Skip to comments.Many soldiers get boot for 'pre-existing' mental illness
Posted on 10/01/2007 7:59:58 AM PDT by SubGeniusX
WASHINGTON Thousands of U.S. soldiers in Iraq as many as 10 a day are being discharged by the military for mental health reasons. But the Pentagon isn't blaming the war. It says the soldiers had "pre-existing" conditions that disqualify them for treatment by the government.
Many soldiers and Marines being discharged on this basis actually suffer from combat-related problems, experts say. But by classifying them as having a condition unrelated to the war, the Defense Department is able to quickly get rid of troops having trouble doing their work while also saving the expense of caring for them.
The result appears to be that many actually suffering from combat-related problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries don't get the help they need.
The legislation sets a higher bar for the Pentagon to use the personality-disorder discharge, and also mandates a review of the policies by the Government Accountability Office. Bond said it also would "force the Pentagon to stop using this discharge until we can fix the problem."
Bond said he learned of the practice from returning Iraq veterans. He called it an "abuse" of the system and "inexcusable."
"They've kicked out about 22,000 troops who they say have pre-existing personality disorders. I don't believe that," Bond said in an interview Friday. "And when you kick them out, they don't get the assistance they need, they aren't entitled to DOD or Veterans Administration care for those problems."
Defense Department records show that 22,500 cases of personality-disorder discharges have been processed over the last six years.
(Excerpt) Read more at stltoday.com ...
either the Military is abandoning these men/women...
the pre-screening process, sucks rocks ...
Wouldn’t be the first time that bureacraps stuck a serviceman in the back if this is true. 22K so far?
Smells like budget considerations to me....
This sounds like enemy propaganda.
Do tell. Always easy to smear the administration with stories like this but the way the military treats soldiers and marines today I would believe it’s true.
This sounds like the next Code Pink/MoveOn talking point. Because they care about the soldiers so much more than the military does, don'tcha know.
It sounds to me like the military is trying to screen out dangerous people who cannot be trusted in a tense environment that demands tremendous amounts of restraint and judgement. Isn't this something we want them to do?
This is the same stunt that the V.A. used early on with returning vets from Vietnam.
Once again “W”s colors and his true feelings about vets are being exposed.
This sounds like some crafty idea a civilian wonk in the Pentagon would come up with to save money. Changing the rules isn’t enough. They should hunt down whoever came up with this policy, tie his arms and legs to four horses...
For the life of me, I keep hearing that Arlo Guthrie monologue at the beginning of “Alice’s Restaurant,” where tried to avoid the draft by telling the recruiter “I want to kill...keelll...”
Yes there is. What is the reason for more mental health problems among college students? Trauma isn't good for baggage.
Yes, there is more to this story. I know of one young man who received an honorable discharge because he did not like following orders and could not control his anger. He is attending college on the GI Bill. His discharge was at the convenience of the government for a personality disorder. He functions normally in society. Instead of making him stay in, they did him and the service a favor and did not hold him to his contract. I think they gave him a better deal than he deserved. A significant portion of the other personality discharges may be because of similar personality problems.
I'm inclined to believe this line more than others. The services haven't been getting Wally and Beaver Cleaver types for a long time. By my own observation I reckon that this country's youth culture was down the tubes in 1968, and nothing I've seen since encourages me at all. Since the late 1960's I've observed yoots doing things that were unthinkable to do when I was their age. Today's young people carry a lot of heavy cultural baggage that didn't exist in earlier decades.
I think it's a cost-saving issue by the Army. The VA will support them as well as a bunch of military Vet groups. DAV is one resource among many.
BEFORE THEY SIGN THEM UP ...
One Republican congressional staff member who works on military issues said the rationale behind the Pentagon's practice was: "We didn't break you, you were already broken. You're not our responsibility."
"One soldier I know received a diagnosis for a personality disorder after a 45-minute talk," said the staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He'd been in the military 10 years, had made it his career, and then he was told he was being shuffled out in a couple of weeks. We keep getting these stories."
so the Military did not notice this "pre-existing" condition for 10 years?
The only experts cited in the story are politicians. This smacks of the old left-wing canard, that military duty creates a lot of crazy people.
For decades, Vietnam veterans were portrayed as homeless drug addicts. Those who I served with were quite unlike the media image. Funny how long after that war, young homeless addicts continued to replenish the supply of bums on the streets. Yet, they hadn't served in the military let alone any war.
One can imagine that some soldiers do fall apart after joining the military. Many schizophrenics appear to function normally in their early adulthood only to cross over to madness thereafter. I've met a few growing up who I did not know would later on go mad. I can't imagine recruiters having the medical qualifications to spot such problems.
This is contrary to everything I have known about “service connected” status as relates to the VA, medical care and disability benefits. This is the very first time I’ve ever heard “pre-existing” in this context.
“Jon Soltz, an Iraq war combat veteran who founded the group VoteVets.org, said untreated psychological problems were contributing to the highest military suicide rate in a quarter-century and to growing homelessness among veterans, he said.”
lets google this guy:
I think Kit Bond has been had, and Obama never pre-existed, LOL
What’s not so? I’ve talked with the doctors who examined Vietnam vets returing from Vietnam who the V.A. declared as having pre-existing conditions and those vets were refused treatment and compensation.
Those decisions were made by administrators in spite of the doctors findings.
I don’t know what to think...SG.
My first reaction, if it’s virulently anti-military than there’s probably something bogus about it.
Now I got to figure out who’s behind this and how have they mis-stated things.
See, so many years of being misled by the libs I’m finally wary of anything like this.
Let’s do some math:
As many as 10 a day means that the number is usually lower, with 10 being the peak. Then we have 22,500 total. That means, at least, 2,250 days that this has been going on. If they process them out 7 days a week, that would mean that the program has been running at full speed for over 6 years. If you figure an average of 8 a day over a 5 day week, That’s 562.5 weeks, or over 10 years.
Wait, based on the math, it has to be a Clinton era program that pre-dates the current war!
In my experience, I've dealt with "problem children". and I didn't have any problem showing them the door. I believe it's better to dump one "problem case" in order not to expose their fellow Airman to an internal danger (Walking Time bomb). Passing them off to someone else is not the right way to handle them, putting them out is. In a tense situation those clowns will get you and your team killed. As for the numbers I believe they are a bit high.
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