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.
“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.
“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.
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.”
“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.”
Cristiano Ronaldo will not face rape charges in Nevada
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will not face any charges over an alleged rape in the US state of Nevada a decade ago, prosecutors said on Monday.
The Clark County District Attorney's Office said it had declined to prosecute the Portuguese star because it "cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt" that a sexual assault occurred.
Kathryn Mayorga, a former model, has claimed that Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star reached a financial settlement with her following the incident but has denied allegations of sexual assault.
‘They are lemmings’: Democratic strategist blasts Republicans as ‘the party of cowardice and complicity’
In a CNN panel Monday, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona unleashed on the way Republicans are continuing to give President Donald Trump a pass on his racist attacks on four congresswomen of color.
In a press availability, Trump told reporters that the four women are changing the Democratic Party, saying no one knows how to handle them.
After playing the tape, one of the panelists off-camera could be heard saying, "He's such a liar."
"It’s so insulting that he even talks about these four young women of color as 'people who need to be handled,'" Cardona said of Trump's casual misogyny. "They are elected members of Congress. They deserve respect. What I think really drives this president crazy is that they are young, and they are women of color, and that they are doing things that really take him off of his message. And they are also exposing what many of us have already known — that he is a racist, that he has taken a playbook out of the handbook of white supremacists telling them to 'send her back.' And then — then using that at his rallies and saying he doesn’t agree with it."
Georgetown Law professor: Top broadcaster ‘likely’ killed interview because Buttigieg is gay
A prominent Georgetown Law professor says Cumulus Media likely blocked an interview one of its country music station hosts had conducted with Pete Buttigieg from airing because the Democratic presidential candidate is gay.
After Huffpost reported that Blair Garner had been told by Cumulus Media he could not air any part of his interview with Buttigieg, Cumulus – the number three broadcaster in the nation of AM and FM radio stations – claimed the decision was based on the “equal time rule.”