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We’ll look at the challenges facing veterans of the Iraq. We’ll speak with Iraq veterans Roy Scranton, co-editor of Fire and Forget, and Tegan Griffith, a participant in Iraq and Afghanistan’s Veterans of America “Storm the Hill” campaign.
Just wondering what one of the vets was talking about "moral problems." We often talk about veterans facing problems with PTSD. But do your guests think that we should be talking about "moral injury" as discussed in books like "Achilles in Vietnam" and "None of Us Were Like This Before." That seems like a issue that lots of veterrans are talking about.
Thanks for taking my question.
When my friend came back after his second deployment, things seemed fine for about six months. He got married, had his first child. But the VA refused to recognize/treat the head trauma he sustained from a blast. He was in constant pain, couldn't sleep, and of course was experiencing acute PTSD. He self medicated himself like many returning soldiers. He did receive disability because he broke his back over there but the head injury was never addressed. A few days after Christmas in 2009, he died of a heart attack at 37. His wife and child did not get death benefits or access to the GI bill because it was determined he did not die of an overdose but of a pre-existing heart condition (which should have excluded him from being able to re-enlist in the first place -- fought in the First Guld War). He had many demons when he came back and was overperscribed pain pills to try to cover it up. Maybe he would have known the pain he was experiencing that day was different if he wasn't so overly medicated.
The VA has recognized ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease - as an outcome to exposure to agent orange. They allow vets to apply to has their homes retrofit for their mounting disabilities. The VA's buraucracy, however, moves so slowly that the vet's presumed lifespan may not be long enough to enjoy the benefits of the reconstruction.The paperwork is unnecessarily tedious and verys slowly reviewed. It is difficult for the contractors involved, who are often footing the bill until the VA dollars come through, to cope.
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