View Full Version : Army to help soldiers spot psychiatric scars

08-12-07, 07:05 AM
Posted on Sun, Aug. 12, 2007
Army to help soldiers spot psychiatric scars
Associated Press
DENVER - The Army has launched a nationwide program to teach soldiers and their families how to identify signs of possible psychiatric injuries suffered in warfare.

The program is a response to widespread reports that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mild brain damage and posttraumatic stress disorder were treated as malingerers or unfairly dismissed from the service.

The training program, called "chain-teaching," began last week at the Pentagon and is intended to reach all active-duty soldiers and reservists within 90 days.

Military officials have acknowledged facing an unprecedented problem and said that even with the best treatment and preparation, some soldiers will suffer lifelong mental injuries.

"At no time in our military history have soldiers or Marines been required to serve on the front line in any war for a period of six to seven months, let alone a year, without a significant break in order to recover from the physical, psychological and emotional demands that ensue from combat," a military report released in May said.

In previous wars, the draft guaranteed that commanders had replacements for those who had spent considerable time in combat.

Capt. Scot Tebo, a surgeon with the Fourth Infantry Division's Third Brigade Combat Team, said the goal was to identify soldiers with problems as soon as possible so treatment could begin.

The program will teach soldiers and their families to spot possible indications of posttraumatic stress disorder, brain damage and other injuries resulting from service in combat.