April 26, 2012
In a military healthcare system that’s being bombarded with patients at a rate faster than doctors can treat them, many soldiers with “invisible injuries,” such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injuries, are beginning to fall through the cracks.
The U.S. Office of Veteran Affairs said this week that while the number of service members seeking mental health care has increased nearly 40 percent over the past seven years, the Veterans Health Administration (VA) is failing to meet its goal of seeing each patient within 24-hours and beginning treatment within two weeks.
According to KESQ News, a 42-year-old retired Army master sergeant is now battling this growing problem by speaking to fellow soldiers returning from tours of duty overseas about the importance of getting the help they need, regardless of how long it takes to get through the system.
He spent several years overcoming the traumatic brain injuries he suffered from two explosions during his several tours in Iraq. He says it’s important that soldiers “Don’t let pride get in the way. Pride’s going to kill you. Take that warrior mask off and if you need to, get help. Get it in the beginning stages, and not later.”
The California Veterans Disability Benefits Lawyers with the Walter Clark Legal Group applaud this soldier’s effort and agree that any soldier who’s suffering from mental or emotional problems after a traumatic incident should speak to a doctor immediately.