Wounded Veterans Harassed and Abused by Staff at Army Bases

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090518-A-5406P-123 Sgt. John Hoxie, a wounded warrior who lost an arm and a leg during combat in Iraq, watches Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division run down Longstreet Road on Fort Bragg during Division Run, the kickoff event for this year's All American Week celebration held May 18 - 21. Hoxie has been recuperating from his wounds at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but journeyed to Fort Bragg to take part in this year's All American Week and see friends from his old unit, Co. C, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mike Pryor, 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. Public Affairs)

Unbelievable story of wounded veterans being harassed, abused, called “slackers” and worse by staff at Texas Army bases. You read that right: hundreds of our military wounded warriors were being treated with extreme disrespect not in civilian hospitals, but by staff at Texas treatment centers on Army bases. If your blood is boiling now, wait until you read the details!

The mistreatment of wounded veterans at Warrior Transition Units at Fort Bliss, Fort Hood and the Brooke Army Medical Center was uncovered and reported in a joint investigation by the Dallas Morning News and NBC 5 news in Fort Worth. The two news sources based their investigation on official complaints of soldiers and others involved in the Warrior Transition Units.

[tweetthis]Unacceptable: Wounded #veterans harassed and abused by staff at #Army bases. #WoundedWarriors #military[/tweetthis]

Army Admits Staff Harassment of Wounded Veterans

Col. Chris Toner, head of the Army Transition Command, acknowledged that there had been a pattern of “disrespect, harassment and belittlement of soldiers” during a hearing before the House Armed Services’ subcommittee on military personnel. He went on to say that the mistreatment of wounded veterans took place during 2009 – 2013, and he was “confident that we have the programs going in the right direction” at those three Army Warrior Transition Units now.

While Toner went on to tell investigators that the Army believed these were isolated cases. Reports showed a different story. In fact, those investigating the story found that over the past four years over one-third of complaints in the Army originated out of the Warrior Transition Units.

Wounded Veterans with PTSD Called Weak and Cowardly

Dr. Stephen Saul, a psychiatrist hired to train staff at the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Hood was quoted in documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act as saying that Fort Hood leaders did not believe that post-traumatic stress disorder was real.

Stahl went on to say that U.S. veterans with PTSD were told to “man-up and move on. The idea is that you’re weak, you’re cowardly, you’re worthless, you’re not strong and it’s your fault.”

Another military veteran who suffered from PTSD said that his commander at the WTU, “…would refer to us as broke-dicks. And you know it was just demeaning for no reason. I mean I got it, yes, I know I might not be the soldier that I used to be physically and mentally. But you don’t have to add fuel to that fire,” the soldier said.

Another complaint (out of hundreds of pages of complaints) filed by a wounded veteran stated, “My stress levels are sky high, my depression is at an all-time low, and I have never felt so abused, so neglected as I do right now.”

And one last quote from an official complaint by a wounded soldier we’ll share said, “This is getting to the point where it is more stressful here than it is in a combat situation. They have no dignity or respect for us.”

No Place for Mistreatment of Wounded Veterans – Especially on Military Bases

The new chairman of the military personnel subcommittee, Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nevada, is also a physician and Iraq veteran who holds the rank of brigadier general in the Army Reserve. Heck says that one of his priorities as chairman will be to focus on problems in the Military Health System.

Let’s hold him accountable to that promise as our wounded veterans should never face abuse, disrespect and mistreatment from others in the military – especially when these injured veterans are in military treatment units.

Please share this story with your social networks and help us spread the word about this horrible story of mistreatment of wounded warriors.

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