A day before he was to return to active duty, a U.S. Marine stood on a Chicago street and begged his cousin for help.II. From the LA Times:
Moises Hernandez had just come home from Iraq last month and was having nightmares and didn't want to go back to the war, he told his cousin, according to prosecutors.
"Shoot me," Hernandez allegedly told his cousin.
The cousin was hesitant at first, then relented and allegedly shot Hernandez in the leg early Saturday morning. ***
Moises' father, Ray Hernandez, said his son was obviously troubled when he returned home at the end of June. He had nightmares, would roam the house flipping the lights on and off, and sometimes would shake at night.
His son had been sent to Indonesia after the tsunami hit last December and talked about the dead bodies he saw floating in the ocean. In Iraq, he also saw death up close, his father said.
"It hurt me to hear him say what he had to do,'' said Hernandez, 43. "Whatever he experienced changed him totally." ***
"I am sure my son is not the only one affected,'' he said. "I am sure a lot of them don't come back with a straight mind. ... The only thing my son is guilty of is making a bad decision. I still love my son. He made a bad decision.''
[Sgt. Brent Cox's] wife was five months pregnant when she announced she was leaving him and going back home to Lawton, Okla.
[Pvt. Ray Hall] visited the Internet trailer less often after he checked the phone messages on his home answering machine one day and heard another man tell his wife he loved her.
[Spc. Jason Garcia] stopped hearing from his girlfriend and started tracking his bank account. He said thousands of dollars of his saved pay was gone and she had found somebody else. ***
Divorce rates among active-duty personnel in all branches of the U.S. military:
- 2000: 19,223
- 2001: 18,774
- 2002: 21,629
- 2003: 23,080
- 2004: 26,784