US Military Still Failing PTSD Suffers Says Think Tank

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PTSD

PTSD

Benjamin KrauseA recent think tank study shows the US military is still failing to meet the demand for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment of suffering soldiers.

Rand Corp performed a study of 40,000 cases of soldiers. In the study, only one-third of troops with PTSD received the minimum number of therapy sessions after diagnosis. Similarly, less than one-quarter of clinically depressed soldiers received adequate mental healthcare.

RAND PTSD STUDY FINDINGS

According to USA Today:

“A RAND review of U.S. military and Department of Veterans Affairs treatment guidelines concluded that troops diagnosed with PTSD should receive at least four therapy sessions within eight weeks or at least two sessions to manage newly prescribed medications.

“The good news in the study: vast improvement in how the Army and other service branches follow up with inpatient cases of PTSD after servicemembers are released from mental hospital care, a crucial period when many suicides occur.”

Brad Carson, a US military executive, said, “We just don’t have enough mental health professionals to meet the demand.”

Staffing for mental healthcare workers is up 42% since 2009, which certainly says a lot about how understaffed the US military was prior to that point.

A PTSD SOLUTION?

I have limited hopes our military and VA will ever fully resolve their obligations to soldiers and veterans in treating their mental healthcare needs. The courts shut down our efforts to force change using lawyers in Veterans For Common Sense vs. Shinseki in 2012.

Some of you may recall our lawsuit against VA for continuing to fail to effectively treat veterans suffering from PTSD and at risk of suicide. VA won the first round, lost on appeal, and then won on an en banc appeal to the 9th Circuit. In the end, the Court held that veterans cannot avail themselves to the courts when the issue requires evaluation of a veteran’s benefits claim under 38 USC § 511. I used to have hopes the courts would conclude veterans have a right to form a class action lawsuit concerning benefits, but that option at this time is not present.

Our only option left is to hope our elected politicians will wake up and get the system fixed… And if you believe that will happen, I have some ocean front property in Minnesota I’d love to sell you…

God help us.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/02/18/rand-study-military-ptsd-depression/80339552/

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52 Comments

  1. The Secretaries of all VA programs is usually the problem. Some spineless meatloaf like McDonald, who usually exaggerates their service is the problem.
    The other type of “PTSD” veterans have to deal with is Post Traumatic Secretary Disorder. An ICD 10 code Congress needs to explore.
    A liability is a liability, a class of veterans , are a class of veterans.
    The power of recall should be used by the hands of veterans to launch these politicians out of office.
    Organization is key A “Woodstock” type concert theme would be the best platform to draw the audience in to get attention to Congress and the executive branch cover- up of the VA scandal and benefit rape of veterans who are eligible.
    The US will be beach front property if we let these other countries dictate our fate by our court systems acting arbitrarily and capricious, knowingly that they lie to cover up wrongdoing..

  2. After I read the article. And the article with video Ben used as a link (“Rand Study”). I was drawn to the % of “Suicide Rates” of military (active/veteran) vs. civilian. Military suicide rates were/are at least 20-25 times higher! In my opinion, this is abhorant!
    For some reason, I believe the “rate of Suicide” is higher than 22 each day.

    I also believe, these numbers are much higher than was reported a few years ago. I believe the previous “study” had numbers much closer. If I remember correctly, the previous study was by the VA. Possibly by the Army AND VA combined.

    I also, after reading the “link” Ben supplied, read all the “comments”. Y’all should read them. There’s more young veterans making comments about,
    1.) How “…all the wars, (of today), are over!” Yet, no one mentioned anything to the contrary. How military personnel are still dying in the Middle East (Afghanistan, Syria and now back in Iraq)!
    2.) Some believe, fully, our POTUS is helping veterans by funding/helping VA and the DOD. It’s the Congress which is not doing their job of “funding or helping”! If anyone says different, some of the vets attack them!
    3.) Some of these young men and women are completely unaware that POTUS allowed $2.5 billion to be taken from VA. Then be used to help “resettle refugees!” I believe the current military and veterans aren’t being told the truth about what’s happening in Washington and around the nation!
    4.) One veteran knocked it out of the park, when he said he would say anything to get on the plane to see his family. When he was being evaluated for PTSD or depression. He believes many vets are doing this.

    I hope y’all read the link Ben gave! Some real interesting facts and figures.

    Also, There’s more which is being said in the comments section. For example, are the active duty military vets aware how they are being classified “Terrorists” by this administration? Are they aware of the abhorrent healthcare at VAMC’s? Are they aware of poor records keeping at VARO’s AND VAMC’s?
    I hope some of you younger vets will go and make a comment. I think some veterans of the current wars are “not trusting” older veterans. I got this “opinion” when I read some of the comments. I might be wrong. But I don’t think so!

  3. I’m again putting on this article for all to google. It’s from the “Daily Caller News Foundation”

    “Congress May Fix VA by Merging Them with Military!”

    by Luke Rosiak 2/15/2016

    A very Interesting read!

  4. @Everyone;
    This “video” goes right with today’s Blog! It’s a “must watch!” So please google;

    Outrageous Film: Vets Calling VA Suicide Hotline Are Getting Sent to Voicemail

    Feb. 16, 2016 // 8:55 am
    -as seen on Fox and Friends-

    I was pi$$ed after I watched this disturbing video. It is no wonder veterans are committing suicides at an increased rate. As was spelled out in the “Rand Study”!
    Our government officials (from potus on down) and agencies (which PRETEND to be helping) are a complete disgrace and an abomination to ALL Veterans and ALL American Citizens!
    They are also in violation of their “Oath of Office”!
    Vote ALL “career politicians” out. They do not deserve holding any kind of office. This would include “Dog Catcher!”

      • @Hondo
        Looks like word is getting out how bad VA is handling this. That’s a good thing! Maybe we’ll see some action. But I seriously doubt it.

    • The VA is literally asleep on the crazy train. Touchy subject for me as I have lost a handful of fellow Vets to suicide or failed drug rehab-turned-overdose, in just as many few years…and I know exactly how poor the VA’s PTSD program, if you wish to call it that, is because a full year and half before my buddy died, he was telling me almost daily about the mind-fuQery the VA would play and he specifically stated he never felt safe there and dreaded every visit.
      When he died, I happened to know who his VSO was and I had other reasons of contacting him regarding my deceased Veteran, and I asked him why the VA let him down and want to know what he said? “The VA is just glad they got his disability benefits”. I then countered that with, “Why in God’s name would you give a $82,000 back pay check to a known herein addict?” (VSO with crocodile teeth) “Again, we were able to complete his claim for him”….like a freaking robot. Insane.

      The stigma of PTSD permeates into all areas of society thanks to our POTUS vilifying we Veterans as possible threats (while ignoring his Chicago that’s like the wild west) and the VA’s own Orwellian Stormtroopers tagging Veterans as Disruptive, as James has well-stated…if we had Veterans running this VA we would have empathy and compassion.

      I recall a stand-up routine Rodney Dangerfield did where he actually joked about someone calling the suicide hotline and being asked to hold….same freaking thing with the VA…they just do not get it, unless it’s a benefit to them. Period.

      Require military service before any application to work in any aspect of the VA. I kind of feel the same about the POTUS, but that’s a whole other ball of hairy wax.

      • If wonder of they keep stats on how the veterans are committing suicide.stabbing.him shot.hanging and how many were over dose from VA medication.

        Joe many of these veterans were on high doses of narcotics and them their narcotics taken away cold Turkey.

        How many have been punished by the disruptive committee and or threaten by staff.you keep it up and you won’t see the light of day.

        Disabled veteran given hid disability and the VA keeps making him do comp and pensions over and over.until they take the veterans disabilities monies and make the veterans 0 percent and the veterans.incapable of finding gainful employment.

        And are forced into the street.depression sets in and the veterans filling hopeless.blowing the VA did this to him and he can’t count on them.so they feel there is no hope.no one cares.so if they don’t want to help I’m out of here.

        The VA is adversarial against veterans and will do whatever they can to insure veterans are not treated with respect and do everything they can to take away the veterans disability.and some employee vets their yearly bonus.

        Dirty dirty shame ! $400 thousand dollars to move and the veterans have to fight for a disability of maybe$100 a month.his long would it take him to make $400 thousand dollars.

        VA monies go to employees.not veterans.were in their way and they will hurt as many veterans as it takes to safe guard their blood money.

      • @namnibor
        Chicago isn’t like the old west. It’s more like the gangs of “Excape From New York!”

        In my opinion, potus and many more corrupt individuals, will have a lot of explaining to do IF a certain incumbent is elected in November.

  5. Don’t know if any of you have been in a VA medical facility for treatment of ptsd or treatment for alcohol and drugs.

    My experience is when you arrive they ask some questions and then the fun starts.you are Fed a cocktail of medications.

    Most of the day your so medicated your bouncing off the wall’s.you can’t hardly stay awake.you go to class’s.you struggle to stay awake and can’t remember what they said or you can’t get out of bed because of the medication.

    They had me so medicated when it was time to be discharged.they sent someone to watch me tie my shoes and use a mop.

    They would play around with different medications.your so happy to get the hell out of there.

    Veterans who admit sucidial ideation are for ever labeled and the VA.will and does flag those veterans records.that’s right the veterans did noting wrong but you are then considered a threat to employees or could be at some point.

    So veterans with ptsd are a prime target for employees.because they the employees see the flag and the veterans are treated like they have done something wrong.

    They are prime candidates for the disruptive committee and because they are or were suicidal They can and are being accused of disruptive behavior any time they get upset about the way they are being treated.

    Doctor’s see the flag and will treat you like you have Some disease that will infect them and you will not get the same care as someone who does not have PTSD.

    They use your Suicidal ideation against you and the veterans are forevermore labeled as a possible danger to themselves or others.

    It’s automatically charted flag.

    This means every employee who looks at you chart sees the flag and that’s all.they don’t see any other part of the record.

    If you should ever tell them that someone attacked you and you had to defend yourself.that will be turned around and your the one who is just out there fighting people.

    Hipa no good.once they see the flag they tell the other employees.

    Veterans with ptsd are in real danger and I bet many suicides were from overdose.from VA over medication or combination of other drugs that interact with each other and the result Suicide.

    PTSD.is hard enough to live with and then because you have PTSD.the VA punishes them and sets them up for more harassment by employees thinking they are crazy and can’t be trusted.

    People don’t realize the harm the VA is doing to veterans and their family by using the flag system.again the veterans don’t have to do anything except express that they are not feeling good and think they would better off dead.
    You go for help and what do you get.Red Flagged and that stays with the veterans until they die.

    People can only belittled so long before something happens and when it does it’s always the veterans fault.yes he suicidal and had to be Red Flagged just for this reason.if he didn’t take his own life.he could (HAVE) hurt one of employees.so good ridence.

    You all need to understand I’m not blowing smoke up you Butt.this disruptive committee is very dangerous and an attempt to control veterans and an excuse to punish veterans.

    Its illegal and veterans civil and constitutional rights are being trampled on and veterans having no way of defending themselves against their lies.

  6. Good to hear you have been involved with VCS Ben, it’s too bad that lawsuit wasn’t more successful in the legal sense. I do believe it was a wake-up call to many leading to some improvements.
    As for politicians doing the right thing, I don’t hold out much hope. Its been widely reported the number of suicides per day, how hard it has been for vets on active duty to get treatment, etc., and political action has been mostly band-aids.
    As for RAND, I have a hard time trusting their investigations. They have a habit of producing results based on who is requesting the investigation, and ignoring data not supporting their conclusions. A prime example of this was their report on depleted uranium exposure in Gulf War veterans. The investigation was requested by the Pentagon, specifically Bernie Rostker, Undersecretary for Gulf War Illnesses. Rostker has bounced back and forth between jobs at the Pentagon and jobs at RAND since the 1960s, like many other flunkies. Their report stated any health effects from vets inhaling depleted uranium would be minimal since most would be expelled by breathing or coughing.
    They were embarrassed when I passed copies of a DOD report from Jefferson Proving Ground in Indiana showing the DOD tested for depleted uranium contamination in deer feeding on ranges where those rounds were fired. They tested deer for the presence of U236, a man-made radioactive isotope, yet refused the same testing for veterans. Proving veterans had U236 in them would mean they could no longer claim any radioactivity in vets was just background radiation.

  7. Good report! USA Today has the best reporters in the world telling what no one else has the guts to tell. It really explains a lot.

    Now how effective are these Psychologists, and are they there just to disqualify claims? And if they are, can you have a mental health claim without using VA Psychologists; or can you use more effective 3rd party mental health resources instead? Maybe the rules change, to make it harder on the Vet, per each different VA Claim center for each state.

    If anyone has a clue, this would help navigate the VA system and would be worthy information for the Vet.

  8. I’m working on a medical board case for an Air Force EOD operator. In doing research, I came across the official AF PTSD web site. In the first paragraph, they admit to being so undermanned with mental health professionals that AF soldiers are “being undertreated”. In my case, they had my client seeing a civilian contractor neuro-psychologist who told my client that he had no experience in dealing with combat trauma. He also told my client, who suffers from a severe spinal condition caused by multiple IED blasts, that his pain was, essentially, psychosomatic and caused by his PTSD. You couldn’t make shit this up. His command has treated him like a crazed maniac, requiring him to be escorted on base because of lies a case manager made about purported threatening behavior he had made. The threat? He asked the case manager to meet to talk with the base patient advocate. My client actually recorded the conversation and when he tried to have the wing commander listen to what had actually been said, he refused to listen to the recording. Fortunately, I have been able to have his medical needs transferred to the local VA medical facility, where he is now receiving therapy from someone who is experienced in working with combat veterans. This situation fully supports the conclusions of the Rand study and I suggest that people actually read the entire study report before making claims that the Rand Corporation studies are not accurate reflections of how the military treats soldiers diagnosed with PTSD.

    • Yes active duty can and do seek inpatient care.this should be done more often. Veterans having to wait years for the VA admit many veterans have PTSD and could have saved many veterans.

      It all ends up.money over veterans.

      That’s all that it’s about. In stead of treatment you get misery and people telling you nothing us wrong and just make things worse.

      I’m proud of you.helping.It would be nice if the VA.would do what your doing. Help

      Make sure he gets copies of all his active duty records ALL and keep getting copies of any and all treatment he is getting now.

      IF you see something in his reports that does not seem to be on the up and up.where they try to blame him or keep denying him disability.

      Don’t fight them directly.call Kenneth carpenter attorney out of Topeka Kansas he fought for me and won after forty years.

      And never give up.if they send a denial letter.which they will.keep his case open.disagree.disagree and don’t let it lapse or when he does get hid disability.he would lose out on all his back pay.

      The VA banks on Veterans giving up or letting their claim lapse.

      • The claims issues are such a rollercoaster, and I certainly agreed that they are banking that one gives up. They have already shot down my primary backpay with my ignorance, and also let folks know of the five year rule on disability. VA will try to whittle down what you have been awarded as well.

        They also tried to put me in for psych eval at last duty station, I just wanted to get back to serviceable condition per instruction, and was wanting help to get there, the mental health folks wouldn’t play ball with them. So they burned me at the stake anyhow. Just a mess. I will live to fight another day, but need a break. I appreciate your good word about not giving up.

    • I get the impression your comment is directed at me Stu since I said I don’t trust what RAND always reports.
      No big deal. Their report may be accurate. That depends on who requested it and for what purpose.
      The rest of my comment stands. RAND will report whatever is requested. What I stated about their report on depleted uranium are facts. I don’t recall you sitting at the table in the Pentagon when that report was released.

  9. This doesn’t surprise me about the military. It’s the old military industrial complex where servicemen are seen as an asset, but then once a serviceman gets injured he becomes a liability. VA has this same attitude when it comes to veterans. The courts aren’t going to intervene on the behalf of veterans. So where does that leave us? It keeps veterans and servicemen as second class citizens. Also, let me add at who’s running the country now. It’s the baby-boomer generation who are running things and let me tell you that almost all the baby- boomers hated and despised servicemen and veterans. I’m a ‘Nam vet and I know how despised we all are. Some of you younger servicemen and veterans may not realize it yet, but too many of these old folks in their 60’s and 70’s despise you!

    • I am the younger end of the boomer gen and in my family and others their age the older boomers resent us, so I follow you a little on that thread of thinking, as in I have experienced their harsh words. Their children and grandchildren have the same caustic hateful attitudes. I am really grateful I do not harbor that ill will in my system. It’s enough to make you sick just to witness it.
      I saw that they really resented the Great generation more, as in the WWII and Korean War vets like my Dad. Korean war vets were spat on when they came home too. My Dad really helped a few of the older kids when they came home from Vietnam, in dealing with that rejection. Stupid attitudes can be very hurtful.
      We are supposed to help each other through these things as Brothers in Arms. I try to mend pain that my fellow vets have gone through, now that I am off the ground for a minute, just because I care. Not because I have to or want any recognition for anything. Anyway, not everyone is bad.

  10. I do not think it takes much to get flagged for just about anything by the VA. I came to this area a stranger in the area, got refused by VA for anything and everything, and have had to hot button navigate through to getting anything at all. Went to sick call and a doctor lied about what I had, and what I said. I have spouses insurance, and had to go get treatment for an acute condition elsewhere. Doctor who saw me 6 months later tells me what is on my record, and now hasn’t seen me since. and refuses to.

    Same thing with claims, same thing with Voc Rehab. Applied for Voc Rehab in 2013, and they never filed the paperwork. I went into 2years debt of federal school loans, and then ran out of school loans waiting on Voc Rehab. When I checked on what what going on, they told me, gave me a new VRO, who is trying to prove that I chose not to use the benefits and then they are refusing to pay back the 2 years of tuition, unless I go back in her office for her to circle jerk me in her office with a co worker.

    I have given her all the documents she wants, and she is just a jerk when I go there, and she just wiggles the mouse around, antagonizes me, and does nothing. Goes on and on. That is even all the way to regional office in Waco. Texas Veterans Commission wants you to sit in the lobby all day, and no guarantee of anyone seeing you, or doing anything.

    They try to get you angry. Are we all sure that these folks are not the cause of Vets PTSD?

    The military doctors made a mistake with my health at my duty station, put me on all kinds of opiates, had me on duty, and driving back and forth to work, no convalescent, and then I had to pay a vulture almost 10k to ensure my honorable separation which included being dressed down in uniform for 8 hours by a bunch of cowards, and there went my good 16 years. What a foolish mess.

    I immediately stopped all of the dope I had been given back in 2012, and 4 hospital systems later have found someone who wants to get me on the road to any semblance of what and who I was. The damage done is permanent now. I will never be able to live without medication for the rest of my life but at least someone is interested in my quality of life.

    Oh, it’s not the VA, and the VA is not paying for any of this. I think it’s just awful what they put folks through to get anything from them. They just don’t care about what they are doing.

    • No they don’t and are hurting veterans.does not matter if there were 99 percent of employees helping.

      The 1percent can do so much damage.1 percent does not sound like a lot.

      But 1 percent of the population are defending this country. So I guess 1 percent is a lot of corrupt employees.

      • CO-rrect! And many Very Good Officers & Enlisted personnel are leaving like rats jumping from a burning ship. 7 Generals have been fired Under this Admin. Moral is at it`s lowest sense the last years of the Vietnam war. If you so much as mention you (May) suffer from PTSD they take it as an effort to get money. Not understanding that sending people back 2-3-4 Combat tours has an “Effect’ on the human mind. So indeed there are “Cost” (some) money can`t fix. Not to mention you make the “No Gun list” Losing the right to defend yourself. The “Catch 22” so many we don`t even know about until it`s too late. Suicide on the steady rise, With no jobs. Some are giving up. These people earned the help & respect of the WHOLE Nation, But get shi# on at every turn. What do they expect? This is nothing “new” These “cost” are as old as war itself.

      • Tomarrow. Bill Clinton will be in Colorado.I’m going to see him and advise him on how the VA is adversarial against veterans and using the disruptive committee to punish veterans.

        The committee told me to let one of his aids.that I want to tell Bill about the illegal disruptive committee and if I can’t.for me to call them back and they would bring it up.

        Don’t know if this will help.but at least I’m going to try.

        Bush on cspan just told the crowd that the VA is such a mess.it has to be reconstructed from top to bottom.it’s an embarrassment.

        I know it’s election time.but these problems must be addressed.I will be nervious and pray to God.he will let me express myself properly.

        PTSD and traumatic brain injury takes it toll.with the train of thought.

        Don’t need advise on how to.just mental support and hopefully veterans one day will not be reported to the disruptive committee for anything.

        Veterans who have or had thoughts of suicide should not be placed on any list.especially a disruptive list. We should not be punished for having PTSD or for anything else.

        This committee in my opinion is illegal and the OIG office has no authority to say it is.

        That’s why we have a judiciary system.if anyone should be on the list.it’s employees who are hurting veterans.

        No that’s to good.they should be in jail.

  11. My husband spent 20 years 9 months, 19 days US Army Ranger and Green Beret. He is 100% service connected disabled but not for PTSD. He refuses to tell any of the VA doctors his stresser as per his confidentiality signings..

    The VA twice has ignored SOCOM confirming his SOF status via Fast Letter 09-52 and in fact when DRO Katrina Bone insisted he tell her in a hearing an example of a mission he was hurt on he cringed. He picked one that was so old he thought it was ok. Turns out SOCOM doesn’t seem to think so.

    You can just imagine how he felt a few years ago when Eric Haney’s The Unit had an episode that involved one mission that went wrong he was involved in. Still very CLASSIFIED and something in this election year the Republicans definitely don’t want brought to light.

    Oh, and one of the other guys on that mission? He died last year penniless thanks to a grateful government and the VA.

    • These people don’t care about our veterans and your love one is a prime example. His fellow veterans are forevermore grateful.

      I know veterans who do not want to go to the VA.for that exact reason. They were sent into places our government said nobody was in.until 20 or so years later.

      I know these guys are afraid someone will accuse them of some wrongdoings.knowing full well war is hell.

      They should not be afraid of our own government.

      • It takes a lot of love, courage, and self determination to love, protect, and defend, a CIC you may not trust, a group of people you do not know, and a country who doesn’t believe in what you are doing all of this for. My Dad was WWII Korean war vet, and would not allow any of us to go officer or enlist without those basic things answered clearly in our mind and hearts as, he said it would take that much determination to navigate whatever would come with that decision. I am grateful.
        Though it makes me sick and angry that these people who are standing there saying the VA is there for you on the other side, as they boot you off the moving train. And for the folks who are not a victim in the rear with the gear like me, who have had to deal with the realities that I got ready for? And we all get treated like liars, by people who wouldn’t risk their neck to save their Mothers. I am in awe of the great dilemma. And now stand beside people who are in much greater need, though all are being disregarded equally. There are no instructions in their books and guidelines for the injustices they are committing. They must be reproved by their guidelines, as the UCMJ. We have all branches and ranks in our family, and most every conflict and war over time. I am the only one that I am aware that has gone through this, it has alienated me from my friends, and family, up until now, that I have been able to navigate through some of this. Not that it helps much, I am so sorry for my brothers and sisters that have suffered SOOOOOOO much worse.

    • @Robin Mitchell,
      I have two freinds which were SOF. Both were turned down for any form of “VA Compensation” due to their “missions” being “Highly Classified”!
      These MEN who did ‘things’, most of us only see in the movies. Are not held to the “Highest Esteem” that they should be!
      VA should have some form of protecting these individuals “Rights” or something. Which could verify, “Yes, you were on that mission!”

      It’s like the “Navy’s Submariners”. They have to contact, (with “notarized verification”), Groton, Connecticut to verify their “sub service”! Yet, when the “information” is sent back to the vet. There’s quite a lot of black ink covering up “stuff”!

      There has to be something VA & the DOD could do. But, we know it will never happen. That’s too much work!

      By the way, those “friends” of mine I mentioned. Neither one has received anything “monetarily” whatsoever from VA. They also have to be extremely careful, over what they say, when going in for healthcare!

    • To the folks who are having a problem with SOCOM, please contact me at nationalveteransrights.org. I have serious doubts that anything they claim is still classified cannot be de-classified. I have done this on several occasions and would be glad to assist you. More to the point about SOCOM, they cannot prohibit someone from, essentially, applying for VA benefits for confidentially discussing a classified mission with a VA psychologist or psychiatrist. If SOCOM refuses to cooperate, then a Federal Tort Claim action may be in order. I am also wondering what the DD-214s list as an MOS. All of my clients who are former SF, Rangers, Delta, EOD, Force Recon and SEALs have DD-214s that show their special operator MOS.

      • @Stu-
        Sorry, but not all Non-Disclosure Security Agreements are the same. Others have already posted that they have reached impasses because of ramifications they were made to believe WILL happen if certain events are ever spoken openly. There’s still stuff from 80’s Cold War Missile Defense/SAC that cannot be uttered, even to a Psych.
        This causes internalization of issues, further compounding PTSD and Anxieties exponentially.
        It’s not so legal eagle easy peesy cookie cutter like you imagine.

      • I was at Dugway Proving Grounds on March 13, 1968, when we nerve-gassed a sheep ranch with a ton of VX. For years the government denied what had really happened and my EOD team cleaned this disaster up. When it was over, we met with some really weird guys from the Defense Intelligence Agency who made us sign a non-disclosure agreement. Frankly, those of us who were there never paid any attention to that. When I was doing research at the National Archives for my book and I was working on the chapter about my time at Dugway, I was able to get a declassified version of the official report. Of course, I cannot guarantee any particular result, but I am certainly willing to try and get these events, insofar as they relate to VA benefits, declassified. I would also talk with some fairly well respected media people about this completely despicable situation.I’m quite certain the SOCOM and the DoD would not want the public to know how some veterans are being fucked over in order to protect shit that is, more than likely, out there somewhere in cyberspace and accessible by the public. Each of us who raised our right hand and swore to defend the constitution with our lives, cannot be denied a government benefit because of some absurd classification thing. Colin Powell recently railed against the over-classification of government documents. At a minimum, SOCOM, or any other agency involving special ops, should be required to provide a letter stating that the veteran was a special operator, that he was in combat zones under fire, and many of his or her missions were classified and remain so. The fact that the VA does nothing in these cases to assist the veteran in proving his or her status, is also unacceptable.

      • I can agree with what you said about Dugway and information being available in open sources. I have heard or read about this incident since the mid 90s.
        What always surprised me was that Dugway used a less safe method than the UN was using to destroy Saddam’s chemical weapons after the first Gulf War. The UN used caustic hydrolysis which was considered to be safer. Dugway, if I remember correctly, used burning.
        What is also interesting regarding classified information and non disclosures is that the UN found lots of Saddam’s chemical weapons, including rockets loaded with Sarin in late 1991, early 1992. Although the UN inspection teams had several US military officers serving as inspectors, the US never acknowledged funding those chemical weapons until 1997, when one of the inspectors, Charles Deulfer, showed the video of those rockets at the Presidential Advisory Committee hearing in Chicago.
        Many vets had suffered and died by then.

      • The 2-1 is the paper they really need. A copy of my husbands is up at FB page Desk Commandos of the VA. He is one of very few Americans to graduate from the ROK Ranger School. It came back on the VA transcript as the Iraqi Ranger School…the one run by Saddam Hussein. The VA isn’t even sure which side we were on.

        I also have the SOCOM letter up at FB page Baghdad Bob McDonald.

        I got an email from his lawyer tonight that Indy VBA Director Stephens is playing games again. I forwarded it to Sloan Gibson, McDonald, Danny Pummill, Scott Posti (Robert Reynolds boy), etc. All of them claim SOF in one form or another yet cannot figure out Fast Letter 09-52 or what the law is if SOCOM confirms SOF involvement.

        I might be releasing my new novel next week. You all know about the Green Beret that played a fake Catholic Priest in Iran Contra with the blessing of both Ronald Reagan and the Pope?

  12. When I was medically retired for PTSD back in 2011 I did not really confront some of the problems mentioned. What I thought was an IQ test to look into tbi turned out to be a lot of money wasted to see if I were faking having PTSD. There has never been any doubt about my diagnosis of PTSD and no one has ever been able to claim that I do not suffer.

    My problems stem from a lack of good treatment. The first time I left the army I thought I had bipolar and was losing my mind. It was PTSD and the shrink never told me that was what was going on and he had to know it was by what I was describing. But the military thhinks that PTSD is a golden ticket where a person can act out and make claims that are not easily verified. That is a problem and it is pervasive throughout society when people worry about others getting over on them from a group that will contain mostly people who are deserving or need help versus a small group of people who truly get over on all of us, e.g. like having their failed busineses bailed out while other people suffer.

    That money could be spent treating people accepting a few might be liars. But taking care of the majority who need help and priortizing treating them over catching a few liars.

    Even in a good part of the VA system my treatment leaves a lot to be desired. I was fairly stable just prior to the ISIS crap when I was cut down on appointments then ISIS happened along with for lack of a better word, a relapse in S&S occurred.

  13. Reverse the burden of proof (determination of eligibility) from the individual vet who requests or files at DVA to the DVA itself (assume the vet is eligible until proven ineligible by VA). The VA has the staff and the expertise to prove ineligible after the fact, and then prosecute the liars and wannabees.

    • You said it all in your statement.and the way it should be.I have a hard time expressing myself due to my tbi. Thanks for making it short but sweet.right to the point

      • Went to see and hear Bill Clinton.did not speak about Veterans issues. Bush did he told the people the VA is broken and has to be turned upside down.

        Don’t know what I expected.

        Oh well back to the drawing board.

    • @W Elmore
      Great Idea. It might cut down on “frivolous claims”! IF the vet knew he could have “civil and/or criminal charges brought against him/her for bringing a “false claim”!

      On the other hand. Since you “opened Pandora’s Box”,
      What would you suggest happen to “VA”, when VA “undercuts VA Disability Compensation” for vets. Who should actually be at a higher compensatory (%) disability rating due to the ‘comp & pen board’ NOT fully investigating a vets ‘personnel & medical records’ for the “medical disabilities” a vet claims? Could the vet have “civil or criminal charges” brought against VA for this?

      Just a thought!?

      • My son and I are going to president Clintons rally today in Colorado. I wrote him and Hilary a letter expressing these very concerns.

        Veterans told no treatment until you are service connected and the regional office lying to many veterans telling them their records were destroyed in the fire in st Louis and how they keep having veterans go to c&p examinations over and over and taking their disability away or down grading them.

        Will let you all know how it goes.

      • My answer is not perfect (none are), but I could/would add, bring a full level of Judicial review to VA decisions. As to a lack of complete, missing or inaccurate military personnel or medical records and VA records, again that burden should be on DOD and/or VA, not the vet. These are some of the lessons I have learned in over 4 decades of work with vets, their families and the bureaucracies. And no, I have never worked for VA. My reverse the burden of proof idea is not perfect and would be problematic in ways we dont understand, but it would take the burden off already burdened vets/families and put it with the systems designed to interact with and serve the veteran.

    • I have given them FDC and they still deny. They hire another 3rd party to disclaim what the first 3rd party gave. They deny giving me copy of STR. My last request for STR turnaround is mid May. We will see.

    • Sir,
      First, never said, or implyed, you worked for VA.

      Secondly, I’ve also had approximately four (+) decades of interacting with (helping) veterans. I can assure you ‘comp & pen boards’ do not go through a veterans “files” thoroughly. I’ve seen them “brouse” and “flip” through a veterans evidence haphazardly. Not even taking the time to read valuable evidence.
      Some weren’t even qualified to make a judgement call! As was reported by major news sources a few short months ago!

      My original question to you is:
      Could the veteran, under your idea, have legal recourse to file “civil and/or criminal charges” against a VA comp & pen adjudicator IF he/she were to “low ball” a veterans’ comp & pen % of disabilities? In essence, not following specific rules and regulations. And, thus giving a veteran, for example, a 70% disabilities rating. When in fact, the medical evidence provided, should have warrented a 100% or even higher “disabilities rating”!

      Compensation = $$$$
      Disabilities = totals (%) added for all disabilities!

      • To answer your question, I dont know. What I do know is that VA decisions are generally not review able by a Court (Judicial Review/you cant pay an attorney more that $10 to represent you to VA, until you get past the VA Board of Veterans Appeals in the VA process). It took years of advocacy to get the limited Judicial review we do have (Court of Veterans Appeals, after the Board of Veterans Appeals). This is why I am an advocate for Judicial Review of VA decision making at all levels. Not sure, but I believe that the VA may be the only Federal agency that is not subject to Judicial review by a Court.

      • I just hired am attorney Kenneth carpenter and he did everything for me.

        Without how authority I would be homeless. No boards.the end result VA was exposed for their lieing about my records being ? in the st Louis ?.

  14. I agree 100% am going through the same mess for all the scandals, and every other dirty things these so call professional’s are doing they all need to be put under the jail, but it seems they are doing what they want and getting paid big bucks .also am tired of these fools lying about who they are and pretending to be a doctor then u find out they still in school

  15. Quite being there door mates stand down to them , take up you arms, stand up and kick some ass. What the fuk. What happen to you. Do you not know the times you live in. Your grand children will become slaves when you generation dies MY Father says I must love you AND i DO but I can hate what you have become. Put you’r feet up buy a sticker, made in china to take back America. Hate me today hate morrow for what I did’ent do for you.Treason again treason. AND JUSTICE FOR ALL EXCEPT IF YOU’R A VET

  16. 02/21/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    The game is ever changing—it is a no win situation.

    Only when the Stops are put in to keep that table from rotating and spinning out of control, will you see a change.

    Right now, all stops are out and the VA is out of control—-two years of a “Five Alarm Fire.”

    Secretary Bob McDonald has shown the Americans the greatest PR Campaign in the World.

    In other Countries the citizens had removed their VA Bosses.

    Right now the News Coverage here at the Phoenix VA is focused on the unusual shutdown of the Surgeries [following Cincinnati], and the News Media has a renewed interest on what really happened at the VA Phoenix Hospital.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  17. I hate Americans for the blood of my brothers . The fat fuking Americans who demand all the rights my brother gave in there blood . Do you not know the times you live in. TREASON AGAIN TREASON fuk you if you can not see that

  18. Here’s an interesting article just out by:
    “WND FRONT PAGE”
    by Greg Corombos
    Titled:
    “Will This Feisty Conservative Doctor Unseat John McCain?”

    She calls McCain a “D.C. Dinosaur”!
    There’s a “voice recording” y’all might want to listen to. She hits McCain’s miserable record of veterans issues! She IS a “feisty” woman! Maybe she can accomplish what McCain can’t, or won’t, do!
    That remains to be seen. But, don’t y’all think it’s time to get rid of all the “Career Politicians”?

    • P.S.
      Sorry, I forgot two most important things!
      1.) She’s a Conservative Republican.
      2.) Her name is Dr. Ward!

      • @crazyelf-

        Far as I am concerned, any career politician is an ‘old dino’ that needs sent back to pasture. At this point, I am betting McCain would just suddenly announce he’s “Retiring Early” and roll over against any real effort involved in opposition. Why do I do say or think that?
        Because Senator McCain has specifically been in a position of influence in D.C. and privilege, and other than some stuff with Sanders, neither really have done anything to FIX the problems at the VA. It’s always band aides and more $$$.

        This recollection came about today when I looked over the albeit short, but few years Bernie Sanders dipped his toes in the Vet Affairs Committee, that lead to current scandals, and McCain has not done enough making him appear lackadaisical or plain old and lazy…but still collecting the check. Rant out. Vote them ALL out. Time for farmers to again represent the people.

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