Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for February, 2012

A Marine’s Suicide And A Family’s Fight For Compensation

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 28, 2012

“Danelle will say her husband died of a battle wound, it just took him 2-and-a-half-years to die.”

Here and Now Boston  February 28, 2012

There is no doubt the U.S. military has beefed up its suicide prevention efforts in recent years, adding mental health staff to deal with the huge influx of returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan but the suicides continue–an astonishing 18 veterans killed themselves each day, according to a recent Washington Post article.

The piece was written by the paper’s military reporter Greg Jaffe and it centers on the 2010 death of a former Marine, Maj. Jeff Hack, who killed himself more than two years after he left the military.

As Jaffe writes, Hackett was a standout Marine, plucked from the enlisted ranks to become an officer. But serving in Iraq, when 13 men under his command were killed, turned him on himself. After his first tour, he tried to retire early, but the Marines said “no” and sent him back for that second tour.

Once he came home for good, what happened will sound familiar to the families of other returning vets with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Heavy drinking, erratic behavior, and finally suicide in an America legion hall in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

What happened after Hackett’s death is really the subject of Greg Jaffe’s story, because while the Veterans Administration acknowledges Maj. Jeff Hackett died as a result of chronic PTSD connected to his Iraq experience, it still denied his widow Danelle a $400,000 life insurance claim.

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, PTSD and TBI, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Former Navy First Class Petty Officer, Civilian Contractor Paul Terrell, Quietly Murdered in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 24, 2012

Editors Note:  A murder would be covered under the DBA, a suicide would not ….

Vicki Terrell  Comment left on November 7, 2010

I know for a fact the the CID in Afghanistan do not investigate all of the cases!

My husband, Paul A. Terrell, was murdered on base at Camp Phoenix on June 17, 2010 and they are trying to say that it was a suicide. It was NOT suicide! He had only been back on base for a few hours after a 2 week vacation home.

He was retired from the US Navy and on his third tour as a civilian contractor.

His passport is still missing along with his cell phone he had just called me from.

They have given me at least 5 places where his passport is and every place they say claims to not have it.

He was hung in his shop in the early hours of June 17.

When they sent me the list of evidence from the scene, the top of the list was a cigarette butt. When I told them that my husband did NOT smoke, they said they would do DNA on the cigarette.

Now they claim that the DNA matched and when they sent his things home they DID NOT send his shaving kit (obviously where I could have gotten DNA).

They waited to send everything home until he was cremated so I could not get his DNA.

Thinking I could trust the military to due a proper investigation

I WILL eventually find out what happened and clear my husband’s name, but until then there will not be any closure for myself or our 2 granddaughters that we are raising. I have contacted 2 of his friends there only to be hung up on or ignored.

It makes me wonder if they are afraid or been ordered not to talk to me.

If anyone out there knows of someone that will investigate this, please let me know.

My husband was not depressed or unhappy. He was there to serve his country and make the money to send our girls to college. We were very happily married without problems. A few hours before he had even gone jogging and told these friends about us looking for a new home in Florida on his vacation!

I ask you…Is this a man that would have committed suicide? Absolutely not…He WAS murdered!!!

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chance Smith, Civilian Contractor Afghanistan, killed while home on RR

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 22, 2012

Charleston SC WCSC February 23, 2012

Smith, an outfielder for The Citadel baseball team from 2004-07, was killed early Saturday morning in a car accident that also left his wife, La-aia, in critical condition. Their infant daughter, Laina Madison, was not with them at the time of the accident.

Smith was returning home to McDonough, Ga., from Atlanta after celebrating his upcoming 27th birthday with his wife when the crash occurred. The 2003 graduate of Evans High School worked as an U.S. Army contractor and was scheduled to return to Afghanistan this week.

Many Citadel fans will remember his two home runs and four RBIs in an 11-10 victory over rival College of Charleston in 2006.

“He was a very inspirational player with tremendous enthusiasm for the game and for the Citadel,” said Citadel head coach Fred Jordan. “He was a hard-nosed and athletic centerfielder. The important thing was, he graduated from The Citadel and was defending his country in the military. He’s a very special person to me and to all of us.”

 

The Columbia County News Times February 22, 2012

Gordie Smith (right) watches his son Chance sign a letter of intent to attend The Citadel on a baseball scholarship

Chance Smith was killed in a single-car accident Sunday morning.

The 2003 graduate was on his way home to McDonough, Ga., after celebrating his upcoming 27th birthday in Atlanta with his wife La-aia when the crash occurred.

Smith worked as an U.S. Army contractor and was scheduled to return to Afghanistan this week.

While his wife suffered a cracked sternum and deflated lung, the couple’s 3-month-old daughter Laina Madison was not with them.

From high school onward, Smith affected those he knew in a positive way

Please see the original and read more about Chance Smith here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thomas Lee Polanski, Civilian Contractor, dies in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 20, 2012

 

Thomas Lee Polanski, 52, died on January 16, 2012 at FOB Lilley, Sharana, Afghanistan.

Thomas leaves behind a wife and seven children.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Insurance Companies buy Republican US Senator, among others, to Further Deny Your Rights under the DBA

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 16, 2012

S. 669: Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Amendments of 2011

Here's Johnny !!

Johnny Isakson of Georgia has presented Bill S. 669 to the Senate which has been referred to a committee on which he sits, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, for deliberation, investigation, and revision.

TRACK THIS BILL

Bill S.669 was introduced AS IT WAS WRITTEN BY IT”S SPONSOR who is Senator Johnny Isakson, who is heavily supported by Insurance Companies and Attorneys who stand to reap ever larger profits than they already do if this bill were to become law.

Nearly every aspect of the Bill would be a huge present to the Defense Base Act Insurance business.

Johnny is looking out for the insurance companies and attorneys

This grim reaper sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee as well.

Johnny Isakson can be contacted at 202-224-3643.
1175 Peachtree St Ne
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone : (404) 347-2202
The following is from the Johnny Isakson page at MapLight.org

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Johnny Isakson: $8,231,997

Interest Contributions
Real Estate $854,942
Lawyers/Law Firms $449,582
Health Professionals $298,416
Insurance $251,650
Banks and Credit $236,150
Lobbyists $214,261
Securities & Investment $200,500
Misc Finance $178,075
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $167,500

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Follow the Money, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US embassy to ‘localise’ Iraq operations

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 16, 2012

AFP February 16, 2012

BAGHDAD — The United States embassy in Iraq is to increase its reliance on local goods and services as part of efforts to cut the size of its mission, the largest in the world, a top State Department official said on Wednesday.

Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides told reporters during a visit to Baghdad that as part of such efforts, “we’ll look at the contract piece,” specifically “purchasing more local goods and services.”

“We’re basically telling our contractors we expect them to source more of the food internally than bringing it over the border, and so that will obviously lessen our dependence on some of the contracts,” Nides said.

“We have a very much aggressive hire … Iraqi programme, meaning that we’re being very clear not only to our contractors but even here for our staff to begin to localise much of our operations,” he said.

Contractors, he said, have been given targets to reach.

Please read the entire article here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Iraq, State Department | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Nation in a State: Meals ready, on America’s frontline pressure cooker

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 16, 2012

Youth from Odaipatti village in Tamil Nadu risk their lives to work as cooks in U.S. forward military bases.  It’s no cakewalk

Their pay did not include medical or life insurance, neither was there any clarity about compensation in case of death. That they could be summarily removed — sometimes with just three hours notice — in case of a health problem or vision difficulty was something the young men did not know about before taking up their jobs.

The Hindu February 16, 2012

Odaipatti may not be aware of it but the far-flung village, tucked away in the foothills of Megamalai in southwestern Tamil Nadu, has played a substantive role in subsidising U.S. war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. For many years, this fertile village, along with neighbouring Govindanagaram, has provided an army of formally trained bakers, cooks, and other catering specialists to various U.S. military bases in active combat zones for salaries from as low as $550 to $700 a month.

Bharathkumar Sekar is only 25 years old, but he is already a two-war veteran. He served as a head baker at the U.S. Forward Operative Base Kalsu, located in Iskandariya, Iraq, and later at Kandahar in Afghanistan. The equally young B. Thangaraj managed dining halls at U.S. army camps in Kirkush, Iraq, before moving to Helmand in Afghanistan.

E. Srinivasan, K. Manikandan … the list is long. Villagers tell me that by now more than 100 youth from the two villages have worked at military camps either in Iraq or Afghanistan or both, and those with the right qualifications continue to be recruited by U.S. military contractors.

“We knew we were taking risks. There were many rocket attacks inside our army camps. At times rockets even landed on top of my kitchen, Bharathkumar said, explaining that “it was bombproof.”

Please read the entire article here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Insurance, Dyncorp | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Americans Missing, Left Behind in Iraq, mostly contractors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 10, 2012

“Basically, the mentality of the Secretary of State seems to be that if the

United States loses a member  of the United States military,

then the loss becomes a relevant statistic on the ‘War on Terror,’

when the United States loses a contractor . . .

then there is no accounting for the loss of life. . . .

a result, the true cost in lives and money

of the ‘War on Terror’ is understated.” 

from Joshua Munns case

While the DPMO shows only 4 Americans left behind in Iraq

Missing in Action: Service Members and Civilian Contractors left behind

Susie Dow at The Missing Man has compiled a list which includes 18 Americans left behind, the majority of those being Civilian Contractors

Below is a chart showing the name, incident date, an expired link to an incident report (SIGACT), and status of those Americans known to be missing and/or held hostage in Iraq in table format. The chart shows an estimated 18 missing Americans of whom, the names of 6 are unknown. An additional 2 American’s names are known but the date of incident is not.

Text of available SIGACT reports are posted at SIGACT Reports of Americans Missing in Iraq.

Americans Missing in Iraq – as of January 21, 2012

Names missing from the chart below: Hussain al-Zurufi and Bob Hamze

Date Name – incident report Status
1 Oct 9, 2003 Kirk von Ackermann missing 1
2 Apr 9, 2004 Thomas Hamill (link expired)Convoy Attack escaped
3 Apr 9, 2004 Nicholas Evan Berg deceased
4 Apr 9, 2004 William Bradley deceased
5 Apr 9, 2004 Pfc Keith Matthew Maupin deceased
6 Apr 9, 2004 Timothy E Bell  Convoy Attack missing 2
7 May 3, 2004 Aban Elias missing 3
8 Aug 13, 2004 Micah Garen released
9 Sept 16, 2004 Jack Henlsey deceased
10 Sept 16, 2004 Olin Eugene Armstrong Jr deceased
11 Oct 10, 2004 Paul Taggart released
12 Nov 1, 2004 Roy Hallums released
13 Nov 2, 2004 Dean Sadek missing 4
14 Apr 11, 2005 Jeffrey Ake missing 5
15 May 17, 2005 Neenus Y. Khoshaba – incident? missing 6
16 Aug 2, 2005 Steven Charles Vincent deceased
17 Sept 27, 2005 Abbas Kareem Naama (Tim) missing 7
18 Nov 25, 2005 Ronald Alan Schulz deceased
19 Nov 26, 2005 Thomas William Fox deceased
20 Dec 2, 2005 unknown #1 missing 8
21 Jan 7, 2006 Jill Carroll released
22 Jun 16, 2006 Pfc Kristian Menchaca deceased
23 Jun 16, 2006 Pfc Thomas Tucker deceased
24 Oct 23, 2006 Sgt Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie missing 9
25 Nov 16, 2006 Jonathon Michael Cote deceased
26 Nov 16, 2006 Paul Christopher Johnson-Reuben deceased
27 Nov 16, 2006 Joshua Mark Munns   Torture deceased
28 Nov 16, 2006 John Roy Young deceased
29 Nov 27, 2006 Maj Troy Lee Gilbert (deceased) missing 10
30 Jan 5, 2007 Ronald J Withrow deceased
31 Jan 27, 2007 unknown #2 – incident? missing 11
32 Jan 27, 2007 unknown #3 – incident? missing 12
33 Feb 1, 2007 unknown #4 Iraqi-American missing 13
34 Mar 3, 2007 Adnan al-Hilawi missing 14
35 Apr 25, 2007 unknown #5 missing 15
36 May 12, 2007 Sgt Alex Ramon Jimenez deceased
37 May 12, 2007 Pfc Byron W Fouty deceased
38 May 25, 2007 unknown #6 missing 16
39 Aug 17, 2007 unknown #7 missing 17
40 summer 2008 unknown #8 missing 18
41 May 21, 2009 Jim Kitterman deceased
42 Jan 23, 2010 Issa T Salomi released

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Contractors Kidnapped, Iraq, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Consequences of Pursuit of Profit: All Protected by DBA’s Exclusive Remedy at the expense of the US taxpayer

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 7, 2012

That dispute led to the under-equipment and under-preparation of the security team on which the four Blackwater employees died.   Their deaths led the military to launch an invasion of Fallujah.

So here it is: A contract dispute led to a major development in a major war of the United States – and that is Paul’s point.

David Isenberg at PMC Observer

Reduced to its essentials every argument and debate about the use of private military and security contractors comes down to two words; outsourcing and privatization. The argument is simply whether they are good and bad.
Personally I think that, like most other things, the answer is maybe. Hey, if you want absolutes take up physics.

But lately, partly I suppose, in response to the predictable quadrennial Republican party blather about the glories of the free market – cue the inevitable segue into why America needs a purported businessman like Mitt Romney to “fix America” – my repressed academic side has been pondering the pitfalls of privatizing the battlefield.

Before going any further let me acknowledge the contribution and sacrifice of PMSC personnel. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has so much depended on such an unacknowledged few.

That said, let’s turn to one of the iconic contractor moments of the U.S.involvement in Iraq; the killing of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah in 2004.

Last year law professor Arthur J. Jacobson of Yeshiva University publishedan article in the  Cardozo Law Review.   The occasion was a symposium in honor of Paul R. Verkuil, who is on the Cardozolaw school faculty. Verkuil is author of the 2007 book Outsourcing Sovereignty: How Privatization of Government Functions Threatens Democracy And What We Can Do About It.

In his article, Outsourcing Incompetence: An Essay in Honor of Paul Verkuil Jacobson provides some detail regarding that tragic day that is not appreciated by the public.  I realize the following quote is long but it is necessary to appreciate the true impact of what happened.

The four Blackwater employees who were dismembered and mutilated in Fallujah, where they ended up while guarding a convoy, is a grim reminder of how the military must react to contractor actions. The Marines had to secure that city after that gruesome event, which was not in their plans beforehand.

Paul’s conclusion about the Fallujah incident is ineluctable. The Department of Defense, it appears, outsourced to Blackwater a task that it regarded as amenable to outsourcing, rather than as an inherent government function. Were the Department of Defense to offer a justification of this decision, they would argue that providing security to a supply convoy is akin to an ordinary civilian security operation – like night watchmen at a construction site or armed guards accompanying an armored car – and is thus distinguishable from combat, which, as most today would probably agree, is
an inherent government function.  But the reality of a theater in combat does not permit so fine a distinction to be drawn.  The Blackwater employees had necessarily to engage in combat, and their defeat drew the Marines into a combat operation they had neither desired nor planned. Contracting with Blackwater to provide security for convoys thus wound up diverting the United States military from operations they had in fact planned, and calling into question the competence of a military that could so unwittingly be the cause of its own distraction.

Paul’s Blackwater story is bad enough. The real story is worse. I asked Erik Wilson, a captain in the United States Marine Corps and a first-year law student at Cardozo, to look into the Fallujah incident a little more closely. Here is what he found.

The U.S. Army did not hire Blackwater directly. The prime contract, part of the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), was between the Army and Halliburton. It was a contract to supply Camp Ridgeway, an Army base near Fallujah.

Halliburton then subcontracted the supply contract to KBR, and KBR subcontracted it to ESS. It was ESS that hired Blackwater to provide security for the convoys to Camp Ridgeway. Four subcontracts connect, or separate, Blackwater from the ultimate recipient of its services. That looks like an awfully long chain of subcontracts. But things were not so simple.

Let’s start with the top of the chain. It was actually KBR’s predecessor, Brown & Root, and not Halliburton, that had the first LOGCAP contract with the Army. This was back in the 1990s, at the beginning of the LOGCAP program. In 2002, Halliburton created KBR (merging two of its subsidiaries, Brown & Root and M.W. Kellogg), and replaced the former Brown & Root as the prime contractor. Halliburton was thus the prime contractor at the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003. The LOGCAP contract Halliburton signed at that point, known as LOGCAP III, was the second renegotiation of the initial LOGCAP contract between the Army and Brown & Root. Halliburton’s role under LOGCAP III was only to guarantee KBR’s services, and the Army and other federal auditing agencies dealt directly with KBR, not with Halliburton. Halliburton was involved in LOGCAP III only because it owned KBR. Thus, after Halliburton divested itself of KBR in 2007, KBR once again became the prime contractor in the LOGCAP IV contract, which is just now coming into
effect.

Now let us consider the bottom of the chain. ESS did not hire Blackwater directly. It hired Blackwater through a proxy company, Regency Hotel and Hospital Company of Kuwait. What happened was this: Regency and Blackwater had submitted a joint proposal to replace ESS’s existing private security contractor, Control Risks Group. Once Regency/Blackwater won the contract, they renegotiated it to make Regency ESS’s subcontractor and, in turn, make
Blackwater Regency’s subcontractor. Apparently Blackwater wanted this arrangement so it could get exclusive credit for the successful security operations.

The presence of Regency in the chain is important because a dispute erupted between Blackwater and Regency about the armoring of the vehicles to be used in protecting the convoys. According to Captain Wilson, Blackwater used its
subcontractor status to “blackmail” Regency, saying that Regency now had to provide weapons, armor, and other supplies, and that Blackwater would not supply them. The apparent aim of this strategy was to get Regency either to pay for Blackwater’s supplies or default on their contract, which Blackwater would try to take over at an increased profit once Regency was no longer in the way. Captain Wilson believes that Blackwater probably could not have gotten the security contract on its own and that it teamed with Regency for credibility, then tried to cut Regency out.

Partially as a result of this dispute between Regency and Blackwater over equipment funding, the Blackwater team was extremely underequipped and underprepared for the March 31, 2004, mission in which four Blackwater employees died.

I want to pause here in telling the story to make a comment. Outsourcing government tasks to a firm in the private economy subjects those tasks to the push and pull of the economy. I do not have the illusion, and neither does Paul, that elements of the bureaucracy are without their own motivations and distortions, but when you sign up with the private economy, you agree to participate in the private economy’s motivations and distortions. Let’s be blunt. There was a dispute between Regency and Blackwater over who would pay to armor the security for the convoys. That dispute led to the under-equipment and under-preparation of the security team on which the four Blackwater employees died. Their deaths led the military to launch an invasion of Fallujah. So here it is: A contract dispute led to a major development in a major war of the United States – and that is Paul’s point.

Please go to David’s blog and read the entire post

Posted in Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Exclusive Remedy, Follow the Money, KBR, Misjudgements, Political Watch, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

When Injuries to the Brain Tear at Hearts

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 6, 2012

Hat Tip to Charles Pak for this article

 

BEFORE AND AFTER Hugh and Rosemary Rawlins have put their lives back together since his 2002 brain injury, but their struggle has included her diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The New York Times  January 12, 2012

At a crowded vigil on Sunday night in Tucson, Representative Gabrielle Giffords held her husband’s hand as she stepped up to the lectern to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

It had been one year since a shooting at a Tucson supermarket killed six people, injured 12 others and left her with a severe brain injury. Ms. Giffords’s appearance was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd that applauded her remarkable progress toward recovery.

The man next to her, fighting tears, offered his own remarks. “For the past year, we’ve had new realities to live with,” said her husband, the astronaut Mark E. Kelly. “The reality and pain of letting go of the past.”

Captain Kelly was speaking of the survivors of the shooting. But his words echoed the sentiments of many brain injury survivors and their spouses as they grapple with interpersonal challenges that take much longer than a year to overcome.

Until recently, there had been little evidence-based research on how to rebuild marriages after such a tragedy. Indeed, doctors frequently warn uninjured spouses that the marriage may well be over, that the personality changes that can result from brain injury may do irreparable harm to the relationship.

Please see the original and read the entire article here

Posted in PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Social Media as Evidence: Good Times Yield Bad Results

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 6, 2012

Cross Posted from Workers Comp Insider

Photo Courtesy of Arkansas Appeals Court

by Jon Coppleman February 6, 2012

ABC news has picked up a story out of Arkansas: Zack Clement suffered a hernia while moving a refrigerator for his employer, Johnson’s Warehouse Showroom. He underwent multiple surgeries, but the pain lingered, so he filed for a continuation of benefits. Among the pieces of evidence at his trial were party photos posted on his Facebook page, which show Clement drinking (and little else). When his claim for reinstatement was denied, Clement appealed, citing the unfairness of the Facebook evidence.

ABC wrote as follows:

In an opinion, written by Judge David M. Glover, the Arkansas Court of Appeals states: “We find no abuse of discretion in the allowance of photographs. Clement contended that he was in excruciating pain, but these pictures show him drinking and partying.”

“Certainly these pictures could have a bearing on a Clement’s credibility, albeit a negative effect that Clement might not wish to be demonstrated to the ALJ or the Commission, ” Glover continues. “We hold that there was not an abuse of discretion in allowing the photographs.”

Justice in the Details
At first glance, the judge’s comments might be cause for alarm. An injured worker suffering from chronic pain might well be capable of having a few drinks with friends. (One can only hope that the alcohol does not interfere with any prescribed -or unprescribed – pain medications.) If the photos were the primary evidence of Clement’s condition and the basis for denying the claim, Clement would have good reason to object. However, this is not the case.

In the course of his carefully reasoned findings, Judge Glover reviews in detail the medical history of Clement’s claim. Even after multiple surgeries and several changes in treating doctors, Clement complained of ongoing pain. Extensive medical testing revealed no abnormalities and no evidence for the pain itself. He has been released to full duty. It is this detailed history and the lack of medical evidence that lead Glover to conclude that any further treatment would fall outside of the workers comp system. The Facebook photos are by no means the foundation of his findings. Nonetheless, he decides that the photos are a legitimate piece of the case file and admissable as evidence.

In my limited experience, Facebook seems to be a platform for superficial news and, for the most part, images of the good times. It is difficult to imagine that Clement would have used this public forum to post pictures of himself suffering excrutiating pain. If he had chosen to do so, this might have provided evidence in his favor. However, his friends would likely have chided him for being such a downer and even then, the court might have dismissed the images as theatrical exaggeration.

Facebook may now be the preferred means of presenting our personal narratives, but it is unlikely to help us make our case in a court of law.

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in ACE, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Iraq vet shoots and kills wife; himself in Daytona Beach

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 6, 2012

“It’s an horrific tragedy,” said Chief Chitwood. “You have a 25 year old woman who never set foot in Iraq, yet she is a casualty of the war. Clearly, the staff sergeant had issues as a lot of returning veterans do.”

Police in Daytona Beach say a decorated Iraq War veteran shot and killed his young wife before turning the gun on himself.

Fox News Orlando  February5, 2012

Neighbors of the couple’s apartment off of Jimmy Ann Drive thought they heard two gunshots late Saturday night, but didn’t think anything was wrong Sunday morning. “When they didn’t see or hear from them, they went knocked on the door, no response around 11 a.m. and they called us,” says Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood.

Officers kicked in the door and found 25 year old Tiffany Pemberton dead from a gunshot wound in the living room. Her husband, 28 year old Jason Pemberton was dead in the bedroom about 10 feet away with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head from a rifle.

“He was a man that had a big heart and he just snapped,” said neighbor Rick Lang of Pemberton. “He was highly decorated, three purple hearts, was really not happy about the way he was being treated by the V.A.”

A photo online shows then Staff Sergeant Jason Pemberton during an operation in Iraq in August of 2007. The U.S. Army sniper served with the 82nd Airborne Division and Lang says served two tours of duty in Iraq. “He’s got ribbons like you wouldn’t believe…it’s real sad, very sad.”

Daytona Beach Police say it does not appear the war vet left behind a note. Investigators will still have to examine his military and medical records. “It’s an horrific tragedy,” said Chief Chitwood. “You have a 25 year old woman who never set foot in Iraq, yet she is a casualty of the war. Clearly, the staff sergeant had issues as a lot of returning veterans do.”

The couple, originally from North Carolina and Alabama, has only been married a short time. They had been living in Daytona Beach while he went to school to become a motorcycle mechanic.

Neighbors say the couple had a history of arguments. Police had only been called to the apartment once before last summer. Pemberton called police on his wife, but when officers arrived he met them at the entrance to the apartment complex to tell them he no longer needed their help.

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Combat troop ailments drive medical backlog

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 2, 2012

Tens of thousands of combat troops who undergo routine health checks before returning home need treatment for ailments ranging from bad backs to mental illness, helping to drive a backlog of troops waiting for medical retirements, new Pentagon data show

“When you look at the numbers, about a third — one in three soldiers — are being told, ‘I think you need some medical attention.’

By Gregg Zoroya and Paul Overberg, USA TODAY

Last year, doctors referred 74,813 returning soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen for treatment of issues such as strained muscles, mental health and mild concussions following health screenings done as they left war zones, data show.

Of those, 14,226 troops had conditions that required treatment within 24 hours, the Pentagon says. The rate of such emergency issues was highest in the Army, going from 6% of returning GIs in 2009 to 8% in 2011.

“These are people coming back from theater not on a Medevac, not because they’ve been wounded, (but) just coming back with their units,” said physician Michael Kilpatrick, a Pentagon health official. “When you look at the numbers, about a third — one in three soldiers — are being told, ‘I think you need some medical attention.’ ”

Please see the original and read more here

 

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Defense | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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