Improving Mental Health Services for Combat Veterans



WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, along with Senator Kit Bond of Missouri, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, has sent a letter to defense Secretary  Robert Gates questioning whether a new loophole has been created in the administrative discharge system which results in erroneous discharges of members of the Armed Forces who are experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), instead of making sure they receive medical care worthy of their service and sacrifice.

“The men and women in America’s armed services put their lives on the line day in and day out for our freedom,” Grassley said.  “We worked to close a loophole where many of these honorable service members were being discharged without medical and disability benefits for supposedly pre-existing personality disorders that may in fact have been undiagnosed PTSD or TBI due to service in combat. Now it appears that a new loophole may have taken its place and we need to get to the bottom of this situation so our service members are treated fairly.”

Click here to view Grassley’s letter to Secretary Gates.

Click here to read the October 20th, 2009 press release regarding a letter Grassley, along with Senators Kit Bond, Blanche Lincoln and Sam Brownback, sent to President Barack Obama to renew his commitment to ensure that returning service members are provided medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs for what may have previously been diagnosed as a pre-existing personality disorder instead of combat-related post traumatic stress disorder.

Click here to read the August 5th, 2009 press release regarding Grassley’s letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee advocating for legislation that guarantees that PTSD and TBI are diagnosed and those diagnoses are considered in any future discharge proceeding.

Click here to read the June 22nd, 2007 press release regarding a letter to Secretary Gates sent by Grassley and a group of bipartisan senators, including Senator Obama, calling for an independent review of the personality disorder discharge process in the Armed Forces.