PTSD Fallout Continues

Hot off the email. Thank you for your perseverance for Vets, Bob.

New York Times
March 3, 2012
Pg. 18

Calling For An End To Phony Military Discharges

To the Editor:

“Branding a Soldier With ‘Personality Disorder’ ” (front page, Feb. 25) scratched the surface of an important military scandal.

I have been investigating personality disorder discharges for the last six years. In that time, I’ve interviewed dozens of physically wounded soldiers who were booted from the military with a phony “pre-existing personality disorder,” which prevents the soldiers from receiving disability and medical benefits. They even have to give back a chunk of their signing bonus.

Soldiers severely wounded in combat are finding out on their final day in uniform that they will never get disability benefits — and they now owe the military thousands of dollars.

I have also interviewed military doctors about being pressed by their superiors to misdiagnose wounded soldiers. One doctor told me of a soldier who came back with a chunk missing from his leg. His superior pressured him to diagnose that injury as personality disorder.

The numbers in this scandal are staggering. Since 2001, the military has discharged more than 31,000 soldiers with personality disorder, at a savings to the military of over $17.2 billion in disability and medical benefits.

Barack Obama had been at the forefront of this issue. As a senator, he put forward a bill to halt all personality disorder discharges. But as commander in chief, he has done nothing to halt these fraudulent dismissals.

The American people should confront the president and the Republican presidential candidates with this question: As commander in chief, what actions will you take to keep these phony personality disorder discharges from devastating another military family?

JOSHUA KORS, New York, Feb. 26, 2012

The writer is a freelance reporter.

Editor’s Note: The article referred to by James Dao appeared in the Current News Early Bird, Feb. 25, 2012.

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