Posted on Apr 4, 2015
SSG Leonard Johnson
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I'm a 49-year-old recent medical retiree after 23 years of service in the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Carson and would like to address some of the misconceptions and how I was treated at the warrior transition Battalion of Fort Carson.
Number one, the staff there, and I'm talking about both the military and the civilian force in the company units with the exception of a few nurse case managers, are very professional and care very much for the troops that are there for help. The Soldier Family Care Center is run by professional civilians that try their best every day to accommodate the wounded soldiers. They have some of the best trips possible. They help out with everything from Social Security, resumes, to the AW 2 program, job hunting, computer technology, counseling, you name it, they can help. They have some of the blessed people I have ever met.
My company Alpha company with some of the blessed people I have ever had a chance to meet. My first sergeant, commander, platoon sergeant, and most of all my squad leader had nothing but the best interest of me.
At the battalion level, I think they did an awesome job at taking care soldiers. I don't know is legal or not for me to hand out names, so I won't. I'll just say the battalion commander was always looking for different things to help soldiers improving quality of life and for things to do in both recreation, education, and reintroduction into either military or civilian life. And he was right and I believe this. You the wounded soldier must meet the battalion and the Army halfway and they will meet you halfway. What that means is, the wounded soldier just can't go there and think right after PT take off for the day and say screw your appointments i.e. doing nothing except go back to the barracks and play Xbox. It doesn't work like that. You have to make your appointments, go to school like I did, or go to your internships. By the way, the internships are really cool. They have everything from working with the fish and wildlife, US for street, Department of wildlife, US immigration, you name it they got it.
Number 2. This is where they need improvement.
This is above battalion level in my opinion at the hospital that supports the Wounded Transition Battalion. I would say the majority of your doctors there, and I'm talking mostly civilian have no interest in helping the soldiers. There's only one there that I know that had the interest of the soldiers. The other ones were only interested in status quo per se, or the government's interest. I went there in July 2013 for the anxiety disorder and my cervical spine which was fused on C3, 4, 5, 6. I could barely walk, and still to this day poor balance. Still to this day I need braces and a cane to get around. I have severe pain and there is nothing that helps me at all when storm systems are low pressures coming to Colorado.
What doctor there, along with a physical therapist assistant misdiagnose me and took a P3 profile and had it changed to a P2 profile. Thank God I found another physical therapist who did test on me who said these 2 were BS'ing and did whatever he had to do and called whoever he had to call and had it sent back up to a 3 or 4 I can't remember sorry. A neurologist in the hospital even said there was nothing wrong with my neck even though I could barely walk. Now that I'm out, I'm facing 4 surgeries maybe 5 now that was diagnosed by civilian doctors and the VA. If you don't believe me I will come on Fort Carson and I will show you all my paperwork. The coffee is on you.
I'm just an old school NCO who loves the Army, love soldiers. I'm asking for the senior leadership to please take care soldiers here. Soldiers when they show up for medical help should not have to prove they are sick or hurt. When I show up to a civilian doctor here in the civilian world I don't have to prove to them that I am hurt. They immediately try to figure out what the problem is and start working on it. At the WTB you show up there it's immediately why are you here? And they are very skeptical of you. I tell you right now, this is where the anxiety sets in the most soldiers. They want to get healed they should not have to prove there's something wrong. Senior leadership, you need to check the resumes and where these civilian doctors came from. I can drop names but you have one Dr. who's a primary care physician who came from the VA in Colorado Springs who is not well recommended at the VA who used to work there. Soldiers deserve the best quality care.
The Warrior Transition Battalion is one of the best battalions I have ever been in. If they fixed some of the problems this would be a 2nd to none Battalion. And like I said, soldiers have to meet the battalion halfway. But the hospital also has to fix some of the problems. Anyway I love y'all peace out
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SSG Trevor S.
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The "prove your hurt" mentality you associated with the former VA doctor seems fairly prevalent with the gatekeepers of the VA. (Not so much after you get past the first gate.) Its flat out wrong to have a SM have to go through the seven levels of bureaucratic hell to get the treatment and realize the promises made to him/her.
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SSG Leonard Johnson
SSG Leonard Johnson
6 y
Yes it is....what I'm also talking about is the WTB or hospitals hiring VA docs who are qualified to be docs
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SFC Mark Merino
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My WTB squad leader at Fort Lewis was nothing short of amazing.
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SSG Leonard Johnson
SSG Leonard Johnson
6 y
That's great brother. Also check it out brother, word on the street is there is still slots open for a deep sea fishing trip to Corpus Christi Texas. Check with the SFAC. This is last week Sue who knows you might be filled up. This post be over 400 wounded warriors going down there from various places in the United States. But check it out. You got my picture love to see you down there brother. You won't miss me, going to have surgery next week I'll be in one of those medical armrest whatever you call them
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LTC Stephen F.
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Leonard. thank you for sharing your experiences with the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Carson. I am glad to learn that the battalion level and below support and facilities seem to be very beneficial. I am sorry to learn that you have been experiencing systemic problems with misdiagnosis there. That happened a couple of times to me while I was on active duty - I don't think the misdiagnosis was the result of evil intensions rather it seemed to be the result of complex medical issues which tends to happen to active military members who get banged around occasionally. Personally, I have received great care from the VA medical system for many years. I hope and pray that you receive the treatment you need.
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SSG Leonard Johnson
SSG Leonard Johnson
6 y
Sir,
I am get the care that I need now. I've already been to one surgery a couple weeks ago, getting ready to go through my 2nd surgery next week. After I heal from that I go through my lower lumbar spine surgery later this summer. Then I go to my next surgery after that. I'm getting care to do my TRICARE for life and my Medicare part B.
However I will say this. All these things showed up on an MRI. All these things were shown up on the same MRI run by the military while I was in the WTU. Only they are little bit worse. The one thing on one of my writeups from this primary care physician that I was talking about, he was stated as saying I was over exaggerate in my symptoms. On the MRI it said SEVERE on everything. I also seen how other soldiers were treated to throughout my year and a half there. So yes I believe you have a point but I also believe I have a point also. I do believe these doctors are trying to get some of these Joe's out so they can push them off on the VA to take care of them. As just a humble opinion and I know I'm not the only one with that humble opinion :-)
by the way sir happy Easter and God bless
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LTC Stephen F.
LTC Stephen F.
6 y
Leonard, I am glad to learn that you getting the care you need. When I was discussing the misdiagnosis's I was commenting on my own experience and hoping it was similar for you. I am sorry to learn that you were being accused of exaggerating your symptoms - especially if they are nervous symptom related such as based on the condition of your spine. I have not been able to have an MRI for over 12 years because of wires suck in my heart from a previous surgery. I know that doctors have a certain amount of freedom when reviewing the comments of the radiologist who frequently are the ones who review the MRI, CTSCAN, etc. I also know that pain and similar symptoms vary across patients and it is very sad when somebody tells you that you exaggerating your condition. Leonard I pray the Lord blesses you this Easter and He gives wisdom and guides the hands and mind of every doctor and medical person who treats or ministers to you. Respectfully, Steve Ford
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