When College and Young Republicans are Pussies
The Hartford Courant reports:
Since 2003, the military has increasingly sent, kept and recycled troubled troops into combat - practices that undercut its assurances of improvements. Besides causing suicides, experts say, gaps in mental health care can cause violence between soldiers, accidents and critical mistakes in judgment during combat operations.
Military experts and advocates point to recruiting shortfalls and intense wartime pressure to maintain troop levels as reasons more service members with psychiatric problems are being deployed to the war zone and kept there.
"What you have is a military stretched so thin, they've resorted to keeping psychologically unfit soldiers at the front," said Stephen Robinson, the former longtime director of the National Gulf War Resource Center. "It's a policy that can do an awful lot of damage over time."
And the Pentagon knows this:
Col. Elspeth Ritchie, the top psychiatry expert for the Army surgeon general, said that while the Army is reviewing the 2005 suicides as a way to gauge its mental health efforts, "suicide rates go up and down, and we expect some variation."
Ritchie said the mental health of troops remains a priority as the war enters its fourth year. But she also acknowledged that some practices, such as sending service members diagnosed with PTSD back into combat, have been driven in part by a troop shortage.
"The challenge for us ... is that the Army has a mission to fight. And as you know, recruiting has been a challenge," she said. "And so we have to weigh the needs of the Army, the needs of the mission, with the soldiers' personal needs."
At least three soldiers who killed themselves since the war began were deployed despite serious mental conditions, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The military relies increasingly on antidepressants, some with potentially dangerous side effects, to keep troops with known psychological problems in the war zone.
The handful of widely publicized recruiting improprieties of citizens with serious mental conditions is the tip of the iceberg. These cases featured previously diagnosed disqualifying conditions and relatives who cared enough to badger the MSM into doing its job.
Even gift-wrapping a story and presenting it on a silver platter won't necessarily make the MSM, or political leadership, actually care.
They don't personally know anyone wearing the uniform, so why should they?