Thursday, April 17, 2008

fallout

not that it hasn't been in the back of my mind, if not the forefront, but this article & this one only served to elucidate my feelings.
i guess i've known for quite some time that the va sucks in treating veterans properly. this point was brought home to me probably as much as two decades ago by an elderly neighbor who served in wwii as a decoder (sorry, not sure of the correct terminology. she decoded both messages announcing v-e day & v-j day, along with many, many more, i'm sure. she had plenty of health issues, severe asthma particulary, and she had to travel 200 miles to get to the state va every time she actually had an appointment. considering she was in her 70s then, it made things incredibly difficult.
now our veterans who've served in iraq & afghanistan are getting screwed over, even if they make it back. if they're not suffering from some physical injuries (from loss of limb to hearing loss), a huge percentage have mental health issues (ptsd, depression) that need to be treated as seriously as any physical ailment. according to the article more than 300,000 vets & only about half have sought help. i know this from personal experience with both my brother & s. my brother would never admit to any kind of stress. he's just that kind of tough guy. i don't even know half of the stories that my parents do about his time in iraq & i'm sure that's only a fraction of what horrors he actually experienced. in s' case, he's been on antidepressants for over a year and sees a psychiatrist for therapy monthly. the nice little chart of symptoms for ptsd states: "feeling numb & loss of interest in relationships & activities, feeling on edge, getting angry easily, having a hard time sleeping, and overreacting when startled" and for traumatic brain injury: "changes in mood & behavior, trouble remembering & concentrating"
huh, doesn't sound familiar at all to me. nope, i don't know anyone to whom that applies.
i'm so glad that s is getting the treatment that he needs, but other veterans are having trouble finding therapists who will be compensated by their insurance. i imagine that this doesn't help keep the suicide rates down if it takes months to find someone to counsel you.
healthcare in general is abysmal, but we need to do more. the government needs to do more. i just wish i knew what that were.

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2 Comments:

At 4/17/08, 11:20 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said...

Yeah, watching the news tonight I started crying at the PTSD vets. So freaking SAD!!

 
At 4/21/08, 4:39 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Good thing the Bush administration repeatedly cut health benefits for veterans. I mean, if people aren't going to seek treatment for their ailments, why should we allocate money towards it?

Sigh. I am praying that we see real change in November because I truly fear for the future of this nation if we don't make a dramatic change in course.

 

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