American Morning

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December 14th, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Troops need $4,000 for bus trip home for the holidays

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A squadron of the Tennessee National Guard needs $4,000 for buses to go home for the holidays."]

Troops preparing to serve this country in Iraq need your help so they can make it back home for the holidays.

A squadron of the Tennessee National Guard training in Mississippi is eligible to return home next week, but there's a snag.

They still need $4,000 for the buses after the money fell through last week.

If you'd like to help, the squadron has a Facebook page.

Filed under: Military
December 14th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Walk in My Shoes: Teen talks about deadly brawl

Editor's Note: This week American Morning is examining the causes of youth-on-youth violence across the country. In part one of the series, "Walk in My Shoes," we talk to Vashion Bullock – one of the teens who participated in the brawl captured on video that left a 16-year-old boy dead. On Tuesday, we talk with teens about why they fight, and if anything can be done to change the behavior.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Derrion Albert, 16, was beaten to death September 24. His death was captured on video."]

By T.J. Holmes, CNN

Teen violence – it's a problem just about everywhere. In California, a crowd watched a 15-year-old girl gang raped after her high school prom. Five of the six suspects are teenagers.

In Florida, a 15-year-old suffers second-degree burns over 80 percent of his body, when five teens set him on fire in a dispute involving his failure to pay them $40 for a video game.

And in Chicago, captured on a cell phone camera, 16-year-old Derrion Albert beaten to death by a mob of teens. A killing so senseless and brutal it strikes a nerve across the country, all the way to the White House.

“It was a stark wake-up call to a reality that can be easy for too many to ignore,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

A wake-up call to a startling reality where, according to the most recently released CDC figures, an average of 16 young people are murdered each day in the United States. In Chicago, twelve public school students have been killed in the last four months, including Derrion Albert.

“I got some regrets. I wish I would’ve stayed home that day,” says 17-year-old Vashion Bullock, one of the kids who took part in the Chicago brawl.

Facing expulsion from Fenger High School, Vashion says what the public sees in these images and what he saw that day are two different stories. In his world, he says, fighting is about survival.


Filed under: Crime • Walk in My Shoes
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