Reaction streaming in to Monday's NPR investigation into charges that troops seeking help for PTSD were stigmatized and even abused by their peers and commanders. Former Iraq War vet and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Paul Rieckhoff, shares his at Huffington Post:
The last thing Iraq veterans need is to face a new battle with the military here at home. Ordering troops with severe PTSD to continue their duties is like making a person with a broken leg run a marathon. And punishing them for their disease is a total outrage.
It's time for the military to step up. Just last week, they finally released new guidelines for troops suffering from mental health problems in theatre. It's a good start, but just issuing another memo isn't going to make difference.
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As usual, the change needs to happen on the ground. A mandatory counseling session for all service members coming home from a combat tour would go a long way towards reducing the stigma of mental health treatment. And would help soldiers like Tyler Jennings get help before it's too late.
Be sure to vote the article up on Yahoo, and read another disturbing Fort Carson account at IAVA's website. Send Paul some kudos for his continued hard work for the troops and/or check out his must-read book, Chasing Ghosts. Go, Paul, go!
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