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Monday, August 18, 2008

Fort Sill's Warrior Transition Unit Problems, Progressive Disabled VA Care, Military Parents Sue AIG, Toledo Vet Center Expands PTSD Program

  • Ace USA Today veterans' issue reporter Gregg Zoroya writes an unsettling piece on 20 soldiers who told of "mold in the barracks, delays in processing medical cases and morale in the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) for wounded and injured outpatients at Fort Sill." Ironically, these WTU's were created to address these very same issues of moldy housing units and substandard aftercare at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. But Fort Sill appears to rely on a heavy-handed approach with their ailing soldiers, some heavily medicated and variably disabled due to their injuries, issuing Article 15 punishments "like they were candy."

  • File this one under "NOT the way to support our military families:" The Charleston Gazette's Andrew Clevenger reports on a lawsuit filed by the parents of an "Iraq war veteran who died in his sleep in February while recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder" against AIG, a private insurance company. The suit revolves around AIG's refusal to pay out on the $50,000 life insurance policy their son, a Marine combat engineer who disarmed IEDs and patrolled the Iraq-Syria border while deployed overseas, purchased after returning home. Wishing to ease any further stress and financial burden on his parents in the event of his own death, he bought the policy after his brother -- serving with the Army in Afghanistan -- died in an RPG attack.

  • A well-written profile piece by Gabe Nelson for the Toledo Blade -- filled with both heart and a lot of local and national data -- introduces us to Maj. Dorian LeBeau, a clinical therapist working at the Toledo Vet Center as they begin an expanded PTSD care program. LeBeau, an "Army mortuary affairs officer based at Camp Doha, Kuwait" recovering remains of fallen U.S. soldiers during past Iraq and Afghanistan deployments, says, "My main focus since I’ve returned home is to help other individuals like myself to ensure they’re getting the things they need, from someone who understands what they’re going through." Maj. LeBeau: You rock, sir.

  • 'This American Veteran' is a half-hour monthly video news magazine produced by the Department of Veterans Affairs aiming to educate its clients on the many benefits they're entitled to. This month, learn about a few new resources for disabled veterans the VA has provided, including a "home telehealth program, where over 30,000 veterans are able to check into their medical center daily without ever leaving home." Some are also jetting off "to the beaches of Malibu, where veterans experience sun and surf in a uniquely California form of physical and mental therapy -- on a surfboard." ABC World News recently reported on this program:

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