A story from the New York Times, not my favorite paper. This story is quite good however and chronicles conditions in the Army Warrior Transition Battalion, used to help psychologically distressed GIs either return to duty or transition out of the service.
It is a sad story. GIs it seems return after serving their country on the front lines, seeing friends die, and living under excruciating levels of stress for years, to treatment that is inadequate at best and even possibly damaging.
We are still engaged in 2 major wars, though everyone seems to have forgotten this, and the casualties continue. The psychological causalities may be among the worst. Imagine leaving for Iraq, young and healthy, to return to your home so psychologically battered from war that you can barely function. Add being caught up in a bureaucracy that sees you not as an asset any more, but as a liability to be swept under the rug.
It seems to me that if this country can go to war, as wrong as that was in my opinion, at least in Iraq, it has an obligation to help its traumatized soldiers with first class care. The problem is that many within the Army bureaucracy seem to see these veterans as weak because of their injuries, not people who have sacrificed nearly all in their duty.
With no doubt, the situation is not as black and white as this. I am sure that there are deeply committed people caring for these soldiers. But it seems to me that we can do a better job. The problem is that the Army is a bureaucracy of bureaucracies and like all bureaucracies regards the individual with little respect, especially after they sign their rights away when they enlist.
Click here for the story.
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