Iraq Veterans Against the War. October 7, 2010
Thousands of troops are being sent to war despite suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Many of us within IVAW have faced or are currently facing deployment as we try to recover from the severe trauma we have already experienced.
While we recognize that we must stop the deployment of all soldiers in order to end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we see the deployment of soldiers with PTSD, TBI, and MST as particularly cruel, inhumane, and dangerous. Military commanders across all branches are pushing service members far past human limits for the sake of ‘combat readiness.’ We cannot allow those commanders to continue to ignore the welfare of their troops who are, after all, human beings.
There is a problem, a basic right is being denied, and we will organize to get it back.
This issue affects all of us. Everyone needs to recognize that the improper standards of care in the military and VA are harming our brothers and sisters, our nation, and only furthers the cycle of dehumanization and destruction of these wars.
Service Members have the Right to Heal
Because the military is desperate for warm bodies in the field, and the VA doesn’t have the resources to serve all those in need, too often service members are conveniently denied care or access to quality mental health screenings. We say, service members with PTSD, TBI, MST, and combat stress have the right to high quality health care. They have the right to seek care and pursue treatments in the best interest of their health and well-being.
Service members have the right to receive medical care and advice from medical professionals.
A commander’s orders always supersede the opinion of military medical professionals when it comes to the well-being of our troops. We say, no military authority shall override the advice of medical professionals regarding the health of service members.
Service members who experience PTSD, TBI, MST, and combat stress have the right to exit the traumatic situation and receive immediate support, and compensation.
Too often, service members are forced to redeploy back into dangerous combat, or train in situations that re-traumatize them. We say, individuals suffering from trauma have the right to remove themselves from the source of the trauma. Service members who are not physically or mentally healthy shall not be forced to deploy or continue service.
- We will support service members standing up for their right to heal, and we will stand against those responsible for violating them.
- We will expose those responsible for the deployment of traumatized troops. Those responsible will do everything they can to hide the truth, but Operation Recovery will expose the truth.
- We will demand those responsible for the deployment of traumatized troops end this inhumane practice, and back our demands up with collective action.
- We will end these wars by winning our Right to Heal. We know that without the repeated use of traumatized soldiers on the battlefield, the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan could not continue.