Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Help Is On The Way

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on November 22, 2008

ivaw-1Bob Herbert, New York Times

With so much attention understandably focused on the economy and the incoming administration, the struggles being faced by G.I.’s coming home from combat overseas are receding even further from the public’s consciousness.

If you’re in your late teens or early 20s and your energies have been directed for a year or more toward dodging roadside bombs and ambushes, caring for horribly wounded comrades and, in general, killing before being killed, it can be difficult to readjust to a world of shopping malls, speed limits and polite conversation.

Bryan Adams is the face of a sophisticated new advertising campaign that is trying to get troubled veterans to come in from the cold and piercingly lonely environment of post-wartime stress.

Bryan, now 24, was an Army sniper in Iraq from February 2004 to February 2005. At an age when many youngsters go to college or line up that first significant job, he and his squad-mates were prowling Tikrit with high-powered weapons, looking for bad guys.

He was shot in the leg and hand during a firefight, and he saw and did things that he was less than anxious to talk about when he came home.

“I wanted to go to college,” he told me. “I had all these plans, but I couldn’t seem to make them happen. I couldn’t focus. I would get, like, depressive thoughts.”

He said that he would party a lot. “Party” was a euphemism for drinking.

The drinking made him more depressed, and then he would get angry that he was “partying but not having a good time.”

Bryan said he would “flip out,” and friends began to shun him. “I just didn’t care what I did or who I affected with my actions. I would break stuff. I’d break, like appliances. It was bad.”

Returning to civilian life from combat is almost always a hard road to run. Studies have shown that a third or more of G.I.’s returning from the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan — more than 300,000 men and women — have endured mental health difficulties.

Many have experienced the agony of deep depression, and alarming numbers have tried or succeeded in committing suicide.

A CBS News study found that veterans aged 20 to 24 were two to four times as likely to commit suicide as non-veterans the same age.

The advertising campaign, initiated by the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, was designed to increase the number of veterans seeking treatment for their mental health difficulties. Many are embarrassed to speak about their problems or are unaware that help is available, or even that they need help.

As Bryan Adams told me, “I didn’t know anything about these symptoms. I didn’t know what post-traumatic stress disorder was.”

To get the word out, IAVA hooked up with the advertising giant BBDO and the nonprofit Ad Council, which is famous for such public service slogans as, “Only you can prevent forest fires,” “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” and “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”

This campaign is titled, “Alone,” and focuses on the sense of isolation so many veterans feel when they come home. The television and print ads encourage the veterans to visit a Web site,CommunityOfVeterans.org, as a place where they can share their experiences with other vets.

IAVA tells veterans in its promotional material: “Just listen in or share your experiences in a judgment-free environment.”

The site is filled with features and news updates on many topics and information on a wide range of mental health resources.

The ads are powerful.

In one, a somber Bryan Adams is shown, in camouflage fatigues, standing alone in an airport, then riding an otherwise passenger-less subway train, and then walking through empty streets in Manhattan. He is eerily and absolutely alone. There is not another soul in sight, until a marine in civilian clothes walks up to him, extends his hand, and says: “Welcome home, man.”

The ad then flashes the message: “If you’re a veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan, you’re not alone.”

Bryan, who lives in Palmyra, N.J., is a real-life example of what the timely intervention of mental health counseling and treatment can do. At his family’s urging, he enrolled in a treatment program at a V.A. hospital in Boston. It turned his life around, and he is now back in college.

This ad campaign, if disseminated widely enough (it is depending on donated media), will reduce the heartache of G.I.’s and their families, and will save lives.

The need for more attention to this issue is tremendous. Combat does terrible things to people. As Paul Reickhoff, IAVA’s executive director, put it:

“Nobody can cross this river without getting wet.”

—-

 
If you are a veteran, or know someone who is, send them to Communityofveterans.org.

Watch the Community of Veterans ad here.

(more…)

UPDATE: Court Dates of the Hempstead 15

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on November 13, 2008

ivaw-1Update from Matthis Chiroux

My friends,

A few updates on Adam Kokesh’s trial and the court dates for the Hempstead 15.

Adam’s case was adjourned until December 11, however the D.A. did try to raise his bail in obvious contempt toward Adam as an activist and a veteran.

This is yet another clear sign the Nassau County D.A. intends to continue her persecution of veteran activists and escalate injustice against us at every opportunity afforded.

However, a good number of supporters were present at the courthouse to send a clear message to the D.A. that we will not be silenced and her conduct and that of her officers will not be tolerated.

So six more days, total, for us to gather, have our voices heard and condemn the Nassau County Police Department’s offense toward this nations’ veterans and our Constitutional rights. 

Dec. 10th and 11th, and Jan. 5th thru 8th are the days set for the 15 of us to be tried. Each day, we will assemble at 8 a.m. to demand that charges are dropped against us and the officers responsible for brutalizing us are held accountable.

Please continue calling District Attorney Kathleen Rice at 516-571-2994 or contacting her here:http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/DA/contact.html to demand that all charges be dropped against the Hempstead 15.

As well, we are working on a petition exclusively for Nassau County residents to put some constituent-based pressure on the D.A., who is an elected official. If you can be of assistance either in contacting residents of Nassau county via phone or e-mail or actually street canvassing for signatures in Nassau County, please contact Lillian at lvu1@columbia.edu.

Lastly, Nick has received his first medical bill for his hour-and-a-half hospital stay in Nassau County where he was handcuffed to a gurney, diagnosed with a broken face and given nothing more than Motrin for the pain. $5,000, folks! No kidding. Nick nowhere NEAR has that kind of money, and this is only the first of many bills to right the wrong done by the NCPD to his person. NICK NEEDS YOUR HELP!!!!

Please, if you haven’t already sent a donation to Nick through the IVAW website, do so. This troop deserves everyones’ full support at whatever level they can give. If you already have donated, consider doing so again. Nick’s sacrificed everything to do right by this nation and her Constitution, and now, we MUST do right by Nick.

We’ll be sending out more reminders about court dates as they approach and planned actions around them. As well, we are planning several benefits to raise money for Nick that I will keep all in the loop about as more develops. If you can, consider holding one yourself in your local community to raise money and awareness. This is the type of organizing that really makes a difference to people like Nick and the rest of us.

Please stay in the fight with us, and continue sending me your letters and opinions. I read all of them and respond to as many as I can. Your voices ARE this movement, and I want to hear them as much as our President should. 

Peace and Solidarity,

Matthis Chiroux

VIDEO OF THE ARRAIGNMENT DEMONSTRATION:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNGTnxWJFW8

GREAT OP-ED BY PULITZER PRIZE-WINNER BOB KEELER IN NEWSDAY ABOUT THE HEMPSTEAD 15:
http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opkee125923104nov12,0,6936407.story

VIDEO OF HOFSTRA ACTION AND POLICE BRUTALITY:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvV_6OoqhVw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eupU-StpCqM&watch_response

NAOMI WOLF INTERVIEWS MATTHIS CHIROUX ABOUT HOFSTRA ACTION:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahP4Y-8_JgY 

Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant)-Dec. 10
Paul Blasenheim-Dec. 10
Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant)-Dec. 11 
Megan Day-Dec. 11
Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant)-Dec. 11
James Gilligan (Marine Corporal)-Jan 5
Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant)-Jan. 5
Nathan Peld (Navy Petty Officer)-Jan. 6
Ryan Olander-Jan. 6
Mike Spinato (Marine Sergeant)-Jan.6 
Jose Vasquez (Army Staff Sergeant)-Jan. 7
David Disimino-Jan 7
Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant)-Jan 7
Marlissa Grogan (Marine Captain)-Jan. 8
Leanne Gillouly-Jan. 8

Demand Nassau County Drop Charges Against Hempstead 15

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on November 10, 2008

ivaw-1Call the Nassau County D.A. and demand they drop charges. 516-571-3800 

Background:

HEMPSTEAD, NY — Ten members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and five of their civilian supporters will be arraigned here Monday, November 10th for “Disorderly Conduct” stemming from arrests at a non-violent demonstration at Hofstra University during the final presidential debate.

The peaceful demonstration, designed to force veterans’ issues into the campaign spotlight, was responded to with police brutality resulting in serious injuries to one Iraq veteran when he was trampled by a police horse that charged onto a sidewalk.

IVAW’s Nick Morgan suffered a shattered cheek bone, among other injuries, after he was pulled to the ground by police and stepped on by one of their horses. He is still undergoing a series of reconstructive surgeries to repair damage done by the Nassau County Police Department.

It remains unclear how the entirety of the Hempstead 15 will plead to charges Monday, but one member, Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, vowed never to submit to police brutality or the infringement of his constitutional rights to peacefully assemble.

“The near killing of a veteran on a sidewalk is fine, but peacefully assembling to have grievances redressed by our leaders is disorderly? I don’t think so, America,” said Chiroux. “I will fight this to the bitter end to ensure our names are cleared and members of the NCPD are held accountable for their crimes against veterans and the U.S. Constitution.”

Supporters of the Hempstead 15 will begin assembling at 8 a.m. Monday at the First District Court of Nassau County located at 99 Main St., Hempstead, NY. The arraignment hearing is scheduled to begin at nine.

For more information or to arrange coverage, contact Jose Vasquez at 917-587-3334 or jose@ivaw.org.

——————
VIDEO OF HOFSTRA ACTION AND POLICE BRUTALITY:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvV_6OoqhVw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eupU-StpCqM&watch_response

NAOMI WOLF INTERVIEWS MATTHIS CHIROUX ABOUT HOFSTRA ACTION:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahP4Y-8_JgY

Hempstead 15 Trial

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on November 7, 2008

ivaw-1HEMPSTEAD, NY — Ten members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and five of their civilian supporters will be arraigned here Monday, November 10th for “Disorderly Conduct” stemming from arrests at a non-violent demonstration at Hofstra University during the final presidential debate.

The peaceful demonstration, designed to force veterans’ issues into the campaign spotlight, was responded to with police brutality resulting in serious injuries to one Iraq veteran when he was trampled by a police horse that charged onto a sidewalk.

IVAW’s Nick Morgan suffered a shattered cheek bone, among other injuries, after he was pulled to the ground by police and stepped on by one of their horses. He is still undergoing a series of reconstructive surgeries to repair damage done by the Nassau County Police Department.

It remains unclear how the entirety of the Hempstead 15 will plead to charges Monday, but one member, Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, vowed never to submit to police brutality or the infringement of his constitutional rights to peacefully assemble.

“The near killing of a veteran on a sidewalk is fine, but peacefully assembling to have grievances redressed by our leaders is disorderly? I don’t think so, America,” said Chiroux. “I will fight this to the bitter end to ensure our names are cleared and members of the NCPD are held accountable for their crimes against veterans and the U.S. Constitution.”

Supporters of the Hempstead 15 will begin assembling at 8 a.m. Monday at the First District Court of Nassau County located at 99 Main St., Hempstead, NY. The arraignment hearing is scheduled to begin at nine.

For more information or to arrange coverage, contact Jose Vasquez at 917-587-3334 or jose@ivaw.org.

——————
VIDEO OF HOFSTRA ACTION AND POLICE BRUTALITY:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvV_6OoqhVw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eupU-StpCqM&watch_response

NAOMI WOLF INTERVIEWS MATTHIS CHIROUX ABOUT HOFSTRA ACTION:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahP4Y-8_JgY

Support the Hempstead 15 on November 10

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on October 29, 2008

You’ve seen the videos: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlI7tQCqwbU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eupU-StpCqM&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5Gd_ojcnk0

You’ve read the testimonies: 
http://www.squadron13.com/BillPerry/HofstraDebate/default.htm 

You’ve called the campaigns and demanded answers.

Once again, it’s time to assemble. Please join the Hempstead 15 in court Monday, Nov. 10th, at the Nassau County District Court at 99 Main Street in Hempstead, NY.

Ten members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and five of our supporters who make up the Hempstead 15 will be arraigned for “disorderly conduct” at 9 a.m. We’re asking our supporters to show up at 8. Following the hearing, members of the Hempstead 15 will be available for questions and general socializing.

We ask that all supporters continue to respect the non-violent and reconciliatory nature and intent of our organization, particularly by helping us spread messages surrounding dignity and medical treatment for our veterans and acknowledgement of their voices which deserve to be heard.

As well, we ask that you sign the following petition condemning the trampling of Nick Morgan and others at the Oct. 15th demonstration which will be presented to the courts on the day of our arraignment.http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justicefornick/ As well, please donate funds to help cover Nick’s medical bills at ivaw.org.

Thank you for all you’ve done, thank you for what you’re doing, and thank you for making what’s to come a reality. May we always find people uniting around the ideals of freedom, justice and democracy, in times of war and peace alike.

Thank you for moving forward with us, and we look forward to seeing you all at the courthouse! 

In solidarity,

The Hempstead 15

Nick Morgan SGT, USA IVAW DC
James Gilligan CPL, USMC IVAW Philadelphia
Kris Goldsmith SGT, USA IVAW NYC
Marlisa Grogan CPT, USMC IVAW NYC
Matthis Chiroux SGT, USA IVAW NYC
Adam Kokesh SGT, USMC IVAW DC
Nathan Peld PO2, USN IVAW Central NY
Mike Spinnato CPL, USMC IVAW Boston
Jose Vasquez SSG, USAR IVAW NYC
Geoff Millard SGT, ARNG IVAW DC
Paul Blasenheim Washington, DC
Megan Day Portchester, MA
David M. Disimino Tacoma Park, MD
Lianne Gillouly Boston, MA
Ryan Olander Highland Park, NJ

Help New Hempstead 15 Video Go Viral

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on October 23, 2008

Digg this. Send it to all your friends. Demand justice for Nick Morgan.

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Iraq Vet Crushed by Police Horse at P…“, posted with vodpod

 

The Most Damning Footage Yet of Hempstead 15

Posted in civil rights, police state by allisonkilkenny on October 22, 2008

http://glassbeadcollective.org/emily/IVAW_NICK_MORGAN.mov

Hi folks,

I’m writing to pass along the newest and MOST DAMNING video that’s been released of the police violence against peaceful protesters Wednesday night.http://glassbeadcollective.org/emily/IVAW_NICK_MORGAN.mov

In this video, Nick and all are seen clearly on the sidewalk complying with police orders while being antagonized and subsequently dragged to the ground by police into the path of Officer Quagliano’s horse who also was on the sidewalk. Nick’s injury is captured perfectly.

The NCPD should be forced to drop charges against Nick and Geoff Millard as a result, as well two civilians from the Hempstead 15.

Please continue joining me in writing and calling the candidates to put pressure on them to condemn police actions that night, as well answer our questions from the debate.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/contact/
http://www.johnmccain.com/Contact/

And please contact the IVAW national office to donate to Nick Morgan’s medical fund.

Peace and Solidarity,

Matthis