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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Supporting the Troops?

The Washington Post reporters who broke the story detailing the awful conditions for soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center are back at it, reporting on the, at best, sub-standard care many receive after returning from Iraq with post-traumatic distress syndrome. The article focuses on a Bronx vet, Army Specialist Jeans Cruz. Talkingpointsmemo.com has a summary of the piece here.

1 comment:

  1. This information is heart-breaking, but not all that unexpected for those of us who live with the military.

    My husband was wounded in Viet Nam - he was awarded 2 bronze stars, ine with a V for valor.

    My oldest son's wife, an active -duty Flight Surgeon, just came back from Iraq. It was her second tour. She received an Army commendation medal with a V for treating the wounded under fire while on her first rotation in Afghanistan.

    My 3rd son, an engineer with the SeaBees, goes back to the Green Zone for his 2nd rotation next week. He got his V when a convoy he was traveling in on the road from the Bagdad airport came under fire during his 1st rotation.

    Both my son and daughter-in-law asked my husband, "when do the nightmares stop ? " He didn't have the heart to tell them that they don't. They get further apart but almost 40 yrs. later he still occasionally has bad nights.

    The armed forces/veteran's system is at best inadequate to deal with post traumatic stress.

    There a larger number of places where vulnerable vets can "fall through the cracks"; there is a serious lack of funding, and coordination between the armed forces and the VA; and then there's still the perception by too many withtin the system that "real soldiers" can tough it out.

    Add these things together to a medical system that is over-stressed and under-staffed, as middle rank officers increasingly leave the service, and situations like this are inevitable.

    This administration has not only involved us in a war with no clear endplan - but they've tried to do it on the cheap.

    Its a virtual guarantee that vets -and their families - will live with their pain for years to come.


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