Historically, commanders have failed to recognize the signs of trauma among soldiers, and instead, have interpreted the symptoms of injury as willful misconduct. Current Army policy allows for a soldier's alleged misconduct to take precedence over their medical conditions so that they can be administratively separated. Post-2001 veterans are excluded from VA services at nearly three times the rate of Vietnam veterans.
For most with less-than-honorable discharges, the stigma of their separation from service, combined with their physical and psychological symptoms, begins a downward spiral. Ousted from their former military community, and not eligible for health care and treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs, these veterans are more likely to be homeless; more likely to suffer from substance abuse; more likely to go without treatment for physical and mental injuries; and they are at high risk for incarceration. And they are more likely to die by suicide.
"Everyone says they want to do something to stop veteran suicides," noted Rowan, "and during this "National Suicide Prevention Month" of September, nothing could be more fitting and useful than to ensure these most high risk veterans have access to treatment that will keep them alive. No treatment means more suicides than there have to be."
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/all-veterans-with-ptsd-deserve-care-300326812.html
SOURCE Vietnam Veterans of America