Friday, February 23, 2007

PTSD Being Mishandled

Litbrit has a must-read post on how the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense are trying to bury facts of how many sevice man and women have post traumatic stress disorder.

Litbrit's post reminded me of the Veterans Administration using the cartoon The Epic of Gilgamesh. A Groucho Marx-sounding doctor tells Gilgamesh that "simple things, like exercise, sleep, hygiene and a few less lattes in the morning" will cure PTSD. The VA have taken the video and transcript offline. The bad publicity generated from the Huffington Post will make a government organization go into damage control.

Creative Loafing ran good stories on here and here on Tampa area vets dealing with PTSD. It is inspiring to hear about the good work Steve Fletcher are doing.

Like the hospitals, Taylor´s program could use more funds and more staff. But he´s determined to help vets, no matter what comes down from above.

¨They could cut our budget,¨ says Fletcher, who often carries a double load of clients, ¨and we would still be doing the work. Because you´ve got dedication out here. Money doesn´t affect us that much -- we´d use our own money to reach out to these guys.¨


At February 24, 2007 12:25 PM , Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

I would like to provide a description of something our government is doing right these days with regard to Vets.

I am currently a resident in a Veteran's Home after having undergone treatment through the VA for PTSD and Depression, long overdue some 40 years after the Tet Offensive that cap stoned my military 2nd tour in Vietnam with a lifetime of illness.

My blog has attracted the stories of many veterans such as myself and other sufferers from PTSD who were victimized by elements of society other than the VA system of medical and mental treatment. I, for one, became trapped in the Military Industrial Complex for 36 years working on weapons systems that are saving lives today but with such high security clearances that I dared not get treated for fear of losing my career:

When my disorders became life threatening, the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs for the State of Minnesota, Clark Dyrud, stepped in and saw to it that I was entered into the VA System for treatment in Minneapolis. It saved my life and I am now in complete recovery and functioning as a volunteer for SCORE, as well as authoring books and blogging the world.

When I was in the VA system I was amazed at how well it functioned and how state of the art it is for its massive mission. Below is a feature article from Time Magazine which does a good job of explaining why it is a class act:,9171,1376238,00.html

I had state of the art medical and mental care, met some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever seen and was cared for by a handful of very special nurses among the 60,000 + nursing population that make up that mammoth system. While I was resident at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis I observed many returnees from Iraq getting excellent care.

I do not say the VA system is perfect but it is certainly being run better on a $39B budget than the Pentagon is running on $494B.


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