CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Sources from 1st Battalion 8th Marines say that a Marine claiming severe post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is being openly mocked by the Marine who is the leading cause of it.
Cpl. Donald Bogdan, a squad leader in Charlie Company, expressed both amazement and contempt about the claims of PTSD by Lance Cpl. Sean O'Connell, who is both Bogdan's assistant automatic rifleman and the frequent recipient of Bogdan's physical and psychological torture.
"Is that little bitch still saying he's got PTSD?" asked Bogdan, according to sources in second squad, after hearing O'Connell was making another attempt to see a military psychiatrist. "What a fucking boot! Nothing even happened in-country," he said, omitting multiple incidents in which he openly mocked, shunned, and physically assaulted O'Connell.
"I told him his PTSD is all bullshit, and if he claims it again the next time we have MCMAP [Marine Corps Martial Arts] I'm going to break his arm," Bogdan added.
"When I first picked [O'Connell] up last year, the dumb-ass didn't know how to patrol, never remembered what he was supposed to do, always had this confused look on his face — I mean basically the kid was going to get someone killed. He had to understand that we're a family and a family is only as good as its weakest link: that's why I pulled him into the head one night and beat him unconscious."
Bogdan then described a series of attempted corrections he had made to "fix" O'Connell, including screaming at him in public, screaming at him in private, securing his liberty, hitting him, kicking him, throwing him into his wall locker, and choking him with the cord on his laundry bag.
The abuse continued after the battalion deployed to Afghanistan, when O'Connell became in Bogdan's words, "permanently sky-lined" by the company office. After O'Connell lost his bayonet Bogdan had him locked up in a Conex box for the better part of a day in the middle of the summer.
"We totally should have just left him in there to die," Bogdan said laughing, upon reflection, "but then someone else would have had to stand post for him and we're understrength enough as it is."
Other members of the squad say around this time a constantly-frustrated Bogdan launched his brief and unsuccessful plan to push O'Connell into suicide through a combination of sleep deprivation and physical punishment.
In addition to the trauma in both Afghanistan and the workup for that deployment, Bogdan continues to inflict severe emotional damage on O'Connell back in garrison, flushing his antidepressants down the toilet and publicly ordering members of the latest boot drop to ignore everything O'Connell says.
But Bogdan argued that ultimately everything he's doing is for O'Connell's benefit.
"Look, I know I'm hard on the kid, but trust me: he's got it easy compared to what my seniors did to me," Bogdan said, his right eye briefly twitching before he nervously glanced over his shoulder.
O'Connell's friends have confirmed that later this evening he will begin his own program of self-therapy by finding the weakest looking new Marine in the barracks and repeatedly kicking him in the testicles.