"When we are losing more Soldiers (Reserve Component) to suicide than the Afghanistan war, it is an epidemic" -Suicide and the Military © by Amy Menna, Ph.D., LMHC, CAP & Gift From Within
WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The most extensive study yet by the U.S. government on suicide among military veterans shows more veterans are killing themselves than previously thought, with 22 deaths a day - or one every 65 minutes, on average http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/01/military-suicides-us-veterans_n_2602602
In July 2012, the Veterans Administration (VA) reported that 18 VETERANS a day will commit suicide and 950 per month will attempt suicide. "Suicide No. 2 cause of death (those still serving) in the US Military" http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-06-13/military-suicides/55585182/1
What are the mortality rates for the untreated/under-treated National Guardsmen and Reservists waiting to access VA Care that were eligible for care through Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) and Tri-Service Medical Care (TRICARE)?
National Guardsmen and Reservist are systematically DENIED access to the Health Care Benefits that they EARN. Despite the fact that the DOD created Medical Treatment Programs to ensure EQUAL access and standardization of treatment;National Guardsmen and Reservist are routinely Released From Active Duty (REFRAD) WITHOUT any of these criteria being met. www.armyg1.army.mil/wtu/docs/WTUConsolidatedGuidanceAdministrative.pdf
Medical diagnoses, access to care and treatment at these Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) is often based on the Service Member's Service Component Affiliation (Active/Guard/Reserve) and NOT the current DOD policy for assessing and treating the injury/illness.http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-08-09/army-suicides/57096238/1
When every physician in these Soldier Centered Programs begins an appointment with, "Are you (Active/Guard/Reserve) ?" Disparities between treatment are difficult to ignore and easy to explain. National Guardsmen and Reservist, remain misdiagnosed and untreated/under-treated" for what may potentially be life altering/threatening illnesses.
Given the current argument by DOD for keeping the "Feres Doctrine", when obligatory moral and professional Medical responsibility fails there is little regulatory incentive to bolster those shortcoming. http://www.stripes.com/news/the-argument-for-keeping-the-feres-doctrine-1.173370
A Service Member, that knows the regulations and has a supportive Senator or Representative, may wait several months to years before their Medical records are corrected and they gain access to the Health Care and Benefits that they EARNED.
It has taken me MORE than 1 year 5 months 13 days from my redeployment from Afghanistan to correct parts of my Medical records; I am one of the "success stories".Most Service Members WILL NOT gain access to THEIR benefits.
Army National Guardsmen and United States Army Reservist wear the SAME uniforms, support the SAME missions, EARN the SAME Health Care."Demand EQUAL Access to Military Treatment Facilities (MTF) and TRICARE in accordance with current DOD Policy.
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