The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

No simple solution in sight.

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National Public Radio is running a series on veterans with "other than honorable discharges."

In addition to being fascinating and the kind of solid reporting I expect from this news agency, this morning's report raised a really major issue. I give you an example:

Veteran A and Veteran B are identical in every aspect in their service record except for one thing. I do mean identical, straight down the line.

That one exception: A was convicted of DUI while in the service and given a dishonorable discharge,

B was convicted of DUI after leaving the military on an honorable discharge.

Sole difference. Period.

Both these veterans' legal trouble has been traced right back to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Everyone, and I do mean everyone, agrees PTSD is at fault. Even you agree, for the sake of this discussion anyway.

B can receive no charge treatment from the Veterans Administration. A cannot receive treatment at the VA.

Why? A has a dishonorable discharge.

Really? Yes.

What's the solution here? The simple one is that both get treatment.

However, since we're dealing with human beings who must be handled by human beings, there is no simple solution. While in the above scenario, everyone agrees, real life steadfastly refuses to conform to our wishes. In real life, A apparently gets the short end of the stick.

You may find this intolerable. I remind you, again, this is reality.

What can we do? Damfino.

Who will decide whether a less than honorable discharge is PTSD related? For every "expert" you find to say it is PTSD, I bet I can find one who says it is not. Who ya gonna believe?

While this wrangling over who can help A is taking place, B is getting help. A gets worse. B gets better,

I just ain't got a simple solution to this one. I really wish I did.

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