Several soldiers have complained they were discharged for personality disorders but their diagnosis indicated they had post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Officials at Fort Carlson, Colorado said statistics indicated that 56 of 276 soldiers discharged with personality disorders in fact had PTSD.
Soldiers have accused Army officials of everything from deploying them to Iraq with brain injuries to punishing them for behavior related to their combat injuries. They also claim that after Veterans for America asked for an investigation by the Army inspector general, no one from the IG’s office talked to them before submitting a report that essentially said no problems had been found. Veterans for America says it has investigated situations involving 35 soldiers and have 18 open cases.
Under Army regulations, for combat soldiers to be diagnosed with a personality disorder they must have – somewhere in their medical records – evidence of having been diagnosed or treated for a mental health issue at some point before going to war. The Army Times talked with two soldiers accusing the Army of ill treatment. Spc. Paul Thurman said he was shipped to Southwest Asia with a traumatic injury even though his profile said he could not deploy. In Kuwait an explosive device went off near him. Spc. John Town was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury after a rocket blew up 2 and a half feet above his head, but the Army diagnosed him with a pre-existing personality disorder and discharged him with no medical benefits or retirement pay.
Information from The Army Times
The Bush administration continues to berates its opponents for “not supporting the troops” but there is enormous evidence hundreds of servicemen are being discharged under false grounds in order to avoid paying them retirement benefits and affording them medical care. I disagree with Bush on what constitutes “supporting our troops.”