Military Connection: Injured, Sick, and Mistreated?

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By Debbie Gregory.

We recently reported on a prostitution scandal at Fort Hood. Now, the base is opening a full investigation into allegations of harassment and mistreatment in a unit where wounded or ill soldiers are sent to heal.

Complaints were lodged from wounded soldiers at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, and Fort Sam Houston.

The investigation published by The Dallas Morning news and aired on KXAS-TV (NBC5) focused on three Texas Warrior Transition Units (WTUs).

Soldiers who were taking high-dosage medication at night to help with sleep disorders complained they were forced to make early-morning formation. This meant these soldiers had to drive to work sedated. Others said they were required to work 24-hour patrols, despite medical orders saying it was required for them to have eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Although some soldiers said they were happy in their WTU’s, some described drill-sergeant-type cultures, where some were called names like “dirtbag” and other slang terms for malingerers.

The allegations came from interviews with current and former soldiers, along with military records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

“Certainly, those conditions existed,” but the issues were resolved, according to Col. Chris Toner. He said. “I’m confident that the program and policies and procedures that are in place now have the program going in the right direction.”

Could this be a case of the fox guarding the henhouse?

Chuck Luther, a Veteran who runs a nonprofit that helps soldiers solve disputes at Fort Hood, said he continues to see and hear about mistreatment and abuse.

“I mean, I’ve witnessed it personally, senior-level people talking to these soldiers like they’re common trash,” he said.

Luther says the soldiers treated have psychological conditions that include PTSD.

“Calling them dirtbags, telling them that they’re lying — ‘Oh you have PTSD, you’re just weak, you need to quit trying to get a paycheck,’ things like that.”

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Military Connection: Injured, Sick, and Mistreated? : by Debbie Gregory