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In the summer and fall of 2004, 58-year-old William Manning was working east of the Green Zone in Iraq. As a labor foreman, Manning, a marine Vietnam vet, was overseeing and escorting other civilian contractors at a work site near the police academy where Iraqi rookie cops were trained. ~Mine Fields: Injured Iraq/Afghanistan Contractors Fight to Get Compensated for War Wounds
Whatever your role in the U.S. war effort, if you were injured overseas, at least you’d be covered back home, right?
John Nova Lomax – November 14, 2012 – Ever since that June day in 2010 when the roadside bomb detonated ten feet from the cab of his truck on a dusty road in Iraq, Terry Enzweiler has not been the same. He gets lost coming back from the same grocery store he’s shopped in hundreds of times; his daughter had to buy him a GPS to help him navigate his own neighborhood. He takes Xanax and Zoloft to combat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The Xanax stops me from jumping through the roof when a pencil falls on the floor,” he says.
Even medicated, his blood still curdles when he hears Arabic spoken on TV or drives through one of the Chicago area’s Muslim neighborhoods. He wore earplugs for much of the week leading up to and right through the Fourth of July. “Those half-sticks sound just like a .50-cal,” he says, referring to a type of heavy machine gun.
The chuck-chuck of helicopter blades terrifies him, as does the sight of his own 25-year-old son. In Iraq, 46-year-old Enzweiler, a recent client of Houston attorney Gary Pitts, saw a dead Iraqi child who looked just like his boy did 13 years ago. “My psychiatrist said it’s like a marriage where there’s been infidelity,” he says in a phone interview. “The wife forgives the husband. Two years later, she sees a blond woman in a blue dress. Two years prior, the other woman looked like that. So in the mind, the two images come together, and for absolutely no reason, you become furious, and your subconscious takes over. It’s the same thing now. When I see my son, I think of that kid. I saw some horribly gruesome stuff over there.”
WikiLeaks: DynCorp Responds To Dancing Boys Scandal
John Nova Lomax – December 9, 2010 – In the wake of our story about DynCorp’s ill-fated Afghan dance party, DynCorp’s vice president of communications Ashley Vanarsdall Burke has sent in an official response.
The company says that there was no truth to the allegation made in the headline ““Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops” or several other allegations made in official cables from the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan that were publicized by WikiLeaks.
We were taken to task for not contacting them first and then Burke laid out the “facts” as the company sees them.
Burke stated that “a handful of individuals were found to have exercised extremely poor judgment and acted inappropriately. It is important to note, however, that the inaccurate and bizarre allegations contained in your story are false and recklessly irresponsible.”
What really happened, according to Burke, was this:
As part of an employee’s going away party, a 17 year old local Afghan dancer who performed at local events such as weddings and other celebrations, was hired to perform a traditional Afghan dance. Recognizing that the situation was culturally insensitive, a site manager stopped the performance. Despite the fact that the performance was stopped, the situation was investigated. What was determined was that the leadership of the team exhibited poor judgment and were subsequently terminated. That is the whole story; no alcohol or drugs were involved, or other illegal behaviors occurred.”