Spectacles, on Feb 20 2007, 08:29 AM, said:
Life beyond the hospital bed is a frustrating mountain of paperwork. The typical soldier is required to file 22 documents with eight different commands -- most of them off-post -- to enter and exit the medical processing world, according to government investigators. Sixteen different information systems are used to process the forms, but few of them can communicate with one another. The Army's three personnel databases cannot read each other's files and can't interact with the separate pay system or the medical recordkeeping databases.
The disappearance of necessary forms and records is the most common reason soldiers languish at Walter Reed longer than they should, according to soldiers, family members and staffers. Sometimes the Army has no record that a soldier even served in Iraq. A combat medic who did three tours had to bring in letters and photos of herself in Iraq to show she that had been there, after a clerk couldn't find a record of her service.
Shannon, who wears an eye patch and a visible skull implant, said he had to prove he had served in Iraq when he tried to get a free uniform to replace the bloody one left behind on a medic's stretcher. When he finally tracked down the supply clerk, he discovered the problem: His name was mistakenly left off the "GWOT list" -- the list of "Global War on Terrorism" patients with priority funding from the Defense Department.
He brought his Purple Heart to the clerk to prove he was in Iraq.
Lost paperwork for new uniforms has forced some soldiers to attend their own Purple Heart ceremonies and the official birthday party for the Army in gym clothes, only to be chewed out by superiors.
Unbelievable. Why hasn't anyone done anything to streamline communications and improve efficiency? That alone would go a long way toward solving some of these problems. Certainly, the needs of the wounded would be tended to more promptly.
As for the rest of the article, I agree with Cait. It makes me sick.
Welcome to my world. The world where it is not unusual to be chewed out by a "superior" for something the "superior" failed to fix. The world where I can camp at the beach and see a fellow veteran and say hi and incur the wrath of the hostile young man who turns out to be her son because he's suspicious of how I know his mom and it's all because I'm camping but they're living at the beach. The world where young people have the same thousand yard stare that the veterans of my generation had, but even though we know what to do for them now, it's not getting done. The world where you're screwed if you fail to complete and turn in paperwork nobody bothered to tell you you needed to complete and turn in, and wouldn't have given you the forms for if they had. The world where the rules keep shifting to keep you from getting the health care you need, and your brain is already overwhelmed from the post-traumatic stress that's shifting from acute to chronic as you fail to get that health care in a timely manner, if at all.
This has been reported before, at least in veterans' publications. It's been going on as long as troops have been coming home sick and injured, and Disabled American Veterans, the VFW and the rest of the service organizations are not getting through to the administration, because the administration simply does not care.
A hopeful note. When this began, I posted that I had volunteered to be a peer counselor. We were then told, quite rudely, that we would not be needed. Newly disabled veterans, the ones who made it through all the hoops, were segregated into their own groups and told not to listen to older veterans, we were all losers and troublemakers. Well, the commander of Camp Pendleton has invited older veterans with PTSD to talk to the young troops with post-traumatic stress issues. Good start, should have been from the start, for those still on active duty, and those not retained.
The once and future Nonny
"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting? I found this with no attribution.
Fatal miscarriages are forever.
Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice. Suzanne Brockmann
All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot