Friday, July 20, 2007

Crime on a national scale

by Michael Dymmoch

The Outfit prides itself on crime commentary, and mostly we confine our remarks to local or fictional violence and organized crime. But here’s a national crime that’s almost as stomach churning as Abu Ghraib:

Since 2001, according to a report by Bob Woodruff on ABC World News (July 12, 2007), 22,000 soldiers have been separated from the US military with a ‘Separation because of personality disorder’ discharge. The military defines personality disorder as a “deeply ingrained, maladaptive pattern of behavior." Because personality disorder is considered a pre-existing condition, soldiers so separated are ineligible for disability pay and benefits. EVEN SOME WHO SERVED TOURS IN COMBAT ZONES AND WERE TREATED BY THE MILITARY FOR POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER! Some of these folks were encouraged to reenlist before discharge, and were billed for return of their reenlistment bonuses when their disabilities prevented them from serving out second hitches. They will be branded for the rest of their lives with a resume that insures they’ll be discriminated against when applying for jobs and insurance.

This is how we support our troops!

If these soldiers really had previously existing personality disorders, the military had no business accepting them for service in the first place. If in fact they served without incident before suffering in combat, THEY DESERVE DISCHARGES THAT ENABLE THEM TO LIVE DECENTLY AFTERWARD. And they deserve veterans’ benefits.

And the geniuses who decided that abandoning veterans is a good way to trim the military’s bottom line, belong in the brig.

That’s my take. What’s yours?

6 comments:

David Terrenoire said...

Michael,

It's talk like this that encourages the enemy and kills our soldiers.

You know what our Dear Leader said. It's his job to run the war, it's your job to go about your business.

Don't ask questions.

Shop WalMart.

Barbara D'Amato said...

Are they the same decision-makers as those who put Katrina refugees in trailers and when the tenants got sick from formaldehyde fumes tested the trailers' air quality only with all the windows open and fans running full blast?

Pete said...

But remember what Bush says: any mention of withdrawing troops from Iraq is cowardly cutting and running, and the mere mention of such dishonors the sacrifices made by our brave troops during the conflict. Never mind how disgracefully the Administration itself dishonors those troops when they come home. The hypocrisy of Bush and his cronies seemingly has no limits. I wonder if the Presidential motorcade has bumper ribbon magnets that read "Support The Troops (If It Doesn't Cost Too Much Money)."

Michael Dymmoch said...

David,

I'd be more willing to trust our Dear Leader's conduct of the war if he wasn't so much like Napolean's mule (who knew no more about military strategy after the 20th campaign than he did after the 1st). Our Dear Leader, after all, was drunk during the Vietnam conflict, which may be why he missed the lesson.

Barb,

Undoubtedly.

Pete,

It would no doubt be braver to wait until we have 58,000 names to put on some future Iraq War Memorial. By that time, even the most avid Congressional supporter of our Fearless Leader will have a majority of constituents demanding a pull-out.

ab said...

Sounds very strange and not logical. Not you, the policy.

Maryann Mercer said...

My brother-in-law served in VietNam and is fortunate not to have serious problems, but like a lot of vets, he prefers not to go to the VA...where he lives, the doctors are overworked and it takes months to get in. Imagine someone with a serious problem, even if the government allowed their benefits. My husband now has to fill out financial statements every year to make sure we don't make too much money to qualify for the treatments at the one near usl, which is one of the better facilities in a smaller town. IS there a psych eval before someone is accepted for enlistment? I'd bet not...all you need is two functioning arms and legs and decent eyesight.
If the decision-makers had to endure even one-tenth of what our military (or our disaster victims) have had to endure, perhaps things might be different.
JMHO of course