Skip to comments.Staff Sgt. Eisenhauer thought he was shooting at Afghan insurgents during standoff with police
Posted on 04/14/2012 6:58:03 AM PDT by tired&retired
The father of a Fort Bragg soldier charged with shooting at Fayetteville police and firefighters from his apartment in January says his son suffered from war-induced mental problems and thought he was firing at Afghan insurgents.
Staff Sgt. Joshua "Ike" Eisenhauer, 30, was wounded by police, who returned fire in the four-hour standoff at Austin Creek apartments.
His father, Mark Eisenhauer, says that although he and his wife are uncertain of the events of Jan. 13, their son told them he was alone in his apartment about 10 p.m. when he awoke to the sound of people running up the front and back stairs of his third-floor apartment and then saw a small fire on his deck.
Joshua Eisenhauer flashed back "to combat in Afghanistan, fired on the 'insurgents' who were actually firemen and police officers and was seriously injured with gunshot wounds to his upper chest, right face and right thigh," his father says.
(Excerpt) Read more at fayobserver.com ...
If this man was previously diagnosed with both physical and psychological injuries received in combat, and already was in a PTSD treatment program and receiving surgery to treat physical combat wounds prior to the event, why is he just sitting there, rotting in prison? We give our POW's better treatment at Guantanamo who have done far worse! Get him the treatment he needs and help him heal. I'm not talking about pushing pain killers and antidepressants until you can shove him out in the community. Come on military, if your other soldiers see you treating one of your own this way, how do they know that you won't turn on them in a time of need also?
I understand this soldier hurt no one in the confrontation where he experienced PTSD. If this combat trained soldier with extensive combat fighting experience would have wanted to kill someone, they would be dead. It appears he had far more restraint than the police who fired randomly on his apartment building!
My prayers are with this man.
Suicides, disputes spur probe of Bragg WTU
By Joe Gould - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Mar 4, 2012 9:27:37 EST
In the wake of six suicides and 25 domestic disputes reported among soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., over a five-week span, 18th Airborne Corps commander Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick has called for a thorough investigation of the posts Warrior Transition Battalion.
Helmicks announcement followed an emotional meeting between a dozen wounded soldiers, spouses and other advocates Feb. 15. The group voiced complaints about the alleged overmedication of soldiers in the warrior transition battalion and their inability to get the care they need.
Toni Woodman-Mc-Neill told officials at the meeting that her soldier husband was denied needed surgeries while his condition deteriorated and his dependence on pain medication increased. Her husband, Sgt. Lee McNeill, 43, suffers from cognitive problems, post-traumatic stress disorder and spinal injuries from an explosion while he deployed to Iraq, she said.
The problem is when [injured soldiers are] going to be med-boarded out, they stop medical treatment and just give them pain medication, Woodman-McNeill told Army Times. I had to give up my career to take care of him because they werent taking care of him.
In another case, a former paratrooper assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion fired at police and firefighters outside his home last month, local police said. The soldier, Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer, was shot by police and has been in custody since the Jan. 24 incident. He faces 15 counts of attempted first-degree murder and other charges.
The investigation of the Warrior Transition Battalion which Army officials are terming an inspection is being conducted by the 18th Airborne Corps inspector general, Col. Maggie Dunn.
At Fort Bragg, Woodman-McNeill said she had to fight with her husbands superiors to get him spinal surgery, and he is awaiting surgery for one of his shoulders. Meanwhile, she said, he has been on a cocktail of medications that alter his moods and sleeping patterns.
Instead of giving him medications and fixing the problem, they keep feeding him pain medications, she said. At one point a doctor told me, Theres nothing wrong with your husband. So I told him, If theres nothing wrong, why are you making him a drug addict?
Dogs and cats get better care by veterinarians than soldiers do, said retired Navy Cmdr. Bill Manofsky of California.
Manofsky said he has been fighting for better military medical care since 2003. He said he helped expose abuse and mistreatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2004.
That abuse led to the formation of the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg and 34 others around the country.
A very good friend of mine did 5 tours in Iraq and was part of a Marine Corps battalion that was instrumental in the fall of Fallujah. He saw humanity at its most feral. This guy was a fun-loving, beer swilling, tail chasing good ole boy in high school. He drove fast cars but was smart as a whip and as respectful as any English gentleman.
When he was finally given his last leave and returned home, I didn’t recognize who he was. He was gaunt and tired. He aged ten years in less than five. He was emotionally unwound and would cry just talking about a baseball game.
I remember sitting at a Winghouse with him having a beer and some wings when an old car backfired in a parking lot across the way. He dropped to the floor quicker than I’ve ever seen anyone move and was shaking like a wet dog. It took me ten minutes to convince him that he wasn’t back in Iraq. He was at the VA the next morning and they gave him “Happy pills,” as he called them.
He killed himself a few days later. His suicide note was a rambling screed full of inadequacy and fear. He could not remember how to behave in the civilian world. Everyone he met was a potential threat. “This is how we stay alive,” he used to tell me. For a guy who was 6’4”, 200+ lb. he sure was afraid of a lot of things.
I cannot possibly imagine what life was like over there. PTSD is one Hell of an issue for these boys. Some deal better than others. Alan couldn’t. His heart was in the desert with his boys.
This country has treated our combat veterans like sh!t for years. I'd even make the case that their treatment while still on active duty has been disgraceful (e.g., SSgt. Bales doing five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan).
I hope I'm wrong, but I think this kind of situation is going to become more common over time.
Wow, your story is very moving.....
I’ve had many soldiers tell me that under the O’Bummer rules of engagement, they are not allowed to shoot back, even when shot at. The new rules of engagement make our soldiers sitting ducks!
The suicide rate is high as they are putting our soldiers in no win situations and taking away their power. They feel helpless.
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I don't mean to turn this into a political rant, but I think situations like the one you described illustrate just how idiotic it is to turn our soldiers into a "foreign legion" that gets sent all over the world fighting these stupid wars that last for years and eventually don't even make sense anymore. The U.S. military has been engaged in active combat in Afghanistan, for example, for more than an 'effing decade, and you probably can't find five people in the halls of Congress who can even explain coherently why we're still there.
The very concept of an armed citizenry is predicated on the notion that the nation will not need a large standing military force, and can instead rely on "citizen soldiers" to defend it in a time of need. When someone like your friend gets sent overseas for five combat tours, he's already operating at an emotional disadvantage because he's completely out of his element in a strange place, fighting a war that has absolutely nothing to do with defending his home and country.
I am so sorry to read what happened to your friend. I use to hear the saying, “His body returned home but he was left there”. I really didn’t understand it fully but I do now. In a way, your friend “died” in Iraq. The Alan that returned home really wasn’t him. He died in the War. IMHO. Prayers for you, and Alan’s family.
Yeah, they had one of our dudes on Xanax. It's like he was in love all of a sudden with the drug and the psychiatrists and became the biggest coward ready to denounce any of us if he was not behaving in his own best interest.
It was a nightmare. He was a good soldier and he came out completely ate up, inconsiderate, unprofessional and was screaming at the top of his lungs about why the commander did not want him to touch the equipment while under the influence of "happy pills".
It's like a drunk who gets angry for you taking away his car keys, trying to influence you and I while they are under the influence of a substance that makes them think they are invincible and can act like jerks if they want to. However, unlike alcohol temporary effects, it seemed that Xanax got him real stuck on stupid for a long time.
As George Carlin said, “Post-traumatic stress disorder.” I’ll bet you if we’d have still been calling it “Shell Shock”, some of those Vietnam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time.
Alan never took the pills they gave him. I do believe it was Xanax, and as I recall, the VA marked his file as if he killed himself due to depression. I can tell you that he wasn’t depressed when he left, and there’s no way to know now if those pills would’ve helped him adjust back to civilian life.
When he got back, he drank... A LOT. I took him to an AA meeting, but he shrugged it off later and simply said, “That’s not me.” I never evangelized to him about it, because I truly believed that he didn’t drink for the same reason those in AA drank.
Alan believed that what he was doing in Iraq truly meant something. He said the locals were grateful for their presence. He spoke Arabic pretty well, and he was often an interpreter/liaison for his squad. He said the locals often related stories about the brutality of the police under Saddam and feared that when Americans left, the country would be left with something even worse than the old guard police. Apparently their fears were justified.
Alan was back stateside in 2007, so thankfully he never had to deal with Obama’s military RoE. I do remember him saying that a LOT of Marines were concerned about Obama being in the race. Even back then, they could see through the veil.
The Silver Star Families of America has started an investigation into all WTU’s.
The results so far are horrific.
Yeah, it is common in military pow wows to blame suicide and depression on anything other than the behavior of the trickle down leadership of the One into the ranks. The interviews will blame a third party (wife problems) or circumstance (depression), and not on whether he was threatened for upsetting the locals because he used self defense, for example.
The government talks about not losing good soldiers but it does because of bad networking of potential or abandoning some potential for politics. It thus is not uncommon to see a commander beg a good soldier to stay while berating him for not covering up his arse, ie. speaking up his mind when unprofessional or irresponsible behavior violating the law occures above. They cannot have it both ways, ie. you cannot keep a good soldier expecting him to carry all the wrongs of the unit on his back and fix everything, including the bad policies and behaviors of the upper ranks. That’s madness. One might as well either leave physicaly, or, as you say, just lose your mind, as a mean to get out.
I had drill sergeants during basic who encouraged me to shoot at insurgents and others who were ready to crush me if “I did not think of the rules of engagement”. The latter were usually considered the jerks because no one felt safe or able to survive around this type of kiss @$$ back stabbing mentalities.
In any case, self hate becomes the norm as a result, ie. a shame to be, say, a good guy, a family man, as opposed to a haji or something crazy and celebrity oriented the way Bin Laden is playing it. So the behaviors deteriorate as a result of poor leadership and a general enforcement of a state of stupor that narrows further down the focus to myopic views of life pushing people over the edge instead of seeing possibilities beyond a day at a time - giving the day a chance to open doors “like in a video game where undiscovered higher levels all of a sudden open up” as one recovering civilian contractor once explained his epiphany when “opportunities” occured as he held on - ie. they decided to stop cock blocking him for some reason and they needed a spot to be filled.
It’s sad to see good men destroyed because of government bull crap and little lies for petty details, and this is why government care of this country is going to be a complete disaster. Government is hired to do a job for the advancement of business, not the other way around.
Alan had a unit of men under him. He was a Sgt, as I recall. He talked briefly about losing some men under his watch, esp. during Fallujah. He rarely talked about actual combat while over there, but he did “zone out” on occasion. I asked him once about basic, and he did mention that his drill was well-liked and respected. I suppose it varies from soldier to soldier.
Been Married to a Veteran for 49 Years. I could tell you some Stories I have went through Probably scare some of you. No doubt in my mind He Thought it was the enemy. Mrs. easternsky
****when an old car backfired in a parking lot across the way. He dropped to the floor***
I’ve known WWII vets who would do that. Some even went way out in the country every 4th of July so as not to hear the constant Pop.Pop of firecrackers.
Well said.. Thank you for sharing.