Insult to Injury: Obama Desecrates Memorial for Fort Hood Fallen

Barack Hussein Obama desecrated the memorial for the most recent soldiers murdered at Fort Hood, Texas. He went there on April 9, to pay his respects and offer condolences, but in the end, his empty words of regret were regrettable and shallow, especially considering he had FIVE YEARS to do something to prevent a similar tragedy from the one that claimed 13 lives in 2009, when Maj. Nidal Hasan, a jihadi wolf in Army clothing, attacked soldiers who were in-processing and out-processing for the Global War on Terror.

The president, in his remarks mentioned that the “love” of the Fort Hood community was “tested in tragedy.” Make no mistake, what took place at Fort Hood on April 4, when Ivan Lopez, Army Specialist and War on Terror veteran, shot and killed three soldiers and left 16 wounded, was NOT a “tragedy.” Tragedies are very sad events of happenstance. What took place at Fort Hood, twice now in five years, were atrocities, pre-meditated and preventable acts with the purpose of murder and mayhem.

He went on to say:

In our open society, in advanced bases like this, we can never eliminate every risk, but as a nation, we can do more to help counsel those with mental health issues, to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are having such deep difficulties. As a military, we must continue to do everything in our power to secure our facilities and spare others this pain.

“Help counsel?” “Keep firearms out of the hands?” “Do everything in our power?”

And what exactly did you DO, Mr. President? You DID absolutely NOTHING. You’ve KNOWN about the traumatic brain injury (TBI) epidemic amongst returning War on Terror veterans, recently directly linked to post traumatic stress and post traumatic stress disorder (PTS/PTSD), and YOU DID NOTHING. You call Spc. Lopez “mentally ill,” but you don’t KNOW that. He was seen once according to reports, by an Army psychiatrist, and he was prescribed psychotropic and other drugs that we know only complicate health issues for those with PTSD, and which don’t treat the brain hurt of TBI; a physical, not a mental or psychological injury.

You’ve KNOWN about the law that keeps soldiers from carrying weapons on bases, which prevents them from being able to protect themselves in similar situations, since AT LEAST 2009, and YOU DID NOTHING.

Nowhere in the rest of his speech does the president mention ONE IOTA of practical action to prevent a Fort Hood Shooting III.

The president could have come to APOLOGIZE for dong NOTHING. He could have come to announce that instead of victims of “workplace violence,” those killed and wounded in 2009 were to be re-classified as combat casualties, victims of terror, awarded Purple Heart medals, and then made eligible for combat disability pay and benefits. He could have come to repeal the law that prevents professionally trained marksmen soldiers from carrying weapons on post. He chose instead to TALK about doing things, but what things? He didn’t say.

Talk. To this president words equal actions.

What else should we expect from someone who says, “We serve in war,” at the top of his speech, knowing full well he never did any such thing. Would never do any such thing. Could never do any such thing.

Mad? You BET I am. How DARE he PRETEND to care about soldiers and widows and orphans even one-millionth as much as his professed hero, Abraham Lincoln, who in his Second Inaugural Address said:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

The difference is, Lincoln and his predecessor, the maligned but loyal Andrew Johnson, made good on that promise, until of course Obama came along and might have as well said, “what difference does it make?” because that’s what his actions, or lack thereof, have said loud and clear.

“Care” cannot be given when the sacrifice is denied. “Lasting peace” cannot be contrived from false representations and lies about doing unspecified things for nebulous reasons. To our current president, this is just another speech, another opportunity to check the box that says, “Been there, done that! Now can’t you see how much I care about the soldiers?”

The truth is, Obama can’t stand soldiers. Every time he looks at one they remind him of his own shortcomings as a person, and as Commander-in-Chief. His use of a Marine to hold an umbrella over his head during an outdoor press conference was the ultimate insult, and pronounced his ignorance in the proper utilization of military personnel in an example that could not have been made up, or made more plain. If ever there were a poster boy for the Peter Principle it’s him. Eventually, he was promoted to his level of incompetence, and boy, are we paying a heavy price for that.

I am the author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior,” and three times mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Major (Retired). Author web page: http://sbpra.com/montgomeryjgranger/ Twitter @mjgranger1

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Fort Hood II: Negligence Beyond Atrocity

“I’m the daddy.”

“I am the daddy,” he said again as he strode into the large group instruction room at the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) facility at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The speaker was a strapping African American Army major, wearing a flight suit, and about to teach a class on leadership to AMEDD officer basic students, several hundred of us.

“And you all are my children,” he continued.

The major explained that as a leader in the United States Army one of your primary duties was to “care for your soldiers.” The foundation of Army teamwork is the buddy team, you and one other soldier, always aware of each other’s status and state of mind.

The larger picture was that from the command point of view, commanders have ultimate responsibility for their troops. This is a sacred duty, and one that deserved the analogy presented by the major, that while in command he looked after his troops as if they were his own children.

FORT HOOD, TX - APRIL 2, 2014: General Mark Milley, III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General, speaks to media during a press conference about a shooting that occurred earlier in the day at Fort Hood Military Base on April 2, 2014 in Fort Hood, Texas. Milley confirmed that four people were dead in the shooting, including the gunman himself. Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

Imagine the frustration – probably beyond comprehension if it’s not you – of a commander, or a parent, who is unable to properly care for or protect their troops or children, not because they don’t want to, or don’t have the means at their disposal, but because of political protocols manifest as anti-gun laws on military bases.

The newest active shooter incident at Fort Hood, Texas, where four are dead and 16 wounded, should renew our efforts to tell Congress to pass H.R. 3199, the Safe Military Bases Act, introduced by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) in September 2013. The bill was in response to the Washington Navy Yard shooting which took the lives of 12 Department of Defense personnel on Sept. 13, and the first Fort Hood shooting on Nov. 5, 2009, when 13 lives were taken.

Said Stockman, “The Safe Military Bases Act would allow trained soldiers on bases to carry weapons in case of a terrorist attack, to prevent further tragedies like Fort Hood and Navy Yard from happening again.”

He added that the sites are especially “vulnerable” targets for terrorists.

A nation at war cannot afford to leave its most valuable asset, its soldiers, unprotected. Even in peacetime there should be better security for those who might fall victim to a rogue shooter intent on revenge or terror. The world we live in today is a dangerous one, and to turn one’s attention away from obvious risk is negligent at best, and at worst immoral.

Soldiers are trained in the safe care and use of firearms, and in a combat zone carry their weapons and ammunition wherever they go. Doing so on military bases would be a no-brainer if practical and caring commanders were allowed to make that call.

Vehicles are checked outside of the Bernie Beck Gate, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. At least one person was killed and 14 injured in a shooting at Fort Hood, and officials at the base said the shooter is believed to be dead. (AP Photo/American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon)

In an active shooter situation, seconds matter, and it takes minutes for armed law enforcement to arrive on the scene, often too late to prevent an atrocity. And make no mistake, what happened twice now at Fort Hood and at the Washington Navy Yard were not mere tragedies. Far beyond sad accidents, they were deliberate acts that were predictable and preventable. Therefore, those ultimately responsible for the health, safety and welfare of those killed and injured are negligent.

Barack Hussein Obama is the Commander in Chief of all military forces of the United States, and therefore bears full and undeniable responsibility for the newest atrocity.

He failed to properly protect and defend our protectors, not just once, but many times, and not just here on U.S. soil. He clearly does not see himself as “the daddy.” He, his wife and two daughters enjoy around the clock armed security with the Secret Service, and rightly so, but how much less valuable are the men and women who wrote us all a blank check for everything up to and including their lives, that he would ignore incidents of violence against them when they are most vulnerable?

Until or unless all Islamists are dead, or no longer have the means or will to kill us, we must be vigilant and use all means necessary to defend and protect ourselves. That means the passage of H.R. 3199 as at least a start.

Now let’s talk about the shooter’s reported condition prior to the shooting. As facts become available we are learning that the shooter, Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, was being evaluated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and treated for “depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.”

US Army Secretary John McHugh (L) listens while Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno speaks during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill April 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. Sec. McHugh and General Odierno appeared before the committee to speak about fiscal year 2015 budget but also addressed yesterday's shooting at Fort Hood,Texas where 3 people were killed in addition to the shooter who took his own life. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

Secretary of the Army John McHugh stated that Lopez was taking “a number of drugs,” including Ambien to help treat his symptoms, and that the special was seeing a military psychologist.

Lopez drove a truck in Iraq in 2011 and was not reported to have been involved with any combat in that tour. Lopez had a previous tour in Iraq, in 2008, but sources did not elaborate on any details from that deployment. Fort Hood base commander, Lt. Gen. Mike Milly said that Lopez had recently complained of symptoms relating to traumatic brain injury (TBI), but did not elaborate.

Founder and president of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, states on her website that TBI is the “hallmark” injury of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that only 36 percent of the estimated 400,000-plus soldiers affected get treatment for TBI at Veterans Administration medical facilities, although all are eligible.

I spoke with Dr. Gordon on the phone regarding the recent incident with Spc. Lopez, and she reminded me that TBI is a “brain hurt,” not a “mind hurt,” and that treating the physical damage of TBI with psychotropic drugs only makes the situation worse.

ivan

We have a duty to protect those who are vulnerable to attack, but we also have an obligation to take care of those who protect us.

Spc. Lopez was hurting, and in Dr. Gordon’s opinion probably “fell through the cracks” of the military medical system, which will never be an excuse for what he did, but when soldiers complain of symptoms associated with service-related injuries, they need to be properly diagnosed and then treated. The practice of throwing drugs at potential PTSD patients and TBI sufferers must end. Dr. Gordon and her colleagues need your help to continue the fight for the proper diagnosis and treatment of nearly half a million returning veterans from the War on Terror.

Please contact your congressional representatives and let them know you want H.R. 3199 passed NOW, and that you want them to do everything they can to support the proper diagnosis and care of those in the military who suffer from TBI and PTS/PTSD. We all have a responsibility to defend and care for those who defend our freedom and liberty.

NOTE: It was important to Dr. Gordon to tell me that she didn’t want her comments on TBI to be misconstrued as promoting allowing soldiers to carry weapons on military bases.

I am the author of “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior,” and three times mobilized U.S. Army Reserve Major (Retired). Twitter @mjgranger1