The Deployment Diary

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Denying Care to Whistler Blowers?

GI Denied Care After Speaking Out



"I said I was having problems. I told them I felt like I was having a breakdown right there," Goodrum said. Goodrum said Fort Knox told him to go away. A handwritten note in Goodrum's records from Nov. 7 says, "Colonel Stevens do (sic) not want this patient to be in medical hold."


I've never been a soldier. I've never been to war. I'm quite sure my personality would prevent me from handling it well emotionally. I'm just not cut from the same cloth as these brave and special people who defend our country.

Is this soldier being treated fairly? I think someone who has the power to find out - should.


"Lt. Goodrum is a truly outstanding junior officer," reads one performance evaluation from 2002. "In addition to his technical competence, he demonstrates great leadership potential. ... Promote to captain and select for advance military schooling."

Goodrum said his problems began in Iraq, working under combat conditions in a transportation company. There, he said, safety violations -- including the use of "deadlined" or broken vehicles -- resulted in the death of a 22-year old soldier. Goodrum appealed to the Army's Inspector General and Congress when he returned home.


Do we dismiss good soldiers automatically when they show signs of combat stress? Do we try to "burn" soldiers who report conditions that cost lives?

I don't have the answers. From one article, it is unlikely we have the entire story. It seems to me it's suspicious and possible that his treatment has a direct link to going to IG and Congress. I hope someone will look into it. Regardless, we should take care of our own when they have problems emotionally after war.

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