This video from the USA says about itself:
PBS Now investigates the thousands of soldiers who are scarred by war, and then thrown out of the military under personality disorders or for mis-conduct, and not getting treated for their service-connected injuries. includes interviews with US Army Sgt. Chuck Luther and his family. Luther served in the military for 12 years with distinction and went to Iraq. But was then thrown out of the military without benefits after showing symptoms of PTSD, and was told he had a pre-existing personality disorder. Iraq veteran Jonathan Norell was among the 40,000 troops thrown out of the military for mis-conduct since 2001, even though a military doctor recommended the battle-scarred medic be medically retired due to his severe PTSD. Military spouse and advocate Carissa Picard, with Military Spouses for Change, talks about how soldiers being booted from the military are often forced to pay back their enlistment bonuses, in addition to losing all of their benefits. The story aired June 13, 2008.
This video is part 2 of that story.
From the blog of Joshua Kors in the USA:
April 14, 2010 02:28 AM
When the Army Uses “Enhanced Interrogation” on an American Soldier
I had been covering veterans’ issues for several years and thought I’d developed a thick skin. But the pain on the other end of the telephone line was difficult to stomach. Sergeant Chuck Luther, now back from Iraq, was describing his journey to hell and back. The worst part, he said, wasn’t battling insurgents or even the mortar blast that tossed him to the ground and slammed his head against the concrete — it was the way he was treated by the U.S. Army when he went to the aid station and sought medical help.
In gruesome detail, Luther described what happened to him at Camp Taji‘s aid station. He thought he would receive medical care. Instead he was confined to an isolation chamber and held there for over a month, under enforced sleep deprivation, until he agreed to sign papers saying that he was ill before coming to Iraq and thus not eligible for disability and medical benefits. “They wanted me to say I had a ‘personality disorder,'” Luther told me.
Luther’s call did not come out of the blue. For two years I had been investigating this personality disorder scandal: how military doctors were purposely misdiagnosing soldiers, wounded in combat, as having this pre-existing mental illness. As in the civilian world, where people can be locked out of the insurance system if they have a pre-existing condition, soldiers whose wounds can be attributed to a pre-existing illness can be denied disability benefits and long-term medical care.
My reporting began with the case of Specialist Jon Town, who was wounded in Iraq, won a Purple Heart and was then denied disability and medical benefits. Town’s doctor had concluded that his headaches and hearing loss were not caused by the 107-millimeter rocket that knocked him unconscious but by a pre-existing personality disorder.
The spotlight on Town prompted military doctors to step forward and talk about being pressured by their superiors to purposely misdiagnose wounded soldiers. One doctor spoke of a soldier who returned from Iraq with a massive chunk missing from his right leg. The doctor quit after he was pressured to diagnose that soldier as having personality disorder.
Since 2001 more than 22,600 soldiers have been discharged with personality disorder (PD), saving the military billions in disability and medical benefits.
Soldiers are seeking treatment for the emotional scars of war, but face a military mental health system that is grossly ill-equipped to serve them: here.
USA: The World Can’t Afford Weapons and War; Tax Day Protests, Thursday, April 15, 2010: here.
Military Still Failing To Diagnose, Treat Brain Injuries: here.
- Veterans commission hears about struggle with PTSD and stigma (aurorasentinel.com)
- Congress working to help those wrongly discharged for personality, adjustment disorders (wtkr.com)
- Medal of Honor recipient works to destigmatize PTSD (fox59.com)
- Sexually assaulted vets wrongly diagnosed with personality disorder, miss out on benefits (kdvr.com)
- Post 9/11 veterans come home to a nation that cannot address their needs (publicintegrity.org)
- Latest Medal of Honor recipient to focus on PTSD (stripes.com)