The TexasFred Blog
No Holds Barred: News, Opinion and Commentary
This is The Header Then

Hurt soldiers punished for injuries

March 10th, 2009 . by TexasFred
Hurt soldiers punished for injuries

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina - Staff Sgt. Jason Jonas says when he goes to bed at night, he is terrified his medication will cause him to oversleep and miss morning roll call again.

His commanders are fully aware the paratrooper wounded in Afghanistan has been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, because he is one of about 10,000 soldiers assigned to the Army’s Warrior Transition units, created for troops recovering from injuries.

Instead of gingerly nursing them back to health, however, commanders at Fort Bragg’s transition unit readily acknowledge holding them to the same standards as able-bodied soldiers in combat units, often assigning chores as punishment for minor infractions.

In fact, the unit has a discipline rate three times as high as Fort Bragg’s main tenant, the 82nd Airborne Division, and transition units at two other bases punish their soldiers even more frequently than the one at Fort Bragg, according to an Associated Press review of records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

“In my 10 years of service I have often seen soldiers mistreated, abused or left hanging, but never have I seen an entire unit collectively mentally and physically break down its members,” said Jonas, a 28-year-old from Tempe, Arizona.

Full Story Here:
Hurt soldiers ‘punished for injuries’

Is this the depths to which our military has sunk?? Soldiers, WOUNDED WARRIORS, treated like this?? Not given a full opportunity to recover?? Punished for not making the grade?? Demoted because the injuries they have sustained in service to this nation has rendered them unable to perform those duties correctly??

What in the HELL is wrong with this scenario? What in the HELL is wrong with a Department of Defense that would condone, or possibly encourage such treatment of our wounded troops??

“It is the military’s way of dealing with it: `You’re a fake. You need to go back to work,’” said Pfc. Roman Serpik, 25, who enlisted in Duluth, Georgia. He said he injured his head and back in a practice parachute jump last April.

I know, personally know, not 2nd hand, personally know through close blood relations, a young troop that was literally overwhelmed by what he saw initially when he arrived in Baghdad. He wasn’t nearly as prepared for combat as he, and many of his fellow troops thought they were. This particular troop committed the cardinal sin, he asked for help. He got a few days off in the Green Zone, was given some sleeping pills and anti-depressants and was OK’d for a return to duty.

That troop went back to his unit and he was ridiculed, called weak, told he didn’t have what it took, all kinds of Frat Boy bullshit. He overcame the criticism, he became an over achiever of sorts and a leader, and thank goodness he did survive to come home all in one piece, but he came home an entirely different person than the one that left.

The differences in the discipline rates point to a flaw in policy rather than pockets of misbehaving soldiers, said Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

“We will be looking to the Army to take swift action and hold the appropriate people accountable,” he said.

I certainly hope so, for ALL the right reasons…

Bookmark and Share
Return: Top of Home Page