Army sergeant was accused of 'exaggerating' the stress of war
Fourteen war veterans get independent reviews. He and five others are confirmed to have PTSD.
By Kim Murphy
February 22, 2012, 5:56 p.m.
Reporting from Seattle—
Stephen Davis spent months after returning from Iraq trying to explain to U.S. Army therapists what was wrong. The nightmares. The anxiety when there was nothing to be anxious about. The bouts of confusion that drove his wife, Kimberly, crazy — until she remembered he wasn’t the same man who’d left for war.
“I’ve been married to my husband almost 19 years. I have not seen the husband I know back yet," she said. "I’ve been waiting two years for him to come back, and he’s still not back.”
On Wednesday, though, the couple announced that their most perplexing battle — trying to convince the Army that something was seriously wrong — was over. Amid an investigation into charges that the Army’s Madigan Healthcare System hospital in Washington state has been reversing legitimate diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder to save money, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced that Davis was one of 14 service members at Joint Base Lewis-McChord whose cases had received new independent reviews.
“I think it is deeply disconcerting and should be to everyone in this country that it seems clear that the diagnoses that these soldiers were given [were] based on how much money it might cost this country if they were given a diagnosis of PTSD, rather than doing what needed to be done to make sure they got the correct care,” Murray said at a Seattle news conference.
Davis was among six soldiers notified Tuesday and Wednesday that an independent review by mental health officials at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center had confirmed they suffer from PTSD. Walter Reed physicians found that eight others have behavioral conditions other than PTSD, the Army’s Western Region Medical Command said in a statement.
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