Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

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

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

PTSD, Ethics and Honor in the Warzone

General Petraeus’ Link to Troubling Suicide in Iraq: The Ted Westhusing Story

Before putting a bullet through his head, Westhusing had been deeply disturbed by abuses carried out by American contractors in Iraq, including allegations that they had witnessed or even participated in the murder of Iraqis.

See Also Journey That Ended in Anguish by T Christian Miller

The scourge of suicides among American troops and reservists in Iraq and Afghanistan remains a serious and seriously underreported problem.

Last month they hit a new high in the US Army, despite intensive new efforts to prevent them. One of the few high-profile cases emerged six years ago this month, and it involves a much-admired Army colonel and ethicist named Ted Westhusing — who, in his suicide note, pointed a finger at a then little-known U.S. general named David Petraeus.

Westhusing’s widow, asked by a friend what killed this West Point scholar, replied simply: “Iraq.”

‘Something he saw [in Iraq] drove him to this,’ one Army officer who was close to Westhusing said in an interview. ‘The sum of what he saw going on drove him’ to take his own life.

‘It’s because he believed in duty, honor, country that he’s dead.’”

Please read the entire story at The Nation

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment