When men and women comeback from combat, it seems that far too many are not making it a successful one. Suicides are up even though it seems as if everyone is talking about them, the one person we can't hear from, is the one who accomplished it. Families are still fracturing. Veterans still end up homeless. Far too many have been discovering their comeback from combat was worse than combat itself.
The dishonorable treatment of far too many servicemembers has been going on through three presidents. The following article goes back to a review of dishonorable discharges during an election year. It was still President Bush as Commander-in-Chief while his replacement was on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act of 2007
The text of the bill below is as of Feb 28, 2007 (Introduced).
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 28, 2007
Mr. Obama (for himself, Mrs. McCaskill, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Bayh, Mr. Biden, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. Bond, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Brown, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Feingold, Mr. Kerry, Ms. Klobuchar, Ms. Landrieu, Ms. Mikulski, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Sanders, Ms. Snowe, and Mr. Conrad) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Armed Services
5. Improved training for caseworkers and social workers on particular conditions of recovering servicemembers
But as we've seen, just because someone knew something was happening, it didn't mean they made the necessary changes to fix it. To see all of this still going on leaves me wondering if our troops will ever make a successful comeback from combat.Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth recommendations for the modification of the training provided to caseworkers and social workers who provide care for recovering servicemembers. The recommendations shall include, at a minimum, specific recommendations to ensure that such caseworkers and social workers are able to—(1)detect early warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicidal tendencies among recovering servicemembers; and
(2)promptly devise appropriate treatment plans as such signs are detected.
Military must clean up discharge practicesNow that you read that, think of one more thing. These men and women survived combat but were left to fight for themselves and that, that is clearly wrong!
My San Antonio
Express-News Editorial Board
Published July 22, 2017
In 2008, the military was using a different diagnosis — personality disorders — to accomplish the same thing. Congress generally put a stop to that.Iraq War veteran Dustin Greco was less-than-honorably discharged because the military ignored the possibility that his behavioral problems stemmed from service-related issues. A mental issue arising from the trauma of war is as deserving of attention as any other combat-related injury. Photo: John Carl D’Annibale /Albany Times UnionIraq War veteran Dustin Greco was less-than-honorably discharged because the military ignored the possibility that his behavioral problems stemmed from service-related issues. A mental issue arising from the trauma of war is as deserving of attention as any other combat-related injury.
In discharging — less than honorably — soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen with service-connected mental conditions, the U.S. military is making a mockery of the standards of honor it is sworn to uphold. The practice was detailed in a recent Express-News report by Martin Kuz.
It is a type of phenomenon not unknown to the Express-News, which wrote in its 2013 “Twice Betrayed” series of the military forcing out sexual assault victims rather than providing them the justice and the services they needed. That series resulted in congressional action that forced the military to remedy its practices in dealing with such victims.
Congress needs to take another look at whether the military is unjustly discharging members to spare the government the expense of providing the care and services due veterans with service-connected mental health issues.
Kuz wrote that the latest tactic likely involves military members diagnosed with adjustment disorders. This has resulted in less-than-honorable discharges, which deny those discharged care provided by the Veterans Affairs Department and a host of other benefits.
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