Treating our Troops

Nine U.S. senators asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate how the Defense Department treats troops with mental health problems returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Senator Bernie Sanders and the others voiced concern that the military may be minimizing war-related post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems. They want a review of how the Pentagon screens returning troops.

Nine U.S. senators asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate how the Defense Department treats troops with mental health problems returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Senator Bernie Sanders and the others voiced concern that the military may be minimizing war-related post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems. They want a review of how the Pentagon screens returning troops. There have been news reports of instances when soldiers were discouraged from seeking mental health care, and the American Psychological Association has faulted the level of care afforded troops and their families by the military's understaffed and ill-coordinated mental health care system."We have also heard of cases in which service members with PTSD are diagnosed as having 'personality disorders' that the Army considers 'pre-existing,' thus depriving otherwise eligible combat veterans of disability benefits and much-needed mental health care," the senators wrote in a letter to the GAO."The men and women who put their lives on the line for this country deserve the best care we can provide," Sanders said. "What has been revealed about Defense Department health care is a disgrace that needs to be addressed. We need to find out whether there is a concerted effort by the Defense Department to shortchange our soldiers and veterans who are in need of mental health care and other benefits they have earned."In addition to Sanders, the senators seeking the study are Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Kit Bond of Missouri, Barbara Boxer of California, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington state , and Barack Obama of Illinois.Read more about the issue in The Nation: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=272773Read the full letter from the senators to the Government Accountability Office.