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Sep-19-2009 17:50printcomments

Army Gives Bad Discharges to Thousands of PTSD Vets

Benefit denial scams raise suicide rates.

Salem-News.com
Image courtesy: veteranstoday.com

(CINNCINATTI, Ohio) - It all began as a Bush era program, promoted by Dr. Sally Satel, the famed "PTSD denialist" putting thousands of soldiers at risk and pushing hundreds to suicide.

Thousands of veterans lost all benefits, GI Bill, medical care and more through Army discharge scam, part of Neo-con "cost saving program"

How did it work? Simple. A very large percentage of combat vets with PTSD are problem drinkers, self medicating in the only way they can and, in the process, getting worse and worse. Redeployments of soldiers needing treatment only adds to the problem.

When vets with severe PTSD demonstrate severe symptoms, including alcohol abuse, they are put in short and unproven "quit" programs with an extremely high failure rate. This is all part of a game, one invented to trap soldiers and cut costs.

Step 2 in the game, the Army "orders" the soldier not to drink, knowing the order itself is absurd. Real treatment for PTSD is denied. When the soldier drinks, and they always do, the soldier is arrested, jailed and charged, now get this, with disobeying a direct order, Article 34 and disrespect to an officer or non-com.

Sometimes even more charges are piled on. In the end, the deal is the same. Leave the army with nothing but years of honorable service now labeled as "dishonorable" or "bad conduct" and face civilian life crushed and abandoned by the country you risked your life to serve.

The Army learned the game from the VA. The VA denied PTSD diagnoses to Vietnam veterans used alcohol, claiming they couldn't be diagnosed. Problem is, almost all PTSD vets use alcohol or drugs as self medication. End result, tens of thousands of Vietnam vets were denied diagnosis, treatment and compensation for decades with thousand dying as a result.

The basis of the Army policy is the Dr. Sally Satel "theory" that PTSD does not exist and all vets are fakers. Her beliefs, fringe "neo-con medicine" comes from a theory that soldiers and veterans are part of a non-productive social class that taxes a nations economic health as soon as they leave a combat zone. The end analysis supports the supposition that a disabled veteran and an illegal alien on welfare contribute exactly the same to the overall welfare of society.

Vets are leeches

If Darwin meant for illegal aliens to survive, they would have been born in the United States, or as in the case of our warriors, they would have sought an occupation less dangerous, stressful and likely to bring about personal harm. Soldiers, through choosing to serve, prove themselves unworthy of survival in a society of the fittest. In some ways, this is a powerful arguement for Social Darwinism and Eugenics.

By that standard, our chickenhawks in Congress should dominate the food chain for a million years.

However, from a standpoint of loyalty, patriotism and support of our military forces during wartime, the concept sucks big time. Thank heavens nobody knows about this, not the Veterans Service Organizations, the ACLU, the Obama Administration or our officer corps of Service Academy graduates.

How can organizations whose purpose it is to protect and serve our military and veterans and the officers generously paid to care for our soldiers choose to look the other way while this has gone on so long, so openly and has done so much harm to so many?

What kind of people are these? How many Congressional offices are siting on complaints and requests for help? It is reasonable to say, every single one.

You have to admire the game. The Army has a cure for anything. Will they start walking up to amputees and ordering them to grow new limbs? "Soldier, regrow that hand immediately or we will put you in Leavenworth."

Sound funny?

Picture yourself, as one of thousands of vets with bad discharges. Picture yourself unable to get a defense or post office job. Picture yourself with no GI bill, no home loan, no PTSD treatment, no disability compensation, no insurance for your family, no education benefits for your children.

Picture what you did to earn this punishment. You fought for your country.

Picture the people who did this to you. They were bureaucrats, fatasses, accountants, paper pushers in the Pentagon who blackmailed you into signing everything away or spending years on administrative hold awaiting court martial for being sick.

How long will it take the Obama administration to find these vets, not really vets, since, no matter how much combat they saw or how much they served, they are no longer vets. They signed that away. You can't be a vet with a bad discharge. Nice game, huh?

Will the VA start searching for them, finding how many are living under bridges, how many are unemployed and how many are dead? I don't remember Secretary Shensiki mentioning that one.

Did Secretary Gates mention that he was going to offer a blanket review of all bad discharges to make sure the military didn't create a sick game to victimize our troops? Are they being contacted, brought in, getting legal help and medical evaluations?

What are we doing to undo this criminal misconduct on the part of the Department of Defense?

Between that agency and the VA: It is widely known that the mantra is, "Maybe, if we wait long enough, they will all give up or die."

It has always worked well in the past, why give up a successful approach that has served so well in the past?

Special thanks to Gordon and all of the team at: veteranstoday.com.

================================================

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and a regular contributor to Veterans Today. He specializes in political and social issues. You can see a large collection of Gordon's published articles at this link: VeteransToday.com.

He is an outspoken advocate for veterans and his powerful words have brought about change. Gordon is a lifelong PTSD sufferer from his war experiences and he is empathetic to the plight of today's veterans also suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to feature Gordon's timely and critical reports on Salem-News.com, a news organization staffed by a number of veterans, particularly former U.S. Marines.

You can send Gordon Duff an email at this address: Gpduf@aol.com




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Hiwayman April 25, 2011 7:13 pm (Pacific time)

Doesn't surprise me a bit. Jusr resently 9 idiots made it legal to protest a soldier at his grave site.America you don't DESERVE your veterans.And someday your gonna have a war...and no one will fight it.I've had PTSD since Nam.And I relate really well to all the BS that goes on.I'd never do it again you can be sure of that. C trp 1/1 CAV Blackhawks


Charline March 18, 2011 11:51 am (Pacific time)

I appreciate this disclosure, until the VA and all falling under its umbrella, acknowledge the nature of PTSD, how individuals tend to rely upon skills commonly used to cope -e.g. drinking, mood altering drugs, withdrawing from society and sadly suicide - the ability to treat ANY mental health disorder arising from or one enhanced by the trauma experienced in war - the treatment of that disorder will languish if not fail. The only real winner will be the VA which can scratch that Vets name off their list.


sgt gallo 95-2003 disabled vetern February 15, 2011 9:21 pm (Pacific time)

a former nco and current disabled vetern would like everyone to listen up, I am working with va dav,american legion to fix us vets with ptsd bipolar,anixty,depression,achol drug abuse i am an persian gulf /iraq/afgan era vet who served nearly 9 yrs active duty eho received asn oth for alleged pattens of misconduct i have ptsd/and bipolar.anxity depression it does cost u every thing marrige life social well being homelessness no vets should have this happen to them so i have been working to get us fixed at least money and housing and discharge upgrade due to injustice to veterns especially those who r deemed diasbled from va I PROMISE to keep my word brothers and sisters just stay in touch and pass your story on to the american public news congress va dav legion but the govt and va does not want to help us with legal onely money and medical help i say bull lets stand up and rise to tell r srories and make them pay for a change . we can change policy but it takes great numbers to do it and public rallies on tv rember thats what got wonded warrior attn for vets so lets rise and fight for your discharge and bennifits so no vet who gets seperated will receive an oth. a full honorable is fair not punish a solider who fought for freedom amd 911 war on terror to see other vets get an unfavorable dischage they should see the vet out medically and honorable for he did his job. vets fighting the war on terror fighting the war on mental illiness/ptsd dav /va says we leave no one behind we will see if so my frinds will see if soooo.


wrongful discharge November 18, 2010 5:07 pm (Pacific time)

army 1983 to 1994.to cut my story short while in the military.i had a lost of memory in which i tried to kill my wife,child and commit suicied.didnt rememember what i did was hearing voices,they send me to the hospital took a alchol test in which came back negative.seeing a a doctor at mental health diagnosed me with adjustment disorder personality disorder and probably alchol related.got a bad conduct discharge.recieving s.s.d for my condition.my case is pending in wa.still waiting for my decission.am i avet with ptsd disorder.


motorsarg November 29, 2009 7:40 pm (Pacific time)

know this one well, got home from iraq coworkers labled me for having ptsd and no one would help. my new comand was the same, taged with ptsd and no one cared,even when in the hospital my co only wanted to see if i was there. no help but pending discharge. OTH, man this ptsd thing is bad, guess i should count myself lucky,lost everything except my wife and kids,the gov does nt care,people only claim to support the troops, such bull.

Salem-News.com Editor: Welcome home brother, we understand and we care, please stay dialed in with us.  One of our projects currently under production is a documentary about PTSD.  We have a lot of stories about this and a retired doctor who fought the Nazi's in WWII and has suffered from PTSD for over 60 years.  To see Dr. Leveque's stories, go to:  Articles by Dr. Phil Leveque.  You can always reach me by email at: tim@salem-news.com

Thanks,

Tim King


Heather October 16, 2009 10:22 am (Pacific time)

This entire situation makes me really sad. I wrote a story about an Army Ranger being put through this ringer by the U.S. Army. Read his story here on my blog.


Lives with PTSD October 12, 2009 2:41 pm (Pacific time)

It is not just the Army. I served twenty years in the AF and if you had any signs of PTSD, depression, anxiety, anger disorders and wanted to seek help you did it on your own off base. If you were dumb enough to go to the MH clinic on base, sign away your career, clearances, promotions and respect because the word always "leaked out". I am one of the fortunate ones that has access to a good VA center here in Tucson AZ. I have met many vets that drove hundreds of miles to go to this VA rather than Phoenix or Prescott. PTSD is a mental disorder it is very real and if you want to find out for yourself, corner a suffering vet and call him a fake. As for having something serious occur in order to lose benefits? You know very, very little of the powers of the pen. You ride someone hard enough you will break them. You push them far enough they will self destruct. I know, been there and am guilty of doing it. You believe in your country, in your leaders and in the CNC and you do what is needed with out question and when you find yourself waking up with cold sweats, reliving something over and over, night after night, year after year, you know it is real.


Proud of my Army Son October 1, 2009 12:30 pm (Pacific time)

Oozlefinch, You are the most arrogant uneducated person I have ever met. Either you are one of the many officers in the military trained to respond in such a idiotic manner or you are just the type that passes judgement without knowing the facts at all. My son is being Chaptered out for a bad UA. That is it. He requested help and they ignored his pleas for help. While on duty he attempted suicide. He was diagnosed with PTSD while in treatment for his suicide attempt. After his discharge, less than 20 days, his medical reevalution from the post hospital doctors stated he is clear for discharge and to rush him out. Why don't you read some other stories of soldiers being told from the doctors that they are not to diagnosis them with PTSD. Research you information before making statements that you do not know about, or if again you are a military officer, continue with your BS excuse. Heard that enough to last me a life time. My son served in Iraq and saw more than I imagine you ever would in your lifetime. PTSD not treated will, has resulted in soldiers making the bad choices that they have/are making. Again, do your research.


Oozlefinch September 29, 2009 7:14 pm (Pacific time)

How about some supporting documentation? To loose benefits you need to do something fairly serious. I bet the individuals in question were convicted of things like Vehicular Manslaughter while drunk, assault, sexual assault, or other crimes. The fact they had PTSD is no excuse.


Julie September 20, 2009 12:43 am (Pacific time)

Great way to "support the troops" folks!! Really showing your patriotism now, for what it really is- a flag to wave when convenient and self-gratifying. Not standing behind our troops as veterans is shameful. It's not the kind of thing a "real American" would stand for.

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