Just One Base?
I Think Not!
Today we get another followup report Report Faults Mental Care for Iraq Veterans at Upstate Base
Seems as these reports keep coming they all can be considered 'followups', one after the other after the other after the other....., building to what is actually happening to our Military, but Especially the Military Personal that serve, so it seems, not the Country but the whims of the Civilian and some Military Leadership as well as Ideologies not followed by the Majority, as the Nation of Apathy tunes out to their Service and the Care given for same!
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The four tours in Iraq served by the Second Brigade at Fort Drum here have created an unusual level of stress, especially after the standard Iraq tour was increased to 15 months from 12. Yet according to a new report on the shortcomings of mental health care at the base, a soldier’s wait to be seen for psychological help can take more than a month.
The draft report, “Fort Drum: A Great Burden, Inadequate Assistance,” which was given to The New York Times last week, was done by Veterans for America, a nonprofit advocacy organization for wounded members of the armed forces. It also uncovered several other problems with the mental health services on the post, which is north of Syracuse.
You can find backlinks to recent reports, like the ones NPR gave, and information in this report.
The above comes on the heels of this report Suicide by Guard, Reserve Troops Studied
More than half of all veterans who took their own lives after returning from Iraq or Afghanistan were members of the National Guard or Reserves, according to new government data that prompted activists on Tuesday to call for a closer examination of the problem.
The research, conducted by the department's Office of Environmental Epidemiology, provides the first demographic look at suicides among veterans from those wars who left the military.
I could give a number of reason, speculative, on the why of these suicides, but the reasons are very obvious and should be recognizable to everyone, think Regular Military leading to what the Reserves and National Guard are normally used for, especially as to the National Guard. Than think what this Country has been using them for these last five years! And Think War!
I visited Ilona Meaghers site for the above AP link, which I had known she had just added Here a short time ago. I found that she had placed another Important headsup as well: Upcoming Congressional Hearings on Combat PTSD.
Received this head's up on two important upcoming House Veterans Affairs Committee hearings from Mike and Kim Bowman. In December as you may recall, they offered Chairman Bob Filner and the committee heartrending testimony on their son Tim's suicide. Tim was an Illinois National Guard member, one of the OEF/OIF veterans' groups most at risk for taking their own lives after returning home.
For those Really Interested in what is Actually Going On, outside of cult worshipping individuals running in the Presidential Race, can visit Ilona's site to take note of the dates of these Important Hearings and her added comments as well as all the Important information she passes on to the rest of us, and her Dedication!
I could add a number of links to past reports on Military and Veteran Health Care, especially as to the Mental Health conditions of many returning Military Personal, at other Bases and Veterans facilities but just have a few more I would like to note.
Like this one from another well known base, and recently reported on, Fort Carson:
Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, was outraged. "If he's an inpatient in a hospital, they should have never taken him out. The chain of command needs to be held accountable for this. Washington needs to get involved at the Pentagon to make sure this doesn't happen again. "First, we had the planeload of wounded, injured and ill being forced back to the war zone. And now we have soldiers forcibly removed from mental hospitals. The level of outrage is off the Richter scale."
Paul has the article, at above, along with the link back to the original at the Denver Post.
The NY Times report, at the top, comes on the heals of a Tragic Incident that happened last weekend and I posted about Drum Soldier Killed by Police 2-09-08 at my site as well as at ePluribus Media and Vet Voice, where I stayed with the report, from right after it broke, updating as new information came in.
Here is a News 10 Video Feed of Tragic Incident
I have the statement, given by the Fort Drum Military Spokesperson, from Sunday morning, at either of the above links.
In the statement we have this:
To our knowledge he had not been referred nor sought counseling for any battle-related illnesses or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Apparently there were no reported signs this Iraq Veteran was suffering from PTSD, but if you read the initial, than followup reports, on how an initial 911 call and hangup, about an apparent domestic disbute, turned into a mutiple shooting and death something more than what was known was happening to Staff Sgt. Dustin J. McMillen age 29.
My thoughts, as this all unfolded, led me to think two things, he either was having a dramatic flashback or was experiancing unseen depression and opted for Suicide By Police, a tragic event that seems to be growing in our society!
In the post, at my site, a comment was left that was signed as the sister of Dustin. I can't verify that is the case, but I don't believe it was just some random person commenting:
I am actually Staff Sgt. McMillens sister. He was the best soilder out there a wonderful husband father and brother. The lack of interest in helping these soilders get help when they get back from a war zone is what killed my brother yesterday. Someone needs to realize they are killing soilders not only in the war but at home afterwards. Its tragic and my brother will be terribly missed.
February 11, 2008
FORT DRUM, N.Y. — Funeral services and burial for Staff Sgt. Dustin J. McMillen will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Calling hours are 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, 632 State St., Watertown.
Mr. McMillen, 29, of Saratoga Ave., died Saturday at his home.
Born June 20, 1978, in Klammath Falls, Ore., a son of Kenneth and Vickie Crowder McMillen, he joined the Army in 1998.
He married Alexis Fellerman September 23, 1998.
Besides his wife and parents of Oregon, he is survived by a daughter, Sydney Rose; two stepsons, Sean and Zachery, all of Fort Drum; a brother, Patrick Casey, Pa.; a sister Rebecca Crowder, Ore.; a niece and a nephew.
Information provided by Reed and Benoit Funeral Home and Newzjunky, Watertown, N.Y.