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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.

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.

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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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Economist mocks GOP for trying to pin racism on Democrats — after telling a harrowing story about anti-black economic envy

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Economist Julianne Malveaux explained to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that there was a time in the United States where black Americans were actually closing the wealth gap with white Americans -- until white Americans rioted and burned their property.

During her testimony at a hearing on reparations, Malveaux recounted the horrific story of the destruction of "Black Wall Street," which was a location in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was known for its high concentration of black-owned businesses and black wealth.

The area's prosperity came to an end in 1921 when white Tulsa residents used baseless accusation of a black man sexually assaulting a white woman as a justification to chase out all black residents and set fire to their neighborhoods. Hundreds of black residents were killed in the riots and the majority fled the city.

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MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle unloads on Democrats for letting Hope Hicks testify behind closed doors

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MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle questioned the purpose of Wednesday’s hearing with former White House director of communications Hope Hicks.

Hope Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee -- where she reportedly refused to answer many questions.

“Let’s be honest, why did Democrats think this was a huge break? Why did they think that Hope Hicks was going to sing like a bird?” Ruhle asked MSNBC national security analyst Ken Dilanian.

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Cory Booker rips Biden for praising racist senators: ‘You don’t joke about calling black men boys’

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) blasted Joe Biden for praising two segregationist senators he'd served with as a lawmaker.

The former vice president and current Democratic presidential frontrunner reminisced about his relationship with Mississippi Democrat James Eastland and Georgia Democrat Herman Talmadge, two notoriously racist senators during the Civil Rights era, reported The Hill.

“At least there was some civility, we got things done," Biden said, recalling that Eastland had never called him "boy." "We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done, we got it finished."

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