I thought Abel Pharmboy was exaggerating when he retweeted a Twitt from Tom Levenson as "Pulitzer bait". Christ. Just go read this two part series at the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The hell of war comes home.
Before the murders started, Anthony Marquez's mom dialed his sergeant at Fort Carson to warn that her son was poised to kill.
It was February 2006, and the 21-year-old soldier had not been the same since being wounded and coming home from Iraq eight months before. He had violent outbursts and thrashing nightmares. He was devouring pain pills and drinking too much. He always packed a gun.
"It was a dangerous combination. I told them he was a walking time bomb," said his mother, Teresa Hernandez.
His sergeant told her there was nothing he could do. Then, she said, he started taunting her son, saying things like, "Your mommy called. She says you are going crazy."
Needham's father and Andrew Pogany , a veterans' advocate and former Fort Carson sergeant, persuaded commanders to keep Needham from going back to Iraq so he could continue psychiatric treatment.
But, his father said, his son didn't get it.
Laws prevent the Army from discussing medical treatment of soldiers. Needham's father said his son was kept on the drugs but never received counseling.
Instead, he said, his son was berated by sergeants.
"They would write things on the chalkboard in his barracks like 'John Needham is a shit bag cry baby PTSD boohoo,'" his father said.