Ilona Meagher's blog

California's Landmark Combat PTSD Case: Former Army Ranger Sargent Binkley Receives Treatment, Not Jail Sentence

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-01-14 14:59:25 -0500. -- GH

If you ever feel less than empowered, if you ever wonder if members of society can actively play a role in shaping how its returning veterans are treated beyond the accolades given at welcome home parades and Veterans Day potlucks, look no further than the citizens of California for one shining example of how its done.

Back in September 2007, I linked to a piece by John Corté that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle in my PTSD Combat post Combat Veterans, PTSD and Prison. Corté's article introduced us to a former West Point graduate who served in Bosnia and Honduras who was arrested and facing a possible 12-year stint in jail for holding up two pharmacies to feed his painkiller addiction, the same medication the VA prescribed -- over 15 times -- for injuries suffered while the former Army Ranger was based in Honduras.

Civilian doctors had also diagnosed PTSD.

His watershed case has gone to trial and the verdict was delivered yesterday. [ABC-San Francisco news report is now available online; KTVU also has their news report up, which includes interviews with his parents.] Full details in extended.

OEF/OIF Veteran Suicide Toll: Nearly 15% of Overall U.S. Military Casualties Result from Suicide

originally posted 2008-09-14 20:22:21 -bumped, too important to let be completely overshadowed by the market meltdown.

Cross-posted from PTSD Combat.

Back in February, the Marines released their military branch's updated suicide statistics. They revealed the number of Afghanistan and Iraq combat troops and veterans who took their own lives in 2007 had doubled over the previous year.

Earlier this month, the Army reported its own current soldier suicide data, reflecting another year of record increases. And just last week, the VA chimed in with their latest OEF/OIF veterans suicide figures -- also another record-breaker -- for its Afghanistan and Iraq veteran clients.

What follows below the fold is a partial, quite incomplete look at where we're at today as far as Iraq and Afghanistan troop/veteran suicides are concerned. It's exasperating work; but, I'm in good company. Congress for years has struggled to get a straightforward and full data set out of the DoD and the VA, too.

Reiki for Veterans? Military and VA Testing, Already Using Ancient Touch Therapy

The Department of Veterans Affairs uses it in their Hepatitis C treatment program. Fort Bliss' Warrior Resilience program -- the same one Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey believes should be replicated throughout the military -- uses it as one tool to help soldiers strengthen and recover following combat.

Military OneSource's Health Library says it can increase wellness and "treat diseases of all types."

And it's the reason given by New Zealand's champ cyclist Hayden Roulston for bouncing back from a serious heart condition to claim both Olympic silver and bronze medals this past week in Beijing.

What is it? Reiki [pronounced "Ray-Key"] energy healing...

MSM/Citizen Journalism Survey

Good afternoon, guys.

I'm conducting a survey on the intersection of citizen journalism and the changes taking place in traditional media. The data will be used in a research paper submitted as my final in my NIU Media Management class (J449). If you are or were a member of the MSM, the independent press, a J school educator, or consider yourself a citizen journalist would you consider helping by answering the questions below?