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.