PTSD and the VA: A Disservice to Disabled Troops

In an editorial opinion published in the New York Times on May 26th entitled ”

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The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have repeatedly promised to do a better job of handling the medical evaluations of wounded and disabled service members. Instead, they are doing worse.

The processing of disability cases is getting slower, not faster. Efforts to ensure a “seamless transition” out of the military are falling short. Men and women are languishing without treatment, struggling to readjust ...

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The Tragic Cost of PTSD: Anyone Listening?

Daily, SFTT receives disturbing reports of the tragic consequences of post traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) among our brave warriors returning from the front lines of Afghanistan and Iraq.   With a returning veteran committing suicide every 80 minutes, the ongoing tragedy has triggered the well-deserved attention of investigative journalists, but it still does not resonate in the corridors of power, much less public opinion. This is an unfolding tragedy of our own making and – make no mistake – we ...

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PTSD: The Chain of Hypocrisy

Discussing war is never an easy topic, since most people have very strong views.   Personally – and I don’t speak for SFTT on this issue – I tend to agree with Marcus Tullius Cicero who said that “An unjust peace is better than a just war.”    Now, one can read whatever they want to into that quotation, but Cicero was the ultimate politician scheming to keep his head in the Roman Senate while far more powerful political and military leaders ...

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PTSD and Alienation

Daily SFTT receives gut-wrenching stories of warriors suffering from PTSD.   For many of us, it is difficult to comprehend what goes on in the minds of these veterans and, unfortunately, we are left with the bitter after-taste of the harm they are causing to themselves and their loved ones.    We would like to lend a helpful hand, but most of don’t know where to start.   This poem from Universal Blogger is one person’s attempt to explain the alienation ...

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PTSD: Happy Talk from the Spin Masters

I have never believed that one becomes wiser with age, but I do believe that watching the same sitcom over and over dulls your interest for the inevitable punch line.  Our military seems to react publicly in lock-step trying to explain the shocking story of a decorated Army Staff Sergeant who allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians.  This horrific incident has caused great distress within the ranks of active duty personnel and it is quite understandable that senior officers would try ...

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PTSD: The Emperor has no clothes

My dad, a retired Air Force officer, used to tell me as a kid that “If you don’t have anything smart to say, keep your mouth shut.”  Now I don’t always follow this advice, but I do think that society would be better served if we kept disingenuous chatter to a minimum.  Sadly, it would seem that our leaders – both civilian and in the military – are unable to keep their mouths shut when they have little to contribute ...

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PTSD: A Question of Diagnosis

The recent decision by the US Army to sack PTSD screeners at the Madigan Army Medical Center for questionable diagnoses raises more questions that it actually answers.

As reported by Hal Benton in the Seattle Times, “the Army Medical Command has identified some 285 Madigan Army Medical Center patients whose diagnoses of they went through a screening process for possible medical retirements, according to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.”

The issue here is not to determine whether there has been any ...

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Dr. Henry Grayson on PTSD

Over a week ago, I attended a fascinating lecture and discussion with Dr. Henry Grayson, Chairman of SFTT’s Medical Task Force, on the exploration of new treatments for veterans suffering from PTSD.  The meeting was hosted at the headquarters of the Organization for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) in midtown NYC.

The meeting was designed to explore some of the new methods to treat veterans with PTSD. Together with the physicians and clinical psychologists ...

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SFTT targets PTSD: Interview with Eilhys England Hackworth

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with SFTT Chairperson, Eilhys England Hackworth the wife, partner, co-author, and muse of Stand For the Troops (“SFTT”) founder, the late Colonel David H. Hackworth—America’s most valor-decorated soldier—from the late 1980s until his death. Since the passing of this great American hero in May 2005, Ms. England Hackworth has kept her deathbed promise to her husband to continue SFTT’s mission to protect America’s frontline troops.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear from SFTT’s ...

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VA Care for Patients with PTSD

As military service members deployed in Iraq begin come home, the alarm bells are beginning to sound as the Veterans Administration (“VA”)  now seems over-stretched to deal with alarming number of cases of service members with PTSD.

According to a recently published Rand study, excerpts of which are reported  by Health Affairs, “There is a large and growing population of veterans with severe and complex general medical, mental, and substance use disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, PTSD, and major ...

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