From NPR. No one supports our troops like their employer:
Army studies show that at least 20 percent to 25 percent of the soldiers who have served in Iraq display symptoms of serious mental-health problems, including depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Administration officials say there are extensive programs to heal soldiers both at home and in Iraq.
But an NPR investigation at Colorado’s Ft. Carson has found that even those who feel desperate can have trouble getting the help they need. In fact, evidence suggests that officers at Ft. Carson punish soldiers who need help, and even kick them out of the Army.
The Army is giving these soldiers honorable discharges, but adding a “PD” (personality disorder) notation.
Now, “personality disorder” is a recognized psychiatric diagnosis–and a pretty scary one–though, from listening to the news story cited above, I suspect the Army is not using the term in that sense. Rather, they are using it as some kind of catchall gotcha that means, in sum, “whatever is wrong with you, the United States Department of Defense is not responsible for it.”
Even when it is.
And, frankly, “personality disorder” is a pretty scary diagnosis, because there is no cure for properly diagnosed personality disorder. Those who suffer from it will not admit that there is anything wrong with them; without that admission there is ipso facto no chance of a cure.
For the Army to hang that diagnosis around someone’s neck and walk away is, frankly, beyond contempt.
And the Army is now taking its support of its own troops to whole nother levels:
Earlier this month, NPR reported on problems soldiers face at Ft. Carson, Colo., when they come back from Iraq with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other emotional problems. Now, the base command has taken steps to court-martial one of the soldiers profiled in the story.
Class act. Use you up, throw you away.
All the yellow ribbons on all the vans and pick-up trucks on all the back roads of this country will not allay the Army’s betraying its own.