More on veterans and the Bush administration

When I wrote a post yesterday on veterans, I had no idea that just hours later a story would hit, via VoteVets and CREW, and now getting massive media attention, that a VA hospital’s PTSD program coordinator sent an email to other VA employees instructing them to “refrain” from diagnosing vets with PTSD, and instead consider a diagnosis of “adjustment disorder.” I was going to write that there’s no analysis necessary here, no explanation or hidden meaning, but that’s not actually true — the motivating reason is, I suspect, that veterans diagnosed with PTSD are likely to get better care and more disability pay than those diagnosed with other illnesses. But whatever the “reason” behind it, is just straight up despicable. From VoteVets:

Jon Soltz, an Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org, added, “This is an issue I take personally. I know of many people who received a diagnosis of ‘Adjustment Disorder,’ who strongly felt they had PTSD, many of whom confirmed that suspicion with an independent diagnosis. Many veterans believe that the government just doesn’t want to pay out the disability that comes along with a PTSD diagnosis, and this revelation will not allay their concerns. It is crucial that we quickly get to the bottom of this, and ensure that misdiagnosing veterans is not part of some cost-cutting policy.”

The continued mistreatment and exploitation of those who serve is appalling. On the flip side, it’s to the great credit of organizations like CREW and VoteVets that they’re on top of these issues. Hopefully we’ll see some improvement in the next administration, but many people can’t wait that long. Corrections are necessary now.

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