Army studies show that at least 20 percent to 25 percent of the soldiers who have served in Iraq display symptoms of serious mental-health problems, including depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Administration officials say there are extensive programs to heal soldiers both at home and in Iraq.Sounds good, right? "Extensive programs." But wait, there's more:
But an NPR investigation at Colorado's Ft. Carson has found that even those who feel desperate can have trouble getting the help they need. In fact, evidence suggests that officers at Ft. Carson punish soldiers who need help, and even kick them out of the Army.Ah, there are the "compassionate conservatives" we've come to know and love! But there has to be a reason, right?
You bet there is!
Evidence suggests that officials are kicking soldiers with PTSD out of the Army in a manner that masks the problem.The emphasis is mine.
Richard Travis, formerly the Army's senior prosecutor at Ft. Carson, is now in private practice. He says that the Army has to pay special mental-health benefits to soldiers discharged due to PTSD. But soldiers discharged for breaking the rules receive fewer or even no benefits, he says.
That about says it all.