Sunday, January 28, 2007

More on the VA and Veterans

I was checking out more at the SC Times about the situation that occurred at the VA hospital. In story chat, I came across the following quote.

angel carver from from among the people
Comment Posted: 1/28/2007 5:00:51 PM

If a soldier asked for help in the field, he would have gotten it no matter what the conditions. Now back here under the conditions of society he was denied! It is shameful!

That's not true. Back in my public speaking days, I used to talk about a story of a Special Forces soldier in Iraq that was denied access to mental health help and was actually threatened with a courts martial, for "cowardice before the enemy".

The soldier said he experienced a “panic attack” after seeing the mangled body
of an Iraqi man and told his superior he was heading for a “nervous breakdown.”

After that, Porgany said he didn’t request to go on missions nor did the unit ask him to go.

Porgany said he asked for help but was denied the care soldiers with “combat stress” are supposed to receive.

Instead of help, Porgany said, one of his superiors told him to “get his head out of his
ass and get with the program.”

An Army psychologist in Iraq said Porgany had a normal reaction to seeing the body and recommended rest and then a return to duty, the soldier said.

Instead, his commander ordered him back to Colorado Springs to face a court-martial for “misbehavior before the enemy.”
That is absolutely insane. Our soldiers and Veterans deserve better treatment. After reading stories like this, I am more and more troubled on how our Vets are treated and what they go through on active duty. It's tough enough for a soldier to express fear, and now if they express this fear, they have to worry about being charged with the equivalent of a felony for expressing their fears. This is why soldiers keep this stuff "bottled up".

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