Why would anyone want to recreate the Vietnam War?

The new documentary “In Country” follows a group of men — some who are veterans of Vietnam, others, from Iraq —  who are dedicated to doing just that.

Learn more about the film on our website.

“If the bad guys arrest you, there’s no question that they will behead you.”
Why are thousands of military translators left behind in Afghanistan?

“If the bad guys arrest you, there’s no question that they will behead you.”

Why are thousands of military translators left behind in Afghanistan?

Julie Carpenter, a Ph.D. in education at the University of Washington interviewed 23 explosive ordinance personnel who regularly use robots on the job.
“They would say they were angry when a robot became disabled because it is an important tool, but then they would add ‘poor little guy,’ or they’d say they had a funeral for it,” Carpenter said.

She found that the soldiers often assigned robots human attributes such as genders and names, and even displayed a kind of empathy toward the machines. 

Julie Carpenter, a Ph.D. in education at the University of Washington interviewed 23 explosive ordinance personnel who regularly use robots on the job.

They would say they were angry when a robot became disabled because it is an important tool, but then they would add ‘poor little guy,’ or they’d say they had a funeral for it,” Carpenter said.

She found that the soldiers often assigned robots human attributes such as genders and names, and even displayed a kind of empathy toward the machines. 

"I’m really struggling here. I’m having a hard time getting out of bed, I’m having a hard time sleeping because this one incident that I have relived through investigation, it’s never died in my mind. I go to sleep and I think about this, everything reminds me about it."

-Former Airman 1st Class Jessica Hinves grew up in a military family. When she turned 25, she left her job at a vineyard in east Texas and acted on her sense of duty to serve. She joined the Air Force and she had every intention of having a lifelong military career.

But two days before completing a round of training, she says she was raped by a fellow airman. To her surprise, her case was never brought to court. Her career was cut short due to the post traumatic stress disorder that followed her ordeal.

Learn more about her story here.

Tags: PTSD military

Almost one million veterans are waiting for their benefit claims to be processed, according to an investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting. One regional office in North Carolina was so overrun with claims folders that the sheer weight of their content exceeded the load-bearing capacity of the building itself.

These photos were included in a 2012 report from the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. To see more photos and learn more about the backlog, go here.

Nearly 250,000 veterans wait more than a year for their medical claims to wind through the Veterans Administration before receiving their earned benefits, according to an investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting. 
Watch the interviews with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and three vets about the benefits backlog here.

Nearly 250,000 veterans wait more than a year for their medical claims to wind through the Veterans Administration before receiving their earned benefits, according to an investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Watch the interviews with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and three vets about the benefits backlog here.

"I reported it twice to my squad leader, and he told me there was nothing he could do about it since there was no proof."-Tandy Fink, U.S. Army, on her attempt to report rape while serving in the military.

The soaring rate of sexual assault within the ranks of the U.S. Military has been the subject of studies and a congressional hearing. Oscar-nominated director Kirby Dick explores the topic in his new documentary, “The Invisible War,” nominated for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Academy Awards. Watch Jeffrey Brown’s interview with Dick above and learn more here.

More U.S. Troops Died by Suicide Than in Afghanistan Combat in 2012

After a decade of war, more servicepeople died by their own hand last year than were killed in action with the enemy. Watch Ray Suarez’s interview with Dr. psychiatrist and retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis; interview highlights below.

Q: Why now? Why is the suicide rate going up when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been winding down?

A: We have seen this before. We saw it 20 years ago in the first Gulf War. We even in some ways saw it after Vietnam. I mean, the issues of medical health, of personal stress, of family stress, in fact, go up after the actual fighting has stopped and the soldiers redeploy, they’re back in garrison, because the force is still under a lot of stress.

And we find now, in fact, that the military is about to get into this phase of downsizing. Probably 100,000 or so Army soldiers and Marines will be leaving the military. There are going to be budget cuts. And all these things are putting great burden on the leadership and great burden on the soldiers on the front lines.

And that accumulates and builds, and it ends up that you have got that group that, in fact, will have — will commit suicide as their expression of that stress.

Q: If someone reports they are having trouble, are they given long-term treatment, or are they removed from the service first?

A: Well, both. Interestingly, and sadly, over half the people who commit suicide have already seen mental health clinicians…These are tough problems. The soldiers have…really been affected by a number different stresses.

It’s not just the emotional stress of combat and seeing their fellow soldiers killed and maimed. They have been exposed to IED blasts, have concussions. Their sleep patterns are very disturbed, which causes in of itself some sort of psychiatric and psychological difficulties.

They’re exposed to toxins. They come home to family situations. And they’re young people. And young people have a lot of ups and downs. So there’s lots of different factors here. And no one is the real particular cause for these suicides.

Q: So, what should we be on the lookout for? Is there any way that’s reliable to keep an eye on people who may be in real trouble when they come back from active duty?

A: There’s not one real technique or tactic you can use. What we should recognize is that this is an epidemic, in the sense that it’s across the Army. The whole Army has been — and Marine Corps and the other services under — have been a lot of stress. And the focus, I think, is on changing the culture and making and bringing the spotlight on to the individual and everyone being concerned for the kinds of stresses that they’re showing and that may lead to the various problems.

I mean, there are problems with misconduct, with family abuse, with drug and alcohol abuse, with sexual assaults. There’s all sorts of things that really end up being the signals of these 10 years of war and stress on the individuals.”

Related:
Transcript
Video: The Wilderness After War — Living with PTSD 

"I think it’s important for us as Americans and for the military to recognize that these dogs are forced to perform duties that most people wouldn’t choose to perform," she said. "The only people who truly, truly know what they give us are their handlers and the soldiers who work with them."
(Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Image)

"I think it’s important for us as Americans and for the military to recognize that these dogs are forced to perform duties that most people wouldn’t choose to perform," she said. "The only people who truly, truly know what they give us are their handlers and the soldiers who work with them."

(Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Image)

Dogs and soldiers from the Indonesian Army special forces group Kopassus drop from a helicopter during a joint anti-terror drill in Jakarta on Oct. 27. The drill took place before Indonesia hosted the Southeast Asian Games and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in November.

Dogs and soldiers from the Indonesian Army special forces group Kopassus drop from a helicopter during a joint anti-terror drill in Jakarta on Oct. 27. The drill took place before Indonesia hosted the Southeast Asian Games and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in November.

Tags: dogs military