As already noted on this Blog on Nov. 1st. a U.S. soldier is going to be Court Martialed for being AWOL because he went to a civilian psychiatric hospital.
According to the WaPo:
An Army reservist who checked himself into a civilian psychiatric hospital after being turned away from a military clinic should be court-martialed for being absent without leave, according to an Army report.
First Lt. Jullian P. Goodrum, of Knoxville, Tenn., is a veteran of both U.S. wars in Iraq and is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Goodrum was also suffering from the disorder last fall, the time of his alleged infraction.
He and his lawyers deny that he was ordered to return to Fort Knox, citing testimony from his senior officer, Capt. Debra G. Savage.
"I did not order First Lt. Goodrum to come back. I gave him two alternatives," the Amaral report quotes Savage as saying.
Tennessee Republican Sens. Bill Frist and Lamar Alexander asked the Army to investigate and report back on his case.
Locked up in Psycho ward?
The senators specifically asked about allegations that Goodrum had been inappropriately locked down in the Walter Reed psychiatric ward.
Goodrum's medical records suggest that he was locked down for administration or legal reasons rather than medical reasons, as is the norm.
Yes, locked up in a psycho ward for decent.
Salon.com reports another solder was also locked away:
On June 15, 2003, Sgt. Frank "Greg" Ford, a counterintelligence agent in the California National Guard's 223rd Military Intelligence (M.I.) Battalion stationed in Samarra, Iraq, told his commanding officer, Capt. Victor Artiga, that he had witnessed five incidents of torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees at his base, and requested a formal investigation.
Thirty-six hours later, Ford, a 49-year-old with over 30 years of military service in the Coast Guard, Army and Navy, was ordered by U.S. Army medical personnel to lie down on a gurney, was then strapped down, loaded onto a military plane and medevac'd to a military medical center outside the country.
Although no "medevac" order appears to have been written, in violation of Army policy, Ford was clearly shipped out because of a diagnosis that he was suffering from combat stress. After Ford raised the torture allegations, Artiga immediately said Ford was "delusional" and ordered a psychiatric examination.
The writer of the article, David DeBatto, author and former U.S. Army counterintelligence agent who served in Iraq said in an interview on democracynow.org
After Ford was given thirty seconds to recant his herasy...
..."the army psychiatrist that saw Sergeant Ford apparently (and I've reviewed her report) deemed him to be completely normal, and sent that report back to Captain Artiga. When Captain Artiga saw the report from the psychiatrist he was, according to a witness, Sergeant Marciello, "livid."
He didn't accept the report. He stormed back over to the army psychiatrist, and according to the witness I have, literally forced her, browbeat her and intimidated the psychiatrist to change her evaluation to read 'mentally unstable,' and ordered her to ship Sergeant Ford medically out of the country to receive a psychological evaluation in Germany.
Rumsfeld weighs in on armor controversy:
According to the news wires Rumsfeld in New Dehli said of the soldier who brought up his concerns about the lack of armor on vehicles in Iraq "it was good that ordinary soldiers are given a chance to express their concerns to the secretary of defense and senior military commanders." Just so long as they want a trip to the mental ward!
``I don't know what the facts are [Obviosly], but somebody is certainly going to sit down with him [Poor bastard!] and find out what he knows that they may not know,'' Rumsfeld said.
``It's necessary for the Army to hear that, do something about it and see that everyone is treated properly.''[Oh, I'm sure he will be.]
Homeless vets appearing:
In another related story to the crappy way our vets are being treated it was reported by UPI that:
U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq are beginning to show up at homeless shelters around the country, and advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era.
"I drove off in my truck. I packed my stuff. I lived out of my truck for a while," Seabees Petty Officer Luis Arellano, 34, said in a telephone interview from a homeless shelter near March Air Force Base in California run by U.S.VETS, the largest organization in the country dedicated to helping homeless veterans.
Arellano said he lived out of his truck on and off for three months after returning from Iraq in September 2003. "One day you have a home and the next day you are on the the streets.
Arellano said he felt pushed out of the military too quickly after getting back from Iraq without medical attention he needed for his hand -- and as he would later learn, his mind.
"It was more of a rush. They put us in a warehouse for a while. They treated us like cattle," Arellano said about how the military treated him on his return to the United States.
"It is all about numbers. Instead of getting quality care, they were trying to get everybody demobilized during a certain time frame. If you had a problem, they said, 'Let the (Department of Veterans Affairs) take care of it.'"