News

The Stigma that Denies Vet Benefits

 

At the height of the Iraq war, the Army routinely fired hundreds of soldiers for having a personality disorder when they were more likely suffering from the traumatic stresses of war. The Army later acknowledged the error and cut the number of soldiers given the designation. Unlike PTSD, which the Army regards as a treatable mental disability caused by the acute stresses of war, the military designation of a personality disorder is considered a “pre-existing condition” that relieves the military of its duty to pay for the person’s health care or combat-related disability pay.

 There are an unknown number of troops that still unfairly bear the stigma of a personality disorder, making them ineligible for military health care and other benefits.

According to figures provided by the Army, the service discharged about a 1,000 soldiers a year from 2005 to 2007 for having a personality disorder.

Were you wrongly discharged? Are you carrying “the stigma” and unable to access your benefits?

Tell us your story!

Certifications, Licensing and Education easier for Connecticut Vets

 

 

The American Veterans Alliance highlights Governor Malloy’s announcement that he has signed an executive order streamlining the process for veterans of the looking to get occupational certifications and licenses, and simplifying the process for awarding college credit to veterans for military education.

According to Governor Malloy and reported on the StamfordPlus website, “Connecticut has nearly a quarter of a million military veterans residing in our state and another 9,000 residents currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. These are people with special training, skills, and education who, upon returning to civilian life, are ready, willing and more than qualified to enter our workforce,” Governor Malloy said. “We must make it as easy as possible for these accomplished men and women to apply their skills to the goals they seek to accomplish after having served in our military so admirably.”

For additional information on how the government of Connecticut is serving America’s military veterans, visit  veterans.ct.gov.

 

Military Suicides at an All Time High

 

According to a NBC news report, every 25 hours a service member committed suicide in 2012.

 

More than 349 individuals took their own lives across the four branches. This is more than the total number of military deaths in Operation Enduring Freedom, according to figures published by the military’s Defense Casualty Analysis System (Source: NBC News)

USA Today reports Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House VA Committee, said he is holding a hearing Feb. 13 to find out “if the VA’s complex system of mental health and suicide prevention services (is) improving the health and wellness of our heroes in need.”

Researchers found that the average age of a veteran who commits suicide is about 60. Analysts concluded that Vietnam and female veterans need particular focus.

They also determined that a very intense period of risk for suicide is the first four weeks after someone leaves the military, and that this period requires strong monitoring and case management (Source: USA Today)

The Department of Veterans Affairs reports the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 650,000 calls and made more than 23,000 life-saving rescues since 2007. In 2009, VA added the anonymous online chat that has since helped more than 65,000 people.

Emotional and mental crisis is serious. You should know the warning signs:

  • Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling like there is no reason to live
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawing from family and friends

 

If you are a veteran or know a veteran experiencing these symptoms – get help. The Veterans Crisis line is available: Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone now!

You can also take a self-assessment quiz at:  http://www.vetselfcheck.org/