by Michael Dymmoch
The Outfit prides itself on crime commentary, and mostly we confine our remarks to local or fictional violence and organized crime. But here’s a national crime that’s almost as stomach churning as Abu Ghraib:
Since 2001, according to a report by Bob Woodruff on ABC World News (July 12, 2007), 22,000 soldiers have been separated from the US military with a ‘Separation because of personality disorder’ discharge. The military defines personality disorder as a “deeply ingrained, maladaptive pattern of behavior." Because personality disorder is considered a pre-existing condition, soldiers so separated are ineligible for disability pay and benefits. EVEN SOME WHO SERVED TOURS IN COMBAT ZONES AND WERE TREATED BY THE MILITARY FOR POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER! Some of these folks were encouraged to reenlist before discharge, and were billed for return of their reenlistment bonuses when their disabilities prevented them from serving out second hitches. They will be branded for the rest of their lives with a resume that insures they’ll be discriminated against when applying for jobs and insurance.
This is how we support our troops!
If these soldiers really had previously existing personality disorders, the military had no business accepting them for service in the first place. If in fact they served without incident before suffering in combat, THEY DESERVE DISCHARGES THAT ENABLE THEM TO LIVE DECENTLY AFTERWARD. And they deserve veterans’ benefits.
And the geniuses who decided that abandoning veterans is a good way to trim the military’s bottom line, belong in the brig.
That’s my take. What’s yours?