Afghanistan Shooting Suspect On Fourth War Tour; Had Head Injury
The American soldier accused of killing 16 civilians had done three tours of duty in Iraq prior to his assignment in Afghanistan.
The soldier was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan after three tours in Iraq, Pentagon spokesman George Little said yesterday.
After such multiple deployments, military personnel struggle “with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression — and still don’t do what this man did,” said Barbara Van Dahlen, founder of Give an Hour, a Bethesda, Maryland-based non-profit group that provides mental-health services to military personnel.
The suspect also had a head injury from his Iraq service.
The name of the suspect, a married, 38-year-old father of two, has not been released. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (pictured) said he may face capital charges, and that the U.S. must resist pressure from Washington and Kabul to change course in Afghanistan because of anti-American outrage over the shooting…
A U.S. official said that during a recent tour of duty in Iraq, the suspect was involved in a vehicle accident and suffered a head injury. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is under investigation.
The vehicle accident was not a combat-related event, the official said. There was no available indication about the extent of the injury, or whether his injury could be linked to any abnormal behavior afterward.