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Army abandons 20 year old soldier in need

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I guess that "We Support the Troops" crap is only when Bush goes on TV to con more young Americans into fighting this hopeless quagmire of a lie. Really nasty story.

He could barely remember the excitement he carried to Iraq in early 2004. He was an excellent soldier, by most accounts, even though he was only 18 when he left. On one memorable night, his quick thinking helped his platoon defeat a group of insurgents in Baghdad.

Today, the same soldier, now 20, is wanted for desertion, a particularly loathsome act during wartime and one that could bring a prison sentence.

Hounshell's problems began after he returned to Texas in late February. He couldn't sleep, often wandering through Killeen's all-night Wal-Mart. He had panic attacks and sometimes exploded in anger at the slightest change in plans. He played chicken with other drivers on Central Texas highways.

When he asked the Army for help, he said, he was greeted mostly with indifference.

"I told them numerous times, 'I'm having problems here. I'm seeing ... [things] at night.' They didn't take it seriously," he said. "They did the minimum thing they had to do."

Finally, in May, at the end of an emergency leave, he vowed never to go back to Fort Hood.

It was May 15 when he wrote the suicide note. His mother found it before he could leave the driveway. She jumped in the pickup and wouldn't let him leave.

His family is desperate to get him help, but they have no idea where to turn.

"We're not trying to hurt our soldiers overseas, and we didn't want this fight with the Army," said his mother, Bobbie Hounshell. "But my son had problems when he came home, and all he was told was, 'Drive on.' "

An Army spokesman said Hounshell got help and should have taken the initiative if he needed more.

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