Veterans Administration

Tackling War Trauma

Promoted. -- GH

How to handle traumatic war events has famously ranged from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—exhorting survivors of fratricidal, in some cases suicidal Civil War battles to “resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”—to General Patton slapping a soldier hospitalized for psychoneurosis, a term used in World War II for what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now we have a general screaming at soldiers back from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan that they better not dare commit suicide. "It's bad for soldiers, it's bad for families, bad for your units, bad for this division and our army and our country and it's got to stop now. Suicides on Fort Campbell have to stop now," Brigadier General Stephen Townsend recently told 101st Airborne Division paratroops, according to news reports. Townsend is the commander at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, which “has recorded the highest rate of suicide in the army, with at least 11 confirmed or suspected suicides,” Agency France-Presse reported in May.

“Last year 128 soldiers took their lives, up from 115 in 2007, as tours of duty since 2001 have come ever more frequently and last longer. With 64 confirmed or suspected suicides so far this year, the army looks likely to surpass last year's record numbers,” the AFP report added. Why so many soldiers are killing themselves should be no mystery to military leaders. “Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said he believes the suicides are tied to the repeated deployments that have put a strain on soldiers and their families.” Mullen has ordered the military to “look at ways to relieve that stress.”

But the macho posture of military culture hasn’t changed much since Patton slapped a soldier and called him a coward. “In a 2008 poll by the American Psychological Association (APA), 61 percent of servicemen and women said that asking for help to treat psychological problems would have a negative impact on their career, and 53 percent said it would decrease their status among their peers,” AFP noted.

Military,VA and PTSD Around the Country: Vets Urged To Seek Treatment

A number of reports have sprung up in the last few days following the very tragic shooting by one soldier in killing five of his fellow soldiers at an in country military stress clinic, of which he himself was receiving care.

 

Military training alone starts the process of the change needed from how most are brought up and what they are taught and told to be able to serve and defend, if needed, this country.

 

Place these now trained soldiers in a War Zone creating the Occupation of same lasting many years and now in these times many tours being served and not only in one but two and for many the stress of war, what they experience, their individual incidents, what they see, feel, and just know, is overwelming!

 

They aren't the only ones, think of those who live in these occupied countries! It also isn't only a war that creates the traumatic nightmares, individuals that experience trauma in theirs lives also can suffer, most silently, from those traumas!

 

Below is a number of recent reports, this subject should have been takin seriously many years ago after finally realizing what War and Trauma can do to a Human Being!

 

Iraq Vet in Pennsylvania Murders......

Originally posted, 2009-04-19 07:40:19 -0500, bumped by carol. Checking out recent comments, I realized that this commentary had been overlooked. Thanks to Dadanation for his comment. I'm going to add a comment from an email that came to me today. A crucial vote on Health Care comes up today in the Senate, to do  with the rules.

Was Radically Changed by War and PTSD

 

PTSD sufferers can't always leave the war behind.

 

Sergeant Nicholas Horner and his Wife Tragedy and war-inspired Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can meet like a head on crash when the nation's care providers at the Veterans Administration, notorious for lies and deceit, deny our combat veterans the care they need.

 

This story of deadly, senseless shootings in Altoona, Pennsylvania April 6th is possibly the most tragic story I have ever reported, and if it isn't, it is among the very worst.

 

VA Press Release: Opens New Website and Blog [Open Thread]

VA Welcoming Vets Home with New Web Site, Blog

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched its new “Returning Veterans” Web site -- Returning Service Members (OEF/OIF) -- to welcome home Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts with a social, Veteran-centric Web site focusing on their needs and questions.

On: TBI - PTSD - No Bids & War Profiteering - Obstructionism and the VA

Let me start out with some Good News, but that still have many of us puzzled as to why it took so long to get to the 'Good' and much needed, no answers.

On 'Obstructionism' and the VA, Plus:

I'm saving this cut of the Rachel Maddow show, on the evening of 4.07.09, to show how those we hire to represent us don't.

 

"You Picked the Wrong Fight Burr, The Wrong Fight Indeed!!"

Promoted. Orginally posted 2009-04-04 06:18:14 -0500. -- GH

Rachel Maddow 'SLAMS' Republican North Carolina Senator Richard Burr because of his obstruction of confirming Tammy Duckworth to the Veterans Administrations

 

 

ACTION NEEDED, to Help Tammy and Vets

Yesterday they had the hearing, finally, on the Tammy Duckworth and Scott Gould nominations to the Veterans Administration.

 

During the hearing Senator Burr, of North Carolina, stated he had some questions he wanted to pass on to Tammy in written form and have answered. I thought that very odd at the time as the reason for these hearings is to have the nominees answer questions, also if there were more than he thought his alloted time would take he had plenty of time to have already written and sent to her, this hearing had already been delayed far to long, especially as we need these personal in place with these two theaters still on going and Afghanistan ramping up.

 

Health: PBS Frontline and Veterans - VA Updates

Below is a small collection of very recent reports of America's Health Care and Veterans Issues and Care, coming out yesterday or within the last few days.

Once again the Frontline report is a must see!

FRONTLINE: Sick Around America: Watch the Full Program | PBS
 

As the worsening economy leads to massive job losses—potentially forcing millions more Americans to go without health insurance—FRONTLINE travels the country examining the nation's broken health care system and explores the need for a fundamental overhaul. ...

Veterans Begin 250 mile walk to San Antonio & "Two Wars"

VA: A Bureaucratic Mess

We've seen this before, especially us "Nam Vets as we returned, tens of thousands, and those needing and seeking the care from their service in a war became backlogged, or just plain denied. Many of us veterans were trying to be heard, over the rising drum beat of war, of what was coming especially if invading a country that did absolutely nothing to deserve that invasion and occupation. We were one of those groups politically labeled, by our hired administration, as a 'focus group' that they didn't listen to. But it wasn't only the administration not listening it was the greater majority of this country, they don't mind spending billions upon billions upon billions........... on the war machine and waging war with same, but when the soldiers start returning and the system gets overwhelmed the country doesn't want to hear anything about that, or if they hear they most certainly don't want to pay..

 

DeJa-Vu: Vets Looking To Slash Veterans Program Funding Already {UpDate 3}

Not even waiting for the debacles to end and all the soldiers to come home, where have I seen this All before!

Army: 24 Suspected Suicides in January '09

Originally posted but worthy of noting again since much time and effort has been devoted to covering PTSD by ePluribus Media - standingup

 

This is just being reported,

 

Army reports alarming rise in suicides last month

 

There has been a small sprinkling of reports about the Military Suicides in the last couple of months, most of those found only if one is hitting a number of news outlets but not making National News, even as those who serve do so for the Country not a Community located near a base or where their from.

 

Soldiers Get Shafted, Again and........................!!

I was trying to write something more about this report I just read, but after these last eight previous years my rage keeps me from thinking straight in trying to add words to the total apathy, arrogance, and incompetence found in this country and it's elected representatives.

But I want you to meet Melissa Sterry, a Gulf War I National Guard Veteran, from New Haven Connecticut, and read the cuts I placed below also visiting the Hartford Advocate and read the rest, not only about Ms. Sterry but as to the rest of the Veterans of Connecticut, and what the state reps have to say.

Change of Culture at VA Called For

From: Veterans for Common Sense

 

During Confirmation Hearing for New Veterans Secretary

 

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) questioned Retired General Eric Shinseki, President-elect Barack Obama's nominee to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs, about challenges facing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and an outspoken leader in fighting for veterans' benefits and care, discussed changing the overall culture at the VA, improving care for women veterans, and working to make the VA a more proactive agency. Secretary-Designate Shinseki"s nomination is expected to be voted on by the full Senate as part of a package of Obama administration nominees on January 20th.

 

Veterans Disability Lawsuit Tossed, Again

<originally posted 2008-12-18 09:56:19 -0500. bumped by carol>

Yesterday another Class Action Lawsuit was presented this time at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the previous was presented a few months back in California federal court on complaints from Veterans of OIF and OEF, and others, as to disability payments delayed and or denied.

When we returned from Vietnam many of the Vietnam Vets, needing care at Veterans clinics and Veterans Hospitals as well as attempting to file and receive disability benefits of already diagnosed Occupation Theater physical and mental ailments went through much of the same treatment. Those coming back and developing very serious ailments from coming in contact with heavily sprayed area's of the Defoliants, mostly Agent Orange, were not only denied benefits and treatment the Government and Chemical Companies Denied they were hazardous to humans. We are going through the same All Over Again.