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Army Tweet Gets Thousands of Tragic Responses

All the Army asked was, 'How has serving impacted you?'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2019 9:50 AM CDT
In this Oct. 17, 2017, photo, US Army soldiers hone their long-distance marksmanship skills as they train at Ft. Benning in Columbus, Ga.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(Newser) – For the US Army, this might have come as a surprise. It tweeted a video last week of Pfc. Nathan Spencer talking about how service has positively influenced his life, and wrote the question: "How has serving impacted you?" Some of the roughly 10,000 responses touched on positive elements, like life-long friendships, but most of them were about scary side-effects like PTSD, tragic deaths, and sexual assaults, per USA Today. We can't vouch for their authenticity, but the sheer amount is staggering. Among the responses:

  • "My cousin committed suicide while on duty at the armory after coming home from a tour abroad," writes Lacy M. Johnson.
  • "Depression, anxiety, still can’t deal well with loud noises. I was assaulted by one of my superiors. When I reported him, with witnesses to corroborate my story, nothing happened to him," writes schmox. When he got caught stealing a laptop, she says, he "was then demoted."
  • "My brother in law tried to kill his brother after being tapped on the shoulder due to having a flash back from being in Afghanistan at a kids party..." writes Josh.
  • "I quit serving because my wife was shot in Iraq and I sustained a major concussion in an airborne operation, yet the VA refuses to increase my disability percentage," writes Josh Pitts. "I've been homeless several times and struggled ever since."
  • "I tried to enlist as a teen but was turned down over a heart defect. After reading these post[s] I am relived [sic] I had heart issues," writes David Kelley. "Thank you all for your service and may you find peace soon."
The Army responded by advising veterans in need to contact the Veteran Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and veteranscrisisline.net. (Read more US Army stories.)

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