Tag Archives: PTSD

UK Does Not Recognize War Related Mental Issues!

There is an old song about the horror of war which expresses the idea of how old men send young men off to war while they remain at home. Thousands of British soldiers served in the Gulf War, a combat which included having thousands exposed to toxic wastes. UK vets who have emerged from that experience with post traumatic stress disorders are being denied pensions because some people in the Ministry of Defense simply don’t believe being exposed to war and all it horror could result in a human being becoming emotionally upset. Gulf War Syndrome is understood to exist by doctors, but not by officials in the Ministry of Defense. Nine out of ten applications for pensions are being disallowed.

The United States Supreme Court has recognized the existence of PTSD for American soldiers who served during that conflict. It is madness to deny a soldier who experienced war medical assistance and a pension when the outcome was emotionally devastating.

The Wounds Of War Last Forever!

George Bush is chopping wood in Texas, Dick Cheney roams the streets at night seeking to uncover evidence of terrorism, and Don Rumsfeld is standing tall for his performance. But, for thousands who fought in wars that never should have been initiated, the aftermath is dealing with the demons of warfare. They are returning home with post traumatic stress, mental health problems and brain injuries. Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describes the treatment of these gallant warriors in this manner. “Shame on us if we don’t figure it out this time around to make sure that (homelessness) doesn’t happen.”

Thousands of veterans face daunting challenges attempting to recover their careers due to being forced on one deployment after another. Too many saw the hell of combat and returned to civilian life before they had obtained medical and psychological treatment. As Mullen put it, “they are alone, they have no structure and they don’t have that support, and they’ve got a lot to work through.”

Boyle Booted Out– Bush Walks Out To Riches

Sgt. Adam Boyle spent two tours in Iraq fighting alongside his companions in battle after battle until finally allowed to return home. In October, a medical evaluation board physician at Ft. Bragg recommended that Boyle go through the process of retirement from the military service due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, in December, General John Mulhollnd, commanding officer of the base, signed an order forcing Boyle out of the service on an administrative discharge for a “pattern of misconduct” and ordered a man who served two tours in combat to repay his re-enlistment bonus. Boyle has gotten into trouble for missing some roll calls and for alcoholism. He tried obtaining psychiatric assistance but ran into delays and lack of available staff to deal with his emotional problems.

In a few weeks, George Bush who has been engaged in non-stop misconduct which has resulted in the death of thousands of Americans and Iraqis will leave gracefully from public office along with a generous retirement package. He never did any military tours in active combat either during Vietnam or in Iraq, but he will be rewarded while Sgt. Boyle suffers from the trauma of seeing his friends die in combat.

Is this the way America rewards those who serve? Obviously, we Americans reward those guilty of “misconduct” as long as they serve in the political army of incompetents.

Is This The Best Way To Treat Returning Marines?

The media continually reports stories concerning returning soldiers and Marines who have been traumatized by the experience of repeated tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. Their story of pain is not new, everyone knows what they have experienced but there appears to be a gap between knowledge and action. The family of Cpl. Chad Oligschaeger, who was found dead in the barracks while awaiting discharge, are upset at the failure to supervise a young man who apparently was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He had come back from two tours with nightmares and feelings of blame for the death of others. He was diagnosed with PTSD and placed on medications, but then the gap between awareness of his problems and action widened and most probably was a factor in his death.

The family complaints mirror those of many others who are concerned about breakdowns in the military in treating PTSD. Cpl. Oligschiaeger said he would not re-enlist and was then allowed to remain in the barracks for days on end without any supervision or interactions with medical staff. He called home a few times and appeared confused about the medications he was supposed to be taking. His family is upset that he remained alone while in mental pain.

Recently, President Bush said he was mainly sorry for his choice of words in discussing the war in Iraq. Perhaps, if he was as concerned about the effect of two or three tours of duty on the minds of brave military personnel, he might have more regrets about the invasion of Iraq.

Soldier Kills Self In Grief And Pain

Captain Lance Waldorf went to a military cemertary and wandered among the headstones reflecting on dead bodies of fallen heroes. Not dubt tears flowed from his eyes as he walked past graves of those who had fallen in the service of their country. After a while, he paused, sat down, sighed, and shot himself. His wife Lana, said he went to the cemetary for some solitude and peace in order to calm the fierce feelings of depression that had enveloped his mind. She felt “his desire to be at peace in heaven was greater than the thought of enduring pain anymore.”

Mrs. Waldorf attributed her husband’s test to the effect of post traumatic stress disorder which arose from his two tours of duty in Afghanistan and the one he shortly was to endure. As Mrs. Waldorf put it, “anyone coming back from a war where they have seen killinngs, where they have seen death, where they have feared for their own life is going to come back with emotional wounds.” There is not more to say about the death of Captain Lance Waldorf.

PTSD Rises Among Soldiers In Iraq

The number of soldiers who are displaying signs of post traumatic stess disorder has jumped by about 50% in 2007. Records show that about 40,000 members of the military have been diagnosed with the illness since 2003. However, Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker believes we do not right presently “have good numbers.” He attributed the rise in numbers to better record keeping and increased exposure of soldiers to combat. Officals have been urging soldiers and their family members to seek professional help if signs of the illness appear. The new figures that were revealed indicate that Army and Marine personnel are being hit hardest by PTSD.

Army statistics show there were nearly 14,000 newly diagnosed cases across the services in 2007 cmpared wth more than 9,500 in the previus year and 1,632 in 2003. The Marine Corps had more thn 2,100 new cases com pared with 1,366 in 2006. More than 5,000 Marines have been diagnosed with PTSD since 2003. In a sense the Surgeon General is correct, more knowledge means more soldiers are seeking treatment. But, this is good news, not bad.

Seek Juvenile Records Of Combat Veteran

A newspaper is seeking permission from a judge in order to inspect the juvenile court records of an Iraqi war vteran who is now being charged with the murder of an Army comrade’s death. They want the file of Kenneth Eastridge to be opened because at the age of 12 he was charged with reckless homicide in a juvenile court when he shot 12 year old Billy Bowman. Now, at age 24, Eastridge is being held in a Colorado jail along with two other former Army buddies for the alleged murder os Spc. Kevin Shields. State law allows juvenile files to be opened in special circumstances. Public Defender J. David Nehaus, who represents Niehaus, is arguing that juvenile files should not be opened just because the media wants to examine records in a current high profile case.

Niehaus is expected to argue that Eastridge suffered a serious head injury on his first tour in Iraq and was awarded the Purple Heart. His lawyer is arguing Eastridge suffered from post traumatic stress disorder which impacted his behavior upon returning home. This case is merely one of many which will be in the courts as PTSD continues impacting the lives of thousands of wounded Iraq war veterans. The fruits of the Bush invasion of Iraq will blossom long after the president leaves office.

VA Email– Don’t Diagnose PTSD!

The continuing saga of the Bush administration leadership in the Veterans Administration revealed evidence there was an attempt to alter the diagnosis of veterans in order to save money. Veterans diagnosed with PTSD are eligible for health benefits, and, in some cases, disability retirement pay. According to Brandon Friedman, of the VoteVets.org, there is a tendency to say, “Ah, you’ve got something temporary, it’ll go away, so we don’t need to pay you for the rest of yur life.” He said several veterans have told him they were diagnosed with “adjustment disorder” rather than PTSD. Unfortunately, for the VA, there is now concrete evidence of a plan to hold off on diagnosing veterans with PTSD.

Friedman’s group has uncovered an email which came from a VA hospital’s PTSD program coordinator which was sent to several employees in the hospital. The email read: “Given that we are having more and more compensation-seeking veterans, I’d like tto suggest you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out. Consider a diagnosis of adjustment disorder…Additionally, we really don’t…have time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD.”

VA head, James Peake acknowledged the email had been sent but insisted there was no VA program to give adjustment disorder diagnoses instead of PTSD. We hope the VA is committed to such a policy, but we also are concerned that a member of the VA could use an insulting expression such as, “compensation-seeking veterans.” These are men and women who risked their lives in the service of their nation.

PTSD A Major Problem Claims RAND Study

A new study by the RAND corporation concludes over three hundred thousand veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from major depression or post traumatic stress disorder as a result of serving in combat zones. “There is a major health crisis facing these m en and women who hae seerved our nation in iraq and Afghanistan,” says Terri Tanielian, the project’s main researcher. This study appears consistent with a similar study conducted by the Pentagon although its conclusions have yet to be released to the public.

The RAND study warns, “unless they(veterans)receive appropriate and effectve care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences across the country, from all branches of the armed forces and including those still in the mllitary as well as veterans who have left the service.”

We constantly hear reports by the Bush administration about the “cost of the war” but never included in those figures is the post war cost to individuals and to the nation by compelling men and women to constantly return to combat.