PFC Joshua Calloway, Walter Reed & PTSD

PFC Joshua Calloway, Walter Reed & PTSD

Posted in the Dublin Forum

Since: Apr 07

Jacksonville, FL

#1 Jun 24, 2007
PFC Joshua Calloway, Walter Reed & PTSD

Reading the horrific story about Pfc Joshua Calloway's mental health treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center following war service in Baghdad, sounded as if it was written during some prehistoric time! Our children and families are identified as some honorable soldiers and THIS is how we treat them? Does anyone possess a conscience? A brain? Mental health morals and ethics? Experience?

How could this far-fetched milieu therapy help lessen the distress of someone exhibiting homicidal and rage thinking? With all mental health has learned, all they offer this soldier is disrespect, prolonged exposure therapy as their means of desensitization, art expression (!!!), and psychotropic medication so Calloway sleeps his angst away??? Pfc Joshua Calloway could've received more help from the INTERNET! More help from friends or family!

One of the most successful treatments for PTSD has been Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Anyone provide this treatment? They offered it free at Florida State University. Some people require one session for relief!

Education can be very useful.

How about teaching Pfc Calloway about gender stereotypes (emotional distress is not a male weakness, etc.). Did anyone teach this young man that "who I was before I went into the Army" is just a change and not necessarily a bad thing? Did anyone teach him that the new Calloway is now the death of the old Calloway, but different - with new experiences, an opportunity to grow on a different path, and that living life is not for the weak?

Resiliency - did this soldier place all his self-respect and self-value in soldiering?

Did anyone teach him that practicing relaxation is just that - practicing.

Did anyone work with him on reframing his thoughts? Group "aint" for everybody and it may be only good to observe others "in the same boat." Many groups feature people who "take over" the groups and become "group junkies"...they have a new religion - focusing on controlling others rather than working on their own distress.

Labeling Calloway with thee "factors that make PTSD more likely" may be B.S. People could possess zero factors and what do factors matter anyway? The kid needs help; he doesn't need statistics and labeling!

Whatever happened to client-focused interventions? No one bothered to learn that an "Indian" psychiatrist caused Calloway MORE distress??? COME ON!

It appears Calloway had more to fear from his government than the few people who wanted to kill US soldiers. How many millions of people in the Middle East would care about Calloway more than some of those at Walter Reed??? I would help him and I don't even know him.
joshua calloway

Springfield, OH

#2 Jul 23, 2007
thanks....i appreciate everything you said, you gave me a few more things to think about.........i didnt know how much talk would have happened from this article but im glad i help perpetuate this cycle of thinking, we need to think of things from the sides of the soldiers......a big problem ive been having, i cant leave my house and go into a building where there is at least five people in the immediate area without going into a panic attack. At night when i go outside to smoke i take a handgun, and all i can think about on those smoke breaks, moments in my car driving, or when im by myself. I wanna kick the doors in of every person that has ever done something wrong, i feel thats where i belong, and i cant do it anymore, and this feeling never goes away. My nerves are always up, and when you mentioned the "death of the old calloway" it made me realize that the only way i can see that josh, is by being drunk. Ive lost the ability to love or care for others, i see people now as a potential threat, or some kind of problem i have to solve...its all i think about.....its 2 am, and i cant sleep, and im rambling, but thank you for your thoughts and concern. but now, there are soldier still on active duty who are fighting for your freedom, or fighting to get a decent psychiatrist, or are fighting for a replacement prosthetic leg because there's keeps breaking

Since: Apr 07

Callahan, FL

#3 Jul 27, 2007
joshua calloway wrote:
thanks....i appreciate everything you said, you gave me a few more things to think about.........i didnt know how much talk would have happened from this article but im glad i help perpetuate this cycle of thinking, we need to think of things from the sides of the soldiers......a big problem ive been having, i cant leave my house and go into a building where there is at least five people in the immediate area without going into a panic attack. At night when i go outside to smoke i take a handgun, and all i can think about on those smoke breaks, moments in my car driving, or when im by myself. I wanna kick the doors in of every person that has ever done something wrong, i feel thats where i belong, and i cant do it anymore, and this feeling never goes away. My nerves are always up, and when you mentioned the "death of the old calloway" it made me realize that the only way i can see that josh, is by being drunk. Ive lost the ability to love or care for others, i see people now as a potential threat, or some kind of problem i have to solve...its all i think about.....its 2 am, and i cant sleep, and im rambling, but thank you for your thoughts and concern. but now, there are soldier still on active duty who are fighting for your freedom, or fighting to get a decent psychiatrist, or are fighting for a replacement prosthetic leg because there's keeps breaking
>>>If they allowed telephone numbers or addresses, I would offer to try and assist.

Our society doesn't appear to allow people to suffer trauma while allowing time to adapt. People aren't told feelings are okay. It's not for any of us to judge you. Now, if you committed a crime, our society has hired people to protect the public from harm.

Some times, many of us have been taught that persons hired to perform jobs, possess what is needed to perform those jobs. You may have noticed that some plumbers, mechanics and others may have been hired but aren't very able to do the jobs assigned. The same goes for military, mental health, etc. Additionally, what may be good for one person may not be good for someone else - since we are all unique individuals. That's why AA works for some people, there are different cancer treatments, etc.

The problem with adulthood is that we're responsible for ourselves - no mother, no father to fix it. We have 2 choices; try and adapt or stay as we are. As long as we don't commit crimes or harm ourselves, we mostly could "stay as we are."

Since: Apr 07

Callahan, FL

#4 Jul 27, 2007
(cont'd)

Self-medication is probably a band-aid. As with anything else, we figure out assets and debits of anything we do. The problem with self-medicating is it's probably a temporary fix. We might wake up and still feel the same - only with a hangover or causing more harm to ourselves. Some people say they on't care but then they didn't realize they might not JUST die, they may cause themselves even more problems (list could be painful gout to needing a liver transplant!).

Since we usually get quick fixes i.e. a pill or a parent to make it go away, many people realize that they have to either keep doing what they're doing or work on trying to make it different...one minute tomorrow, 15 minutes the next day or days off.

Usually, much of our problems appear to be thinking. One person may lose a leg and train for a race; another fights the NEW ME. When we're ready, we get back up and fight for ourselves because no one could do it for us.

Someone once said that life was not easy. I think Life is for the brave! It's not for the chickens because it sure ain't easy for many people. Today, it wasn't easy for that man whose daughters and wife were sexually assaulted and murdered as he lay in his basement, tied and beaten. I doubt it was easy for Christopher Reeves after he flew over his horse and couldn't move (but he use his time to gain attention to spinal injury and people are walking because of him).

It may be some of us suffer to effect change and help others. Afterall, many of us don't fight to effect change in ourselves or for others until we suffer.

We don't know how much time we have. Today may be the last. I've seen a lot of people who took their sufferings and got back up to make change. Who knows? You may end up in our history books!

Thank you for your service to our country. To me, it doesn't matter why you were there, it just matters you perfomed a brave duty for us.
Lucas Lisitza

Sterling, VA

#5 Apr 28, 2008
As a soldier that was on the ground the day that PFC Joshua Calloway's PTSD took a hold of him and began to control his life, I would like to expose some of the inconsistencies concerning his story. Yes, sadly, a majority of what he has said in interviews and articles is just that: stories.

The day was like any other; hot, full of sun, and tiring. We were about a month out from redeployment and everyone just wanted it to be over. The day was 29 AUG 06.

We left our patrol base in a four vehicle convoy. My vehicle was lead and therefore responsible for making the call on any road clearing opportunities. We reached an intersection where IED's had been emplaced before. I decided to stop my truck about fifty meters short of the intersection, dismount, and move up to the existing crater to check it out. Four other soldiers dismounted with me. PFC Calloway was the driver of the third truck. That trucks view was obscured by a reed line in a canal.

The four soldiers and myself moved up to the crater slowly and with caution. One of my fellow NCO's and I moved to the crater itself while the others checked the sides of the road for wires and such. I called the hole clear though I had an uneasy feeling about it for some reason. My fellow NCO continued to look at the hole as I moved away. I made it about six steps away when the world exploded.

I was approximately 8 meters from the hole when the IED exploded. The NCO that was checking out the hole instantly vanished in a spray of muscle, meat, body fat, and fluids. Large amounts of it covered me from head to toe. The other three soldiers were thrown to the ground by the violent shock wave.

Before the smoke had settled I ran back towards the other soldiers and began assesing casualties. I informed my superior that the other NCO was gone, all the while helping my squad leader to his feet and handing him off to a medic to be treated for head trauma. I then moved to my soldier who had been thrown to the side of the road to determine his condition. he was fine otherthan being shaken up.

I set security around the site and then moved to my truck to ensure that my crew was ok and had sustained no injuries. They were ok, but my driver was extremely shaken, having seen the explosion and the NCO go up into thin air.

My point behind telling this story in such detail is to enlighten people to the fact that there are soldiers out there who are not as "messed up" as they seem. PFC Calloway did not have a line of sight on the crater that exploded, nor was he, AT ANY TIME, on the ground during the clearing or the recovery stages. As an NCO, I, along with my superiors, ensured to keep only minimal manpower on the ground during recovery of the NCO's body parts and sensitive items. All drivers and gunners were restricted to the vehicles and none of them ever dismounted.

If anyone is wandering about my credentials I am currently on my third deployment to iraq. I spent twelve months outside of Fallujah and in Ar Ramadai from mid 04 to mid 05. I then returned to the states, waved my right not to deploy for a year and returned to Iraq, south of Baghdad that time, for 9 months and 11 days. I am currently in Iraq again, 6 and a half months through a 15 month tour. I have seen things that would make an executioner look away. I have experienced things that I would not wish upon a serial killer. And I am apalled to see boys use the system to terminate their contract with the Army early.

I do believe there are a great number of soldiers who are seriously effected by what they see during combat operations. But I firmly believe that PFC Calloway's issues stem from long before his 9 months in Iraq.

If anyone wishes to contact me email me at:
[email protected]

Since: Apr 07

Jacksonville, FL

#6 Aug 21, 2008
Was this you, too?

"I served with SGT John B Trotter in korea and Iraq. I was on the ground when his platoon was attacked. My platoon and I listened as rounds whizzed over head, smacking into the bricks nearby. I was proud to serve with John, though I may not have known him as well as I wanted to. In memory of him I have worn a bracelet with his name and rank on it since I began my second tour here in iraq. I am sorry for your loss and wish you, the family, my deepest regards."
SGT Lucas E LIsitza of A Co. 2/502 INF, 101 ABN Div. Baghdad, Iraq"

How about the obit: Reuben Grell born 1917,
two step-grandchildren, Lance and Lucas Lisitza of Iowa?

Staff Sgt promotion - Lisitza Lucas Earl on Nov. 1

1. If the U.S. doesn't want to help soldiers with mentalhealth issues incurred prior to enlistment, the government needs to ensure no one demonstrates characteristics of PTSD (or any other MH concern) prior to enlistment.

2. It is doubtful that anyone could evidence that a soldier suffers from PTSD after serving in Iraq, by something prior to serving in those war zones.

3. How someone reacts to trauma is not the same for everyone. For instance, after the Oklahoma City bombing, women might have been diagnosed with depression more often; but 5 years later, 9 males killed themselves and exhibited much higher incidences of substance use, divorce and a lot of other MH concerns.

4. Is it the governments job to ensure those with PTSD don't incur more trauma??? Who should pay for those services? Do we need investigative teams, akin to car accidents, who determine how much fault lies with the soldier and the military? I'd like to see the experts on those panels!

5. I respect your military duty to country but I wonder your credentials for determining PTSD, or evidence that trauma in Iraq did not cause PTSD for a fellow soldier?

I wonder the purpose of your questioning a fellow soldier's reported trauma? Do you know this PFC Calloway personally?

Do readers possess evidence that your service in Iraq has not caused trauma that you could be hiding with self-medication of some sort?(just asking and not as a personal attack)

Sometimes, people announce themselves as Christians and then severely judge others as they forget to look in the mirror or read ALL the holy book passages about judging others. I sure hope that's not the case, either.

Do you deny PFC Calloway services needed? What services should be provided to military and which shouldn't? What about a president who didn't fulfill his military contract - so they say due to community service for a cocaine charge in TX.?
mr_dogood

Jacksonville, FL

#7 Aug 21, 2008
Was this you, too?
"I served with SGT John B Trotter in korea and Iraq. I was on the ground when his platoon was attacked. My platoon and I listened as rounds whizzed over head, smacking into the bricks nearby. I was proud to serve with John, though I may not have known him as well as I wanted to. In memory of him I have worn a bracelet with his name and rank on it since I began my second tour here in iraq. I am sorry for your loss and wish you, the family, my deepest regards."
SGT Lucas E LIsitza of A Co. 2/502 INF, 101 ABN Div. Baghdad, Iraq"
How about the obit: Reuben Grell born 1917,
two step-grandchildren, Lance and Lucas Lisitza of Iowa?
Staff Sgt promotion - Lisitza Lucas Earl on Nov. 1
1. If the U.S. doesn't want to help soldiers with mentalhealth issues incurred prior to enlistment, the government needs to ensure no one demonstrates characteristics of PTSD (or any other MH concern) prior to enlistment.
2. It is doubtful that anyone could evidence that a soldier suffers from PTSD after serving in Iraq, by something prior to serving in those war zones.
3. How someone reacts to trauma is not the same for everyone. For instance, after the Oklahoma City bombing, women might have been diagnosed with depression more often; but 5 years later, 9 males killed themselves and exhibited much higher incidences of substance use, divorce and a lot of other MH concerns.
4. Is it the governments job to ensure those with PTSD don't incur more trauma??? Who should pay for those services? Do we need investigative teams, akin to car accidents, who determine how much fault lies with the soldier and the military? I'd like to see the experts on those panels!
5. I respect your military duty to country but I wonder your credentials for determining PTSD, or evidence that trauma in Iraq did not cause PTSD for a fellow soldier?
I wonder the purpose of your questioning a fellow soldier's reported trauma? Do you know this PFC Calloway personally?
Do readers possess evidence that your service in Iraq has not caused trauma that you could be hiding with self-medication of some sort?(just asking and not as a personal attack)
Sometimes, people announce themselves as Christians and then severely judge others as they forget to look in the mirror or read ALL the holy book passages about judging others. I sure hope that's not the case, either.
Do you deny PFC Calloway services needed? What services should be provided to military and which shouldn't? What about a president who didn't fulfill his military contract - so they say due to community service for a cocaine charge in TX.?
Lucas Lisitza

Sterling, VA

#8 Sep 11, 2008
Yes those are also my credentials; it is always good to see that people still know how to use Google and yahoo to check up on others in this world. As far as using the obituary as a reference, I believe that is a little too far, but I will forgive.

As far as your newer arguments Dr. Do-Good, there are valid points behind them. I understand this, but I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say in my previous post.

Yes I mention that I believe "that PFC Calloway's issues stem from long before his 9 months in Iraq." But that was not the key point behind my posting.

What I was trying to get across was the fact that some of things mentioned in the Washington post article and other press releases concerning PFC Calloway have included false information. Such as his being dismounted during the blast. His helping to collect remains and sensitive equipment is also a false statement. These were the points behind my post, hence the detail behind the story.

I am not arguing that trauma can be caused through direct, indirect and even delayed actions, but I am arguing his accounting of the situation. As far as my comment concerning my being "appalled to see boys use the system to terminate their contract with the Army early," PFC Calloway's timing may have been a coincidence, but there had been discussions throughout the platoon about using mental health to get out of the army prematurely upon return to the states. These conversations occurred prior to the incident being discussed, so the timing was suspicious.

As far as personally knowing PFC Calloway, yes I did know him and served with him for 9 months. I also had several one on one conversations with him after the incident in question. He seemed more concerned about getting to Germany than dealing with the issues at hand. I am no expert, but I can tell when I see someone trying to get out of something they don't want to do. And as I have already stated, my purpose behind questioning PFC Calloway is one of truth seeking not aggression. I want the true story to be out there concerning the incident not a fabrication, as I have seen so far.

As far as any trauma I may or may not have received, self-medication is exactly what I have used. Now I am sure you are insinuating the use or abuse of legal and illegal drugs, but, sorry to disappoint, this is not what I am talking about. I do not use anything stronger than Tylenol and I haven't overused alcohol since my partying days before the army. I have learned how to live with the things I have done, seen, smelled, heard, and felt. It was not easy and I am sure not everyone can do it, but it has worked. I don't consider myself development to be a band-aid or any other type of temporary fix.

When it comes to religion, I am far from being a Christian though I do have the bad tendency of putting catholic on paperwork. I have not been to church in years and I don't plan on attending anytime soon. I judge based on facts and truths, if people don't like that judgment than they can ignore it and continue on with their lives. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to take credit for other people's actions, good or bad.

I don't deny that I believe PFC Calloway needs help, but I don't think he needs as much help for what happened while he was in the military as what happened before the military. He had issues concerning several things prior to his service and he never denied that while we were all deployed in '06. These are my points.

Once again, if anyone would like to contact me, please send me an email at:

[email protected]

And, just for you Dr. Do-Good, please send me an email, I would love to continue this conversation on a more private level. Oh and if you are going to run background checks on me or search for more information via the internet, you'll find it is much easier to send me an email and ask.

Since: Apr 07

Jacksonville, FL

#9 Sep 14, 2008
You appear (to me) to be a positive representative of the military, appear adept at debate without name-calling, and appear intelligent (IMHO).

Personal e-mail has been used for other things besides debating subjects. The situation and your posting has made it public.

Countering your points, you said "some of things mentioned in the Washington post article and other press releases concerning PFC Calloway have included false information."

Probably, there are no total accuracies in print or about history - for that matter. What in U.S. history is absolute fact?

Take the JESSICA LYNCH story manufactured by our own military - not media!

"On April 24, 2007 she testified in front of Congress that she had never fired her weapon; her M16 rifle jammed, as did all weapons systems assigned to her unit, and that she had been knocked unconscious when her vehicle crashed.

She woke up later in an Iraqi hospital. She accused members of the media and the military of lying for their own gain. She said during her testimony, "They should have found out the facts before they spread the word like wildfire."

YOU SAID, "As far as my comment concerning my being "appalled to see boys use the system to terminate their contract with the Army early," PFC Calloway's timing may have been a coincidence, but there had been discussions throughout the platoon about using mental health to get out of the army prematurely upon return to the states."

RESPONSE:

Shall we include all military who try to evade military duty? Our own president somehow entered the Texas National Guard with low test scores, poor driving record, flew plants to AL. and was gone 1 year?

VP Dick Cheney - 5 draft deferments and failed college?

USING THE SYSTEM? AVOIDING DUTY OR WAR?

YOU SAID, "As far as any trauma I may or may not have received, self-medication is exactly what I have used. Now I am sure you are insinuating the use or abuse of legal and illegal drugs, but, sorry to disappoint, this is not what I am talking about. I do not use anything stronger than Tylenol and I haven't overused alcohol since my partying days before the army. I have learned how to live with the things I have done, seen, smelled, heard, and felt."

RESPONSE:
1. If we disallow everyone to avoid war, conflicts, military duty or requirements - those rules should apply to everyone.

2. Unfortunately, life is not fair. Many people use mental health to evade (those arrested, illegal aliens and a lot of others). Who should be allowed to use MH and who should not?

3. Our judicial system was based on individual assessments and cases. We all know our judicial system is not fair and equal, but it's the best we got. Not everyone could manage themselves as you write.

On the other-hand, many warn us not to judge others because we never know when aspirin won't be enough to deal with future trauma. Any of us could be knocked down at any time - BAD. Maybe, the soldier of topic is doing the best he could do at this time?

I don't know the soldier. I was offering possible solutions to a concern I read in a national newspaper.

Thank you for not making assumptions. The check on you might not have been personal - but more to check to see if you were another Casey Anthony!

Do you believe everything you read or hear? I could tell by your writings than you do not. Scientific minds research everything in time available.

A lot of people do what they're supposed to do. I commend you for your military service and seeming ability to help yourself. If ever you find yourself in a place of difficulty, it is nice to find people helping people.
Anja Taylor

Surry Hills, Australia

#10 Oct 22, 2008
Joshua - I don't know if you are still reading these posts but I would love to get in touch with you. I work for an Australian TV science program called Catalyst, we are about to come to the US to film a story on the latest research/treatments for PTSD and the prevalence of psychological trauma in troops with mild traumatic brain injury (concussion from blasts). A personal perspective from a soldier is very important to us - this may not be for you but if you are happy to talk to me about your experiences please drop me a line. [email protected]
Anyone else reading this who has suffered from PTSD symptoms after serving in Iraq and would like to contact me, please feel free. Many thanks
Josh Calloway

New York, NY

#12 Jul 30, 2010
I am randomly looking at this. I appreciate the thought and discussion going on behind this. L, I did and do have problems stemming from my early life but it was a lost feeling, like I didn't belong and had nowhere to turn, that changed in the army. I'm proud that I was able to be with everyone there. As far as the WP article, I hated about 80 percent of it, it was dramatic as hell. Much more dramatic than I made it, many things said while the army had me on many medications I had no business being on. Even down to the article picture where it looked like I was crying. It was late, I was rubbing my eyes. I was upset to learn how it made me look. That day I was driving, my door was broken so I couldn't get out. I had line of sight from inside the humvee....I saw you go forward, krull and others go backwards. Herrera was behind me, I yelled at him to get up there and to open my door first, I got my M4 from mendez who was in the turret. I went up there when I could. My head was spinning, I lost control seeing his body everywhere. You told me to sit down, I saw a cookie or something on the back of the humvee that I thought was his body. We went back, that night the detonated unidentified luggage on the runway, it woke me up, I couldn't move, I almost pissed myself. I didn't feel I could function as a combat ready soldier after that, shit was fucking me up that wasn't before that day. Again, the story was written by a writer, writers couldn't sell anything unless it was tragic or interesting, parts she wrote were embellished. I appreciate the talks we had, I still remember them, I was 20 years old answering questions. I didn't know it'd turn me into a shitbag. Email: [email protected] m

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