Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) said that he will urge President Bush to appoint a Special Review Board to review all 22,000+ cases where a “pre-existing personality disorder” was used to dismiss troops from the armed services. A dismissal for a pre-existing personality disorder results in little to no VA benefits and the repayment of any bonuses, with interest, that the servicemember received. In too many cases troops have incurred post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) in combat, only to return home and be told that their conditions were “pre-existing” and therefore not the military’s problem. Col. Stephen Knorr, chief of the Behavioral Health Unit at Fort Carson, referred to this as getting rid of “dead wood.”
A Cincinnati television station takes a look at one of the few inpatient PTSD clinics for women in the VA health care system. Female veterans not only suffer from mental injuries incurred in combat but also cases of sexual assault within the military’s ranks.
Fourteen hundred members of New York’s 27th Brigade Combat Team (BCT) were called back to Fort Drum for nine more days of training before they deploy to Afghanistan. When the 27th BCT deploys in January, it will be the first National Guard unit to leave under the Army’s recently introduced reduced training regimen. Nineteen hours of training a day for six weeks wasn’t enough, so now they’re back. This new training schedule is an effort to reduce Guard mobilizations from eighteen months to twelve. The military seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place: keeping the reserve components mobilized eighteen months for two or three deployments simply isn’t sustainable, but cramming too much training into too little time doesn’t seem to be a great solution.
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