Tag Archives: VA

ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff is carried on a stretcher from a bus to a medical evacuation plane at Ramstein airbase, southern Germany, on Jan. 31, 2006. (Michael Probst/AP Photo)

Military and Congress slow to respond to brain injured soldiers

Part 2 of Brain Injuries Undiagnosed in Thousands of Soldiers and the response is slow

Bob Woodruff Military and Congress slow to respond to brain injured soldiers photo

ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff is carried on a stretcher from a bus to a medical evacuation plane at Ramstein airbase, southern Germany, on Jan. 31, 2006. (Michael Probst/AP Photo)

See Part 2 of  Brain Injuries Undiagnosed in Thousands of Soldiers

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR, ProPublica – WASHINGTON, D.C.

Missing Records

The military’s handling of traumatic brain injuries has drawn heated criticism before.

ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff chronicled the difficulties soldiers faced in getting treatment for head traumas after recovering from one himself, suffered in a 2006 roadside bombing in Iraq.

The following year, a Washington Post series about substandard conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital described the plight of several soldiers with brain injuries.Members of Congress responded by dedicating more than $1.7 billion to research and treatment of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, a psychological disorder common among soldiers returning from war. They passed a law requiring the military to test soldiers’ cognitive functions before and after deployment so brain injuries wouldn’t go undetected.

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William Fraas during occupational therapy at Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation Center in El Paso, Texas. Fraas survived several roadside blasts in Iraq, but suffered brain damage. (Blake Gordon/Aurora Photos)

Brain Injuries Undiagnosed in Thousands of Soldiers

Military medical system is failing to diagnose brain injuries in troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, part 1 of 2

William Fraas Brain Injuries Undiagnosed in Thousands of Soldiers photo

William Fraas during occupational therapy at Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation Center in El Paso, Texas. Fraas survived several roadside blasts in Iraq, but suffered brain damage. (Blake Gordon/Aurora Photos)

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR

ProPublica -  WASHINGTON, D.C.–The military medical system is failing to diagnose brain injuries in troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom receive little or no treatment for lingering health problems, an investigation by ProPublica and NPR has found.

So-called mild traumatic brain injury has been called one of the wars’ signature wounds. Shock waves from roadside bombs can ripple through soldiers’ brains, causing damage that sometimes leaves no visible scars but may cause lasting mental and physical harm.

Officially, military figures say about 115,000 troops have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries since the wars began. But top Army officials acknowledged in interviews that those statistics likely understate the true toll. Tens of thousands of troops with such wounds have gone uncounted, according to unpublished military research obtained by ProPublica and NPR.  Continue reading

photo - VA Watchdog

PTSD is real not fraud say veterans

Associated Press story claiming fraud from post traumatic stress syndrome is stereotypical bad reporting and not real

PTSD vawatchdog web PTSD is real not fraud say veterans photo

photo - VA Watchdog

Editor – the media are locked in the past when they print stories that portray people with disabilities as either heroes conquering all or shirkers collecting disability pensions. Last week AP printed another in the long line of unsubstantiated reports that many PTSD claims were fraudulent. In tide of new PTSD cases, fear of growing fraud. The story is simply not true. Veterans for common sense responds.

By VCS – On May 1, the Associated Press printed an incomplete and inaccurate article about veterans who file disability claims against the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Without citing a source, AP wrote, “The problem: The [VA claims] system is dysfunctional, an open invitation to fraud. And the VA has proposed changes that could make deception even easier.”   Continue reading