Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Start or a Smoke Screen - Injured Heroes, Broken Promises

Life moves pretty fast for me because I'm usually working on so many things at once right now. In the last interview I missed an important detail. One that was glaring at me after the segment aired on NBC5-Dallas and printed in the Dallas Morning News.

Col Toner ordered one day of training. ONE day. The points in the training are very important ones. I'm just not sure how much one day can do to actually make any changes.

I am trying to be positive. People are listening. But in the three years that I have been fighting it always seems to be too much listening and not enough action. I spoke to many officers and even more advocacy groups. They all appeared to care but would just send me on to the next person to talk to. Perhaps thinking I would eventually give up and shut up.

Honestly, there are days that I wonder why I keep pushing. Does anyone listen? Does anyone really care? Will anyone actually do anything about it?

In Col. Toner's order he the need for WTU leaders to respect a soldier’s individual requirements and needs. He addresses the issue of profiles which was a very large problem that I had with my husband. *Profiles are what a doctor writes stating in writing what a soldiers limitations are.* When Mikey got to WTU he was issued a standard profile from his WTU assigned doctor that had the same basic information that all the other soldiers got.
Generic profile
Profiles expire every 90 days but they are just reissued without consultation and a new date put in. Below is one of the profiles that was expired by the Brigade Surgeon almost immediately because they did not like it.

Specific profile with more limitations. 
This Doctor had his diagnosis right, Command didn't want to accept it.

Counseling to revoke profile. 
That wasn't the only profile for his dementia that was revoked. They wanted a specific diagnosis as to what type of dementia he had. There is an outline to diagnosis different types of dementia because being as accurate as possible is crucial to proper treatment. That same doctor wrote a memo regarding them wanting a specific diagnosis before they would accept a profile. It was something I already knew. I was able to question their motives as to why they wanted my husband to die so they could have a definitive answer as to the type of dementia. The Brigade commander said he did not realize he would have to be dead and that wasn't their intention.

Had they not expired the profiles he was given and actually followed them things at the WTU would have been so much better. It is a complaint I have heard over and over so I know this is a change that was desperately needed for the wounded soldiers.

I often wonder if anyone from the WTU will call me or reach out to me in some way. They can't take back what they did but people with integrity and desire to make things better might want to apologize to those that were hurt. Not a third party response either. A direct, sincere response.

Senator John Cornyn's letter to the Secretary of the Army was impressive. I will anxiously await any response he might receive.

Here are links to follow up reports that NBC5-Dallas and Dallas Morning News have done since the last post.

Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Orders New Training at Warrior Transition Units

Veteran's Groups Demand Action on WTU Complaints

Army orders new training for transition units after complaints about wounded soldiers' treatment

I hope this issue continues to get attention and awareness is spread so that these changes will be made into permanent policy and future soldiers don't have to suffer. We assume that the wounded get the best treatment when in fact they get little help and support. Share these articles or posts with people you know. Write to your Congressman. These soldiers deserve that much from us.


*Side note*
This should never have been as difficult as it was. For all the backlash that the VA gets they wasted no time on adding dementia to my husbands claim. All the evidence was there. There was no question. No issue. They took 2 days to finish his claim. It took the Army three years, up until 1 week before his retirement to acknowledge he had Lewy Body Dementia.







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