PTSD Suicide Tied To Fireworks

GEORGIA SOLDIER KILLS HIMSELF ON THE FOURTH OF JULY … || By FITSNEWS || This website has written extensively on the steep toll of American lives and tax dollars related to our government’s “War on Terror.”  Which of course was so colossally unsuccessful our politicians and military-industrial complex had to…


|| By FITSNEWS || This website has written extensively on the steep toll of American lives and tax dollars related to our government’s “War on Terror.”  Which of course was so colossally unsuccessful our politicians and military-industrial complex had to go invent another enemy for us to fight … for the next three decades.

What do we often fail to mention? The survivors … the men and women who come back from war zones with missing limbs, or with debilitating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

One of these veterans – Mike Kreft – killed himself on July 4 as a result of his PTSD. According to local news reports, Kreft and his brother Jon were in a bar playing pool when the sound of fireworks began to trigger his condition.

“I was walking behind him, and every time a firework would go off, he was covering his ears and he would jump and flinch,” Jon Kreft told local affiliate WCTV. “Then he just started crying and started running down the road.”

Jon followed his brother home and was preparing to play him some soothing music in the hopes of calming him down.

That’s when it happened …

“He went to the bedroom, and right when I was about to get the play button going, I look up, and he looks at me and says I love you,” Kreft recalled.

Mike Kreft was 27 years old, “an incredible soldier, friend, and man,” who was “relentless in giving everything he had to his fellow soldiers,” according to a testimonial on the GoFundMe page set up for his funeral expenses.

Exact statistics on PTSD are difficult to come by, but it’s estimated that as many as 20 percent of “War on Terror” veterans suffer from the disorder … and Fourth of July fireworks are a common trigger.

So sad …

Hopefully stories like this will make our leaders think long and hard before needlessly putting our troops in harm’s way.

Obviously there will always be a need for America to defend its borders, protect its core national interests and respond to legitimate threats – and there will be justifiable casualties, costs and consequences incurred as a result.  But there’s a big difference between performing the core government function of national defense and warmongering for the sake of corporate profits and bureaucratic expansions.

Let’s hope Mike Kreft’s death is a reminder to all of us just how important that distinction is …


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Squishy123 July 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V articles from every local paper now?

Yo Mama July 13, 2015 at 1:32 pm

I wish someone told me about Ctrl-Z a few decades ago.

7331 SKILZ July 13, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Alt-F4 is Awesome.

Jackie Chiles July 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I see a fireworks ban in the future.

KAI! July 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm

How bout a needless war ban?

Halliburton July 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Now THAT is funny!

Raytheon July 13, 2015 at 1:33 pm

We have to veto you on that.

Jackie Chiles July 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Too hard. Better just vote for fireworks bans and declare all military members are heroes.

KAI! July 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm

The real cost of war is paid by families and friends not taxpayers and politicians.
I don’t like firework shows either. Maybe this is why?

RogueElephant July 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm

The root of the problem was the necessity to have troops do multiple deployments. This was brought about by Clinton’s hatred for the military and the resulting cut backs to “balance the budget” under his administration. Put the blame where it belongs not on the backs of our troops. If President Bush ,(43) had had his father’s (Reagan’s) military there would not have been the need for wearing our troops down. But the first item on any Dim’s agenda is cut the military. The individual soldier has to pay the price for their stupidity.

Victorious Secret July 13, 2015 at 1:44 pm

I beg to differ in some degree. The difference between “Reagan’s” military and “Bush (43)’s” is that Reagan’s fought on a linear battlefield.

We can all argue the merits of the war until we are blue in the face; however, the way a commander utilizes his strength in a non-linear battlefield (i.e. Iraq/Afghanistan circa 2003–present) is significantly different.

That said, I would absolutely agree with you that a significant number of those suffering from PTSD are doing so as a result of numerous deployments with very little dwell time.

sparklecity July 13, 2015 at 2:51 pm

The Reagan administration was never in a “war” like Gulf I under Bush # 1 (I served over there and we kicked ass) or Clinton during Bosnia (which went over pretty well actually – I was there) or Bush #2 (I did three deployments and we see how that has turned out).
Reagan got his nose bloodied in Beiruit, turned tail and sailed away, had his “fracas”/victory in Grenada (in which the new York city PD could have won) Blew up some of Quadiffi’s tents in Libya, and read a script while at the Berlin Wall
General Shensaki(misspelled) told Rumsfelt (under Bush #2) that it would take more troops than “Rummy” thought it should and was shown the backdoor and “retired”. From what I remember reading “Rummy” never attended General Shensaki’s (misspelled) retirement ceremony even though Shensaki (mispelled) was on the Joint Chief of Staff at the time.
Yes, there was the ‘back-door draft by calling up Guard & Reserve troops and “stop-loss”. “Rummy” wanted to fight “on the cheap” and that don’t work when you are fighting a war.

Victorious Secret July 13, 2015 at 3:56 pm

You entirely missed both Rogue’s point as well as mine. Rogue referred to Bush (42)’s Army as “Reagan’s” Army as it was the army Bush (42) inherited shortly after taking office. This is the army that fought in Desert Storm.

Subsequently, Bush (43)’s army was inherited from the Clinton administration. This being the army (per se) that fought OIF/OEF/OND.

Rogue further opined that Clinton’s cutbacks in military spending are to blame for a reduced army that required deployments of greater frequency to successfully “go to war,” etc.

My point was that comparing the 90’s gulf and the 2001 (Afghanistan)/2003(Iraq) are apples and oranges–in this context. This is because in the 90’s our strategy involved a linear battlefield. Once we started playing “urban warfare” in and amongst the cities the game completely changed. There is a significantly drop in the efficiency of troops when fighting this “FOB” style non-linear battle. (Greater surface area requires greater force–think small ice cubes will cool your drink much faster than one block of ice).

All of this said, I still agreed with Rogue that the end result of greater increases in PTSD is directly linked to the average soldier deploying 2 to 3 times (some 4 to 5) at a year a pop (or longer depending on mob station, SRP, reverse SRP, etc.). Thus, I disagree that this result is entirely based on Clinton scaling back the military budget.

Neither Rogue’s point, nor mine, had anything to do with Beruit/Libya/New York city, etc., or conflict while Reagan was sitting in the White House.

I’m glad for your service in all three above the above mentioned conflicts. I do appreciate that. Having said so, I do slightly resent the overly broad generalization that use of Reserve/Guard forces was “on the cheap” and played a major role in a less than desirable outcome. This is just simply biased BS.

Rakkasan July 13, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Excellent post Vic. Probably the biggest factor in the multiple deployments is that we maintained readiness for a second theater of operation while fighting an active war. Not only is the PTSD incidence level high due to multiple deployments with sometimes less than required dwell time. Our Soldiers were regularly exposed to more trauma in a single “tour” than any Soldier in American history. And, Soldiers did not have to be symptom-free or even free of PTSD to redeploy. The Soldier had to be functional in the eyes of his/her chain of command. There was tremendous pressure on Commanders to keep their units at max readiness ratings prior to deployments. Believe me, the bar was substantially lowered. And, to their credit, the Soldiers, in a combination of shame, commitment, group pressure, and financial benefits, kept on going, using denial and avoidance as their primary coping skills. This only ensured that their problems would continued worsen

sparklecity July 13, 2015 at 10:39 pm

And do you remember when we were kicking the shit out of the Taliban in the months shortly after 9/11 (my unit was there from December 2001 through October 2002 and back again shortly after the invasion in 2003 and my unit kept a presence in both OEF and OIF constantly through 2005 and beyond and are actually still doing deployments in Afghanistan and performing air support against ISIL forces as I write this) that it was WIDELY stated that it was Clinton’s military that did so well early in OEF until Bush #2 decided to pull that shit in Iraq and take the ball off Afghanistan.
I didn’t state that it was “on the cheap” to activate reserve and guard units but only that “Rummy put his hands over his ears and said approximately 300,000 troops would do the job in Iraq when Shaskani (misspelled) said it would take at least 500,000 to do the job. he was proven 100% correct. You can blame the stop-loss and ‘back-door draft’ squarely on your boys Rummy & Bush#2 (who sure as hell ain’t the man his dad is).
I RESENT your statement that the Reserves and Guard played less than a major role in a “less than desirable outcome” (is that what you conservatives call this fucked up mess that we are in now – if i didn’t know better i would think I am replying to that loud-mouthed conservative radio talk show host Mike Gallagher) – that is the height of arrogance from someone who obviously does not know jack shit about how the Reserves and Guard were ‘rode hard and put up wet” due to the fuck-up of the Bush#2/Chaney/Rumsfelt group.
Every time something is amiss your buddy “rogue’ wants to put the blame on anyone or anything else but a conservative.
Biased bullshit?? I’m an objective independent who believes in the truth no matter what political persuasion not like you and “rogue” who are really the ones biased as hell
Are you aware that during the Reagan administration the core NCO’s were being lost at an accelerated rate due to Reagan fucking with the retirement system? When Clinton came into power he reversed that dumb-assed decision and the attrition rate of core NCO’s leaving the military decreased dramatically. I remember the situation very well because I came back in during the tail end of the Reagan Administration and served 22 years in the Guard (1988-2010) after being out 14 years.
Reagan was nothing but a phoney who happened to come in at the rise and peak of the economic sine wave and rode it for all it was worth – plain and simple
I served in uniform under 7 (that’s right 7) presidents: Nixon (while the draft was still in effect) Ford, Reagan,Bush#1,Clinton,Bush#2 and retired under Obama.
Fuck, I’m living history!!!!!

RogueElephant July 14, 2015 at 8:54 am

Thank you for the years of service. Better than me. I made three up and out. Military just wasn’t my bag. As to me being “biased as hell” you are right. Generally speaking Dims “loath” the military. They would rather gain votes through “social programs” than support the fighting men and women. Not 100% but by a large margin. While I didn’t make a career of the military I greatly appreciate their work and think that they are the main function of the fed. gov. In my book the military comes first and the “social programs” get what is left over.
I have to disagree on Reagan. Carter had screwed up every thing he touched, economy, military, etc. Reagan came on as a new broom. He should have done much more after Beirut, which was one of the early terrorist attacks. Maybe if he had taken more action it would have lessened later occurrences. But Clinton had UBL on three different occasions and let him go. So, it looks like there is enough blame to go around.

sparklecity July 15, 2015 at 11:31 am

I did not vote for Carter but read “Guests of the Ayatollah” or “The Guts to Try” (both excellent books on the Iranian Rescue mission failure) I have copies of each and consider them two of my favorite books
Are you also aware that it was Carter who fully funded the F-117 stealth fighter program?
How about his decision to halt funding of the B-1 program and go full steam ahead on the development and deployment of cruise missiles.?
Both weapon systems (F-117 & cruise missiles) have been highly successful {cruise missiles are still integral and highly effective weapon platforms and although the F-117 is now retired it was highly effective in Panama, Gulf I and Bosnia and was the template for more modern “stealth” aircraft.
Economy?? Carter headed deregulation of the airlines, telephone and other industries/utilities resulting in lower prices and more competition
Yep, Carter really fucked up everything he touched – didn’t he??
Your boy Reagan brought back the B-1 and took the battleship “New Jersey” out of mothballs as part of his “my balls are bigger than yours” projects. The B-1 was rife with cost over runs, has been passed around like a stepchild (at one time the B-1 was delegated to the Georgia Air Guard because they are so difficult to maintain and the active Air Force didn’t want them). The B-1 is not nuclear delivery capable (only the vernable B-52 & B-2 are nuclear delivery rated) and has been relegated to bombing the shit out of ragheads in Afghanistan (at probably $5000 per raghead if not more) and is still very expensive to maintain.
The “New Jersey”?? Back to mothballs a year or two after the Beirut bullshit without much fanfare. if I’m not mistaken some sailors were killed during a live fire exercise of the 16 inch guns which speeded up her being mothballed……..maybe it was before Beirut but I do recall there being an accident.
All you are doing is parroting that right wingnut talk radio shit without knowing what you are talking about.
Again, I did not vote for Carter either time (I voted for Ford in 1976 and Anderson – 3rd party in 1980) but I’m sick and tired of hearing and reading that Carter fucked up everything he touched when that ain’t the case. He was just unlucky to be prez when the sine wave was going south. IF the Iranian Rescue mission HAD SUCCEEDED, he would have very likely gotten a second term
FYI: I get a sinking feeling in my gut and get pissed off every time I think about those mullahs poking sticks and spitting on the charred remains of those 8 airmen who died giving their lives trying to rescue Americans (no matter what political persuasion).
I made a point to visit their memorial when I visited Arlington back in 2001

RogueElephant July 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm

I actually voted for Carter, thinking he was a Southerner and a farmer. Which he was neither. But Anderson over Reagan is insane. Reagan was the best leader of the twentieth century, unless you count Hitler, which no one should. From the above statement, it sounds like you just didn’t like Reagan. I credit him bringing me back to the Republican party. After Goldwater I walked away from politics. Looking back I should have doubled down and fought it out with the moderates like I am attempting to do now. Each of us has our own set of beliefs and values. I’ll stick to mine.

Victorious Secret July 14, 2015 at 10:47 am

I thought I understood your first comment about Guard/Reserves. After seeing your all caps anger, perhaps I misunderstood your point.

I will certainly not speak for all branches; however, I can hands-down say that while I was active duty and serving in OIF, some of the reserve units that worked with us were some of the best units I’ve ever worked with. Additionally, I also have had the pleasure of serving in the sandbox as an activated “guard/reserve” soldier and can tell you that the active duty unit we RIP’ed with was an absolute mess. Additionally, I’ve heard numerous similar stories.

Am I speaking for the whole theater? Of course not. But If your original position is that the use of reserve/guard units directly and broadly caused a less than desirable outcome, then I say BS. Maybe this seemed the case for the circles that you ran in. However, I don’t claim to have fought the entire war across the entire theater, but I damn sure spent my fair share of time over there and saw something different–from both sides. Of final note, I can agree that “success” can be subjective when discussing this. However, the Army does love to create metrics and “hours” “kills” “casualty” “accident” reports. My position (in my areas serves) is supported by these statistics as well.

sparklecity July 15, 2015 at 10:47 am

I posted the OPPOSITE of claiming that guard/reserve forces resulted in a “less than desirable” outcome..
As a reservist myself why in the world would I make such a statement????
The point I was making was that Rumsfelt wanted to fight the war “on the cheap’ by keeping the force count low thus not run up the tab (that is a historical fact – remember it being called Gulf I “light”?). Gen. Shensaki (misspelled) told him it would take 500,000 – his assessment was carried live prior to the build-up when all the conservative “chickenhawks” were frothing at the mouth. “Rummy (like so many CEO’s) said ‘that ain’t the number I want to hear, we’re going to do it with approx. 300,000 and save big bucks” and promptly showed Gen. Shensaki (misspelled) the door. General Shensaki(misspelled) was proven correct as we all know.
Gen. Shensaki’s (misspelled) uniform is proudly displayed in the Hawaii Military museum (he is a native of Hawaii) in the old WWII bunker at Wakki. I visited the museum during my R&R in Hawaii during my 2nd deployment in 2003-2004 and saw his uniform myself and remembered thinking how right the man was and how wrong the conservative “chickenhawks” were
it appears to me you misunderstand a good bit………..

Victorious Secret July 15, 2015 at 11:18 am

“As a reservist myself why in the world would I make such a statement????”

Indeed. This makes complete sense now that you point this out. Do take note that you failed to make the personal connection in your original post; rather, you simply said it was a “fight ‘on the cheap’ and that don’t work when you are fighting a war.”

On a separate note, I had the privilege of meeting Gen. Shinseki in 2001, when he was the chief of staff. (not sure why the forced misspelling). I was very impressed with his demeanor and thought highly of him. It’s a shame the VA scandals were uncovered on his watch. I’m not sure anyone could reasonably be expected to undo the pathetic administration of the VA in short time.

“It appears you misunderstood a good bit……” No, I understood and agreed with almost everything you said, save for your latent context for the comment regarding guard and reserves. But I understand that point now, as well. It seems you’re attempting to be confrontational and “fussy” over something that we both generally agree. Must it always be hostile?

Sic Semper Tyrannis July 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Accept the truth, friend, you’ll feel better.

flip July 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Excellent post Rogue.These multiple deployments destroyed families and SOME communities.

Rakkasan July 13, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Research data shows deployment NOT the driving factor in who kills themselves (vs Soldiers who do not), however.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt July 13, 2015 at 7:03 pm

What was it Rumsfeld said…”You go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had”…

The blame lies more accurately at Dubya’s feet. Forcing through an unnecessary war where our commitment was greatly underestimated that in turn required more years of involvement than anticipated.

sparklecity July 13, 2015 at 2:35 pm

All I can say is after I came back from my second tour in 2004, I didn’t care to go to July 4th fireworks shows till just a few years ago and I’ll never look at a sky rocket the same again (and I used to LOVE shooting off sky rockets)
And I don’t like it if someone is shooting their “hand cannon” near my house even if it’s on their own property (we live out in the country and have even heard “full automatic” in the distance).
I really have to hold myself back sometimes to keep from “neutralizing” the threat (that’s no shit).
I go to a firing range occasionally and still compete from time to time and it doesn’t bother me a bit because I know what to expect. it’s the random unexpected firing that causes me anxiety.
Some of y’all need to think about that shit when you are blasting away when there are houses in the proximity (even in the country). I’m talking around a 300 yard (~1000 foot) radius of someone elses’ house

9" July 14, 2015 at 5:42 am

It’s great to see you address mental illness as what it is,but outside military parameters,people usually don’t buy it.I have no doubt,the massacre in Charleston has more to do with mental illness than racism.


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