We Came, We Saw, and We Conquered- the city of Washington, DC to protest Nixon's continuing war in Southeast Asia -1971-2011 (40 years of anti-war service to our country!)
The Tales of Two Veterans
Forty years ago this week my identical twin brother, a 22 year old Joe Bangert USMC Veteran , and 28 year old John Kerry US Navy Veteran, both marched with me- John Bangert, a, defrocked Roman Catholic student priest, I was a asked to leave my religious order of The Norbertines, because of my moral stance, against the war, and my physical presence at Philadelphia anti-war activities along with a few thousands of other anti-war student activist including follow RC ex-seminarians and ex-nuns. The church was wrong, the state was wrong. We were to take over Washington, DC, and camped out on the National Mall with campfires and tents, and music under the cherry blossoms. and then on Monday, we took over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which Senator Kerry, is now the chairman.
We were there, and I believe that it was more important for us to be veterans of the anti-war movement then to be 40 year survivors of Woodstock. Woodstock was about love, and peace and drugs and sex, with lots of rock and roll. Operation Dewey Canyon was the peacemakers drum roll to the correct side of history.
Today -Joe the Veteran, sits in a Barnstable County (now state and federal prison) because Joe the Veteran's had his PTSD demons come out after the shadows of night fall.
Help Joe the Veteran not just Joe the plumber. Joe Bangert could very well be the poster boy for Massachusetts Veteran Courts, they need to be grass roots up and legislative top down all with the hope of helping the newer cadre of returning veterans from newer wars then Vietnam, like Gulf War Vets, OEF, Operation Enduring Freedom, and OIF- Operation Iraq Freedom and perhaps the later Operation Japan Nuclear Cleanup, and Liberators of Libya or LOL! What they all have in common with Joe Bangert, is when they come home and they are not able to endure any freedom from night-sweats, and memories and the lingering effects of misnomer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Is never post, it comes our when you don't expect it to, at night after the news about eternal wars!
So this weekend on the 40th Anniversary, Brewster's Joe Bangert has petitioned Governor Deval Patrick who on his book tour A Reason to Believe who said during the Today Show interview “that veteran issues was one of my important tasks as governor” -- one who understand the issues of mental health and depression with family members himself, We now ask the Governor to commute Joe Bangert sentence to get him in the proper VA treatment facility and out of harms way in prison where he lingers as nighthawk helicopters fly to and from at Otis Air base, INCOMING PTSD!
After being there for almost 6 months time. Joe does not ever get out in the open air, he gets out of his cell for 2 hours in the morning, and two hours in the evening, but for 20 hours confined to his one person cell.
Here is where we were 40 years ago.
Joe won the cover spot on the ECONOMIST magazine as he stood in front of the US Supreme Court building with a toy M 16, Cover Story: America's Other Army May 1, 1971.
Let's help Joe and many returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, but remember this, PTSD, like cataracts takes time to develop. We can still help ripe, PTSD veterans from Vietnam, but also be open to our newer veteran claims. Let's not lock them up and throw away the key.
FREE JOE BANGERT
Please if you see this you can email email@example.com or call me at (508) 432-0545!
Joe has petitioned the Governors Council for a commutation, and or a pardon. Joe has been locked up for calling 911! That's what all the 800 numbers for veteran’s mental health directs if you are having an emergency. You can't lock up, non-compliant diabetics; we don't incarcerate heart attack survivors who eat bacon and eggs daily.
We should not incarcerate "whacked out" veterans, on the state nickle when they have their own VA health insurance will pay for their recovery, Veterans should be able and encouraged to call 911 when they are scared of themselves. Veterans Courts, or Veterans Treatment courts are in 21 other states, why not in Massachusetts? Let go beyond the ubiquitous folks with yellow ribbons affixed to the back of their investor class Lexus SUV’S with no family members ever in the services.
Regarding: Joseph V. Bangert
MSA # 5116
Barnstable County Correctional Facility
Since we were legally advised against a "revise and revoke" option by Joe's court appointed defense team, Joe has decided to make a petition for commutation. According to my conversation with the Barnstable County Institutional Parole Officer, there were too many parole applicants for April, and she was not even certain that Joe will be able to request his parole in May. Joe will lose his house if 90 days passes after his sentencing date on March 4th, which will be June 4th, Joe's nest egg, his home of 28 years is then foreclosed and Joe will be forever punished with Veteran Homelessness.
Joe's reason for petitioning the Governor via the Governor's Council is that it is his last resort. Joe has been locked up for the misdemeanor offense of calling 911, as he is directed by all VA and mental health voice-mail messages, whenever he fells threatened. "If this is an emergency, please hang up and call 911".
Joe's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression rendered him unable to distinguish between the state of emergency he felt he was experiencing when he made the calls and how those calls would be received by the Brewster Police Department or the Massachusetts State Police (whom he contacted by mistake by using a cell phone). This is why we need a Veterans Court Treatment option, to direct veterans such as Joe, to treatment options appropriate to their conditions.
I quote the reasons stated in Joe's petition:
" I am a Vietnam veteran with a verified 100% service connected disability - PTSD & depression. Conditions in the House of Corrections severely exacerbate my symptoms and led to the actions that caused my probation violation. If my sentence is commuted, I am immediately eligible for intensive inpatient treatment for both mental health and substance abuse at a VA funded facility." Joe Bangert