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American soldiers need long-term care for PTSD

October 20th, 2011 8:41 am by Staff Report

The widow of an Iraq war veteran from Greeneville has filed a lawsuit claiming the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home was negligent in diagnosing her husband’s post-traumatic stress disorder before he took his own life in 2008.
The lawsuit claims the VA failed to properly treat Scott Walter Eiswert before his suicide at the age of 31. Eiswert served with the Tennessee National Guard in Iraq for two years.
Similar lawsuits have been filed against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by other families of veterans who say their loved ones committed suicide after being denied adequate treatment from the VA. 
Officials with the VA say they have made great strides in improving the care the department provides to veterans with PTSD. Cases like Eiswert’s, however, suggest the VA still has a lot of work to do.
Investigations by National Public Radio and ProPublica in the last year have found the military is failing to diagnose and treat soldiers suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Failure to properly diagnose soldiers with TBI deprives them of counseling for depression, which is a symptom of PTSD.
More must be done to properly diagnose veterans who suffer from TBI and provide the long-term care for depression that they have earned. Supporting the troops shouldn’t end when their tour of duty is over.

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