What Fort Carson Is Doing About PTSD

May 8 2009, 11:07 AM

Amid criticisms that soldiers aren't receiving adequate care for post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries, Army Chief of Staff General George Casey visited Fort Carson yesterday to say he thinks soldiers need more time at home between combat deployments. Troops, Casey says, should spend at least two and a half years at home--up from at least 12 months--and that deployments should last no longer than nine months (via 9News). But, as the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, there's no hope of reaching that goal until troops begin to return home, as the Iraq war winds down in the next year or so--and only if the nation avoids becoming mired in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the progressive VoteVets.org wrote House Armed Services Committee Chairman Representative Ike Skelton to urge him to "immediately investigate" care at Fort Carson in the wake of a report I co-wrote for Salon. Last month, Salon published a tape recording of a psychologist at Fort Carson admitting privately to a wounded soldier that he and "all clinicians up here are being pressured not to diagnose PTSD" and to instead provide a diagnosis likely to result in lower disability payments. The Army Medical Command investigated itself, concluding that nobody did anything wrong.