Monday, December 04, 2006

The US Army to Soldiers With PTSD--Fuck You!

Daniel Zwerdling's scathing report on how the Army, at least at Colorado's Fort Carson, deals with soldiers with PTSD after serving in Iraq is shocking. Basically, they are insulted, hazed, denigrated, and not treated. As Zwerdling shows, the military, from the top on down to sergeants, are drumming these soldiers out as quickly as possible. More insulting, they don't dismiss them for PTSD because they would have to pay more benefits. Instead, they kick them out for the misconduct caused by the trauma.

Perhaps the most telling part of the report was Zwerdling's interview with recently retired sergeant Nathan Towsley, who basically said that people with PTSD are weak, lack manhood, and shouldn't be in the army at all. If this is the attitude of sergeants throughout the army, we have again done a disservice to returning veterans.

No doubt there are well-meaning doctors and army brass who see PTSD as a real problem and want to treat these soldiers to the best of their ability. But clearly, the army as a whole continues to try and sweep the issue under the rug. And like in Vietnam, the military and American society as a whole is unwilling to deal with the consequences of sending young people to war.