In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Are we taking care of our veterans when they return from combat?

I read today about a report that the secretary of defense is due to present to congress by March 2010 that will outline ways to improve the tracking of combat experience among service members that are typically in support roles. The goal of this is to update the DD-214 military forms, discharge papers, for military personnel so that service members who have seen combat are not being denied benefits for combat-related ailments when they return.

The biggest issue that prompted this action is that women service members are not having their combat experiences noted and are then being denied care by providers who assume they have not been in combat situations. The associated press has an interesting article today that ran in several newspapers about the unique struggles women are encountering when they are returning from combat.

Apparently, back in July 2009, Senator Murray introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 that required the Pentagon to begin studying ways to note on military records when service members who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been in combat situations. This action was motivated by the concern that many women are not having their combat experience noted and are therefor being denied needed services. The issue is that technically the Defense Department bars women from serving in assignments where the primary mission is to engage in direct ground combat. But because of the nature of the conflict in the middle east where there are no clear front lines, women end up in the middle of the action, in roles such as military police officers, pilots, drivers and gunners on convoys. Yahoo reported today that, in addition to the 120-plus deaths, more than 650 women have been wounded in the ongoing war.

It breaks my heart to think of any veteran who has served our country being denied the healthcare he or she needs as a result of injuries sustained while serving our country.

Do you, or anyone you know, have experiences with receiving the health care services needed upon returning from combat? Were those experiences good or bad?


Denise said...

Bless you for caring about our veterans.

Andrea said...

NO we are NOT taking care of our veterans as we should..especially their health care. I could give many examples, but I do not have those people's permission, but let's just say I have first hand knowledge of the fact we are not doing the job we should be.
Blessings, andrea

Tony C said...

I have to say as a veteran I have received top notch care at my local VA. It is odd that I don't see many females there for care though. Come to think of it, in the 6 years I've been going there, I've can only recall two.

I hope this is fixed ASAP. A veteran isn't defined by gender, religion or political belief...just service.

Thanks for helping bring light to this Tracy.

RCUBEs said...

How about so many homeless who are veterans? There are so many of them not getting the proper care they need...Despite the many claims of illnesses from those who served in Operation Desert Shield and Storm in the 90's, including their families, still there was no consideration that the medications the soldiers took might have caused such symptoms. They took some pills that were supposed to help them ward off any effects from chemical weapons. May God bring light into this and have our veterans, no matter what gender, be able to get the help that they deserve. Blessings.

GCT said...

I agree that veterans are not getting the care they need. They should receive the best care we can should all of our people.

I read an interesting article a couple weekends ago in a local paper about a guy who served and is now writing a book about it. What he said was that basically if anyone goes over there and doesn't come back with some sort of PTSD, then that's probably an indication that something else is wrong with the person. IOW, unless you're a sociopath, it's virtually impossible not to be negatively affected by what's going on over there on a regular basis.

David-FireAndGrace said...

Read this thread as suggestion from your Memorial Day post.

My nephew, a gunner, received excellent care for a serious leg injury in Iraq, Germany and then at Ft. Lewis.

Emotionally he was sort of a tough guy going in. He seems to have faired well in spite of the action. I am not seeing PTSD - he is looking forward to going back.

The mental health care on the other hand is not so good. Addiction PTSD and other forms of illness rob our soldiers from regular lives.

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