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US Army Twitter question highlights toll of America’s wars

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Days ahead of an annual holiday when Americans remember those who died while serving in the armed forces, the US Army’s Twitter account asked people how their time in the military affected them and received an outpouring of grief.

The question drew some 10,000 replies since it was posted late last week — many of which were anonymous or included details that could not be independently confirmed, but which paint a harrowing picture of the toll America’s wars have taken on those who fought them.

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“OEF, OIF ptsd with chronic pain,” one Twitter user wrote, using the US military’s acronyms for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the abbreviation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The US launched the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and the Iraq war in 2003. The conflicts left thousands of American service members dead and many more wounded. US troops are still deployed in both countries to this day.

“My dad came back from fighting in Iraq and was abusive, constantly angry, paranoid, and following that went through a lot of therapy but his mental and physical health are still off and he was definitely changed through all he had been through,” another user wrote.

“My son served and did one tour of OEF, he made it back, re-enlisted, and shot himself in the head,” said another.

“The ‘Combat Cocktail’: PTSD, severe depression, anxiety. Isolation. Suicide attempts. Never ending rage. It cost me my relationship with my eldest son and my grandson. It cost some of my men so much more,” another Twitter user wrote.

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“How did serving impact me? Ask my family.”

Not all the replies were about the toll taken by combat.

“I was forced to resign my commission while serving in Kuwait during the first Gulf War because I am gay. I received an other than honorable discharge despite excellent performance reviews,” one man wrote.

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An other than honorable discharge is the most severe military administrative dismissal. It can follow a former soldier well into civilian life, leaving them ineligible for benefits and making it difficult to find work.

The Army thanked those who replied to its official account, saying: “Your stories are real, they matter, and they may help others in similar situations.”

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“As we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice this weekend by remembering their service, we are also mindful of the fact that we have to take care of those who came back home with scars we can’t see.”

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Giuliani can’t whine about ‘fair play’ when his boss is denying electoral fairness to the American people: columnist

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President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani has been raging against the impeachment investigation that came about, in large part, due to his own behavior. On Tuesday, he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal lamenting that the impeachment process is "unprecedented, constitutionally questionable, and an affront to American fair play."

As Danielle Allen wrote for the Washington Post on Wednesday, Giuliani wanting to talk about "fair play" is a rich proposition.

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Trump made a ‘huge mistake’ talking to reporters about impeachment: Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann

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One of former special counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors explained on MSNBC how President Donald Trump made a "huge mistake" on Wednesday.

Andrew Weissmann, who is now an MSNBC legal analyst, was interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press Daily."

The former federal prosecutor says Trump committed a blunder by denying a call with a Gordon Sondland staffer.

"Why is that?" Todd asked.

"Because he now can’t rebut it," Weissman replied.

"He has now said I don’t remember that phone call. So you’re going to have Sondland testifying to it. You’re going to have a staffer testifying to it," he explained. "If [Trump] doesn’t like their testimony, he’s going to have to say, 'Oh, now I remember that I didn’t say that.'"

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Republicans want Americans to believe Trump cared deeply — about something he never mentioned

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One of the main points made by Republicans during the House hearings on the impeachment claimed that President Donald Trump cared so deeply about corruption in Ukraine that he was holding back the funding. It wasn't bribery because it was all about legitimate foreign policy, according to Trump and the Republicans in Congress.

Their greatest problem is that Trump has never held back speaking out about something he cared for. As the Washington Post noted, the argument doesn't stand up.

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