Posted on Jul 31, 2020
MSgt Brendon Grimes
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What are your thoughts given some basic info? Fraud, Criminal Intent, PTSD & psychology.
An Army infantry soldier completes a first term 4 year enlistment, excited following 9/11. Possibly serves only one overseas tour, and never fires his weapon in combat. Gets out of Army following enlistment and joins Army Guard. Within first year of guard duty (upon orders for overseas tour) claims PTSD threatens to kill his comrades. Is released from duty.
Member has tried for 12 years to get benefits, and finally receives 100% disability. Claims to his family that his PTSD disease is cured. Does not follow psychologists prescriptions, as they are not really needed.
Was member fit for duty when enlisting in the Army Guard? Or did this member fraudulently join having pre-existing condition?
Can this member have concealed carry and go hunting, when he claims PTSD for gunfire?
would you consider this member to be defrauding the government and taxpayer?
Soldier has lied to family members claiming to be heroic sniper, only to reveal as lies later, having never fired his weapon in actual combat. Possibly used similar lies to VA psychologist.
How would you approach situation? VA does not seem to care, and does not offer path for investigation.
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SSgt Engineering
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Edited 1 y ago
This post goes all over the place so I’ll try to address, but you have a million different things going on here.

Ok, first you need to review the definition of PTSD and understand how it works.

PTSD does not require more than a second of an event and it doesn’t matter if you never fire your weapon, or even have a weapon for that matter. PTSD can occur for a host of reasons, combat is just one example.

Now, to the meat of your issue.

Upon enlistment, you are given an enlistment examination. They go through things and determine your baseline. Do people hide things, of course. For now though, these entrance exams (MEPS) are what we have and what we use.

The VA has ways of confirming stressors. It’s possible he is embarrassed about what actually happened or that maybe what caused his issues is none of anyone else’s business. Being awarded a 100% diagnosis for mental health comes with certain hurdles. Perhaps telling people he is doing better is just his way of coping or trying to feel like he has trust in any people.

In the end, you are making some huge assumptions based on incomplete knowledge. There is a chance you are right, there is a chance you are wrong. Is it really worth it for you to find out?

Sorry if this comes across harsh. I once had a disability claim presented to me that had a person who served for A couple weeks in the army and was discharged due to failure to adapt. On first glance, I was annoyed. After reading more and digging some, come to find out the soldier was raped by someone in the basic training leadership on the second day they were there. It is easy for us to try to judge and decide for ourselves wether people warrant disability. No deployment, e-1 basic training “washout” or victim/survivor of a viscous crime... For me though, unless I see a guy acting like they can’t walk stroll to their car while doing jumping jacks after an exam, I won’t be judging.

If they are 100% for psych, they should have also had a competency hearing with the VA. If determined, by the VA to be competent, they can continue to hold a concealed carry and own and purchase firearms. If deemed incompetent, they have their rights restricted there under the Brady Act
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SFC Kenneth Kreps
SFC Kenneth Kreps
2 mo
Thank you for these comments Sgt, I'm not sure why some folks are so adamant about searching for stolen valor, fraudulent comments about serving, etc. I am exteremely proud of my service, and I walk around with my "retired Army Cap, with a few select pins" Whenever I encounter a "Vet", we'll have a short conversation, I'll simply ask him/her what their MOS was. When I hear things like "I was airborne, or I was a Ranger, or even a sniper." I usually just make them extremely uncomfortable by letting them know in no uncertain terms that Airborne is not an MOS, it's a skill, Ranger is not an MOS. I make them define what they did. I don't however make a federal case out of it. I am NOT the fraud police.
Everyone in the military, who has been there for than three monthe has an MOS, and they know what it is. Everyone is not out to fraud the government, most have legitimate claims.
My final thought on this is simply this: Don't judge untill you.ve walked a mile in their shoes.
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SSgt Steve Lofquist
SSgt Steve Lofquist
1 mo
Leadership at Nellis AFB fire attempted to kill my best friend and they did under authority of the uCMJ. Until the IG came in and stopped them. I was powerless to stop them. Thats also PTSD. Now I have issues and havent been able to hold down a job for more than 3 years
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SSG Randall Speck
SSG Randall Speck
1 mo
Great response SSG.
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SSG Daniel Seymour
SSG Daniel Seymour
1 mo
Much respect I keep very busy to keep myself in check, es[ecially at work. I'm constantly moving thinking of way to be efficient in my duties while working.
PTSD can occur form many things even from civilian life prior to military duty: treatment, emotinal tramua; physical and the like.
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SSgt Marvin Cole
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Every veteran who has served in a combat zone suffers from PTSD at some level. Some very small, some very large.

Some Veterans bring their Anxieties and Mental Issues with them when they enter the military. The nature of Service Connected simply implies that whatever that person did in the Military resulted in less than maximum participation in the workforce.

It is way to complicated to find simple solutions. The process of obtaining a PTSD disability is strenuous and goes thru several level to ultimately reach the level of disability.

War Zones changes people.

I am 90% Service Connected, paid at 100% because I am unemployable. The process I went thru was filled with Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Counseling visits. Immensely helpful. I function well today, because I do not have to worry about finances. I do not have to worry about medical care. I do not believe I could do it without my VA disability.

You cannot always tell what's in a book by it's cover. Judging others without the benefit of all the information is just rumor mongering and just being a busy body. The professionals in the VA have done their job! None of us, should judge them without having the proper credentials.
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PO2 Alexander Gonzalez
PO2 Alexander Gonzalez
7 mo
So true brutha.
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PFC Martin Potashner
PFC Martin Potashner
5 mo
CPL (Join to see) - I remember in basic when we got to the grenade pit first thing the sgt said I don't want any John Wayne's in here.
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SSG Daniel Seymour
SSG Daniel Seymour
5 d
A1C Isa Kocher - Being mentally prepared is the preventyion for service members. I remember reading about the guys who remote controlled the drones from Arizona from the airbase in Kandahar got rated for PTSD, That really blew my mind these worked in shifts got to go home to a warm bed and body, not to mention hot meals and showers.
It is what it is
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A1C Isa Kocher
A1C Isa Kocher
5 d
SSG Daniel Seymour - actually, you cannot be mentally prepared. that is not how PTSD works. PTSD has less than zero to do with creature comforts. People working in a unit with common experience and a solid network of sociaL - a given in a combat unit, [my friends coming back from Kurdistan were pretty emphatic about that aspect of their experience and their thousands of years about it in annals of military service][as far as I know that social unity is one of the primary aims of training]

A drone pilot has zero combat support. no network of support and simoply cannot talk about it with anyone else. That is a 100% guarantee PTSD situation: watching close up and intimate the faces of the children, families and bystanders you are killing. It's a fact that about 100 bystanders die for every military target. No one can prepare for it. No one can walk away from it. That is not how healthy human minds function. Nobody with a healty mind can go and just kill people sitting in comfort.

as far as I know, drone pilots have no social support system.

there is no way to finagle, fake, flamboozle a ptsd diagnosis from a genuine expert in PTSD
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CSM Darieus ZaGara
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No offense but there is certainly a lot of he said, she said, and speculation. As for PTSD, many pepp op or are affecting by things in life differently. It could be that he made up stories about his experience in order to justify his level of PTSD, not wishing to admit that the environment itself got to him. As for telling his family one thing only to recant is a classic sign that he may be dealing with deeper issues, I.e. there is nothing wrong with me, you have nothing to fear I mad me it all up. This is done, in some instances, to take the concern from the family. As for not taking meds, that too is a common issue.

The psychologists at the VA have the distinct advantage of accessing his entire military and medical record, they know where he was, for how long, and in most cases what he experienced.

If he is legit, then his Family should ask to attend a family counseling session with the VA in order to learn how to support him, he’ll he is troubled either way, PTSD or not. So money aside he needs help. Also, the VA reassess all levels of compensation about every five years until about 55. They will also review over 55 if the condition is one that is thought to be repairable. So, if he is a fraud he will be found out, and removed or reduced.

So my first thought would be the benefit of the doubt, if he won’t attend a family session, I recommend his loved ones seek counseling and read up on how to help and cope with him. Soldiers are very adapt at masking their feelings. God Bless.
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SFC Christopher Dunlap
SFC Christopher Dunlap
13 d
PVT Damian Busicchia - That is not true. I am 100% Permanent & Total, 40% of which is for TBI and was medically retired in 2012. I was required to be reassessed for TBI in 2017 but the VA.
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A1C Isa Kocher
A1C Isa Kocher
5 d
actually, a lot of people coming back from kurdistan have records under classification.
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A1C Isa Kocher
A1C Isa Kocher
5 d
A1C Isa Kocher - or so i am told
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A1C Isa Kocher
A1C Isa Kocher
5 d
psychological experts, shrinks, social workers etc., with no explicit and focused traing in treating, triaging, diagnosing PTSD paint by numbers haven't a clue

PTSD is an inherently psychological threatening condition.

there are all kinds of unconscious tells in someone with actual PTSD. you cannot fake finagle flamboozle PTSD to anyone who's trained and experienced. but psychologists/psychiatrists without that training cannot properly dianose, and looking at paperwork paint by numbers diagnoses done by the VA should be against the law
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