Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What if this was YOUR soldier? After combat service, in THIS economy?

MSC's Soldier Advocacy Group is in the process of trying to help Sgt. Boyle (see article below). The Department of Defense recognizes that PTSD (and TBI) causes what it calls "disinhibatory" behavior in combat veterans--which frequently manifests itself as post-deployment misconduct. It further recommends that Commanders refer soldiers exhibiting this behavior be referred to a Medical Evaluation Board for a medical discharge from the Army, if possible (as opposed to being administratively discharged).

Soldiers with PTSD are at a higher risk for suicide, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, partner violence, and homelessness. Soldiers who are given a general discharge are not guaranteed VA benefits, particularly those who are discharged for "patterns of misconduct."

Could you imagine if your spouse returned from combat and was suddenly discharged from the military and you and your family were left with no benefits and your soldier was not guaranteed medical and mental health treatment from the VA? And on top of that, he or she had to pay back, potentially, thousands of dollars for a re-enlistment or enlistment bonus?

Congress could direct the DoD to explain why it acknowledges that PTSD (as well as Traumatic Brain Injuries) causes misconduct while simultaneously administratively discharging soldiers diagnosed with PTSD for misconduct. It could direct the DoD to change its regulations to close this loophole. Congress has not.

Please call or email or send this article to your Senator or U.S. Representative and ask them to end the DoD's Misconduct Catch-22. (Find your federal representatives at

PTSD victim booted for 'misconduct'

By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jan 7, 2009 12:55:53 EST

After serving two tours in Iraq — tours filled with killing enemy combatants and watching close friends die — Sgt. Adam Boyle, 27, returned home expecting the Army to take care of him.

Instead, service member advocates and Boyle's mother say his chain of command in the 3rd Psychological Operations Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C., worked to end his military career at the first sign of weakness.

In October, a medical evaluation board physician at Bragg recommended that Boyle go through the military disability retirement process for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder — which is supposed to automatically earn him at least a 50 percent disability retirement rating — as well as for chronic headaches. The doctor also diagnosed Boyle with alcohol abuse and said he was probably missing formations due to the medications doctors put him on to treat his PTSD.

But in December, Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, signed an order forcing Boyle out on an administrative discharge for a "pattern of misconduct," and ordering that the soldier pay back his re-enlistment bonus.

Last year, after a number of troops diagnosed with PTSD were administratively forced out for "personality disorders" following combat deployments, the Defense Department changed its rules: The pertinent service surgeon general now must sign off on any personality-disorder discharge if a service member has been diagnosed with PTSD.

"Not even a year later, they're pushing them out administratively for 'pattern of misconduct,' " said Carissa Picard, an attorney and founder of Military Spouses for Change, a group created in response to the personality-disorder cases. "I'm so angry. We're seeing it all the time. And it's for petty stuff."

In Boyle's case, according to Picard and Boyle's mother, Laura Curtiss, the soldier had gotten in trouble for missing morning formations and for alcohol-related incidents such as fighting and public drunkenness.

"The whole thing is absurd to me," Picard said. "They acknowledge that PTSD causes misconduct, and then they boot them out for misconduct."
Please read the rest of the story here:

As always, your ally in change,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am in the Army too I am a women I have a son he is two. I have been deployed I have taken verbal abuse from NCOs and Officers whom expect all these soldiers they abuse to defend them. I have not been diagnosed with PTSD yet but I do know that I came across this article by mistake, but everything happens for a reason, and Miss you are not alone when you hope for a change. For the past four years I have came across thousands of people going thru the same thing. AND ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE..... not now but...RIGHT NOW!

The Mac