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Army Training Regimen Brutal in US, Needs Overhauling

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It patches up the damaged to send them back into battle, as Mark Benjamin reported in Salon from Fort Benning in March, redeploying troops who, doctors say, are medically unfit, altering medical profiles so that they can kill again. It pushes antidepressants on the psychically damaged in the field to keep up the numbers, as Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman stunningly detailed in the Hartford Courant last May

After the Post's story came out, a familiar sequence of firings, testimony and reform commenced. In April the House passed the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act to streamline administrative processes, create a toll-free hotline for complaints, increase the number of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors, etc. In March it passed the Veterans Suicide Prevention Act (suicide is epidemic, and psychological services are grossly strained). The Senate initiated similar measures. About nine congressional investigations are under way; the president has appointed a special committee, and his 2008 budget increases VA health spending by 9 percent.

But the problem is far more deep rooted to be tackled with such tentative efforts, it is pointed out. Perhaps the trainers have to be trained first, it is felt.


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TAG: Army Training Regimen Brutal Needs Overhauling

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