Letters to the Editor

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PTSD: Focus on facts, not political correctness

Letter by Greg Kidwell, Puyallup on Feb. 22, 2012 at 9:12 am with 7 Comments »
February 22, 2012 9:13 am

We can look at Madigan Army Medical Center’s handling of post-traumatic stress disorder cases as two polarized truths: Madigan diabolically plots to rob deserving soldiers of their PTSD disability and anyone involved will dearly pay for their collusion; or that some soldiers claiming PTSD do not actually have the condition and do not deserve a disability and anyone voicing such a politically incorrect view will get hurt.

Regardless of what really needs to be addressed – the PTSD process – political correctness trumps all else. In this setting, good people trying to do the right thing are often made into throwaway casualties by those benefiting from a public demonstration of their “caring.”

The facts are that PTSD is a real psychological condition, but PTSD is also very easily contrived and milked for financial gain. There are plenty of military careerist, brown-nosers and politicians eager to use such opportunities to stomp down anyone daring to objectively question this easily manipulated system.

And when there is an inappropriate PTSD diagnosis, a years-long diversion of disability dollars flows into an undeserving pocket. In this environment, who feels safe to openly discuss the process?

Don’t be too hasty to join the public bleating of those more interested in politically correctness than in a substantive, factual discussion without public fanfare and drama.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. I am glad there is an ongoing investigation to discover the actual facts. The main thing that disturbs me so far based on media reporting is the process of administrative decisions to deny claims by overturning physician diagnoses by people who never actually treat or examine the individual, or without getting a second opinion or asking the treating physician to review the diagnosis.

    This tactic is used also by the Social Security Administration where a huge percentage of disability claims are first denied. However, the SSA has a well-defined appeal procedure, and over 90% of denied claims that are appealed are ultimately awarded. In almost all cases there are periodic reviews to determine if a person continues to be disabled.

    Madigan did not seem to have an effective or fair appeal procedure, and the service does not seem to have periodic reviews to determine continued eligibility, so the pressure is on to make sure the fewest cases possible make it through the first round.

    I am not sure where your fear of “PC-ness” comes in, but I haven’t seen it so far.

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    At any rate, it’s too bad a long serving Officer is losing his career over this….

  3. Who is losing his career over this? You think command is lying when they say he is just being placed on temporary duties while an investigation is being conducted means loss of a career if the investiation shows he did nothing wrong?

  4. Actually, it appears that Kidwell is utilizing the term PC in an unbiased manner such that “Politically Correct” identifies language, behavior, etc. that CYAs(cover your a__) within a SPECIFIC situation. Clearly what is PC in one environment is not PC in another one.

    The letter is a little less than clear however – I can’t tell exactly what his point is. Perhaps if I had closely followed the story I would be able to fill in the gaps.

  5. ReadNLearn says:

    Odd thing…one uncle lost his tank in Normandy and got shot up in the Battle of the Bulge. Carried shrapnel they couldn’t get until he died. Another one served in Saipan and in a submarine. They both told me the same thing, the ones who developed ‘combat fatigue’ were weak to begin with and they themselves didn’t have the time or luxury for self pity, they had families to raise when them came back.

    OK, give every one of them that wants it PTSD, but cross index it with firearms records. They want to claim PTSD, well, that means they’re severely mentally and emotionally disabled. They should lose their gun rights.

  6. beerBoy, the online military community chat boards have a majority of comments calling people who have been given and accepted a diagnosis of PTSD just shorthand or PC for actually being a “coward” or at least a faker who is trying to get out of duty.

    I think the letter writer acknowledges that there may be a few legitimate cases, but many are faking it. This is at least a much more reasonable opinion than most I read on several sites where military personnel post comments.

  7. ReadNLearn says:

    You got it…

    One thing I noted about those claiming PTSD (as opposed to the actual pathological effects of a near explosion that disrupts fluid in the brain) is they weren’t that good to begin with. In the 1980’s following the growth and development of the PTSD theory in several programs some former combat arms leaders noted that the majority of PTSD claims came from individual who weren’t even in heavy combat. We’ve changed and foisted this upon everyone so some will give in and believe themselves to be so affected they can’t function, and therefore need a check, whereas men use to adjust and move on in life because it wasn’t acceptable.

    Create a disease or a condition and they will come…

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