If you think the Walter Reed scandal was bad

If you think the Walter Reed scandal was bad…

I read an article in the Nation tonight that talks about the rash of military discharges of wounded Iraq war veterans, in order, it seems to save the VA money on benefits.

The article, How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits, by Joshua Kors, highlights a previously unreported practice of discharging wounded soldiers as having a personality disorder, which happens to be one of the ways a soldier can be discharged and not be eligible for any future benefits.

The article highlighted the case of Jon Town, from Findlay, Ohio, who was seriously wounded, in 2004, when a rocket slammed into a wall 2 feet above his head. Since then he has suffered from deafness, memory failure and depression. In 2006 it was determined that he would never recover enough to go back to active duty.

But instead of sending Town to a medical board and discharging him because of his injuries, doctors at Fort Carson, Colorado, did something strange: They claimed Town’s wounds were actually caused by a “personality disorder.” Town was then booted from the Army and told that under a personality disorder discharge, he would never receive disability or medical benefits.

Town is not alone. A six-month investigation has uncovered multiple cases in which soldiers wounded in Iraq are suspiciously diagnosed as having a personality disorder, then prevented from collecting benefits. The conditions of their discharge have infuriated many in the military community, including the injured soldiers and their families, veterans’ rights groups, even military officials required to process these dismissals.

They say the military is purposely misdiagnosing soldiers like Town and that it’s doing so for one reason: to cheat them out of a lifetime of disability and medical benefits, thereby saving billions in expenses.

How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits

Not only did Town lose his disability pay or chance to receive long-term VA medical care, but he left the Army actually owing $3000 when they took back his $15,000 bonus.

The article reports that up to 22,500 soldiers have been discharged for a “personality disorder” in the past 6 years with a sharp increase since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The US once again shafts veterans.

Snow Emergencies – An Update

While checking out the stats on who has been visiting my blog and what they have been reading I noticed I had over 700 hits yesterday and other 500 today. It is the most visits I have had on this blog EVER. The most popular article is one I wrote in 2005 about Snow Emergencies here in Ohio.(check out A Level 3 snow emergency, doesn’t necessarily mean employees must stay home)

The reason that article is popular is because yesterday Ohio was hit with its largest snow storm since 2004 when we got hit with snow, ice, and then more snow. The article was about Hancock county leaders and business owners having a conference to complain about employees using a called Level 3 Snow Emergency to ditch work. The government leaders told the business owners that while a Level 3 means not to drive on the roads – they wouldn’t interfere with businesses that forced workers to drive in it to make it to work.

The employees think that an absence caused by complying with an order not to be on the roads should not count against them at work for missing time. Business leaders are worried about losing money if they have to close down because they don’t have enough staff to work. Hancock government leaders sided with the businesses and said even though the order was to stay off the road, law enforcement wouldn’t arrest people who did. They would only act if the driver caused an accident or impeded emergency workers from doing their jobs. The penalty would be no worse than a ticket depending on the seriousness of the action.

Today, a reader sent me a note that said:

I have more questions about these “Level 3 Snow emergencies”. They’re on the radio now saying that anyone on the roads will be arrested. They’re saying that any business that refuses to close will be issued a citation.

How can they do that? When were the police given such broad powers to ignore our right to work and earn a living? What law exists that gives the police such huge powers to prohibit legal commerce? How can this possibly be constitutional. Just because they have a gun doesn’t mean they’re god!

The answer is that police have powers to protect order and the health and safety of citizens. If you being on the roads during a severe snow storm interferes with any of those duties then they can arrest you if that is what is called for by your actions.

If they have to take the time to pull you out of a ditch then that is personnel and time you take away from someone who might really need help somewhere else.

Or if you are on a road that provides the only access to area and you have an accident that blocks that road. You might prevent another person from getting prompt medical care because you just had to earn a living.

The general rule about such powers is asking if the power is reasonable given the circumstances. I think for a Level 3 snow emergency – arresting offenders is a reasonable police power.

Welcome readers of HCPU

I decided to merge the topic of Hancock County Politics Unfiltered, a blog I started 3 years ago, to comment on issues and events happening in my hometown of Findlay and Hancock County, into Doug’s Views as of today.

I don’t live there any more and I found it extremely hard to create posts on a regular basis. In fact the last post before today was about the Super Bowl back in February.

Posts related to Findlay or Hancock county will be found under those categories and tags. Past posts won’t be merged into this blog as of now. I need to find an easy way to do that. Until then you can find them on the old blog at