Thursday, September 15, 2011

Does the army really put their soldiers first, or do they leave a man down?

Recently, I've done a lot of research on PTSD and traumatic brain injury, as my husband is currently in treatment for both. Through this research, I've discovered several things that I believe need to be addressed.

Did you know that as many as 30% of Iraq and Afghanistan war vets return home and are charged with crimes that are a result of Undiagnosed mental health issues? It's such a problem, that even the VA has addressed the issue by putting legal liaisons in each VA hospital to help. Different states have established a veterans court, designed to take in to account these issues as they result in crimes, as simply throwing the vets in jail is often harmful to those who already suffer from combat trauma.

The problem is, that the army often chooses to administratively or chapter the soldier out for misconduct, often times resulting in a loss of access to VA benefit, and any claim to treatment. In otherwords, they turn their back on the soldier after years of service, even with no prior misconduct, and eliminate access to treatment, even if the soldier was diagnosed while still in the military.

I'm not saying that mental health issues necessarily negates responsibility of the soldier, but it's a case by case basis. They should at least have mitigating circumstances taken in to consideration when determining fault and rehabilitation options, and even if they are imprisoned, the VA still has the capability to treat these soldiers.

I'm just saying that it's not right for these soldiers who endure years of trauma, in wars that are unprecedented in duration, to be damaged, and then left on their own to spiral put of control. They deserve medical care, and the army needs to step up and show servicemembers that they, in fact, DO put the soldiers first, rather then discard them as garbage after they are used up and worn out.


  1. Mental healtcare is a huge and often ignored issue in the US. It's a hassle to find the care and then pay for it (insurance is often not accepted).

    I wish the US would pay attention to mental healthcare and create programs to make it readily available. I'm sure prison populations and state mental institutions would be less populated if people could get help sooner rather than later.

  2. I'd like to think the military is getting better at this, but last year, I volunteered at a Stand Down for homeless veterans. So many of them had been in jail, had undiagnosed or untreated mental health issues. And they were mostly just from the Philadelphia area, alone.

  3. I don't think a lot of people realize that this is happening, and I definitely agree, that it needs researched!

    After all these guys do for our safety, freedom and our country - the least we can do for them is to make sure that they get the care and treatment that they rightfully deserve!

  4. After a friend's husband came home from a deployment, right when mine was leaving (again), he sprialed down and it became clear he was not ok. At the worst of it, she admitted that she wished many nights that he would have died there a hero instead of coming home an empty shell. She felt she would have been taken care of had he been killed, but with a severe emotional injury, they were lost. It broke my heart.
    Things did get better for them, slowly. There are healing and getting help. But I wonder why it had to get so bad first.
    APparently, things arn't any better for our vets up here, either.

  5. I like your not an army wife, but I love the army wife series in FOX (I don't know how close the series are with the reality but I think I get some ideas)... and somehow I can understand how you feel..

  6. sometime i feel like they leave their soldiers behind, and (as an Army wife) i also feel like they leave FAMILIES behind...

  7. It is pretty disgusting when the men & women who fight for our safety & freedom are then left to fend for themselves. It is when they need us that we fail them. I really think that more needs to be done for our soldiers and their families.