Army Still Discharging Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Without Benefits
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
This post, written by Jesse Wendel, orignally appeared on Group News Blog
Sgt. Darren Mischke got hurt bad in Iraq.
A two-tour vet, he was in a wreck tour one, and knocked out. In his second tour, his vehicle was mortared. He has Traumatic Brain Injury.
Like many chronic pain, PTSD, and depression patients, he became a different person, a different "I" from the person his family had always known.
Happens. But the Army, consistently has been taking the easy way out, and shoving soldiers out any way they can, rather than rate them properly.
"I told him to get help," Teresa Mischke said. "He told me he'd get in trouble with his unit. He said one of his superiors had told him he'd make his life a living hell."
Shortly thereafter, Darren Mischke, pain-riddled and confused, turned abusive, then suicidal. His wife, trying to save him, called 911.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Department "arrested him for domestic violence and the District Attorney's office fast-tracked him to plead guilty," Teresa Mischke said.
The third-degree assault plea became the basis for an attempt by the Army to give Mischke a general discharge.
"He would have nothing, no insurance and limits on his VA coverage," his wife said.
Working with the advocacy group Veterans for America, Teresa Mischke pushed the military to send her husband to a medical review board.
The medical board talked about depression and post traumatic stress, but not brain injury. The diagnosis didn't help. Eventually, a military doctor decided Sgt. Mischke suffered from "post concussive syndrome," but offered no regimen of treatment, his wife said.
"He's actually worse now than when he came home from Iraq," she added.
In addition to the already noted 30,000 injured veterans from Iraq, a full 20,000 more at least likely have TBI. But not on the official casualty rolls of the Iraq war. (It's the fucking Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium fights all over again.)