A Kentucky soldier facing his second tour of duty in Iraq tried checking into the VA hospital in Lexington but was arrested on charges of being AWOL. Spc. Justin Faulkner said he told his superior officers of his mental condition and went to the VA hospital where doctors wanted to keep him under observation, but he was arrested. “It’s made me lose respect for the military. to come and arrest me at the VA, it wasn’t like I was trying to hide, trying to run. I was getting help. I am being punished for getting help.” Faulkner completed a tour of duty in Iraq and was headed back for a second one when he felt symptoms of post traumatic stress and wanted mental assistance from the Veterans Administration hospital staff.
Fort Campbell spokesperson, Cathy Gramling, claimed the military installation had sufficient medical staff to assist soldiers with PTS symptoms. Faulkner’s wife who is expecting another child said her husband was displaying symptoms of stress and expressed her outrage “that somebody who fought for our country could be treated like this.” Faulkner was a prison guard who signed up for active duty and then began to feel doubts and stress. “To me,” he said, “we’re fighting Bush’s war that his dad couldn’t finish.”