Ten years ago tomorrow, the US invaded Iraq. The human cost to American veterans and their families – and the many Iraqis now desperate to leave a ruined country.
In 2003, Saddam Hussein was said to have “weapons of mass destruction.” There were hints he was tied to September 11. Eighty percent of Americans supported the US invasion. Ten years later, 58 percent say it was not worth years of unexpected combat, more than $2 trillion— and the deaths of 4500 Americans and 100,000 Iraqis. Marcos Soltero always wanted to be a Marine, and enlisted when he was 17 — two months after the Twin Towers collapsed in 2001. Linda Johnson watched both her husband and her youngest son go to war. Tomorrow, we’ll look at why the war is so widely perceived to have gone wrong. Today, we focus on the human consequences: veterans and families coping with injured brains and bodies. Was there ever a real welcome home?
Steve Vogel: Washington Post, @steve_vogel
Elspeth Cameron Ritchie: former Army psychiatrist
Stacy Bare: Iraq War veteran
Matt Gallagher: Iraqi veteran, @MattGallagher83
2012 VA report on vets who die by suicide
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on timely access to high-quality care
Vogel on Army ordering reforms for mental health care treatment
Ritchie on the Army task force report on behavioral health
Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors Program
Gallagher’s ‘Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War’
Johnson’s ‘To Be a Friend Is Fatal: A Story from the Aftermath of America at War’
The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies