TROOPS DIAGNOSED WITH PTSD SENT TO COMBAT ZONES
WHAT CAN THE MILITARY BE THINKING?
By Terry Madick STAFF WRITER
Recently I came across two disturbing reports relating to the mental condition of service personnel who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first was a report in my local newspaper of the unusual high number of murders and other violence against others performed by persons who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
These incidences of violence are sparking interest in initiating a study of the mental condition of service personnel from these two conflicts.
The second report, from a national news network, was of service personnel with diagnosed PTSD or severe depression being deployed for a second tour in Iraq or Afghanistan.
One serviceman being sent back for a second tour had just been released from the hospital, where he had been treated for severe depression; a deployment that is in violation of a requirement that his mental condition not have a re-occurrence for three months prior to deployment.
During an interview in the report, a medical officer in charge of military personnel mental conditions indicated that this practice was required to meet the demands of the two wars against terrorism. I guess again the end justifies the means.
These reports are further examples of the military not providing proper attention to the affects of these wars’ conflicts on the mental health of its personnel. The Defense Department and the VA have a disturbing record of not recognizing or admitting and sometimes hiding the psychological affects of these wars and also past wars on service personnel fighting for our country.
It has been reported in the past that the Defense Department and the VA are denying help for PTSD by indicating the mental condition was “pre-existing” before entering the service. It is time for these travesties to stop. We owe it to our servicemen and women to provide proper diagnosis and treatment.
Terry Madick is a 100% disabled Vietnam Veteran and retired senior official of the Federal Reserve Banking system.