Army court martial of Eric Jasinski underwayeric jasinski

Protest today, March 31, 7pm outside at Fort Hood in support of Eric! East Gate corner of Rancier and Fort Hood St

Courage to Resist. March 31, 2010

The Summary Court Martial of Army Spc Eric Jasinski is currently underway on Ft. Hood, Texas. After months of negotiations with the command, the Army opted to put Eric on trial after all. The outcome of today’s court martial is expected to result in 30 days in the stockade without medication or counseling. Supports are gathering this evening outside of Ft. Hood to protest in this court martial and to declare, “Our Soldiers need help, not jail!”

With a military health care system over-stretched by two ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, more soldiers are deciding to go absent without leave (AWOL) in order to find treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Eric Jasinski enlisted in the military in 2005, and deployed to Iraq in October 2006 as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army.  He collected intelligence in order to put together strike packets—where air strikes would take place.

Upon his return to the U.S. after his tour, Jasinski was suffering from severe PTSD from what he did and saw in Iraq, and from remorse and guilt for the work he did that he knows contributed to the loss of life in Iraq.

“What I saw and what I did in Iraq caused my PTSD,” Jasinski, 23-years-old, explained, “Also, I went through a divorce—she left right before I deployed—and my grandmother passed away when I was over there, so it was all super rough.”

In addition, he lost a friend in Iraq, and another of his friends lost his leg due to a roadside bomb attack. Upon returning home in Dec. 2007, Jasinski tried to get treatment via the military.  He was self-medicating by drinking heavily, and an over-burdened military mental health counselor sent him to see a civilian doctor, who diagnosed him with PTSD.

“In late 2008 they stop-lossed me, and that pushed me over the edge.  They were going to send me back to Iraq the next month.” When Jasinski went on his short pre-deployment leave, he went AWOL, where he remained out until Dec. 11, when he turned himself in to authorities at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas.

With background information previously published by independent journalist Dahr Jamail.