Iraq Veterans Against the War – 2011-01-11 22:57:37
Army Specialist Jeff Hanks Faces
Imminent Redeployment to Afghanistan —
Your help needed
Less than two months after surrendering himself at Fort Campbell from AWOL status — and without having received treatment for his war wounds — Jeff Hanks was told this week that he is scheduled for redeployment to Afghanistan TOMORROW.
Today, Iraq Veterans Against the War’s Operation Recovery Campaign is hand-delivering an Article 138 Redress Request to Hanksâ€™ commander detailing numerous violations of Jeff’s right to heal.
Send a message to Jeff’s unit commander, Captain Jason Ambrosino: STOP REDEPLOYING WOUNDED WARRIORS!
Since being back at Fort Campbell, Jeff has been a good soldier, all the while struggling with symptoms of severe PTSD and presumed Traumatic Brain Injury:
+ He suffers from hearing loss and bad headaches daily.
+ He experiences extreme anxiety in crowds and while driving.
+ He has such graphic nightmares that he doesn’t want to sleep near his family members for fear of hurting them.
Jeff has tried doggedly to get the health treatment he needs, but consistently has faced roadblocks erected by Captain Ambrosino. Jeff started to get some relief when he began seeing a civilian counselor off-base, but Captain Ambrosino put an end to that.
Four separate medical professionals have diagnosed Jeff with PTSD, but Army Behavioral Health personnel and Captain Ambrosino refuse to acknowledge this fact.
Jeff’s lawyer charges that Captain Ambrosino has failed to meet the accepted standards of care for soldiers suffering from PTSD, has interfered with the care that Hanks was receiving from a civilian counselor, and has violated Department of Defense regulations.
Jeff’s pre-deployment health screenings two days ago denied his PTSD, and results of an MRI for suspected head trauma will not be available until after he is in Afghanistan. The Army behavioral health specialist who conducted the screening told Jeff he should seek treatment while deployed in Afghanistan. But Jeff knows that it getting treatment in-country is a joke!
The way Jeff has been treated is OUTRAGEOUS, and he is not the only one who’s had this experience at Fort Campbell. In fact, in 2009, Fort Campbell led the Army in suicides and had to shut down the base for three days when a series of suicides occurred after troops had returned home from deployment.
Well, 3,000 soldiers returned home to Fort Campbell yesterday, and unfortunately we may expect a similar situation to un-fold in the coming weeks.
The Operation Recovery campaign is setting up shop at Fort Campbell. Late yesterday, members of the Operation Recovery team arrived at Fort Campbell to take action on behalf of Jeff Hanks and all soldiers who are in a similar situation at Campbell.
Today, we are holding a press conference, and serving Captain Ambrosino notice in-person that we will no longer allow him to violate soldiers’ right to heal.
Take action now, by letting Captain Ambrosino know that the public is watching his actions, and we will stand up for the rights of wounded warriors.
As someone who cares about the welfare of our troops, I have been following the case of Jeff Hanks at Fort Campbell, and I find it appalling that you would redeploy a soldier who has been diagnosed with severe PTSD.
Soldiers have a right to heal from the traumas of war. But you have systematically denied that right in the case of Spc. Hanks. You have interfered with him receiving proper medical treatment, and you appear to be breaking the law by doing so.
But this is not just about Jeff Hanks. Hanks is a symbol of what many soldiers at Fort Campbell are going through with multiple deployments. Perhaps that is why in 2009 Fort Campbell led the Army in suicides.
In the midst of the current epidemic of Army suicides, it is shameful that you and your chain of command would deny medical treatment to soldiers who are suffering from PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury.
Furthermore, you are violating your code as a military officer and should be held accountable for abusing your subordinates.
I implore you to do the right thing. Do not deploy Jeff Hanks or any other soldier suffering from PTSD. Give them the support and treatment that they need to heal from the traumas of war.
I will continue to monitor your actions as events unfold at Fort Campbell.
We plan to be in Fort Campbell for several weeks, where we will outreach to soldiers and their families who are dealing with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma. And we will continue to hold Captain Ambrosino and any other officer accountable who dares to deny soldiers their right to heal.
The Operation Recovery Campaign Team
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