We first met the soldiers of the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard about a week ago, on an airport tarmac. They had just landed in the United States after wrapping up a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
The case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier charged with killing 17 Afghan villagers, has led the Army to review how troops are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs say they have invested heavily in the treatment of PTSD to deal with a growing caseload.
But the stigma associated with the disorder continues to complicate efforts to treat it. It has also fueled serious misconceptions about its effects — such as the notion that PTSD causes acts of extreme violence.
An Army officer and a soldier were arrested earlier this month for allegedly plotting a murder-for-hire scheme, the Justice Department said.
1st Lt. Kevin Corley, 29, and Sgt. Samuel Walker, 28, were arrested after police said they cut a deal with federal officials posing as members of a drug cartel to raid a Texas ranch were they believed 20 kilograms of stolen cocaine were being kept by members of a rival cartel. Police said Corley, who took the lead in striking the deal, also agreed to kill the rivals using a small team in exchange for $50,000 and five kilograms of cocaine.