So we’re about as ready as we’ll ever be to share what we’re about to go do. In about two weeks, Jeff/abunagy and Andrew andrewwadenunn are returning to Iraq to provide desperately needed trauma medicine and stress resilience training to Iraqi and Kurdish journalists covering the ongoing civil war there. We will also be documenting these Journalists, as well as members of the Kurdish and Iraqi armed forces, and civilian populations.
As you may have heard, Jihadists from the Islamic State are attacking Kurds and Iraqi’s, taking over every city that they come across. For this reason, prices for transportation, lodging and security have been massively inflated. We need your support, so that we can do good things for good people, who simply want to live free, and continue our valuable research on trauma, stress, and resiliency.
Please share this as far and wide as possible, as every penny that we can gather will be of tremendous help. We will be airing live stream updates from the ground every few nights, as well as fielding questions about the current situation there for our top supporters. Please do not hesitate to contact Jeff or Andrew if you have any questions.
US Army Sergeant First Class Matthew I. Leggett. 20 AUG 2014.
Died in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered during an enemy attack. Leggett was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood officials have released the name of a Soldier who died Aug. 13 from an apparent gunshot wound in Killeen, Texas.
Sgt. Triston James Johnson, 23, whose home of record is listed as Houston, entered active duty service in October 2009 as a combat engineer. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, since November 2012.
Johnson deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn from April 2010 to March 2011.
Johnson’s awards and decorations include two Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medals, Iraq Campaign medals with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Medal.
Circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under investigation.
Every day, local journalists in Iraq put their lives on the line to cover events as they unfold. Within the past two weeks, two young Kurdish photographers we know personally have been injured or have received death threats. These courageous journalists do this without any preparedness training for medical trauma that might impact themselves or their colleagues.
Talking Eyes Media is facilitating a training for up to 20 local journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan this September. The workshop will be conducted by a trained military medic with three tours in Iraq, three Kurdish medical doctors, and several journalists with experience in hazardous environments—all volunteering their time and expertise. Participants will also receive potentially life saving First Aid kits.
The workshop and supplies can be achieved for less than $6000.
Please support this urgent need by making a donation here.
Veterans on Aug 10: It can be tough readjusting to civilian life.
Everyone: OH MY GOD YOU HAVE PTSD! YOU ARE GOING TO GO CRAZY AND KILL PEOPLE. I DON’T FEEL SAFE WITH YOU AROUND. WE SHOULD MAKE SURE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY GUNS. YOU DON;T GET ANY SYMPATHY BECAUSE THIS WAS…
In 2003 I lived on top of a mountain in Northern Iraq, outside of a town called As’Sherqat, on a patrol base which was the main entrance of an old Iraqi weapons depot. There was a tribe of Bedouin herders who lived in these beautiful tents in the valley below our patrol base. There were also Kurds who were living on our patrol base.
Our mission was to patrol MSR Tampa between Bayji and Mosul, so that’s what we did for the most part. There were also Blackwater contractors there who would blow up tons of weapons, bombs and ammo left over in the bunkers.
It was a quiet place most of the time. Nights and skies that you wouldn’t believe. A deep blue sky with stars I had never seen before. Mountains broke the skyline like black teeth of the earth, taking a bite out of the stars. In the valley you could see campfires around the Bedouin tents and a few stray lights far, far off in the distance. The silence was only interrupted by the sounds of yourself and maybe the wind. Brutally cold nights compared to the scorching days.
I didn’t interact with the locals as much as I wished I could. It was a complicated situation then. I was a Soldier, and the only healthcare provider for 68 other soldiers on that mountain, so I was very busy. I did get to interact with them occasionally as a healthcare provider, and even ate a feast with them as a guest once. I often wonder what ever happened to those Kurds and Bedouins.
With what is happening to the Yezidi and Kurdish people, I find myself remembering more and more how fucking amazingly beautiful those mountains are, and then the people.
And then regret. And then sadness.