The soldier went into a tirade pushing and shoving the protestors, despite the flag not being the actual American flag. The protestors were holding an anti-torture vigil in Des Moines, Iowa.
Among the demonstrators was a veteran who was portraying a tortured detainee. It's important to note the protestors weren't promoting hatred of America, but rather the things our nation has done in other countries in the name of freedom.
The veteran who served in Iraq happened to be driving by the demonstration when he saw the upside-down flag. He parked his car and immediately got out and began launching into his tirade. He started with:
I fought for your right to stand here mother-fu**ker, turn that flag around, he shouted as he pointed to the flag.
He then approaches the person holding the flag and demanded him to "turn that flag around. Turn the f**cking flag around." Then he grabs a camera one of the protestors was holding and slams it onto the ground in the street. Then several of the demonstrators seem to come in-between him and another protestor to keep him from possibly grabbing the other camera and destroying it.
Then the veteran says, "what ya gonna do mother-f**cker, c'mon [sic]?" He keeps demanding for the flag to be turned around and threatens to knock them out saying "I will f**cking knock you out."
The veteran tries to wrestle the flag from the person holding it, but is unsuccessful. He keeps demanding for the flag to be turned around when one protestor, who was wearing a Navy SEALS hat, said "it's not the American flag it's an advertising gimmick." The veteran says he doesn't care it represents the America flag.
You can view the whole confrontation by clicking here.
Many veterans who come back from war have seen and faced traumatic combat situations. Some eventually snap and become violent as a result of not knowing how to deal with the things they have seen and done during war time.
Upward of 35 percent of returning troops may experience mental health issues, such as major depression and generalized anxiety, and seek help for such problems through military programs, according to an FBI law enforcement bulletin.
After returning home, a subset of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans report engaging in aggression toward others. One-third of survey respondents self-identified committing an act of aggression toward others during the past year, mostly involving minor aggressive behavior, according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
This article wasn't written as a "slam" against veterans. Having served in the Corps this Examiner has the utmost respect for them. This article was written to show that like the FBI bulletin says, 35 percent of combat troops returning from war will have problems.
The veteran from Iraq in the video appears to be one of those 35 percent. However, without fully knowing the individual one can only speculate about his possible PTSD or mental health condition. From the video it would appear he has some anger issues and understandably so, he's probably seen some terrible things.
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