Do you have one?
According to the DoD, if you served in any armed conflict you very well could. My brother, Road-Rage, surely has one. My nephew definitely has one. But the question is, what exactly is it? The short answer is “a bunch of bullshit”. The longer answer I heard on NPR yesterday.
Personality Disorder is DoD’s answer to “saving the gov’t money”. Essentially, any soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who feels they are suffering from PTSD or combat-related stress is given a psychological consultation upon the conclusion of serving in a combat zone. Many of you veterans from the Vietnam era probably remember this consultation with disdain. According to the interview, a diagnosis of PTSD requires numerous psychological and psychiatric appointments to put the serviceman/woman on the road to recovery. It also entails several months before said service-person can be medically discharged and given disability benefits through the Veterans Administration. However, a diagnosis of Personality Disorder requires just a couple visits with the Dr. and in a couple weeks your Unit Commander can have you discharged. Adios, amigo. No disability benefits at all. Depending on what caused you to be “singled out” by your commander, it could mean a total loss of ALL benefits.
As a veteran this kind of conduct by the Dept. of Defense as well as the VA has me seeing RED! This is an outrage and is further proof of the current Administration’s complete disdain for our troops. In fact, a House Veterans Affairs Committee reported similar findings:
In the last six years, the military has discharged over 22,500 service members due to Personality Disorders. The Committee found that once a service member is diagnosed with a Personality Disorder, he or she has a much more difficult time receiving benefits and treatment at the VA(my emphasis).
Service members discharged due to a Personality Disorder, rather than PTSD or some other mental health condition, are generally not provided military disability benefits because the military classifies Personality Disorders as existing prior to entry into military service(my emphasis).
The report goes on to say:
Joshua Kors, a journalist that been reporting on Personality Disorder for the last ten months, stated that a Personality Disorder discharge is a “contradiction in terms. Recruits who have a severe, pre-existing condition like a Personality Disorder do not pass the rigorous screening process and are not accepted into the Army.” Kors interviewed soldiers that passed the first screening and were accepted into the Army. “They were deemed physically and psychologically fit in a second screening as well, before being deployed to Iraq, and served honorably there in combat,” said Kors. “In each case, it was only when they came back physically or psychologically wounded and sought benefits that their pre-existing condition was discovered.”
The relaxed recruiting standards were just the beginning to undermining our military’s quality, reliability, and effectiveness. But this report surely spells it out in plain English that Bush could give a damn about our troops. Once again, it’s all about dollars and cents. How an Administration that claims to Support the Troops and then pull this kind of crap is beyond me. It’s shit like this that forces me, a proud Marine Corps veteran, to tell my son that I don’t want him joining the military at all. And it’s all because of they’re lying bastards, every last one of them.