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PTSS and Military Discharges

This is the sort of story that makes me so angry that I want to hope it’s not really true. Fortunately, it appears a couple of senators with some substance are on the case, and hopefully will get to the bottom of this and hold some people’s feet to the fire as appropriate.

According to an AP Report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (HT: Thoughts from the Heart on the Left):

After two combat tours in Iraq on a “quick reaction team” that picked up body parts after suicide bombings, Donald Schmidt began suffering from nightmares and paranoia. Then he had a nervous breakdown.

The military discharged Schmidt last Oct. 31 for problems they said resulted not from post-traumatic stress disorder but rather from a personality disorder that pre-dated his military service.

Assuming the facts are correct, I wouldn’t care if he did have a pre-existing condition. After two combat tours the military should be taking care of him.

Amongst those in congress who are moving to take action, Senators [tag]Barack Obama[/tag], Senator [tag]Christopher Bond[/tag] are investigating this in the Senate, and Rep [tag]Bob Filner[/tag] in the house.

Please read the whole St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. It has more information and the Pentagon’s response, which thus far doesn’t impress me.

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  1. Henry,
    Thanks for the Hat Tip. I have posted on my blog a copy of the letter that we sent to our Congressman, Senators, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in response to this situation. We encourage everyone to do the same.

  2. I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. I believed another Vietnam could be avoided with defined missions and the best armaments in the world.

    It made no difference.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:


    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

    For more details see:


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