Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tossed Away

Soldiers are being tossed away like a Kleenex; used for a few good blows and forgotten never to be the same.

I say the above because our military men and women who have fought so valiantly for our freedom are being used for their man power to blow away, blow up,  and blow through conflicts.  After the blowing is done they are traumatized, many of them at least feel the after shocks of what they were ordered to do.

I'm angry.  When a service member is sent off to war they come back with more than just physical scars.  They come back changed mentally.   This is hitting close to home for me now.  Too close.  When they try to get help they are shunned, told they are just trying to get out of doing what they signed up to do in the first place, which is deploy.  Okay so yes they did sign up as their primary MOS (military occupational specialty) to tote a rifle about and kill as necessary but they do have other jobs that they trained for and are good at.

The military medical system needs a complete overhaul.  When a service member goes into counseling they are told that they will not be ratted out unless they are considered a danger to themselves or someone else.   They are not supposed to be ratted out for saying stupid things like they hate a co-worker.  However, it does happen as of this month because of the killings in Afghanistan.  Before you know it the service member is being told that their career is over and they'll be discharged.  Why?  Well I'll tell you why!  Because the system doesn't work.  Instead of giving the individual the confidence and trust in their therapist they live in fear that if they say the wrong thing they get ratted out.  So they go in angry, balled up fist and knotted up stomachs afraid to utter one word that could be used against them.  The therapist clues in on the body language and makes note of it to report later that the individual is hostile.  No they don't report that it could be related to combat stress or PTSD because if they did it would mean money.  And no they don't report that the body language could be due in part from the fear of being what they saying being misconstrued and reported.

Yes it all comes down to the almighty fricken dollar folks.  The military does not want to pay out to help the service member that is broken, even though they became broken while in the service.    Just this year a higher ranking soldier was asked to step down from this installation, on which I live, because he decided that those with the diagnosis of PTSD didn't deserve it so he took away the diagnosis.  WHY?  Well he was saving the government money in the present and future.  A diagnosis of PTSD means that the government will have to continue treatment for that individual for the rest of their life.  If the diagnosis is taking away the person can be forced to deploy.

Now I wonder, did that happen to the guy that went on the "rampage" in Afghanistan?  He was from this installation.  Could it have been prevented?  Probably.  So yes, I'm really angry. 

Perhaps if our service men and women felt more comfortable and able to trust the therapists here on our installation they might just open up.  Here they think of only one thing:  WHEN CAN WE DEPLOY THEM AGAIN?!  That was until the 16 were killed in Afghanistan.  Now its becoming a rat fest.  The therapists are ratting out their patients for anything and everything ending careers for no good reason other than the usual facetious remark about a co-worker because the soldier was in a bad mood.  When you in the civilian sector have those days are you really going to go off your co-worker?   I doubt it.  But here on the military installation, well its just nuts now.  They are getting way over protective which doesn't help with the situation either.  Now they are just inundating  the mental health providers with  low risk/no risk cases.

I guess this is just another way to meet the quota that Obama has set for less troops.  Get rid of the fatties then get rid of any one that chooses to make an off hand remark that can be misconstrued but all means Obama keep the psycho!  See I can be facetious too.  Great now someone is going to lock me up for speaking my mind right?


  1. NPR was talking about this topic this morning. How, even though there's this push to go to war, we're not taking care of our soldiers and veterans. Patty Murray is holding hearings about this issue today. But the reality is, we're long overdue for addressing this issue. And as a military wife, I fully understand why you're pissed off. I would be too.

    It's high time that we started taking better care of our soldiers and veterans. So contact your representatives. Tell them this is important.

    1. I just emailed her. Thanks for telling me about this as I rarely listen to the radio. I made the email brief so as to not confuse the issue.

  2. Rebecca I come from a military family somewhat. My father was a Vietnam veteran. I didnt know him before the war (obviously) but the man I grew up with after was very scarred to say the least. He was a very angry man and scary also. He had so many health issues from Agent Orange and other chemicals. I can tell you that the care he had throughout his life was shit. I never could understand how our men and woman give thier lives (literally) and get treated so badly. I will never get it and it makes me so sad and angry. They should have the best healthcare ( mentally and physcially) also they shouldnt have to pay taxes ever again! Oh and they should make more money then any member of Congress! I am sorry for blowing up on your page but this truly pisses me off! My father is now dead and I cross my fingers I never have to walk into a VA hospital.

    1. I've used a VA hospital before and its not a pretty sight. My dad, an army veteran, uses a VA hospital too.

      I'm afraid for J's health when he leaves the service. I mean seriously the health care for active duty is bad and when they retired or get out it only gets worse.

    2. The health care for our veterans is absolutely shameful. I think the only reason there hasn't been a bigger outcry about it is because the public at large doesn't know what our veterans are going through. I hope you and your husband have a better experience than most, once he leaves the military. Perhaps you can use Tricare approved civilian doctors instead of going on post.

    3. I have used a few Tricare doctors off post but with the recent contract award being taking from Triwest its a good thing that I'm not established with any of them here as I might not be able to use them now.

      Our Veterans deserve better treatment.

  3. Good post and I agree that it is unfair that the soldiers are not getting the mental health care they need a :-(


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