U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness, a newspaper reported in its Sunday editions.So, basically, the only thing that can disqualify you from military service is The Gay. Age, intelligence, aptitude, mental stability, none of that matters. Come on, stop worrying about whether the gay troop is staring at your back - at least he's watching it.
Twenty-two U.S. troops committed suicide in Iraq last year. That number accounts for nearly one in five of all noncombat deaths and was the highest suicide rate since the war started, the newspaper said.
The paper reported that some service members who committed suicide in 2004 or 2005 were kept on duty despite clear signs of mental distress, sometimes after being prescribed antidepressants with little or no mental health counseling or monitoring. Those findings conflict with regulations adopted last year by the Army that caution against the use of antidepressants for "extended deployments."(snip)
Ritchie acknowledged that some deployment practices, such as sending service members diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome back into combat, have been driven in part by a troop shortage.(snip)
Maj. Andrew Efaw, a judge advocate general officer in the Army Reserves who handled trial defenses for soldiers in northern Iraq last year, said commanders don't want to send mentally ill soldiers into combat.
"But on the other hand, [the commander] doesn't want to send a message to his troops that if you act up, he's willing to send you home," Efaw said.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Let Them Eat Prozac
And I thought "Special Forces" meant something entirely different...