New Report Raps Military On Mental Health

The Army routinely deployed injured soldiers, including those with serious psychological problems, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and “exacerbated the medical and mental health conditions of countless soldiers and veterans” by flouting screening processes and disregarding medical restrictions, a new report by anti-war veterans’ groups alleges. The report — which relies on lengthy testimonies of 31 active-duty troops and veterans of Fort Hood, Texas, taken in 2012 and 2013 — also cites the “rampant over-prescription of psychotropic medications” without proper medication management, and frequent prescribing without accompanying diagnoses. The testimonies, timed for release on Memorial Day, were collected by Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Civilian Soldier Alliance and Under the Hood Café and Outreach Center. They highlight two key concerns: That soldiers were kept in the military despite trauma and injuries, and more recently, that soldiers have been discharged from the military unfairly and denied benefits. “As swiftly as soldiers were required to re-deploy to combat operations irrespective of their medical needs when forces required, the Army has drawn down its forces by strategically discharging soldiers irrespective of ongoing treatment needs and justified service benefits,” the report says.

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