BUDGET RESOLVE. This morning I went to a sparsely attended press conference hosted by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs where several representatives patted themselves on the back for passing the continuing budget resolution which adds an additional $6.6 billion in health care and discretionary funding for veterans. In light of the Walter Reed scandal, Democrats in the Veterans' Committee are pushing for more funding. Budget chair John Spratt emphasized funding for post-traumatic stress disorder, calling for the hiring of more psychiatrists to deal with the "growing beneficiary population" -- Iraq and Afghanistan vets who will be dealing with postwar trauma -- as well as funding for prosthetics research.
FRIENDLY FIRE COVERUP? The interview with Pat Tillman's mother on NPR this morning is worth a listen. Her anger at the Army officials is palpable, and she even calls the lies they told her about her son's death "a form of abuse."
DER SOLDAT.AlterNet reports that the German magazine Der Spiegel recently published a profile of several U.S. soldiers who struggle with their role in the war. One soldier went AWOL because of his objections:
GI JANE. An article in the NYT magazine this weekend examined women vets and why they experience a slightly higher rate -- 24 percent compared with 19 percent of men -- of post-traumatic stress disorder than their male counterparts. The reason behind this is sexual assault and harassment, something the article calls a "double whammy" when combined with the stress of serving during wartime. The reality, as the article points out, is that the military and VA have done very little to deal with this problem. Even when women go through treatment for PTSD, they're often placed in groups of all men, some of whom are dealing with sexually assaulting someone.
MALE SLUSH FUND. The California Supreme court denied to hear an appeal on a sex discrimination lawsuit, supporting the claim by former clinical psychiatry professor at UCLA. Janet Conney, who worked at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, was awarded nearly $3 million in 2004 for her allegations that male colleagues made disparaging comments about her appearance and the department discriminated against her for promotions and pay raises because of her gender.