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Frustration and Disgust with the VA Med Ctr and Nat'l Guard About Soldiers with Mental Disorders

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jennygirl Donating Member (133 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:01 PM
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Frustration and Disgust with the VA Med Ctr and Nat'l Guard About Soldiers with Mental Disorders
Frustration and Disgust with the VA Med Ctr and Nat'l Guard

I was so disgusted by my wanted to help Iraq and Afghanistan "walking wounded" vets that I submitted it as an op-ed to THE SHREVEPORT TIMES. They indicated that it was filled with so much personal info. that they might publish it as news. I thought op-ed meant an opinion article. Anyway, the article that I submitted states the following:

Rod Richardson
Managing Editor
222 Lake Street
Shreveport, LA 71101 July 23, 2008

Dear Mr. Richardson:

I am writing this op-ed in both frustration and disgust over both the VA Medical Center, the local National Guard, and the Vet Center in regards of my offering in assisting them in treating their overly burden system of Iraq and Afghanistan vets who are mentally unfit to enduring another tour of duty or who are forced to wait several months for an appointment with a psychotherapist. My goal in trying to meet these people is to offer my help as a private cognitive-behavioral therapist with a graduate degree in Organizational/ Psychology and several years in mental health and disability counseling and case management and who has a membership in the American Psychological Association. Over the past few years I have read about the wheel em and wheel em out total disregard for these brave soldiers once they are deemed as unfit due to combat PTSD and the added stress over the female soldiers being at risk of being sexually assaulted by male members of their own troop.

Because I have had members of my own family in the military (my father, cousin, and uncle being career men), I am cognizant of the horrid symptoms of PTSD. In fact, one of my younger uncles who was drafted into Vietnam in his early twenties suffered PTSD so badly that he refused to talk about the atrocities he saw during his tour and instead drifted into self-medication by having a 20-year drug addiction.

Nonetheless, back to the point at hand, my experience with the VA, National Guard, and the Vet Center. I know that Barksdale already has a good EAP service provider. However, being a member of the APA one of our ethical missions (after the torture fiasco of some bad apple psychologists) is to charge reduced rates for these walking wounded who unfortunately fall through the extremely long cracks and excessively long red tape of the aforementioned agencies, these people have little of no income. In addition, based on media reports, several of these
soldiers have committed active (literally killing themselves) and passive suicide (through substance abuse), and familial homicide. Once they are no longer of use to the military
(especially inexperinced reservists and guards) they have to beat their head over brick wall to be seen by these excessively bureaucratic agencies. In fact, I have tried repeatedly to call the local VA head of psychiatry Dean Robinson, M.D. and he never saw fit to even return my calls. And when I went next door to the national guard, the treatment towards me was worse, when I recounted statistics of the walking wounded, they kept interrupting me and laughing at me.
It was all so surreal this rude machismo attitude.

Lastly, I was only trying to do my duty as an APA member to assist the above organizations to cater to those soldiers who dont have the funds or stamina to endure the red tap until something tragic happens. I am only charging them $10-$15 a sliding scale for a session
(much less than my normal clients).

Jennifer T. McCray, M.A. is a local cognitive-behavioral therapist and you can e-mail her at and leave your telephone number in your e-mail if you need help.



Jennifer T. McCray

I am sorry that it is long and I would like your opinions.

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