Hate Crime in Albany, NY-Black Man Thrown Into BonFire

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Police: 18-year-old thrown into bonfire during party

By MARIE LUBY

http://www.wten.com/Global/story.asp?S=11290526

EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. – A Rensselaer County man is behind bars after allegedly tossing a teen into a fire early Friday morning in a fit of rage.  It happened at an outdoor party in East Greenbush.

Vroman

Bruce Vroman

Police say it was 23-year-old Bruce Vroman who grabbed 18-year-old Derek George and threw him into the flames.  Friends quickly pulled Derek out, but it wasn’t fast enough.

18-year-old Derek George can barely speak through his pain.  Second and third degree burns cover his leg, back, and half his face.  “It hurts a lot,” he says softly.

Derek was at a party around a bonfire when he says Bruce Vroman, a man he did not know, yelled a racial slur at him.

Derek’s mother, Dorma George, explains, “Out of the blue they’re like, ‘you n***** you need to leave!’ ”

Derek says he tried to stay calm, telling Vroman, “I take that as disrespect.  Just don’t say it, please don’t say it.”

That’s when Derek says Vroman rushed at him.  Derek fought him to the ground, but does not remember being pushed into the fire.  “That’s all I remember is saying, ‘somebody’s gonna get hurt,’ and waking up with my friends holding me, saying ‘you’re all burnt up.’ ”

His mother is calling it a hate crime.

“My son’s face, my son’s body is burnt.  For what?  Being black?  It’s ridiculous,” says George.

George says all of her children have been repeatedly harassed by some in Vroman’s circle of friends, and she says she’s desperate for police intervention.

“It’s like a ball of fire just ready to explode, and I’m trying to stop it before someone gets killed…I don’t want my son to die like this,” she says.

Police say their investigation is not over.  Vroman is charged with first degree assault.  He’s being held in the Rensselaer County Correctional Facility without bail, and has a preliminary hearing set for Tuesday, October 13th.

Derek George is still undergoing outpatient treatment from Albany Medical Center.

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After Fort Hood: Count All the Dead

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After Fort Hood: Count All the Dead

by New America Media, News Analysis, Aaron Glantz,

Perhaps the most depressing aspect of Thursday’s shoot-out at Fort Hood is that none of the 12 people who died in the melee will be counted as casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These soldiers – “brave Americans,” President Obama called them – will join an unknown number of American soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines, who are not among the 5,267 the Defense Department counts as having died in our most recent wars, but who have perished nonetheless.

It will take days or weeks to learn what really happened at Fort Hood and why, but even at this early moment, we can make one statement for certain. The government’s refusal to accurately count their sacrifice of these young men and women dishonors not only these soldiers’ memories, but also obscures the public’s understanding of the amount of sacrifice required to continue wars in two countries, simultaneously, overseas.

Go on the website, icasualties.org, which regularly publishes the names the Pentagon reports as having died in two wars, and a discerning eye will see a lot of other names are missing.

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Gerald Cassidy

Missing are the names of service members, like Sgt. Gerald Cassidy,
First Warrant Officer Judson E. Mount, or Spc. Franklin D. Barnett who died stateside after receiving substandard medical care for wounds sustained in the war zones. Cassidy sat dead in a chair for three days at Fort Knox before anyone noticed that he had passed away from complications related to a brain injury sustained in Iraq. Mount died in April 2009 at San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center after taking shrapnel from a roadside bomb in November 2008. Barnett died in June 2009 from wounds he sustained in Afghanistan earlier in the year.

Missing, too, are the names of American soldiers and veterans who have killed themselves after serving a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan, people like 19 year old Spc. John Fish of Paso Robles, California who told his superiors he was thinking of killing himself after his first deployment, but was but was ordered overseas a

brian_rand_final

Brian Rand

second time anyway.While he was training for that second deployment to Afghanistan, Fish walked out into the New Mexican desert after a training exercise for his second deployment and blew his brains out with a military issued machine gun. Or Sgt. Brian Jason Rand of North Carolina, who was found under the Cumberland River Center Pavilion near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in February 2008 with a bullet through his skull and a shotgun by his side.

The Army reports 117 active duty Army soldiers killed themselves in 2007, the year Fish took his life. At the time, it was a 26-year high. But that record was quickly eclipsed by the 2008 Army figure of 128 suicides. In January 2009, more American soldiers committed suicide than died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, but none of these deaths are listed in the official casualty count.

andresRaya

Andres Raya

Neither are the dozens of soldiers who have killed in altercations with law enforcement brought on by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder incurred during deployments overseas – people like 19 year old Marine Corps veteran Andes Raya who was shot dead by police in California’s rural Central Valley after returning home from Fallujah; or Minnesota Iraq war veteran Brian William Skold, who got drunk and then lead deputies on a late night chase before stepping out of his pick-up, firing a birdshot into the air, before kneeling on one knee and leveling his shotgun at authorities. Moments later he was fatally shot by two police officers. It’s unknown how many Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have died this way, but like the 12 soldiers gunned down at Fort Hood this week, their deaths would not have occurred if not for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Regardless of what you think of these wars, it’s absolutely necessary that the American public be fully appraised of their cost. After all, how can we even begin to honor their memories, if we don’t even track their sacrifice.

original article:http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=5a9eb49cd7b05b67fbfd8d1ce1a8336b

NAM Editor Aaron Glantz is author of the book, The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans.

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