AWOL Soldier Refusing Deployment Because of Severe PTSD

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Tel: 215.241.7123
General info/inquiries: ivaw@ivaw.org
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AWOL Soldier Refusing Deployment Because of Severe PTSD

WASHINGTON - Jeff Hanks has refused to return to
Afghanistan due to the injuries he has sustained as a soldier in the
Army's 101st Airborne Division.  Having already served deployments in
Iraq and Afghanistan, Jeff was due to receive medical evaluation and
treatment by the Army during a mid-September leave.  But his command
effectively canceled his appointments in order to send him back to
Afghanistan.  Feeling he had few options, Jeff made the difficult
decision to break the law and go AWOL in order to get the care he so
desperately needs.  He will turn himself in to his military command at
Fort Campbell, KY this Thursday - Veterans Day - to face the legal
consequences of his actions.

Read Jeff's full story in this article originally published on Truthout.org. 

With the help of Iraq Veterans Against the War's Operation Recovery Campaign,
Jeff has gotten civilian medical care, and the moral and legal support
he needs. IVAW is working with Courage to Resist to raise legal funds
for Jeff's case.  To make a donation, click here
and type "JH Legal Defense" in the Special Project box, or you can make
a check out to IVAW and put "JH Legal Defense" in the memo line.  Send
your check or money order for Jeff's legal defense to: IVAW, 630 Ninth
Avenue, Suite 807, New York, NY  10036.

To forward Jeff's story to your friends and colleagues click here.

Thousands of soldiers like Jeff are
being denied their right to heal by the U.S. military so it can continue
its ongoing occupations.  Approximately 20% of the current fighting force are suffering from un-treated trauma.  Our Operation Recovery Campaign will to stop the deployment of traumatized troops and hold those accountable who send them back into war.

Operation Recovery's Veterans Day Outreach Week

This week, in honor of Veterans Day,
teams of IVAW members across the country are conducting outreach to
veterans on college campuses and to service members on military bases. 
We are surveying veterans and GIs about their experience with trauma and
spreading the word about our right to heal.  Our campaign Research Team
is analyzing data and preparing to file Freedom of Information Act
Requests (FOIA) to find out:

  • Which military bases are re-deploying the most troops to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan?
  • How many service members are being screened for trauma before they are re-deployed?
  • How do military protocols for mental health care compare to actual treatment? 

This Veterans Day, we are honoring our military brothers and sisters by taking action.  Join us by signing the Operation Recovery Pledge of Support to help us reach 10,000 signatures by Thursday. 

Can you help us meet this goal?  It will take 60 seconds or less to sign the Pledge of Support.  Just click here.

Today we are at 5,177 pledges. 

We need 4,823 more signatures to meet our goal of 10,000 by Thursday, Veterans Day.

Letting
GIs and veterans know that we have 10,000 supporters standing with us
will send a powerful message that they are not alone.

With your help, we can get there.

Take the Pledge of Support now.

Thank you for standing with us.

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Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy group of veterans and active-duty U.S. military personnel who have served since September 11, 2001. IVAW’s Right to Heal Initiative is focused on holding the U.S. government accountable for human right violations of the health of Iraqis, Afghans and U.S. veterans. IVAW currently has over 2,500 members in fifty states, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Afghanistan.

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