More U.S. troops move into Iraq

As violence escalates, top commander moves brigade from Kuwait to Anbar province, a hotbed for insurgent attacks.

Marines Haunted By Killings In Haditha
HANFORD, Calif. — Two Marines were severely traumatized after following orders to photograph corpses of unarmed Iraqi civilians whom members of their unit are suspected of killing, their families said Monday.

The parents of Lance Cpl. Andrew Wright, 20, and Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan Briones, 21, both members of a Marine unit based at Camp Pendleton, said their sons were sent into the western Iraqi city of Haditha to help remove the bodies of as many as two dozen men, women and children who were shot.

While there, the two were ordered to photograph the scene with personal cameras they happened to be carrying the day of the attack, the families told The Associated Press in separate interviews. Briones’ mother, Susie, said her son told her that he saw the bodies of 23 dead Iraqis that day.

The Iraq War-On Drugs
Wounded U.S. soldiers are being patched up and returned to battle before they are healed. The wounds in this case are to the psyche, caused by the trauma and horror that are as integral to war as guns and death.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, when ‘suck it up’ fails to snap a soldier out of depression or panic, the Army turns to drugs. ‘Soldiers I talked to were receiving bags of antidepressants and sleeping meds in Iraq, but not the trauma care they needed,’ says Steve Robinson, a Defense Department intelligence analyst during the Clinton administration.

Sometimes sleeping pills, antidepressants and tranquilizers are prescribed by qualified personnel. Sometimes not. Sgt. Georg Anderas Pogany told Salon that after he broke down in Iraq, his team sergeant told him ‘to pull himself together, gave him two Ambien, a prescription sleep aid, and ordered him to sleep.’

Other soldiers self-medicate. ‘We were so junked out on Valium, we had no emotions anymore,’ Iraq vet John Crawford told ‘Fresh Air’ host Terry Gross. He and others in his unit in Iraq became addicted to Valium.

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