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Topic : 12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

Number of Replies: 399
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Created on : Thursday, December 11, 2008, 02:55:31 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Military men and women are true American heroes who spill their blood fighting for our freedoms. But are we doing all we can as a nation to honor our contract with these warriors? When a soldier survives war, oftentimes he/she comes home and to face a different battle. Dr. Phil's guests are vets who say they've returned from the front lines only to fight a medical system bureaucracy that is failing them. Randy was severely injured during an ambush while deployed in Iraq. His mother, Tammy, says the military lied to him, and used him, and that Randy was eventually lost in the system. She says getting any help from Veterans Affairs is a struggle with minimal results. Dr. Phil introduces this wounded warrior to two special people who want to make his life better. Next, Jerry says he got a "raw deal" when he returned from Iraq, and he's struggling with what he believes to be Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His wife says Jerry is angry and violent, and she's afraid of him. You won't believe what they say Veterans Affairs advised Jerry to do to cope with his suicidal thoughts. Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran's Affairs, Congressman Bob Filner, and FOX News military analyst Colonel David Hunt passionately share their opinions about health care for veterans. Then, Kevin and Joyce say their son came home from Iraq a changed man. They say they tried to get him help for what they believed was severe PTSD, but it didn't come in time. And, Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs and Paul Rieckhoff, Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, weigh in on the cases. If you're an American, this is your call to arms to step up and help turn things around for the men and women in uniform. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 19, 2008, 1:58 pm CST

Snow ball's chance in hell...

of changing the VA. I got out in 1990 and have dealt with service related depression ever since. The big joke is you can't get the drugs you need. They have a one or two page list of medications you can get, half the list is vitamin supplements. I have had to change drugs over the years and I have taken just about every SSRI that exists. I currently take Cymbalta and need to change again. I don't even go through the VA anymore because I don't want to take up a slot that a young soldier coming back may need plus I can't get the name brand meds I need anyway.

 

In the early years when I did go to the VA, I was misdiagnosed with manic depression (with a terrifying experience taking Lithium) and was even told that I was a novelty because they didn't have many women come through there.

 

Even my husband has dibilitating, degenerative disks in his back and at his last review, they touched his back (that was the entire examination) and 8 weeks later he received a letter saying his back was no worse than when he was medically discharged almost 10 years ago. The man takes a handful of pills every day to deal with the pain. There's a big thank you for his 12 years of service.

 

This topic has been a long, sore subject for disabled vets for a long time. It took a war to magnify the problem. We already know something is wrong, it's just getting someone to give us the care we need, not just a generic pat on the back and a form letter.

 
December 19, 2008, 1:58 pm CST

BEYOUND THE FRONT LINES

Quote From: eschenck

Obviously the funding for the care of these wounded veterans is imperative.

 

The U.S. finds plenty of billions to send to Africa, Wall Street, etc., however we owe

a huge debt to these troops and must beef up our system to properly and

immediately serve those who served us.

 

Money is only a portion of the answer.  The caregivers need respite too.

 

 

  STUPID GREED AN WASTE OF BRAIN POWER HAS DISHONORED US ALL

 BUT IT IS DISGUSTING HOW OUR SOLDERS AN THEIR FAMILIES HAVE BEEN PUSHED ASIDE

 LIKE USELESS GARBAGE,,,,I AM ALSO ENRAGED,AN HAVE BEEN EVER SINCE THE INFORMATION

 IS GETTING OUT TO THE PUBLIC,,,,WE MUST HONOR OUR SOLDERS WITH THE VERY BEST CARE

ALWAYS.... STOP... THE STUPID WASTE SOME HOW ,DONATE TO OUR SOLDIERS NOW,IF YOU KNOW ONE GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO HELP AN THANK THEM EVERYDAY OF YOUR LIFE,,,THEY DESERVE SO MUCH MORE THAN A SALUTE.....GOD HELP US IF WE CAN NOT DO OUR VERY BEST FOR OUR HERO'S

IN SHORT I AGREE WE MUST BAIL OUT OUR HERO'S,GET IT, OUR HERO'S,,, WHAT REALLY MATTERS,,,

 IS OUR AMERICAN HERO'S NOW AN ALWAYS,,,OUR HERO'S

 
December 19, 2008, 1:59 pm CST

PTSD treatment in Austin TX

 I know how it feels from both sides. I have PTSD and my fiance has it. He is in the Texas National Guard and stationed here in Austin,TX. The capital of our state and even here the VA doesn't do anything. They have over the past two years have treated Shawn for allergies and biometric preasure on his sinus cavity is the reason why he can't stay asleep, have panick attacks, has severe depression.

 

He is not the same person he was before going in to his now third deployment. He is going through his mind how he can get back to the person he was. With the National Guard there is no training for them what so ever. They go to be solider mode to there you go pat on the back and right into civilian life. NO assistance.

 

Recently the 36th out of Mabry was ordered to deploy only because these guys literally answered the phone and went to the huricane relief in Galveston. LIterally a car pasted by they asked what unit they where and a week later everyone had orders to go. The medical evaluations automatically wouldnt let half of them go due to PTSD or related symptoms. Little secret half these guys dont have it listed on paperwork but they are all on antidepresants and in some form of treatment for PTSD.

 

Then three weeks later at Stewart, GA ...34% of the unit then got knocked back due to PTSD and once more the dirty little secret once more popped up. But even now it is in amazement that Shawn and a few other guys are still sent back knowing they are at a severe state.

 

He was on a list to go to see a Pschytrist to actually address his trauma and he was told the first available date would be 6mths later and then there they just gave him nasal spray and same meds he has been on that from my point of view he has gotten numb to. The next appointment then was scheduled for another 6mths later .  They rather put people in group therapy which quite frankly a bunch of hard core soliders in a group told to hold hands and sing cum bi ya isnt going to make it all ok.

 

WHAT THE HELL ...did anyone not learn from Vietman? WE have hundreds of thousand of vets homeless and mentaly ill bacause no one was there to help. 

 

Put aside your political beliefs and adgendas and we all need to stand up to our constitution like we military have done for over 200 years. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT AND IF WE WANT TO FIX THIS MESS WE NEED TO ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES AND DO IT !!!

 

 

 
December 19, 2008, 1:59 pm CST

VA Messes Up

While watching today's show I became extremely angry!  My late husband lost both legs in Vietnam and lived the next 35 years struggling with the effects of not only the loss of his legs but other health problems from the war. For the most part, he was treated fairly well by the VA. There some problems, and when these came up, he didn't take it lying down! He was loud and at times he could be a pest the VA didn't want to deal with. Please VETERANS, DO NOT quit!! Make a pest of yourselves!!  Write your Congressman or Senators. It can work! The last time we had a problem our Senator had it cleared up within three weeks!

 

Our veterans deserve the best! Nothing less!

 

We do however need to get rid of the phony claims that some try and sneak in which results in less care for those who truly need and deserve care. Make no mistake about it. The phony's are out there taking advantage of the system.  This kind of fraud has always been around. This also makes me so mad I can't see! 

 

I want to see our vets receiving the respect and care they so deserve.

 
December 19, 2008, 2:01 pm CST

My Army son has PTSD

My son returned from Iraq several months ago.  He is having difficulty and did score high on the exam for PTSD. So, the Army turns around and gives him Percosets for some issues he is having with prostrate.

Does this make sense?  He was drinking, taking Percosets...and just returned from Iraq.  He is a time bomb and I can do nothing.  He is going through a divorce because he scared his wife.  And now, they are going to send him back to Iraq in the Spring. If I say anything, I ruin his career.  If I do not say anything, I may lose my son.  Of course, he does not want me to but at this point, is he really thinking straight. I have four children and both my sons serve in the military. I was a military wife for 15 years and my Father, was a retired Master Sargeant. So military ways are not knew to me but to give a young man of 23 ...percosets, knowing that he has PTSD, is this not crazy?

 

A Very concerned mom...

 
December 19, 2008, 2:02 pm CST

12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

Quote From: freedomforall

Lets require all politicians 1 year before they run for office to live a middle class life style with middle class pay, use middle class schools and VA hospitals. Maybe then we would see some real changes!
YABBAA DABBA DOOOOOO-NOW THATS AN IDEA
 
December 19, 2008, 2:02 pm CST

Heartbreaking, but true

I have seen this kind of treatment of our Veterans all too often.  Tammy Duckworth is one of the most inspiring women I have ever seen, and I was glad to see her on your show.  What she did for Vets of the state of Illinois is what needs to be done for every Vet in this country.  IWAP is a model for each state to emulate, and I agree with you that we need her in Washington.

 

What you need to know, Dr. Phil, is that there is such a stigma attached to soldiers who seek psychiatric treatment.  They can pretty much kiss making any further rank goodbye.  It's okay to seek drug and alcohol tx, no stigma attached to that.  Rehab and move on up the ranks.  That is why so many soldiers turn to drugs and alcohol.

 

There is a Veteran in the small town in which I live that also needs help.  He needs physical therapy but the nearest VA is 120 mile round trip.  The state will not issue him a drivers license until his doctor says he is okay to drive, but he can't get to the doc unless he can drive.  It's a catch-22.  Friends and neighbors have volunteered to drive him to PT until he can get his license, but he should have been able to have PT a our local hospital.  It makes no sense.

 

The number of homeless vets in this state alone is horrendous.  This issue needs to be dealt with, also.  Thank-you for bringing our warriors plight to the public.  Every citizen in this country needs to know how they are being treated and step up to help make the necessary changes.

 

Proud Mother of 2 Warriors 

 
December 19, 2008, 2:03 pm CST

Sad stories that make angry and

the lack of interest on the part of the VA really bothered me!  And seems to me to be at the root of the problem.  The administration of the VA needs to get with it.  Instead of always being behind and get the agency an overhaul.  Hopefully with a new administration this agency can be one of the first to be overhauled.    These Americans deserve better!

 
December 19, 2008, 2:04 pm CST

12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

I have said it for years now...people on Welfare get treated better than our veterans.......I worked for a veterans organization as a VSO for yrs.  The process is hard but never..NEVER give up.  Veterans deserve better from the American people. I fought with VA about veterans claims and was able to single-handly win 4.5 million dollars in vets claims.  This money was the veterans...I never asked for a dime, my pay was a not-for-profit grant. FIGHT is all we can do.
Lisa A.
Missouri
 
December 19, 2008, 2:05 pm CST

This is not anecdotal

and it is not new to these wars.

 

My brother is a victim of the VA system and has been for 15 years.  To this day, they will not diagnose him PTSD and he clearly has PTSD.  Getting an appointment can take 6 weeks, for just about any reason.  His wife has the same problems with getting appointments for herself as she is a veteran too.  The VA system is fragmented and failing.  To hear the response from the VA stating their system is one of the best in the country, is infuriating.  It is absolutely not true.

 
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