Today is Veterans Day, which for most of us means we can't go to the library, cash a check, or get a new driver's license. For veterans all over the country it means something remarkably different. Their days are full of memories, memories that are ringing with conflicting emotions: pride, regret, fear, confusion, excitement, guilt, shame.
Today, as I listened to What Killed Sergeant Gray, I was filled with some of the same feelings, but most of all with regret - for these men who share their stories, for the Iraqis they tortured, for the pieces of themselves they left on Middle Eastern sand.
This piece is a timely and critical expose´ of the lives that men in uniform are required to lead in our pursuit of the War On Terror, and everyone - no matter where they stand on the war - should be exposed to what these men go through in their execution of it.
Here's a bit of a teaser:
Sergeant Adam Gray made it home from Iraq only to die in his barracks. He was found dead, a plastic bag was cinched around his neck, and can of Dust-Off - a cleaner used for electronic equipment - lying beside him.
The Army ruled that his death was "accidental" - a result of inhaling chemicals to achieve a high (a practice known as "huffing"). But that explanation seemed insufficient to Gray's family. It didn't seem like something the Adam they knew would have done.
Investigating his death, American RadioWorks pieces together a story of soldiers suffering psychological scars – because they abused Iraqi prisoners.
You can download the radio program, listen online, or read the transcript at American Radio Works.