chicken coop while the enemy continued to fire. Petry reported that they had made contact and that he and Robinson were wounded.

Sgt. Daniel Higgins, a team leader at the building, moved to the outer courtyard to help his fellow Rangers.

As Higgins evaluated the two wounded soldiers, an enemy fighter threw a grenade that landed about 10 meters away from the three soldiers. The explosion knocked them to the ground and wounded Higgins and Robinson. Two more Rangers, Staff Sgt. James Roberts and Spc. Christopher Gathercole, entered the courtyard and moved to help.

The enemy threw yet another grenade. This time, it landed just a few feet from Higgins and Robinson.

Petry, despite his own wounds and with complete disregard for his own safety, moved toward the grenade, grabbed it and threw it away from his fellow Rangers, according to the Army.

The grenade detonated as Petry released it to throw it back at the enemy. His right hand was catastrophically amputated.

Petry remained calm and even placed a tourniquet on his own arm and reported his injury over the radio.

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