Monday, May 15, 2006

Troop Troubles

I'm seeing some good enterprise reporting lately that looks at problems facing U.S. troops. In today's Chicago Sun-Times, "Troops Do Double Duty in Gangs" by Frank Main explores how street gangs have infiltrated the military, robbing people, dealing drugs and spreading graffiti around Iraq and U.S. bases.
In Sunday's Hartford Courant, Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman explain why suicide rates among U.S. troops in Iraq is rising. They describe how fewer than 1 in 300 service members see a mental health professional before shipping out, and how some are kept on the front lines while on strong anti-depressants. Chedekel's and Kauffman's "Mentally Unfit, Forced To Fight" also details how some soldiers are sent back to Iraq despite suffering from post-traumatic stress.
And "An Army of One Wrong Recruit" by Michelle Roberts of The Oregonian tells how Army recruiters in Portland enlisted an 18-year-old autistic man despite his family's objections. Because of Roberts' reporting, the Army is investigating whether recruiters improperly concealed Jared's autism, which should have made him ineligible for service.
Thanks to Andrew Larson and Brian Summers for the tips.


Anonymous Jack said...

I like it. Keep up good job, Jon!
By the way, give the readers tips on better writing and reporting and write about your courses at Medill School of Journalism.
Suppose it's time to create an online class here.

3:05 AM  

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