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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Female Fort Lewis AWOL Soldier Has PTSD

From the Eugene Register-Guard:

Suzanne Swift, the soldier who faces a summary court-martial for being absent without leave for 123 days, is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a document spelling out the facts that both she and the military prosecutor agree on.

Swift is the 22-year-old military police specialist from Eugene who said she dodged a second tour of duty in Iraq and went absent without leave last January because she couldn't face the possibility of a second round of the sexual harassment that dogged her first overseas tour. ... The preliminary agreement includes those details under the heading "relevant facts" while noting that the official investigation substantiated only the last incident.

Also under the relevant facts section: "Both the government and the defense agree that the accused has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder."

Click on 'Article Link' below tags for a couple more grafs...


Swift was in Iraq for a year, from January 2004 to February 2005. She served in Karbala, a city south of Baghdad, as a driver and gunner. An officer who served with her told an Army investigator that Swift saw a great deal of hostile action there and performed well in engagements with the enemy.

A diagnosis of PTSD by an Army doctor means that a soldier is eligible for treatment of that condition, Choates confirmed. The maximum punishment Swift will face is 30 days in jail, forfeit of two-thirds of her pay for a month and reduction in rank from specialist to private. After that, she will finish out the remainder of her military service and be eligible for an honorable discharge.

It's sad to see that a soldier who performed so well in the field should have to cope with sexual harassment, deal with her PTSD, and then still have to serve jail time and have her rank reduced.

Or is that just me thinking this is somehow wrong?

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