Penny Coleman
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide, and the Lessons of War

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NEW  What Made Him Snap? Soldier Goes on Killing Spree in Baghdad 'Stress Clinic'  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted May 11, 2009.
Yesterday's attack was the deadliest by a fellow soldier since Bush's wars began. The trauma of combat may be the source.

They Sent Me to Distant Lands to Fight Against Muslims ... Then I Became One  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted April 9, 2009.
Along the way, I ate Burger King in Peshawar, developed a debilitating drug habit and caught a 3-year prison sentence.

One Soldier's Tale of How War Drove Him Crazy  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted March 20, 2009.
"When it got really bad, I dumped 5 tons of sand into my basement to remind me of Afghanistan."

Kids Learn that Killing Is Fun at the Army's Lethal New Theme Park  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted December 19, 2008.
The Army's new recruitment tool lets high-tech video game centers desensitize, condition, train and even enlist America's youth.

U.S. Still Losing a Brigade's Worth of Vets Every Year to Suicide  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted November 11, 2008.
Obviously, the most immediate and reliable way to prevent soldier suicides is to get troops out of harm’s way -- bring them home.

Raped in the Military? You'll Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted November 11, 2008.
This outrage gives "supporting the troops" a whole new meaning.
Editor's note: a correction was made to this story since publication. The uncorrected version stated incorrectly that the military doesn't cover forensic exam kits for the 20 percent of rape victims treated on military bases.  

How 6,700 Tons of Radioactive Sand from Kuwait Ended Up in Idaho By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted September 17, 2008.
Questions remain about how depleted uranium waste from the first Gulf War was transferred, and whether health risks were posed.
Note:  This article also appeared in the "Boise Weekly (Idaho)" titled Hot Sand, 6,700 tons of radioactive Kuwaiti sand at home in Idaho By Penny Coleman,  Posted September 24, 2008.

Suicide Attempts for Vets Jump 500% in Five Years, and Government Ignores It  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted September 11, 2008.
Vets are killing themselves in growing numbers, but the government sees suicides as a way to lower the official average processing time of claims.

Echoes of Vietnam: VA Stalls, Dissembles While Vets Suffer and Die By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted July 4, 2008.
The latest episode of the Department of Veterans Affairs' callous denial of veterans' suffering is a continuation of a long tradition.

Maine Jury Says It's Legal to Protest an Illegal War  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted May 31, 2008.
A rare bit of good news for the anti-war movement goes largely ignored by the media.

Half of Vets Suffering Brain and Mind Injuries Go Untreated, But Pentagon Pretends Nothing's Going on  By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted April 29, 2008.
An activist travels to the DoD's annual suicide prevention conference, only to find the military brass living in a parallel universe.

Sending a Son off to War: a Mother's Anguish   by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted April 21, 2008.
"How will I survive the wait and the not-knowing, and will I survive at all if my worst fears are realized?"

Pentagon Holds Thousands of Americans "Prisoners of War"   by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted March 26, 2008.  There are at least 60,000 of them, but they're not on the DoD's list of soldiers missing in action.

Winter Soldier: America Must Hear These Iraq Vets' Stories   by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted March 15, 2008.

War Trauma Is an Admission of Weakness in 'Macho' Army Culture  by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted March 14, 2008.

Pentagon, Big Pharma: Drug Troops to Numb Them to Horrors of War by Penny Coleman from Alternet, posted January 10, 2008

Activist Tells Congress About Suicide Epidemic Among Vets by Penny Coleman from Alternet, posted January 2, 2008

120 War Vets Commit Suicide Each Week  by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted November 26, 2007 [Hear this editorial read by  KPFK's Blaise Fontaine]
Casualties on the Home Front:  The Epidemic of Vet Suicides by Penny Coleman, The Beacon Broadside. Posted November 10, 2007.
Veterans' Suicides: a Hidden Cost of Bush's Wars  by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted November 11, 2007.
Note:  These two Veterans Day 2007 articles listed above are published on two sites under different names, but the content is the same.

Pentagon Denies Increase in Troops' Suicides a Result of War  by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted August 28, 2007.
This article is also cited in a post to  Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"   Posted August 28, 2007

War Psychiatry and Iraq Atrocities: How Killing Becomes a Reflex  by Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted August 22, 2007.

AlterNet: Reflections of a Vietnam War Widow: It Doesn't End When They Come Home  (Posted on by Penny Coleman  [June 25, 2007])
The June 25 Alternet: article is also cited in the Department of Defense (DoD) Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) Newsletter dated 6/26/2007

The casualties continue to mount after they come home ... (Posted on  [Memorial Day, May 28, 2007])  

Vets' suicides: casualties that go uncounted and another hidden cost of war (Posted on by Joshua Holland  [Valentines Day, February 14, 2007])
Suicides casualties of war, too (Albany Times Union [May 28, 2006] and Buffalo News [May 30, 2006])

Suicides Must Be Counted As Part Of The Cost Of War (The Capital Times  [May 6, 2006])

Library Journal talks to Penny Coleman

Ilona's Interview with Penny Coleman

KPFK's Online Audio Archives website*, Dec 09, 2007 "World Focus:  Returning Veteran Suicide"   by Blaise Fontaine  [Play from KPFK archive]  [Download from KPFK archive]  [from Flashbackhome website] 61:04 minutes audio 14.3 Mb MP3 format
* if you go to KPFK archive, scroll down the list of "Shows" to Dec 09 World Focus and select "Play" or "Download" 


Last updated: May 13, 2009