What the Army is doing about PTSD and similar problems

AnneSheffield
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Joined: 11:07 PM - Feb 08, 2005

10:08 PM - Nov 15, 2007 #1

This is what the military is doing about PTSD, brain injuries, and similar problems caused by service under v. dangerous and stressful conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Since the start of the Iraq war, 28,000 veterans have been involuntarily discharged because of "personality disorder" or "misconduct." These are the two terms used to cover symptoms of PTSD and other brain injuries that are the result of service in this war.
The # of discharges for these two reasons has increased by 40% since the start of the war. Being discharged for these reasons means that most or all of the medical benefits to which these soldiers would be entitled are not available to them.
This is an outrage
If you want to check this story, go to npr.org and see if your local station ran it. I heard it this afternoon, Thursday, November 15th, at approximately 6:00 pm EST.
If enough people would like to join me, I'd be happy to forward a petition to the right people in Washington, D.C. I know who they are and have friends who can make sure our message gets to them.
I posted this under "Veterans and Suicide" but thought it important enough to warrant a thread of its own.
Anne
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Jules7213
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Joined: 4:44 PM - May 30, 2007

10:51 PM - Nov 15, 2007 #2

Count me in!
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Sully
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Sully
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Joined: 12:29 AM - Feb 19, 2006

11:41 PM - Nov 15, 2007 #3

I'll certainly support this!
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westtexLizzie
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Mar 19, 2006

1:33 AM - Nov 16, 2007 #4

The piece on NPR did not even begin to cover it. Go to armytimes.com and type a search for articles relating to TBI or traumatic brain injuries. There are 151 articles currently covering this very topic. Some are encouraging simply because at least it's beginning to be seen as a problem, but many, including the probe at Ft. Carson are downright disturbing. I was even surprised at the "cheating" that goes on in the screening process. I am appalled at physicians that would diagnose personality disorders so readily when all they have to go by is the solider's medical record for ONLY the time they have served in the military and especially so if there is no documentation of a pre-existing personality disorder. And equally appalled at the number of personality disorder diagnoses when PTSD and d are missed.
My h just completed a mandatory class on TBI. When I asked him about this subject he told me that the number of TBIs are significantly greater with these two wars than in any other in the history of our nation, simply for the way in which war is waged now and because of the equipment our soldiers have. Body armor is better, but head gear is woefully behind. The mildest forms of brain injuries go undetected. And still these soldiers are redeployed-further increasing the possibility for further brain damage. Yet they go and serve honorably only to be treated so disposably when they return.
VA funding is stretched to the limit. I often wonder if there is some undue influence afoot to keep veterans off the VA health care rolls because of the lack of funding. We have an administration that has consistently cut veterans' benefits since he has been in office.
Do not just petition that these soldiers receive better care. DEMAND that there is better education from the top down to the lowest ranking infantry soldier. Demand a standard of excellence in diagnosis and screening tools. Demand higher standards of care. Demand adequate funding. Appeal to Congress that they support veterans so they do not have to be fearful of losing their jobs, retirement and benefits they have earned if they seek treatment. Demand strict oversight so that the types of things that went on at Walter Reed are not repeated.
Believe me, I am not giving the army a pass. I've seen improvements. Woefully inadequate improvements, but small steps in the right direction. Unfortunately the entire system needs a well placed kick into the 21st century.
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kitty1957
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Joined: 8:58 AM - Jan 13, 2006

11:17 AM - Nov 16, 2007 #5

Here is the link to where you can listen to the program and/or read the article:
www.npr.org/templates/sto...d=16330374
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Joined: 8:23 PM - Aug 27, 2007

11:21 AM - Nov 16, 2007 #6

count me in and I will get others
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