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CNN: Bombs slowly destroys soldiers brain; he commits suicide

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Nearly three years after a mortar blast in Iraq, Retired Army Reserve Lt. Col. Raymond Trejo Rivas, 53, of New Braunfels was buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. Rivas committed suicide after struggling with multiple traumatic brain injuries that had been repeatedly misdiagnosed.

Rivas was sent back to the battlefield after each bomb blast until doctors realized that his brain was slowyly being destroyed. After a 2006 mortar blast in Iraq, he was sent home for good. At Walter Reed Medical Center, the full extent of his brain injuries seemed to allude doctors.

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Rivas couldn’t do simple things like getting dressed and feeding himself. In written testimony to Congress, Rivas said even when he was sent to Brooke Army Medical Center he was pretty much on his own for two to three months. When the military finally assigned a case worker, Rivas received massive amounts of therapy. Although he seemed to be improving, he was found dead in his car on April 15th of an apparent suicide.

Colleen Rivas said her husband was devoted to serving his country. “He always put duty and his country first,” she said. But after sustaining eight concussions he changed dramatically.

“He was like two different people…” she said. “When he came back (from Iraq), we had to re-teach him everything … He wrote like a second grader … He couldn’t add or subtract. He had to relearn so much.”

“This was a man with a master’s degree in engineering,” Brian said.

Doctors told Colleen her husband would be in a nursing home by 2011. His death came as a shock, she said.

This video is from CNN’s Situation Room, broadcast July 28, 2009.



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2020 Election

Cory Booker planning to suspend his campaign if his fundraising does not improve: report

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On Saturday, NBC News reported that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has released a campaign memo indicating he will exit the Democratic presidential primary if he is unable to raise millions of dollars within days.

"Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward," wrote campaign manager Addisu Demissie in the memo to staff ersand supporters. "The next 10 days will determine whether Cory Booker can stay in this race."

The memo added that it is likely that only four candidates presently have enough money to stay in the race for the long haul. These candidates are likely former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who report the largest fundraising hauls.

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The new Rambo movie is essentially a MAGA fever dream of bigotry

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"Rambo: Last Blood," the latest in the long-running franchise about a traumatized war veteran (Sylvester Stallone) turned on-demand badass, is less an escapist action movie and more a dramatized manifestation of the most notorious sentences from Donald Trump's presidential campaign announcement speech: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." Even for a series that has always been shaped by a right wing worldview, the only reason for this latest sequel to exist — besides generating profits from die-hard Stallone fans — is to validate MAGA-world bigotries about Mexicans.This article first appeared in Salon.

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University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to provide free tuition for students with household incomes under $75,000

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The tuition assistance program is expected to cover tuition and fees for about half of UTRGV students in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Beginning in the next academic year, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will provide free tuition and cover mandatory fees for qualifying students with household incomes under $75,000, the university announced Monday.

The UTRGV Tuition Advantage program is expected to alleviate tuition costs for more than half of the university's 21,459 undergraduate students, UTRGV President Guy Bailey said in the release. Funding will be available to incoming, returning and transfer in-state undergraduate students.

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