Saturday, July 16, 2011

PTSD: Iraq vet, rescued from suicide, tells of VA gaps

'The Warrior' - this is my rendition of my deceased husband's crazed PTSD face
Sharon Perry, Founder of AO Legacy, widow of a Vietnam veteran.

“We’re taught how to be soldiers, not civilians,” he said, and “once we’re put out, we’re hung out to dry.”

The human costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were on full display in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday when an Iraq veteran explained, haltingly, how he only got care for post-traumatic stress disorder after he attempted suicide.

He testified that in order to get care after he was discharged from the Army, he had to be arrested by Veterans Affairs police. “People are talking on their cellphones, telling me to wait,” he said, describing the bureaucratic hassles he faced as he tried to get care.

“How do you define timely [treatment] for a veteran with a gun in his mouth?” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked William Schoenhard, the deputy undersecretary for health operations and management at the VA.

The Source

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