Army veteran Andrew Chambers recently shared the story of how he was sentenced to ten years in prison after a judge allegedly told him that his service in the Iraq war makes him a “threat to society.” Video of his speech from prison for TEDxMarionCorrectional’s TEDxTalks is now going viral after being posted on Oct. 31.
After explaining that he decided to join the Army following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Chambers talked about the positive side of joining the U.S. military — traveling the world and experiencing different cultures. He was deployed to Iraq in 2004 after spending a year in Central America.
However, his experience in the devastated country took its toll. Chambers told his audience about the time he was working as a turret gunner on the top of a Humvee when gunfire erupted. He said he heard someone laughing and remembers asking himself, “who could be laughing at a time like this?”
As it turns out, it was he who was laughing.
“I felt like I was finally loosing control of that rage they (the military) taught me to harness,” Chambers said.
Things didn’t get much better when he returned home either. The Army veteran said he remained “paranoid,” always carried a pistol on him and “assessed the threat level of every person and place I came into contact with.” He also explained that he drove in the middle of the street because he feared the side of the street was going to blow up and kill him.
After seeking help from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Mental Health Clinic, Chambers was reportedly given a prescription sleeping aid, despite telling doctors he was afraid he was going to end up hurting someone.
Chambers’ problems culminated when he pulled his pistol on someone after a knife was drawn during a night out drinking. He says he made sure everyone was on the ground then took the knife from the man and “beat him.”
He was later arrested for attempted murder and other criminal charges, some of which he denies committing.
He said he’ll never forget what the judge said to him during his sentencing:
“Mr. Chambers, you’re service is a double edged sword. Your time in Iraq makes you a threat to society and I have a civil obligation to lock you up.”
He got 10 years in prison.
Towards the end of the video, Chambers pleas with his audience to find a veteran and talk to them.
“A lot of us just need someone to talk to,” he said.
Watch Chambers’ inspirational talk below:
This is an must see, hear video.
Nothing new, Viet Vets suffered the same persecution.....Don't go into a VA Hospital and tell them you sleep close to weapons, regardless of what they are, (Knives, Bows and arrows, slingshots, whatever) as you will be entered into the LEIN (Law Enforcement Intel Network) and that information will be made available to Law Enforcement Nation Wide....The VA is responsible for many Veterans, like Chambers, going to jail for lack of treatment...We are the enemy in their eyes.......
Illegitmus non Carborumdum
Paul, you are right about the VA. Do not trust them with your real feelings. They are not there to help but to isolate.
This is a real tragedy of justice. This man is a hero, we need more like him. The judge is the one that should be locked up.
Just reading his story breaks my heart. I will go back and watch the video now. Hope I can finish it.
Paul JJ Jensen - you are soooo correct!
Just watched the video. Still.....it breaks my heart. God bless our troops for all they do and all they have to deal with.
knowing the medications personally the guy should say that he was not aware of the incidents that the medications caused his behavior there is enough documentation to support that fact.
COMRADES OUR GOV. WILL ALWAYS DO THINGS RIGHT FOE YOU ( RIGHT ) ?
Breaks my heart in two................... How can we find these guys? I think I could be of help.
This is a total heart breaker and I agree, the liberal judge needs to spend a few years in prison, maybe he will get the message, don't screw with the Veterans.... they need an agency that will help them, most are traumatized and need to be re-intergrated back into a relative Civil Society, if you call this a Civil Society!!!