For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Matt Howard, Communications Director, IVAW: 646-723-0989, media@ivaw.org

Fort Hood Leadership Exposed for Unethical Healthcare Practices

New Report: Fort Hood Soldiers Treated As Disposable

Fort Hood, Texas -
This Memorial Day a national group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans marked the solemn holiday by exposing a series of unethical healthcare practices at the largest Army post in the country, Fort Hood, that puts soldiers' lives at risk and compounds the pressure on an overwhelmed VA. Practices such as commanders, with no medical training, deploying soldiers against a doctor's orders are one of the many shocking discoveries that is revealed in the groundbreaking report 'Operation Recovery: Fort Hood Soldiers and Veterans Testify on the Right to Heal' (also referred to as the Fort Hood Testimony Report).
 
The Fort Hood Testimony Report is the result of 3 years of sustained outreach in the Fort Hood community, and contains 31 in-depth testimonials from Fort Hood veterans and soldiers. Additionally it has a series of findings and recommendations for the Army and Congress. This report provides a snapshot in time of a military base at the height of the deployment cycle all the way to the recent drawdown and a window into the challenges that service members face in a military that has been at war for more than a decade. 
 
Expressing amazement at the negligent deployment practices soldiers experienced, Fort Hood Army veteran and report testifier Chas Jacquier says "Prior to going, our unit was so low in numbers that we actually took soldiers into Afghanistan who were on crutches. We're walking fifteen, twenty cliffs a day at 10,000 feet elevation through the mountains. The guy just got off crutches and you expect him to be able to do that?"
 
Just a few of the findings include:
  • Overmedication in the form of routinely deploying service members who are prescribed with psychotropic drugs
  • Aggressive disciplinary measures and discharges of soldiers since the drawdown, often for displaying symptoms of PTSD or TBI
  • An almost total lack of enforcement of base policies on stigma and respect for a doctors recommendation
This comprehensive report sheds light on the legacy of two wars characterized by multiple deployments, overmedication, a military culture that highly stigmatizes mental health care and could go far in explaining why the VA is deeply overwhelmed in processing claims and why the veteran community has such a dramatically high suicide rate.
 
IVAW, Under The Hood Cafe and Civilian Soldier Alliance's Fort Hood Testimony Report is available at the following website with searchable sections: www.forthoodtestimonies.com
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Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy group of veterans and active-duty U.S. military personnel who have served since September 11, 2001. IVAW’s Right to Heal Initiative is focused on holding the U.S. government accountable for human right violations of the health of Iraqis, Afghans and U.S. veterans. IVAW currently has over 2,500 members in fifty states, as well as in Canada, Europe, and Afghanistan.

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