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Army Training Regimen Brutal in US, Needs Overhauling

done twice not just once. ... There was a drill sergeant who kicked a kid in the ribs while he was trying to do pushups," writes an activist.

A soldier came into PTRP with a broken finger. It didn't heal properly for some reason and ended up deformed, his hand at less than 100 percent and his ability to do pushups impaired. He was in PTRP for about nine months trying, and failing, to pass the PT test. One day, he cut himself all over with a razor, smeared himself with excrement, marched naked out of the barracks and was put in a psych ward on suicide watch. Afterwards, no doubt pumped with antidepressants, he was made to try the test one more time, and to fail one more time, before officials moved to discharge him. He didn't die, though.

The Washington Post's expose of the Walter Reed scam included the story of Cpl. Jeremy Harper, 19, who had seen three of his buddies die in Iraq and was a victim of severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He refused his medals and kept to his room in the dark, heavily medicated, which everyone noticed.

On New Year's Eve 2004 he was seen wandering in the lobby of one of the Walter Reed buildings, looking for a ride home to West Virginia. The next morning he was found dead in his bed of alcohol poisoning. "At the military's upper levels, abuse is widely believed to be not only desirable but absolutely necessary to have a disciplined, effective military and keep everyone in line," a former Army enlisted man, Tim Moriarty, wrote.

In Walter Reed, for instance, every morning, regardless of weather, the injured assemble. Umbrellas are forbidden, uniforms required. Some soldiers "are so gorked out on pills that they seem on the verge of nodding off."

Before he was cashiered as commander of Walter Reed, Gen. George Weightman told the Post that the reason injured soldiers stay so long in the military/medical limbo is that the Army needs to hold on to as many soldiers as it ca
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