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October 15, 2007

Warning Signs: Web Interview with Jeffrey Henthorn's Parents

When Jeffrey Henthorn, 25, returned from his first tour of duty in Iraq, his family noticed that something was not right. He woke up with nightmares and laughed callously at photos he took of Iraqis who had been shot and dismembered. When he was called up for his second tour of duty, he sobbed to his mother that he didn't want to go back. Two months later Henthorn’s family received the grim news that he had shot and killed himself with an M-16 rifle at an Army camp in Balad, Iraq.

>>In a web video interview, Henthorn's parents talk about the signs they wish they had paid attention to, and the need for an institutional safety net for troubled soldiers.


October 12, 2007

PBS broadcast: "Question 7"/ Meet the Reporters

EXPOSÉ's "Question 7" airs tonight on PBS. Check local listings.

Reporters Lisa Chedekel and Matt Kauffman talk about their very different reporting styles and conducting tough interviews, "some of the toughest either of us has ever done."

With the families of troops who had committed suicide in Iraq, most of them had never talked about the circumstances of the death of their son or daughter or husband.... Some had never even told relatives or close friends. There we were, strangers calling them from a newspaper in New England, asking them about one of the most taboo topics imaginable—suicide. You'd think most of them would hang up. And yet few did.

>> Read more of EXPOSÉ's interview with Chedekel and Kauffman.


October 11, 2007

Watch "Question 7" online

On the military's pre-deployment health assessment form, there is only one question regarding mental health that a recruit is asked before deploying. Question 7 asks, "During the past year, have you sought counseling or care for your mental health?" Matt Kauffman and Lisa Chedekel of the HARTFORD COURANT spent a year investigating mental health screening, depression, and suicide in the military. Are American soldiers mentally fit to fight? What happens if the answer is no?

>> Read Chedekel and Kauffman's series, which first appeared in the May 14-17, 2006, editions of the HARTFORD COURANT.


October 09, 2007

Preview: "Question 7"

Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman of the HARTFORD COURANT investigate a disturbing trend in the mental health condition of military personnel returning sent to Iraq and Afghanistan—suicide rates are up, and the military has inadequate mechanisms to care for those in need of help.

Watch "Question 7" tomorrow online.