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May 21, 2009
PETITION TO SAVE SGT. RUSSEL - DROP HIS CRIMINAL CHARGES
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Save-Sgt-Russel

Target:  President Obama, Commander in Chief
Sponsored by: 
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill ("AIMI")

Sgt. JOHN M. RUSSELL
is a 44-year-old communication specialist from Sherman, Texas who served 16 years in the U.S. Army.  Sgt. Russel was near the end of his third tour in Iraq when he allegedly gunned down five fellow service members at a Baghdad combat stress clinic.  Sgt. Russel has been charged with murder.  This sick soldier is no cold-blooded killer. 

Sgt. Russel was himself the first of six victims of his bout with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for which he was receiving treatment.  Sgt. Russel's breakdown should have been recognized sooner, and he should have been sent home. 

"We've never, I don't believe, had a force that we've put through seven years of continuous combat like this, where such a large percentage of the force is going on these multiple deployments," said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff and point man on mental health issues.

"They broke him," Sgt. Russel's father, Wilburn Russell said, wiping away tears.  Before the shooting, Russell had e-mailed his wife to tell her "his life was over," his father said.

The undersigned demand that murder charges against Sgt. Russel be dropped He deserves care and support, not prison.  We protest American military personnel coming home to America and becoming PRISONERS OF WAR after serving their country and breaking under the strain of repeated combat missions. 

DECRIMINALIZE MENTAL ILLNESS.  No one can be punished or rehabilitated into a state of mental health.

NO MAN LEFT BEHIND!
  • A 2007 Army survey of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan showed that soldiers' mental health deteriorates significantly each time they go to war.
  • Overall, the Army's suicide rate reached a record level in 2008 and is still climbing.
  • More than 27%of the noncommissioned officers surveyed on their third or fourth deployment reported depression, anxiety or acute stress -- compared with 18% of those on their second deployment and 11% on their first tour.

Better security should have been in place.  During a psychotic episode, Sgt. Russel was being escorted from the mental health clinic at Camp Liberty when he overpowered a guard and took his weapon. "They escorted him out with a guy with a gun," Wilburn Russell said. "That was the worst thing they could have done.

Many veterans from Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan are imprisoned today for inappropriate behavior caused by PTSD, along with 1.25 million other mentally challenged people.  Psychiatric patients should be either be committed to quality mental hospitals or released under an Assisted Outpatient Treatment program, depending on their offenses. 

We demand that Sgt. Russel not join the ranks of America's incarcerated mentally ill, none of whom should be imprisoned, but treated instead!

HOMELESSNESS, PRISON, AND DEATH MUST CEASE BEING AMERICA's ANSWER TO MENTAL ILLNESS. 

NO MAN LEFT BEHIND!

Statute - Soldier Carries Wounded or Dead Friend
_______________

Factual content for this petition is from Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ and USA Today at http://www.usatoday.com/news 
and "What About Our Soldiers?" at
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1090358

PLEASE GO TO THIS LINK AND ADD YOUR SIGNATURE.
SEND THE PETITION TO YOUR FRIENDS AND GROUPS.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Save-Sgt-Russel 

THIS IS REAL SUPPORT FOR OUR TROOPS - SAVING THEM FROM PRISON AFTER GETTING SICK WHILE SERVING THEIR COUNTRY.


 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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