Among the plaintiffs in this lawsuit is Greg Valentini. A private in the 101st Airborne, he took part in the initial invasion of Afghanistan. There, he participated in the assault on Tora Bora that sought Osama bin Laden. He was redeployed to Iraq, where he again experienced heavy combat. He received six decorations for his service.
Back home, it was meth that took the edge off, and nearly destroyed him.
"It wasn't pretty," says Mr. Valentini.
His son was scatterbrained, dishonest and jumpy. Mr. Valentini was torn. He knew Greg was strung out, but he also knew he'd been through something horrible.
"I was probably too lenient, but I was trying to understand his side of it."
"But I got worse and worse," admits Greg, who stole cash, credit cards and jewelry from his father. "I did a lot of humiliating things."
"Yeah, it was a blow," says Mr. Valentini.
Greg, who was arrested several times, often limped back home when he was set free. Once, his father told him he could sleep on the back porch, that was it. Another time, he kicked him out altogether.
In that same article, Valentini tells even farther fetched stories:
As the father grills burgers on a sunny and pleasant Southern California day, the son takes us into a war zone on the other side of the world. In Afghanistan, Greg says, his whole unit smoked opium "to take the edge off." Surviving firefights seemed to be a matter of luck. Once, in a convoy, he was switched out of one vehicle and into another. Minutes later, the first vehicle hit an IED, and there were no survivors.
Once again, the 101st did not suffer a single fatality during that tour in Afghanistan. Not a one.
Six years later, Valentini can still hear the fury and chaos, see himself freezing in his first firefight in Kandahar, feel the butt of the rifle that a buddy used to bust him in the chops and snap him out of paralysis.
He began shooting, and shooting, and shooting, and during nine bloody months of heavy combat in Afghanistan, Valentini came to understand fear, absorb it, get comfortable with it. What was fear of death but a reverence for life?
Update 2: More problems in the complaint, although who knows what of this Valentini said, or his lawyer embellished. From page 38.
Mr. Valentini received his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia, and was selected for further training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and then to the 101st Airborne Division. In October 2001, he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the initial assault on the Taliban and al-Qaeda after September 11.Mr. Valentini's first mission was to take control of the Taliban-held airport at Kandahar, which involved heavy combat. Many of his fellow soldiers were killed. He also witnessed a number of civilian deaths and was tasked with transporting the dead bodies of civilians.
Marines took control of the airport Thursday night without resistance. Afghans on the ground appeared stunned and curious, then waved and fired weapons in the air in a show of support. Still, Brig. Gen. James N. Mattis has ordered that "force protection" remain a major concern as Taliban and Al Qaeda forces continue their retreat.
"These guys might try to make one big hit before they get out of town," said Maj. Tom Impellitteri. "The Marines have to remember: vigilance, vigilance, vigilance."
On Sunday, only one Afghan approached the perimeter of the airport. Given some clothes and food by Marines, he left quickly.
The complaint continues:
In February and March of 2002, Mr. Valentini's unit was part of Operation Anaconda in the Tora Bora Mountains, searching for Osama bin Laden and other elements of the al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership. He took part in significant ground fighting, under nearly constant sniper fire and mortar bombardment. Again, he witnessed the gruesome deaths of numerous civilians, including children.
OK, this might at least explain the previous Tora Bora claim. Operation Anaconda did not take place at Tora Bora, but rather the Shah-i-Kot Mountains. I have no idea what role he played in this, but based on the rest, I am not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.