Friday, June 15, 2007

Bush's Treatment of Soldiers

The President who launched a pre-emptive war remains unprepared to take care of the soldiers sent to battle with a dangerous enemy. CBS News reported on the Pentagon's woeful response to the massive mental health needs of returning soldiers. This comes on top of an earlier story regarding Tricare's lack of mental health providers in large sections of America.

Recall the President's words in 2005:

"In every generation, members of our Armed Forces have answered the call of service in our Nation's hour of need. These patriots have defended our freedom and way of life, triumphed over brutal enemies, and answered the prayers of millions."

Yes they have, Mr. President. As a result of that call 31 percent of Marines, 38 percent of soldiers and 49 percent of the National Guard reported psychological symptoms such as anger, depression or alcohol abuse after returning home. So what has the Bush administration done to meet this need?

According to the Pentagon survey on mental illness, there have been "dramatic decreases in the number of military health professionals" since the war started. And perhaps the most damning finding: The Pentagon "currently lacks both funding and personnel to adequately support the psychological health of service members and their families."

Add their unwillingness to pay counselors in the private sector a fair rate and soldiers have little option. Most will simply go without. Welcome to the future of Bush healthcare in America.

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