Monday, December 11, 2006

Army Still Sending Unfit Troops to Iraq

You may remember reading about the case of Staff Sgt. Bryce Syverson:
"Syverson, 27, had landed in the psychiatric unit at Walter Reed after a breakdown that doctors traced to his 15-month tour in Iraq as a gunner on a Bradley tank. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and was put on a suicide watch and antidepressants, according to his family. Today, Syverson is back in the combat zone, part of a quick-reaction force in Kuwait that could be summoned to Iraq at any time.

He got his deployment orders after being told he wasn't fit for duty.
He got his gun back after being told he was too unstable to carry a weapon."
Well it seems that the US army is still sending troops to Iraq that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Hartford Courant has the story of Damien Fernandez, who after being diagnosed with PTSD and rated 70% disabled by the US.
"When the FedEx letter from the Army arrived Nov. 28, he calmly told his mother and girlfriend, "I got my orders," staring hard at them with vacant eyes.

That night, he snapped. He told his girlfriend, Riella Darko, that he wanted to die and asked her to take him to the emergency room of St. Mary's Hospital, where he was placed on a suicide watch. He has since been transferred to a locked ward in the Northampton VA Medical Center in Massachusetts.

His callback orders have not yet been rescinded.

Fernandez is one of 8,262 soldiers who have left active duty but have been ordered back under a policy that allows the military to recall troops who have completed their service but have time remaining on their contracts. About 5,700 of those called up have already been mobilized, with Fernandez among about 2,500 ordered to report in the coming weeks."
Apparently, Fernandez is one of thousands of soldiers who have left active duty only to be ordered back under a policy that allows the military to recall troops who have any time remaining on their contract. On average a soldier will be on active duty for 2-6 years for an 8 year contract. Now it seems the US is pushing to get every minute possible out of soldiers, regardless of their condition.

Thanks to Mike over at Born at the Crest of the Empire for pointing me toward this article.

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