Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Post Traumatic Stress and the Hired Gun

What is not known is the impact among those who work in the armed private security sector

“There’s loads of loose cannons running around”

BBC Scotland  October 1, 2012

Former SAS soldier Bob Paxman – who served in Iraq as well as other hostile environments – is one of a growing number of former servicemen who say they have suffered with the mental health condition Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

After a number of years in the military, Paxman retrained as a private security contractor, on protection contracts in Africa and Iraq.

He says as a result of being constantly in a dangerous environment and witnessing colleagues being killed and maimed he was diagnosed with PTSD.

The stress disorder is thought to affect up to 20% of military personnel who have served in conflict zones, according to research published by the National Center for PTSD in the US.

What is not known is the impact among those who work in the armed private security sector, many of whom are drawn from the military.

Yet the condition, says Paxman, led to him having flashbacks and becoming violent and paranoid.

“I was a danger to the public, a danger to myself,” Paxman says.

“A danger to whoever was perceived as being the enemy.”

Please read the entire article here

October 1, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, Security Clearances, Traumatic Brain Injury, Vetting Employees | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will ArmorGroup, AGNA, G4S, finally be held accountable for the deaths of Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare??

The programme-makers heard stories of contractors being forced to work on dangerous missions with inadequate equipment, incident reports sanitised to protect company reputations and numerous deaths of former soldiers.

One security contractor, Bob Shepherd, said: “We know when a soldier dies it’s all over the newspapers, it’s on the TV. But we never know when security contractors die.

“For the companies it’s bad for business, for the government it’s hiding the true cost of these conflicts.

“If the British taxpayers knew the total numbers of people that have died on behalf of British security companies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan they would be shocked.”

BBC News Oct 1, 2012

Security firm G4S was sent warnings not to employ an armed guard in Iraq just days before he murdered two colleagues, a BBC investigation has found.

Private security guard Paul McGuigan, from the Scottish Borders, was shot dead by Danny Fitzsimons in 2009 in Baghdad while on a protection contract.

Another man, Australian Darren Hoare, was also killed.

All were working for UK contractor G4S, which was operating under the name ArmorGroup in the region.

Violent criminal

In a BBC documentary, it is revealed that a G4S worker sent a series of emails to the company in London, warning them about Fitzsimons’s previous convictions and unstable behaviour.

The anonymous whistleblower signed one email “a concerned member of the public and father”.

The worker warned G4S: “I am alarmed that he will shortly be allowed to handle a weapon and be exposed to members of the public.

“I am speaking out because I feel that people should not be put at risk.”

Another email, sent as Fitzsimons was due to start work in Baghdad, said: “Having made you aware of the issues regarding the violent criminal Danny Fitzsimons, it has been noted that you have not taken my advice and still choose to employ him in a position of trust.

“I have told you that he remains a threat and you have done nothing.”

Within 36 hours of arriving in Iraq in August 2009, Fitzsimons – a former paratrooper – had shot and killed the two men after what he claimed was a drunken brawl.

Paul McGuigan Paul McGuigan was killed by Fitzsimons

An Iraqi colleague was also wounded as Fitzsimons tried to flee the scene.

Fitzsimons had worked as a private security contractor before in Iraq, but he had been sacked for punching a client.

At the time he was taken on by G4S, Fitzsimons also had a criminal record, was facing outstanding charges of assault and a firearms offence, and had been diagnosed by doctors as having PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

In the documentary, the parents of Paul McGuigan call for the company to face criminal charges over the killing.

His mother Corinne Boyd-Russell, from Innerleithen in the Borders, said: “[Fitzsimons] fired the bullets. But the gun was put in his hand by G4S ArmorGroup. They put the gun in that man’s hand.

“I want G4S to be charged with corporate manslaughter and be held accountable for what they did.”

Corinne Boyd-Russell Corinne Boyd-Russell wants G4S charged with corporate manslaughter

The parents of Danny Fitzsimons, who is serving 20 years in a Baghdad prison after being sentenced for the murders in February 2011, were also shocked to hear about the existence of the emails.

Liz Fitzsimons, from Manchester, said: “And they still took him out there? They [G4S] need to be taken to task for that.

“The people who we feel are responsible, who we hold responsible for putting that gun in Danny’s hand, are without a shadow of a doubt G4S.”

A G4S spokesman admitted that its screening of Danny Fitzsimons “was not completed in line with the company’s procedures”.

It said vetting had been tightened since the incident.

Regarding the email warnings, the spokesman G4S told the BBC it was aware of the allegations but that an internal investigation showed “no such emails were received by any member of our HR department”.

He did not say whether anyone else in the company had seen them.

An inquest into the death of Paul McGuigan, a former Royal Marine, is due to begin in December.

The revelations in the Fitzsimons case come just weeks after G4S found itself at the centre of a crisis over its inability to meet its commitment to recruit security staff for the Olympics in London.

It is the biggest security company in the world in an industry that is worth about £400bn globally

WARNINGS ABOUT KILLER OF SCOT WENT UNHEEDED  October 1, 2012

Danny Fitzsimons was sentenced to at least 20 years in an Iraqi prison last year

CONTROVERSIAL security firm G4S ignored warnings not to employ an armed guard in Iraq who went on to murder two of his colleagues, it has been claimed.

Danny Fitzsimons was sentenced to at least 20 years in an Iraqi prison last year for killing Scot Paul McGuigan and Australian Darren Hoare in Baghdad in 2009.The parents of Paul McGuigan, 37, have now called for G4S ArmorGroup to face criminal charges for failing to heed the warnings and sending Fitzsimons to Iraq.Now a new BBC Scotland documentary has revealed that G4S was warned not to employ Fitzsimons, who was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and had been fired by a previous security contractor for punching a client.

It emerged that a whistleblower sent two e-mails to the London-based company, which operates as Armorgroup in Iraq, expressing concerns that Fitzsimons’ unstable behaviour made him unsuitable to be handling weapons in a war zone.

The first e-mail, revealed in tonight’s BBC Scotland Investigates: Britain’s Private War programme, reads: “I am alarmed that he will shortly be allowed to handle a weapon and be exposed to members of the public. I am speaking out because I feel that people should not be put at risk.”And in a second e-mail, sent as 32-year-old Fitzsimons was about to start work in Baghdad, the whistleblower adds:“Having made you aware of the issues regarding the violent criminal Danny Fitzsimons, it has been noted that you have not taken my advice and still choose to employ him in a position of trust.

“I have told you that he remains a threat and you have done nothing.”Paul McGuigan’s mother, Corinne Boyd-Russell, from Innerleithen, in Peebleshire, said: “Fitzsimons fired the bullets. But the gun was put in his hand by G4S ArmorGroup.“I want G4S to be charged with corporate manslaughter and be held accountable for what they did.”

The parents of Fitzsimons were also shocked to hear about the existence of the e-mails.

Mother Liz Fitzsimons, from Manchester, said: “The people who we feel are responsible, who we hold responsible for putting that gun in Danny’s hand, are without a shadow of a doubt G4S.”

The news comes just months after the UK Government was forced to call in 1,200 troops to police the Olympic Games venues after G4S failed to provide enough staff.

The firm recently won a £20million contract to manage the electronic tagging of Scottish offenders.

A spokesman for G4S said: “Although there was evidence that Mr Fitzsimons falsified and apparently withheld material information during the recruitment process, his screening was not completed in line with the company’s procedures.

“Our screening processes should have been better implemented in this situation, but it is a matter of speculation what, if any, role this may have played in the incident.”

September 30, 2012 Posted by | ArmorGroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Follow the Money, G4S, Lawsuits, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Security Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Security Clearances, State Department, Vetting Employees, Wackenhut | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine Veteran KBR PTSD Casualty Wade Dill July 16, 2006

After many years of surviving an extremely abusive Overly Zealous Defense

Wade Dill’s  family was finally provided death benefits under the Defense Base Act

These benefits were recently taken away by the Benefits Review Board when Attorney Bruce Nicholson, who was actively pursuing a settlement with KBR/AIG’s Attorney Michael Thomas, had a contract with the widow, was the attorney of record with the BRB, did not as much as respond to the Appeal.

While Bruce Nicholson is the one who apparently purposely abandoned the claim, Michael Thomas and the BRB were more than happy to carry on without notifying the widow that AIG’s appeal of her claim was unopposed.

Our thoughts are with you today Barb

July 15, 2012 Posted by | AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Follow the Money, Halliburton, KBR, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PTSD Casualty- Hidden war zone scars claim another soldier/civilian contractor’s life

Another Defense Base Act PTSD failure.

McIntosh took his own life in February in Harlingen, Texas. He was 35

Doug Robinson at Deseret News  June 5, 2012

Dale McIntosh stands with children in Central America. McIntosh did private security work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dale McIntosh was no stranger to death. When it wasn’t everywhere around him, it was a constant threat, something that kept him literally looking over his shoulder for months at a time.

A former Marine, he hired himself out as a privately contracted bodyguard in the Middle East, where he lived on the edge and saw and did things so terrible that it haunted him. He survived firefights, ambushes, exploding cars, road mines, snipers and rocket-propelled grenades. In the end, he escaped without any wounds, or at least none we could see.

When he returned, he seemed to be the Dale that his friends remembered — charming, gregarious, warm, outgoing — but inside, he was hurting and disturbed. McIntosh brought demons home with him.

In 2006, I wrote a lengthy profile about McIntosh, then a student at Westminster who took time off from his studies to pursue quick money and an adrenaline fix in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the postscript: McIntosh took his own life in February in Harlingen, Texas. He was 35

After graduating from Utah State, Dale served five years in the Marines — part of it in special ops — but felt unfulfilled because he never saw action. He compared it to being an athlete who never got in the game. Eager to use his military skills and see action, he signed on to do private security work. At the time, there was a big demand for security firms, the most famous and controversial of which was Blackwater. With a shortage of manpower, the U.S. government hired the firms to protect American interests and personnel in the Middle East. They were largely ungoverned by law, which did not make them popular at home or abroad. McIntosh spent six months in Afghanistan, five months in Iraq, two months in Bosnia and then another two months in Iraq before returning to Utah in the fall of 2005.

Doug Robinson has written at length about his friend Dale.  Please read the entire story here

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Balkans, Blackwater, Central America, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Iraq, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Security Contractor, Veterans | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tim Eysselinck Contractor Casualty Eight Years Ago Today

Tim Eysselinck

You and your family in our thoughts today and everyday

April 23, 2012 Posted by | AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Explosive Remnants of War, Iran, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department | , , , | Leave a comment

War is Brain Damaging

The Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and the Department of Labor are as negligent as the Department of Defense when it comes denying the dangers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, and most negligently when a contractor suffers from both.

“a potentially lethal combination of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. When the frontal lobe — which controls emotions — is damaged, it simply can’t put on the brakes if a PTSD flashback unleashes powerful feelings. Seeing his buddy’s leg blown off may have unleashed a PTSD episode his damaged brain couldn’t stop”

The New York Times Sunday Review

These vets suffer from a particular kind of brain damage that results from repeated exposure to the concussive force of improvised explosive devices — I.E.D.’s — a regular event for troops traveling the roads in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It’s Russian roulette,” one vet told me, “We had one guy in our company who got hit nine times before the 10th one waxed him.” An I.E.D. explosion can mean death or at least a lost arm or leg, but you don’t have to take a direct hit to feel its effects. A veteran who’d been in 26 blasts explained, “It feels like you’re whacked in the head with a shovel. When you come to, you don’t know whether you’re dead or alive.”

The news that Robert Bales, an Army staff sergeant accused of having killed 16 Afghan civilians last week, had suffered a traumatic brain injury unleashed a flurry of e-mails among those of us who have been trying to beat the drums about this widespread — and often undiagnosed — war injury. New facts about Staff Sgt. Bales are coming out daily. After we heard about the brain injury that resulted when his vehicle rolled over in an I.E.D. blast, we were told that he had lost part of his foot in a separate incident. Then we learned that the day before his rampage, he’d been standing by a buddy when that man’s leg was blown off. There are also reports of alcohol use.

People with more appropriate professional skills than mine will have to parse these facts, but from what I have learned in my work as a storyteller, this tragedy may be related to something I heard about in my interviews: a potentially lethal combination of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. When the frontal lobe — which controls emotions — is damaged, it simply can’t put on the brakes if a PTSD flashback unleashes powerful feelings. Seeing his buddy’s leg blown off may have unleashed a PTSD episode his damaged brain couldn’t stop. If alcohol was indeed part of the picture, it could have further undermined his compromised frontal lobe function

Please see the original and read more here

March 18, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan shooting suspect’s friend had leg blown off

From the AP  March 16, 2012

Attorney John Henry Browne talks to reporters, Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Seattle. Browne will be representing the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The soldier’s attorney, Seattle attorney John Henry Browne, told reporters Thursday that the day before the rampage, he saw his friend’s leg blown off.

Browne told The Associated Press that his client’s family provided him with details of the injury to another U.S. soldier. The details have not been independently verified.

“His leg was blown off, and my client was standing next to him,” he said Thursday.

It isn’t clear whether the incident might have helped prompt the horrific middle-of-the-night attack on civilians in two villages last Sunday. Browne said it affected all of the soldiers at the base.

The suspect had been injured twice during his three previous deployments to Iraq and didn’t want to go to Afghanistan to begin with, Browne said.

Browne declined to release his client’s name, citing concerns for the man’s family, which is under protection on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma. But he said the soldier has two young children, ages 3 and 4.

Please see the original and read more here

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury | , , | Leave a comment

U.S. serviceman kills 16 in house-to-house village shooting, Afghan officials say

By msnbc.com staff and news services  March 14, 2012

Updated at 7:59 a.m. ET: KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. soldier who allegedly shot 16 Afghan villagers was caught on surveillance video that showed him walking up to his base and raising his arms in surrender, Afghan officials who viewed the footage said.

The video reportedly was shot from a blimp and showed the soldier walking up to his base covered in a traditional Afghan shawl. The soldier removed the shawl and put his weapon on the ground, then raised his arms in surrender, unidentified Afghan officials told Reuters and The Associated Press.


The video had been shown to investigators to help dispel a widely held belief among Afghans, including many members of parliament, that more than one soldier must have been involved because of the high death toll, the officials told journalists.

Shooting suspect was trained sniper  March12, 2012

The soldier detained for the shootings in Afghanistan was a qualified infantry sniper, a senior Department of Defense official told CNN. (See also: heightened security in Afghanistan)

The soldier was injured in a vehicle rollover while in Iraq in 2010, according to the official. The official described it as a non-combat rollover. He was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) but was found fit for duty.

His family has been moved on to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for their safety, the official said.

After an Afghan soldier alerted the U.S. military at the base of the soldier’s initial departure, the U.S. military put up an aircraft to search for the missing soldier. Soon after, Afghan civilians came to the gate carrying wounded civilians, the first indication the military had of the shooting.

When the soldier turned himself over to the search party, he immediately invoked his rights not to speak. He has been moved to Kandahar and put in pre-trial confinement, a congressional source told CNN.

Seattle Times  March 11, 2012 10pm

“It appears he walked off post and later returned and turned himself in,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Williams, a military spokesman. The NATO force said the assailant acknowledged he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shootings, which began about 3 a.m.

The soldier’s name has not been released, but a U.S. official told ABC News he is a 38-year-old staff sergeant who is married with two children and had served three tours in Iraq. This was his first tour in Afghanistan, where he has been since early December, the official said.

Separately, a senior U.S. military official confirmed that the sergeant was attached to a unit based at Lewis-McChord, located near Tacoma, and that he had been part of what is called a village-stabilization operation in Afghanistan, in which teams of Green Berets, supported by other soldiers, try to develop close ties with village elders, organize local police units and track down Taliban leaders. The official said the sergeant was not a Green Beret himself.

Soldier accused in Afghan killings from Lewis-McChord

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in cold blood is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, ABC News is reporting.

The soldier is reported to be a 38-year-old staff sergeant. His name and unit were not immediately available.

LA Times  March 11, 2012

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — A lone American serviceman slipped away from his base in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday and went on a methodical house-to-house shooting spree in a nearby village, killing 16 people, nearly all of them women and children, according to Afghan officials who visited the scene.

The NATO force confirmed that the assailant was in military custody, and that he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shooting spree at about 3 a.m. Sunday. The U.S. Embassy called for calm and expressed deep condolences; the Taliban referred to the killings as an “act of genocide.”

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that the shooter was a staff sergeant and a member of the U.S. special operations forces who had been involved in training the Afghan police.

The incident, potentially the worst atrocity of the 10-year war to be deliberately carried out by a single member of the Western military, represents a stunning setback to U.S.-Afghan relations, already shaken by last month’s burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. military base north of Kabul

Please see the original and read more here

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Former Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Terrell, Civilian Contractor, Murdered in Afghanistan

Editors Note:  A murder would be covered under the DBA, a suicide would not….

Vicki Terrell  Comment left on November 7, 2010

I know for a fact the the CID in Afghanistan do not investigate all of the cases!

My husband, Paul A. Terrell, was murdered on base at Camp Phoenix on June 17, 2010 and they are trying to say that it was a suicide. It was NOT suicide! He had only been back on base for a few hours after a 2 week vacation home.

He was retired from the US Navy and on his third tour as a civilian contractor.

His passport is still missing along with his cell phone he had just called me from.

They have given me at least 5 places where his passport is and every place they say claims to not have it.

He was hung in his shop in the early hours of June 17.

When they sent me the list of evidence from the scene, the top of the list was a cigarette butt. When I told them that my husband did NOT smoke, they said they would do DNA on the cigarette.

Now they claim that the DNA matched and when they sent his things home they DID NOT send his shaving kit (obviously where I could have gotten DNA).

They waited to send everything home until he was cremated so I could not get his DNA.

Thinking I could trust the military to due a proper investigation

I WILL eventually find out what happened and clear my husband’s name, but until then there will not be any closure for myself or our 2 granddaughters that we are raising. I have contacted 2 of his friends there only to be hung up on or ignored.

It makes me wonder if they are afraid or been ordered not to talk to me.

If anyone out there knows of someone that will investigate this, please let me know.

My husband was not depressed or unhappy. He was there to serve his country and make the money to send our girls to college. We were very happily married without problems. A few hours before he had even gone jogging and told these friends about us looking for a new home in Florida on his vacation!

I ask you…Is this a man that would have committed suicide? Absolutely not…He WAS murdered!!!

February 24, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Confessions of a Private Security Contractor

 by Suzanne Kelly at CNN’s Security Clearance  December 27, 2011

“There are a lot of assumptions about contractors, and a lot of the assumptions are wrong.” Those are the words of a private security contractor who asked to be referred to only as “Lloyd” for this story, because like most of his colleagues he is not authorized to speak to the media.

By Lloyd’s count, he has spent some 1,000 days working in Afghanistan in the past four years. He, like many other well-trained military men, decided to leave his position as a Navy SEAL and take his chances finding employment in one of the hot spots around the world where highly skilled contractors were well-paid, and in demand.

Very few people outside the contracting industry really understood just what a private security contractor did before March 31, 2004. That was the day four American security contractors accompanying a shipment of kitchen equipment through Iraq were ambushed, killed, set on fire, dragged through the streets, and hung from a bridge before a cheering crowd in the city of Fallujah.

As shock subsided, questions arose. Who were these American men? If they weren’t members of the military, what were they doing in one of the most volatile regions of Iraq?

All four men were private security contractors working for a company called Blackwater. At the time the company, like many others, was just getting on its feet as U.S. demand for security services skyrocketed. The government needed armed, well-trained security personnel in hostile territories. The new push started when the United States went to war in a CIA-led operation in Afghanistan in 2001. e CIA’s early advance teams were not fully prepared for the pace of their own success. They quickly needed makeshift facilities to hold hostile enemy combatants and establish secure operating bases. The military wasn’t yet in a position to help, so the CIA hired Blackwater.

It was a similar story when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. A heavy presence of diplomats and reconstruction experts working in a hostile area meant they needed to be protected. Blackwater won a part of the contract to provide security services in the country. But being a private security contractor was a shady business, if not in the “legal” sense, in the “keeping off the radar” sense. Many of the contracts that were granted to companies such as Blackwater included clauses that severely limited the companies’ ability to talk to members of the media. Contracting was, by the design of the U.S. government, secretive.

Please read the entire story here

December 27, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Blackwater, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, State Department | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ft Bragg soldier killed wife, himself

WRAL.com December 13, 2011

Raeford, N.C. — A Fort Bragg soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan shot and killed his wife before turning a gun on himself, Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said Tuesday.

Deputies responded to 115 Patolly Place after receiving a 911 call late Saturday and found two people dead inside from gunshot wounds, Peterkin said.

Investigators determined that Seth Andrews, 24, killed Hillary Morgan Andrews and then committed suicide.

According to information that Fort Bragg provided to investigators, Seth Andrews returned from a one-year deployment to Afghanistan between Nov. 26 and Nov. 29.

The case remains under investigation

Please see the original here

December 13, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Base Act Class Action

Statement concerning filing of class action for fraud and bad faith against KBR, DynCorp, Blackwater, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting, CNA Insurance, AIG Insurance and others who conspired to deny benefits to severely injured contractors and to harm them further

Scott Bloch  files complaint for $2 billion against major government contractors like

KBR, Blackwater.XE,  DynCorp, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting and the global insurance carriers AIG, CNA, ACE and Zurich, on behalf of thousands of former employees, for unlawful, fraudulent and bad-faith mistreatment of injured employees and their families   

WASHINGTON, DC (September 26, 2011)

Since 2003, top government contractors like Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, CSA/AECOM and ITT have been perpetrating a fraud on their employees and on the American public. 

The silent warriors who work for these companies, many of them decorated former military service members, have been injured, mistreated and abandoned by the contracting companies and their insurance carriers who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars in premiums.

“It is a grave injustice,” Bloch said, “to those who rode alongside American soldiers, including Iraqi and Afghani Nationals, to be case aside without the benefits of the law.  We are supposedly trying to bring them the rule of law.  We are supposedly trying to encourage them in democratic institutions. 

We are the ones asking them to believe in justice and individual rights. 

This is a travesty to all Americans and those around the world who look to America for an example of humanitarian aid and proper treatment of workers.”

This is a lawsuit for damages in the amount of $2 billion to remedy the injuries and destruction caused to the lives, finances and mental and physical well being of thousands of American families and others whose loved ones were injured while serving America under contracts with the United States. 

It seeks an additional unspecified amount to punish the companies who made massive profits while causing this harm to people unlawfully and maliciously and working a fraud on the American public who paid them.  
“This abusive and illegal scheme by the defendants has been allowed to go on for too long. 

We are talking about loss of life, suicide, loss of homes, marriages, families split up, “ Bloch said, “and the culprits are the large government contractors who should have treated their employees better, and the mega-insurance companies who were paid a hefty sum to make sure the employees were taken care of with uninterrupted benefits in the event of injuries in these war zones.”
This complaint is filed due to actions and omissions of defendants, in conspiracy with others, and individually, to defeat the right of American citizens and foreign nationals to receive their lawful benefits and compensation under the Defense Base Act (“DBA”),  as it adopts the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”).  
The lawsuit explains that those sued engaged under the RICO statute in an enterprise of fraudulent and or criminal acts to further their scheme to defeat the rights of individuals who have been injured or suffered occupational diseases, and death, while on foreign soil in support of defense activities under the DBA.  

These acts were perpetrated repeatedly through bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, using telephones, faxes, and United States mail .
 “These are heroes, decorated by America’s Armed Services,” said Bloch. 

“Some of the foreign contractors were decorated special forces soldiers from their countries who assisted the United States in combating threats.  The sheer disregard for human dignity and law is reprehensible and deserves punishment. 

These families and many others who have been harmed need treatment, need compensation, need redress of the wrongs that have been perpetrated by these huge companies and insurance carriers for the last 10 years. 

They have earned $100 billion per year on the backs of these people, with the blood of these plaintiffs and those whom they represent.”
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and covers individuals from all over the United States, South Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and other counties.  

Contact Scott J. Bloch, PA:
Scott Bloch, 202-496-1290
scott@scottblochlaw.com

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Blackwater, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, DynCorp, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Interpreters, Iraq, KBR, L-3, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department, Traumatic Brain Injury, USACE, USAID, Veterans, Wackenhut, War Hazards Act, Whistleblower | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nearly a year after her husband committed suicide, Air Force widow still wonders why

They’ve lost more (active-duty military) to suicide than overseas. They were technically killed there, too. So, don’t discount them,” Melissa said. “It’s the same battle, just a different battlefield.”

NWF Daily News  September 17, 2011

MARY ESTHER —Jeremy Gibson is a casualty of war, but you won’t find his name on any memorial wall.

On a balmy Monday afternoon last Oct. 11, the Hurlburt Field Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician dialed 911, walked into his backyard and took his life.

“He shot himself in the heart,” said his wife, Melissa.

Jeremy was 31.

In the 11 months since then, Melissa has been forced to cope with blame from others and the guilt she harbors. There were no signs that Jeremy was contemplating suicide, but Melissa says she will play the “what if” game until the day she dies.

Jeremy wasn’t a complicated guy. The native of Chattanooga, Tenn., was incredibly smart, good at math and chemistry and often was misjudged as a “know-it-all.”

He knew a lot about cars and loved racing at amateur tracks. He and Melissa would go on drives in his blue Mini Cooper with no destination in mind. Jeremy always picked the winding roads for “precision driving” (aka speeding).

Melissa said he ate French fries only for the texture in his massive consumption of ketchup.

He was like a kid on Christmas when Melissa returned from the store with Blue Monster energy drinks and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

He taped and edited videos for fun and brought his wife a snow globe from every TDY.

Melissa called Jeremy her little James Bond.

His work took him to Peru with President George W. Bush and to Paris with Colin Powell. He covered the Republican National Convention and guarded the Bush family on Thanksgiving Day.

There were missions with explosives so massive that Jeremy did not bother with a bomb suit; it wouldn’t have helped.

Melissa hates that a man that heroic is judged by friends, family and strangers. She braces herself for judgment every time she has to tell someone how Jeremy died.

Melissa wants people to remember his achievements, not the day he lost hope.

“He went from the lowest of the low to flight chief. He was a tech sergeant and had two Bronze Stars,” she said.

Melissa’s own dream of joining the military did not die with her husband. She would love to be a nurse and save lives like her husband did every time he detected and dismantled a bomb.

Jeremy believed in what he was fighting for, she said.

Melissa will never replace the pride she feels for her husband’s service with any anger for ending his life.

She would do anything to remove the stigma associated with military suicide. She calls the topic a bastard child in this society.

“They’ve lost more (active-duty military) to suicide than overseas. They were technically killed there, too. So, don’t discount them,” Melissa said. “It’s the same battle, just a different battlefield.”

Jeremy was very familiar with the battlefield. He spent two of his last four years deployed.

The only things that slowed the six months on/ six months off rotation were ankle reconstruction and spinal fusion surgeries. Lugging around the heavy EOD gear had taken its toll.

Jeremy had been home nearly a year recuperating from the back surgery and had the ankle reconstruction about six weeks before he died. He was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in January.

“You could tell when he came back when the deployments were really, really hard,” Melissa said

September 25, 2011 Posted by | Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civilian Contractor PTSD Counselor suspected Peeping Tom/Stalker

Mark “Steve” Brown is suspected of placing two hidden video cameras inside his condominium at 1255 Florida Road to record the activities of a woman who was watching the condo while he was in South Korea as a civilian contractor providing post-traumatic stress therapy to military personnel.

The Durango Herald  September 23, 2011

When the trial for a man accused of surreptitiously videotaping his housesitter begins Oct. 3, video clips will be visible only to jurors via television, 6th Judicial District Judge David Dickinson ruled Friday.

Dickinson’s order was an alternative to a motion by Deputy District Attorney Justin Faye that the courtroom be closed during the showing of an undetermined number of video clips.

Mark “Steve” Brown is suspected of placing two hidden video cameras inside his condominium at 1255 Florida Road to record the activities of a woman who was watching the condo while he was in South Korea as a civilian contractor providing post-traumatic stress therapy to military personnel.

Brown, who is charged with stalking, could spend up to three years in prison. He is free on $5,000 bail. The videotaping occurred in the fall of 2010.

Brown also is charged with two counts of unlawful sexual contact, part of a Peeping Tom statute that prohibits photographing or videotaping people without their consent when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy and the use of the images for sexual gratification.

Please read the entire story here

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | , , , , | Leave a comment

After Injury, The Battle Begins

Attorney Gary Pitts is pictured here only by circumstance.  We would never endorse using him as an attorney.

September 21, 2011 Posted by | AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Iraq, Politics, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, War Hazards Act | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment