‘Forgotten’ Troops with PTSD

Daniel Zwerdling does it again, another great report, of his continuing reports on PTSD. It aired today, 12-20-07 on NPR’s All Things Considered

The report is titled Effort Builds to Help ‘Forgotten’ Troops with PTSD

The site written report opens with this:

“Our military families deserve better,” President Bush declared in October as he sent a proposed bill to Congress. The legislation, he said, would make it easier for our troops to receive care for PTSD, “and it will help affected service members to move forward with their lives.”

Down aways and also on the audio we get this:

“I think it’s an outrage that we have not taken proper care of them,” said Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO), one of the most influential voices on veterans’ affairs. “Too many of these people have been kicked out because of the results of the stress they’ve been under.”

Now the Question I keep asking is “Where were these voices of concern of Military Personal as Republicans, like the one above, were rubber stamping the Administrations rush into War with Iraq, once again For No Damn Reason!”!

Where have they been since, in the 109th Congress they had Total Control over the purse strings and oversite, their jobs! They had the power of investigation, non existed and they blocked or marginalized any wanted by the opposition!

In the present Congress they lost their Majority Power so now they’ve become Obstructionists to anything getting done and still showing little concern for the plight of the returning troops, only empty words No Actions!

NPR has tracked down dozens of vets across the U.S. to put a face on the problem.

You can read the NPR report at above link where you can also listen to it, or click here to listen now

And there are some other links at the report site page, as always.

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  1. on NPR tonight on my way home from work and thought about writing about it here. Thanks for doing it.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to add a bit of the story they told – it absofuckinglutely enraged me:

    When Uloth came back to the U.S. in late 2004, his family said he was a different person. They, along with Uloth’s medical records, document the changes: He would go days without sleeping. He avoided friends and started doing drugs.

    He also shoved his wife against the wall; she later told officers that Uloth used to be gentle and loving until he came home from Iraq.

    Uloth started having seizures. Doctors diagnosed the seizures as “conversion disorder” – a physical manifestation of serious mental health problems. According to Uloth, he’d lie in bed shaking uncontrollably, and he’d see visions of his friends getting blown up in Iraq.

    Uloth says that when he went to the mental health center at Camp Pendleton’s hospital to ask for help, they were so overwhelmed by returning troops with mental health problems that he couldn’t book a therapy appointment for months. The staff eventually gave him sporadic counseling, and prescribed a cocktail of powerful medications, but Uloth complained that the drugs made him feel worse.

    So, he took off from Camp Pendleton without permission: Uloth went AWOL, as it’s commonly called. (The Marines call it UA for “unauthorized absence.”)

    But he didn’t disappear. Instead, Uloth checked himself into a psychiatric center he had heard about at an Air Force base in Mississippi. He started getting intensive therapy, which he couldn’t get at his own base.

    When Uloth’s commanders learned where he was, they sent two guards to arrest and restrain him with handcuffs and metal shackles. They locked him in a jail cell at Camp Pendleton for almost two months, even though a military medical staff member concluded that he was “unfit for confinement.”

    There’s more to this story, but that should be about enough to get anyone’s head exploding with rage!

    Go read/listen to it!!  

    • jimstaro on December 21, 2007 at 2:44 am
      Author

    An Important Request coming from IVAW, pass it on:

    FROM: Kelly Dougherty, Executive Director, IVAW

    To Allies of Iraq Veterans Against the War {IVAW} and Winter Soldiers

    The United States has been occupying Iraq for nearly five years, and Afghanistan for over six. It often amazes us, as veterans and active duty troops, that we are engaged in two foreign occupations that continue to grind on with no end in sight. Some of us were in junior high or high school when these wars began, and now we have to watch as our peers continue to fight and die overseas while our politicians continue to refuse to bring our troops home. For many of us, the most frustrating, depressing thing is to see the level of detachment and apathy that is so common among the American people. The anti-war movement seems no closer to ending the occupation, and more and more people seem content to believe that things in Iraq are improving and they no longer need to bother themselves with worrying about it.

    The voices of those who have been to war, have participated in occupation, and have been the victims and survivors of U.S. foreign aggression are not being heard. Those of us who know, first hand, the brutal realities of war have been ignored and marginalized, and it is well past time that we are given the space and opportunity to tell our stories. This is why Iraq Veterans Against the War is marking the fifth year of the Iraq invasion and occupation by holding Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, March 13-16 in Washington, DC. We will offer first-hand, eyewitness accounts to tell the truth about these occupations; their impact on the troops, their families, our nation, and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Military resistance to the war in Iraq is just waiting to be organized and WS is an important action in IVAW’s overall strategy to end the war and bring our troops home now.

    We hope that you share our vision of the importance and significance of this momentous event. Winter Soldier provides a unique opportunity to reveal the reality of U.S. occupation, and our success will depend upon the hard work of our members and the support of our allies. In order to give our veterans the necessary space and attention we deserve to tell our stories, we are requesting that, during Winter Soldier, March 13-16, the larger anti-war movement calls no national mobilizations and that there are no local protests or civil disobedience actions in Washington DC. IVAW will not endorse any mass mobilizations or DC-based actions that conflict with Winter Soldier. We feel that large-scale activities will compete with Winter Soldier and dilute the voices of those testifying.

    The success of Winter Soldier rests beyond IVAW and will ultimately depend on the support of our allies. We realize that ending the war will take more than any one single event or mobilization. However, Winter Soldier provides a venue like no other for those who experienced war on the ground to expose the truth and consequences of the “War on Terror” to the nation and the world. We hope that you share our vision.

    Respectfully,

    Kelly Dougherty

    Executive Director, IVAW

    DC Bloggers, mark the date, attend and report, but Keep the ‘Winter Soldiers and the Others’ Front and Center

    • kj on December 21, 2007 at 2:49 am
  2. complete and utter disgust over what’s happening with the military, especially veterans like Uloth, but all of them, really. It just makes me crazy, but there’s no end in sight.    

    • jimstaro on December 21, 2007 at 12:27 pm
      Author

    The Voices in Wartime blog will be an ongoing conversation about how we can turn the trauma and sad reality of war into hope, growth, and transformation. We invite your submissions, comments, and reflections. Please join our conversation by commenting on the posts in the blog and by submitting your own articles, essays, and stories to Editor-Voices in Wartime.

    Went to War

    by Miranda McCrory

    written as an 11-year-old in 2003

    A long time has passed

    feels like forever

    It was like you were there

    then vanished.

    I never really wanted you to go

    but life’s unfair

    and that I know

    Sometimes I wonder

    would these 7 months be the same if you were here?

    Mom’s always crying

    One by one with a tear.

    I know you’ll come back someday

    some time

    I wish it was now

    right now,

    then I’ll be fine

    We miss you a lot

    Miranda McCrory is 16 now. Last week, her father left for another tour of duty in Iraq.  

  3. that. I do not know about others but that report did not make me feel negative or bad rather it made me feel we finally got the message out. We all know these Vets didnt speak up for themselves, they are capable, they are ashamed, they are too traumatized and broken. Both here and on the big blog and on VetVoice you and I and others have urged people to write comgressmen and sentors about this. Maybe we did some good. Maybe our efforts helped. Maybe our voices were heard by some. We have been speaking about this for six months at least and sending emails to government officals. Maybe we finally got someone to listed. Jimastro thanks for your efforts and those of all who took action on this matter. Peolpe who have not written their congressmen and senators need to do so NOW. They NEED to hear the civilians. They need to know the WHOLE nation is ourtaged. Tom. TominMaine. TKK.

  4. Leak

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