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POLL: Are Afghan Killings Reflective of Ongoing Problems at Joint Base Lewis-McChord?

The revelation that a 38-year-old sergeant whom authorities suspect of killing 16 Afghan civilians during an overnight killing spree is from JBLM casts another grim shadow on the local installation.

A a mile outside of his base in Afghanistan included a fact that left some in the South Sound disgusted and in disbelief.

The suspected soldier was from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The Associated Press reported via The News Tribune that he is part of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

As Patch reported on Sunday, the civilian killings could be the latest in a series of grim incidents involving U.S. soldiers from JBLM. Last year, four soldiers from the local installation were convicted by the Army of conducting thrill killings of Afghan civilians in 2010.

Today, The Seattle Times' Hal Bernton explored how the local installation is back in the national headlines for the worst of reasons:

"The base has grappled with other tough issues, including a surge in suicides to a record level in 2012 and complaints by some soldiers that doctors had reversed their diagnoses of post-traumatic stress. There also have been acts of violence in the Puget Sound area involving the base's soldiers or former soldiers."

"Base officials have said that any community the size of the base is bound to have its problems and that its reputation has been tarred by 'a small number of highly visible but isolated episodes' that don't accurately reflect the remarkable accomplishments of its service members, including their work overseas and the creation of programs to support returning soldiers."

So we ask you, Patch users, whether the Afghan killings and other problems are reflective of ongoing issues with Joint Base Lewis-McChord? Tell us in the poll below.

Brent Champaco March 14, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Hey everyone, I know this issue is a hot-button one, and we will happily offer a forum to discuss it. However, I ask that please refrain from making personal attacks on each other, as that doesn't advance the conversation at all. If any personal attacks occur, I will have to delete your comment. Basically, let's be civil to each other. Thanks.
Javier A Prieto March 14, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Im Spc Prieto.From Joint Base Lewis.M . in my opinions, the Army should raise the standars again and stop hiring people that are not going to do any good. About this Ssg, noone should be giving hard opinions until the investigation Finnish. You may be surprised with the details
Alicia March 14, 2012 at 06:41 AM
I am also a Soldier here at JBLM. I've been here for many years and think very highly if this post & it's people. That being said, the goverment as a whole has a responsibility to the Service Members to ensure they are deployable. The knowledge we have to care for the mentally ill is sparse & new in growth. We have alot to learn. I'm horrified by the actions of this Soldier, but I'm also extremely disappointed by the failure to take care of a sick person by allowing him to deploy.
Brent Champaco March 14, 2012 at 06:47 AM
To Spc. Prieto and Alicia, thank you both for your comments and for your service to this country.
Allen Jackson March 14, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Jblm have nothing to offer single soldiers after work are depress due to the weather,a lot of people are not use been alone yet and drinking.soldiers turn to drugs n alcohol to escape all the stress there high ups cause them.the main problem here is chain of command not been respectful to there soldiers and tresting them like shit..living here on base is one of the worse things I did,the base is so fucked up that many enlisted doldiers are pissing hot or foing something to get out the,srmy and deployment.

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