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.
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.