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“My PTSD is more related not to what I did or should have done - but what I failed to do or could have done.” (audio interview 03:13:08)

   Logan Mehl-Laituri
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War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army
Unit: B Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division
Service Location: Mosul, Iraq; Tal Afar, Iraq; Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq; Najaf, Iraq; Kirkuk, Iraq; Samarra, Iraq; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Rank: Sergeant
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In 2000, Logan Mehl-Laituri enlisted in the Army, training as an Artillery Forward Observer. He reenlisted in 2002, declining a “Green to Gold” ROTC scholarship in favor of a combat deployment with his comrades in the 25th Infantry Division. During his 14 month tour of duty in Iraq, he saw action in every major city except Baghdad and Fallujah. These experiences yielded moral conflict, and in 2006, Mehl-Laituri applied for noncombatant conscientious objector status. Following his Honorable Discharge, he became a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and completed a Master of Theological Studies degree at Duke University. His reflections were published in a memoir, Reborn on the Fourth of July.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (201 min.)
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»PTSD: A Lasting Impact of War
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Reassigned to Headquarters Company; Opinions of NCOs; Training NCOs in Forward Observation tactics; Drove vehicle for platoon sergeant; stress of driving through areas strewn with IEDs; Night shifts; Denied access to chaplain counsel and reassigned. (02:38) Deployment to Najaf; shifting Rules of Engagement (ROE); holiday decorations resembling insurgent uniform colors. (01:33) Forward Observation Missions; planning targets; describes the process required to create 10-digit artillery grid coordinates. (02:16)
Platoon discovered Iraqi police officer sitting calmly at his desk; Iraqi police offered case files and insurgent information to U.S. soldiers; embarrassed by comrades’ treatment of Iraqi prisoners. (02:41) NCO’s interpretation of Rules of Engagement; Opinion of senior NCOs; Reality of combat and what it does it people; bunking in rooms with dried, pooled Iraqi blood. (03:58) Out-processing; PTSD diagnosis; becoming a pacifist; nightmares; reactions to combat trauma. (02:28)

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  October 26, 2011
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