Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Families question whether Army is missing PTSD cases

Families question whether Army is missing PTSD cases
Reported by Jeremy Finley
Posted: Jul 15, 2013

Suicide in the military has been described as an epidemic in recent years, but a Channel 4 I-Team investigation raises questions about a common explanation for the problem: post-traumatic stress disorder following combat.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Channel 4 I-Team obtained 17 suicide investigations completed by the Army to look into whether each Fort Campbell soldier died in the line of duty. The 17 soldiers died in 2011 and 2012. The Channel 4 I-Team's review found that none of the investigative files indicated any of the soldiers were diagnosed with PTSD before their deaths.

The Channel 4 I-Team and The Leaf-Chronicle newspaper worked together to attempt to reach family members of each of the 17 soldiers and agreed not to release names without the family's blessing.

The I-Team's review of the cases found no indication of PTSD in 12 of the suicides, in either the investigative files or the family's accounts. At least three of the soldiers never deployed, according to the investigative files. But the five other families raised questions, either to Army investigators or reporters, asking whether the military missed warning signs of PTSD.

"I did not recognize my brother. I did not recognize the person that he was," said Keyanna Rawls, whose brother, Rico Rawls, died by suicide in 2012 after investigators say he killed his wife Jessica Rawls. "My thing is: It was obvious. Why didn't the Army think it was obvious?"
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