PTSD: From pain to purpose, US veterans Hart and Ethan speak out
Tue 21st Jan 2014
The music of Hart, “The last day”
I don’t claim to be any expert on rap music but seeing a photo of Snoop Dog in a smart jacket at the White House in the company of Obama was a bit of a let down… As a musician friend from Atlanta put it, “Snoop at the White Hizzle” or rap gone soft? What happened to the edgy social statements we used to hear. Well as it happens, out of the blue a young rapper who calls himself Hart at “Team-ImSoFIRST” sent me a message on Twitter today with video attached saying, “watch the Dopiest Indie Video on Youtube on my life real life veteran, PTSD, “My last day”. My curiosity was sparked.
The video certainly gets the agony of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder across as we watch a former soldier confront his demons. The viewer also learns a few facts about the condition from the 6 minute visual/musical journey into depression, loss and despair.
There are over 2.3 million American Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan War
At least 20% of them have PTSD and or depression
50% of them don’t seek help because of the stigma that comes with saying,
“I NEED HELP”
So to get the full effect of the video produced by Kriss Liss, here is, “My Last Day” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zquCWq-UUSA&feature=youtu.be
Biography of Hart from his website
ImSoFIRST (Aka Hart) a Carolina recording artist that’s worked with artists such as Future, Gorilla Zoe, Stuey Rock and DJs like Don Cannon brings his military history, poverty infested, adrenaline rushing flow to the main stream industry. After medically retiring from the military and recovering from a life changing accident he maintains a positive attitude as he sets the bar high for other recording artists in the music career field. Being a multi-talented artist HART shoots, edits and publishes his own videos. His creativity allows him to be more than just one step ahead of the game. He’s determined to change the core of his hometown Shelby, NC so therefore he uses them as his primary source of motivation.
You can also see an interview with Hart on following link http://www.teamimsofirst.com/
The poetry of Ethan, “Democracy is a bitch”, “Hero”, and “Dinner is served”
Now read the following thought provoking pieces from my friend Ethan McCord, former member of Bravo Company 2-16 who became known to the world as the soldier on the ground in Iraq that rescued children from a van in Baghdad attacked by an Apache helicopter. This was the “Collateral Murder” video made famous by Wikileaks. Ethan was the subject of a short documentary “Incident in Baghdad” directed by James Spione, with myself as Executive Producer, nominated f or an Oscar in 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOh_dfQChF0
Democracy is a bitch
Are you enjoying that freedom soldiers supposedly guard?
Well examine that freedom, take a look long and hard.
Exactly what is it, that you risk to lose?
That so many lives both old and young were destroyed, bodies bloody, and bruised.
What did you stand to gain from the death of an Iraqi boy?
Did you feel important to tell your lies, as you buy your own childs toys?
As children in Iraq play with guns from sticks,
or are forced to rebuild their lives at the tender age of six.
Orphaned from our Democracy, that lie you hold so dear.
That ugly bitch Democracy, that all other people have learned to fear.
While you drink your iced tea, and waste the things most wish they had.
A father tastes his child’s blood, because of your bombs, and bullets in a distant land.
I joined to fight for you, I quickly learned you didn’t care.
Fuck your ribbons, and magnets, fuck your superficial veterans affairs.
Its all a show now, maybe it always was.
Twenty three died today all alone because of you, but who cares, no one does…..
Tonight a veteran chooses, to look at his children no more. Knowing that one day hell have to explain to them what Daddy did in war.
Chooses to leave his wife he’s loved it seems forever, Because he’s hurt her with his hands though he swore to her he’d never.
Chosen to leave behind his pain and anger hes tried to hide since returning, chosen to leave behind that horrible dream that always is reocurring.
He will wear his uniform one last time, medals neatly upon his chest, So you’ll know that killing DOES NOT MAKE A HERO….FUCK YOUR HERO ….HERE I REST>
Dinner is served
Look at this man, what in his eyes do you see?
Is it a callous murderer, or who once was me?
This man they say killed and maimed both old and young
Is this the face of pure evil, with a forked serpentine tongue
Or is it a mirror image, haunting our daily lives,
not forgiving our sins, our own actions in mime
This man was a husband, son, and father like you and me
Till we patted him on the back and shouted ” go die for me”
But when a soldiers death doesn’t come, as quickly as was wished
We are forced to devour the leftovers that we so selfishly dished.
Interview with Ethan on Russia Today, “I couldn’t stop crying” reliving collateral murder video http://www.correntewire.com/i_couldnt_stop_crying_ethan_mccord_relives_collateral_murder_video
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.
This article was republished here with kind permission. It first appeared on http://activist1.wordpress.com