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Mar-04-2008 09:25printcomments

PTSD Veterans: VA Lies and Damn Lies

Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician, Toxicologist and Pharmacologist.

U.S. frontline soldier in Afghanistan
U.S. frontline soldier in Afghanistan
Photo by Tim King Salem-News.com

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - As a former frontline infantry 'dogface', PTSD veteran and physician for PTSD veterans, I am totally disgusted and furious about the recent newspaper and television stories about the totally cavalier, irresponsible lies coming from the VA.

A disgusting story in the Oregonian newspaper printed February 14th, indicates this in a quote by a VA spokesperson, "The VA said there does not appear to be an epidemic of suicide among returning veterans and that suicide among newer veterans is comparable to the same demographic group in the general population." Do I interpret this to mean that the Army is enlisting suicide prone recruits? How absurd.

The Army is selecting the best of our young men, and there are no jobs in civilian life to compare to the stress of combat. Police and firefighters are exposed to severe stress on an occasional bases but that is a tea party compared to almost daily combat missions in which the soldiers (and Marines) in the front lines are commanded almost daily to attack into areas known to be highly lethal with minimal support. If the reader doesn't understand this, they have never had this mis-opportunity.

When the soldier is in this situation, he usually can't sleep in his off-time, his digestion goes gunnysack and his mind goes haywire with nightmares of the lethal situations he has fortunately survived.

It would not surprise me that a burned-out combat soldier would psychologically court suicide by the enemy. We have all heard of suicide attacks. How many are these, "I just can't take this crap anymore."

In repeated almost daily combat missions, the attacking soldier gets so tired and psychologically numb he is more danger to himself and his squad or platoon than he is to the enemy and he frequently feels he is more in danger from the people ordering him into battle than the presumed enemy to his front.

For everyone to think that a person will get over this feeling of stress and doom soon after they get out of frontline duty is ridiculous.

These super stressed veterans will have these PTSD memories embedded in their souls for a long time. They/we are entitled to ANYTHING we require to get these demons out of our heads. Congress must address this VS fiasco. How about now?

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Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
Email him: Newsroom@Salem-News.com

More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King Dr. Phil Leveque.

Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on Salem-News.com: Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES




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James March 5, 2008 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

Washington may I suggest a two-prong approach: Go speak to the VA ombudsman and if the DAV does not represent you, give them a power of attorney. This is what a neighbor of mine did and they ended getting his 50% disability to 70%, then they had to pay him at 100%. I do not know the reasoning behind that calculation, but friends have told me that the DAV is pretty good at what they do.


Washington March 5, 2008 10:17 am (Pacific time)

I just stumbled upon this site after searching google news for 'veterans ptsd'. I'm a disabled veteran, rated at 50% for PTSD. The whole process of coming home from war has been a nightmare. I went from one nightmare to another. Trying to get back into college, and to get the VA to pay for it is like. Well, there's nothing like it. They are victimizing the people who are already suffering from their previous traumas by introducing new traumas into our lives. The sound bytes these VA reps give to the media is ridiculous, and insulting. How dare these people tell military recruits that they are the best, deserve the best, and then give them nothing once they've used them up. I'm still high speed, but the VA is trying to bring me down.


James March 4, 2008 1:22 pm (Pacific time)

I wonder what the source is for the VA? Maybe the reporer got it wrong? Could there be a cover-up? How about the CDC, I wonder if they have recent stats, and don't they usually compile this type of information?

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