"How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits" article at The Nation is a must read. It's flying under the radar of the media right now, but I suspect once word gets about this this one, it could be very damaging to the current mis-administration.
Something has to be done about this outrage.
In a nutshell, soldiers diagnosed as having "personality disorders" no longer receive disability and medical benefits from the Army and the VA. This is being used in incredible instances, denying care to people who have been mangled fighting in our military. People are being denied legitimate claims, to save the government billions, and to 'fast track' replacement of troops, enabling others to take their place quickly.
Soldiers discharged under 5-13 can't collect disability pay either. To receive those benefits, a soldier must be evaluated by a medical board, which must confirm that he is wounded and that his wounds stem from combat. The process takes several months, in contrast with a 5-13 discharge, which can be wrapped up in a few days.
But instead of sending Town to a medical board and discharging him because of his injuries, doctors at Fort Carson, Colorado, did something strange: They claimed Town's wounds were actually caused by a "personality disorder." Town was then booted from the Army and told that under a personality disorder discharge, he would never receive disability or medical benefits.
Town is not alone. A six-month investigation has uncovered multiple cases in which soldiers wounded in Iraq are suspiciously diagnosed as having a personality disorder, then prevented from collecting benefits. The conditions of their discharge have infuriated many in the military community, including the injured soldiers and their families, veterans' rights groups, even military officials required to process these dismissals.
We need to be hollering about this incredible insult to the very people who are risking their necks for the bloated Republican pigs, in a needless war in Iraq, and a lie of trying to fight this fake 'war on terror' in Afghanistan.
'Separation because of personality disorder' is being used by the military to cuts costs.
As unbelievable as you could think, Spc Town was diagnosed that his DEAFNESS caused by a pre-existing personality disorder!!! This is how he was separated with a personality disorder, to deny him benefits. He had won 12 medals before the assault that caused his deafness.
Paraphrasing Josh Kors: 'In the last 6 years 22,500 soldiers have been discharged as having 'personality disorders', saving the government some $12.5 billion dollars by denying care. $8 billion in disability pay and $4.5 billion in medical care.'
'Soldiers are screened BEFORE they are allowed into the military, it's only when they return wounded that the supposed "pre-existing" conditions come to light.'
To add insult to injury, some of those "diagnosed" as having this 'personality disorder' as a reason for separation are forced to give back their elistment signing bonuses as well. On the day of their discharge, the injured soldiers are informed they OWE the military money.
Un-fucking believable. I am enraged. I only hope I have out together a cogent diary, I tend to be a poor editor when I am pissed off.
I have kicked this show in the past, in the rear end because I find Robin Young to be biased against a lot of things I believe in. But I will give kudos where they are due, this time to Robin Young at WBUR *[audio link, listen to the show here]* .. Young had the author of The Nation article on her show today, Joshua Kors. the audio segment is about 10 minutes long, and it's shocking as hell, a must listen - it was her show, 'Here and Now' that brought this to my attention.
See Kors' webpage or The Nation for more information.
22,500 soldiers diagnosed as having 'personality disorders' in the last 6 years is big, really big. This story is going to hit the media like tsunami: If the Walter Reed story primed the fire, this story is going to pour gasoline all over it.
These practices are beneath contempt. Those who perpetrate them, encourage them or attempt to obfuscate the facts about them need to be routed out and held to account.