Misconduct or PTSD? The Impacts of Not Treating Soldiers After War

Source: Department of Veteran Affairs

Source: Department of Veteran Affairs

Iraq war vet who murdered park ranger before freezing to death in snow was stationed at U.S. Army’s most troubled base (Jan 2012)

Soldier wrote Facebook suicide note before Springs crash (Jan 2012)

Experts: Vets’ PTSD, violence a growing problem (Jan 2012)

US Military Suicides Continue to Climb, Reaching Record in 2012 (Jan 2013)

Suicidal Man Shot by Police was Veteran with PTSD (Jan 2013)

Charts: Suicide, PTSD and the Psychological Toll on America’s Vets (Jan 2013)

PTSD is an epidemic for military vets and their families (Jan 2013)

PTSD-Related Suicide Hits Close to Home (Jan 2013)

Afghan massacre: Sgt Bales case echoes loudly for ex-soldiers on hotline for vets (Jan 2013)

PTSD suicide more deadly to American Soldiers than combat! (Jan 2013)

To be continued…

Clear Pattern of the Army Tossing Soldiers Who Have PTSD ~Jennifer Norris

The Wounded Platoon

The Wounded Platoon (PBS)

Day after day I hear first hand accounts of not only the Army but all of the Armed Forces forcing troops out for PTSD or some trumped up misconduct charge. And what really gets my goat is that these are people who have been in the military for a long time, have deployed overseas, and now suffer from some kind of war injury. Is this the way that you envisioned the military would treat our troops after all that they have sacrificed.

I find it ironic that Officers who get caught with felony charges can quietly retire after the media blows it up to hold them accountable. Yet a soldier who has been in 19 years, did four rotations overseas, and snapped on the fourth rotation because you sent them there knowing they had PTSD, gets the bad conduct discharge. This is criminal. How dare you Army do this to someone with 19 years of dedicated service. What happened to the whole person concept? Why is it that a fight or flight response is now being used against a soldier when the symptoms include disassociation, irritability, distrust, fear, etc. Why is it that you act like people are faking when they just did four tours of duty.

I am tired of hearing these stories and society not believing that it really is this bad. I knew that President Obama gave them at least one more year before they took military justice seriously so they could start booting anyone and everyone for their draw down. But in the meantime, they are betraying those who gave them everything which in turn will push a person to suicide. You don’t have their back. The military is not standardized at all in their endeavors for care for the soldier.

It appears that the military leadership are the ones that caused this to begin with. The Army knowingly lowered their recruiting standards to allow those with violent criminal histories to enlist, for the warfighting efforts. They also knowingly have been sending soldiers back overseas who have been diagnosed with PTSD and really shouldn’t go anywhere. Were they so hard up for manning that they were willing to risk everyone to recruit rapists in the ranks? Is it worth people killing themself because when they reach out for help, you belittle them, tell them to get over it, and then don’t give a damn in the end what the f*ck happens to them.

You people wonder why suicide rates are so high. It’s because of betrayal. Betrayal in the ranks and betrayal from leadership. Leadership won’t hear us when we try to tell them how their actions are impacting all of us. They just wanted us to shut up and do what we were told to do despite what the impact was on our well being or the mission. We really are casualties to them. I never realized how much until I started lobbying. All we are asking for is that every single military member be accountable for their actions. We need national standards for reporting crimes and abuse of power.

When I hear over and over and watch in The Wounded Platoon documentary that because the military, Army especially, does not offer adequate help for the soldiers returning home from war with PTSD, I just want to scream. If you don’t acknowledge the PTSD of course they are going to begin to drink to self-medicate, and then will show episodes of aggressiveness because their fight or flight is right on the edge. Why do these leaders not get this?

How could you possibly remove someone from the military with an other then honorable or unhonorable discharge after all that soldier has given you. If you would simply get them the help, it wouldn’t come to this. Instead, you guys are all battle warn, blowing it off because you gotta be tough. No, it takes courage to ask for help. And getting adequate treatment will prevent the PTSD from becoming compounded PTSD which is why our suicide rates are so high. If 23 troops and veterans dying a day isn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is.

I am so tired of you military leaders with all your patterns, damage control, politics, and empty words. And, Congress believes your crap despite years of evidence of failure. Why doesn’t anyone talk to the enlisted, the guy/gal who truly fights these wars then gets screwed because no one would help them. Of course a soldier is going to downward spiral if military leadership does not recognize that the troop has PTSD from fighting a war or getting raped by one of your recruits.

We get that this is all just an occupational hazard to you but I think the American public supports that if you break it, you fix it. Own that the toxic leadership, ego, and ignorance is contributing to the suicide crisis. Just get them the damn help they need, stop pushing them out after they gave you years of service and want to be there. And especially quit making up these fake conjured up charges that you use to toss them because then you don’t have to give them any benefits. That is criminal.

Every person in the military needs to be held accountable for their actions. Until we have someone on the outside to oversea that justice is conducted in a fair and judicious process, we will continue to see our dedicated, knowledgeable soldiers with PTSD get tossed and replaced with someone young and naive, who will eventually get PTSD too. We want real people who own their stuff. There’s nothing wrong with having PTSD from fighting a damn war overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever. Please treat them. That’s the least you could do for them. In the meantime, we will be working on ways to hold you accountable for this recklessness.

It’s All About the Little Things When You Have PTSD

Originally posted on Jennifer S Norris:

Onyx, Service Dog, K9s for Warriors www.k9sforwarriors.org

Onyx, Service Dog, K9s for Warriors http://www.k9sforwarriors.org

As I am gaining strength mentally, I am working on getting my body in the here and now as well. Thankfully because of my service dog, I can get over the paralyzing feeling of anxiety and get the heck up on out of my house. I look forward to having an excuse to leave the house now, instead of dreading it so much that all I can do is sleep.

My husband has been doing the cooking almost the entire time that we have been married. He likes to do it and I love his food. Recently due to a medical issue, he asked if I could pick up the slack and do some of the household errands for us. Of course, I have no problem with doing it now that I have Onyx. But before, I would have really struggled with leaving…

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This is what I think about PTSD ~Jennifer Norris

12 steps PTSD

This is what I think about PTSD ~Jennifer Norris

PTSD sucks. No doubt about it. I can go from doing fine to wanting to die in a New York minute. Do I act on it? No, but I definitely want to escape the pain every once in awhile. Some days I cannot wait to go to bed just so I can take a break from ‘managing’ the symptoms. Both my husband and I have PTSD and we work pretty well together to provide assistance to each other when we are having our bad days.

I have noticed that the more real I am about the PTSD, the more people are connecting with me and feeling less alone. I am not going to hide the fact that I struggle with a debilitating condition known as compounded PTSD. And, I fight as hard as I do for our active duty and veterans so that they don’t have to live like this.

Read more here.

Senator Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military.

“Since 2004, I have been sounding the alarm over the military’s ineffective response to the growing crisis of sexual assault in the military, including the need to ensure appropriate punishment for the perpetrators, to provide adequate care for the survivors of such reprehensible crimes, and to change the culture across the military so that sexual assault is unthinkable,” said Senator Collins, who first raised this issue during an Armed Services Committee hearing ten years ago.

In her remarks on the Senate floor, she singled out for praise the courage of two Mainers who have come forward to tell their stories.

“I also want to acknowledge the courage and conviction of Jennifer Norris and Ruth Moore – two Mainers who were sexually assaulted while serving and have made it their mission to change the broken system that does not put victims first. Through their advocacy, they have helped to shine a light on this crisis and deserve our gratitude.”

Military Women: We Got Fired for Being Raped

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Military-Women-We-Got-Fired-For-Being-Raped-248287311.html#

“I was one of many that had a career ended shortly because I simply reported a sexual assault,” Jennifer Norris said.

Norris retired as a technical sergeant from the United States Air Force in 2010 and also served in the Maine and Massachusetts National Guards. Norris testified before Congress that during her military career, she was sexually assaulted four times between 1996 and 1998. She says after she finally reported the attacks to her supervisor, she faced retaliation.

“I went back and was blown away at how much disdain and hatred I faced as a result of standing up for what was right and protecting other women,” Norris said. “That right in and of itself was the biggest betrayal I ever experienced in my life….When you have zero support and you are alone, it will push you to the place Jessica Brown has been. I have been there.”

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

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What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

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