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Vet group faults Drum mental health services

A veterans group says the Army is still failing to provide 10th Mountain Division soldiers with adequate mental health services at Fort Drum more than six years after the start of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report, titled "Fort Drum: A Great Burden, Inadequate Assistance." is from the Washington, D.C.-based Veterans for America. It cites under-staffing, reliance on questionnaires to identify soldiers who need treatment, and leadership's indifference to soldiers' claims of post traumatic stress disorder. The report also said repeated, lengthy and unpredictable deployments have taken a toll on all the Army's divisions, but most especially Ft. Drum's 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams. The report says some soldiers wait up to two months before a first appointment. It concludes that care for returning soldiers at Fort Drum is woefully inadequate.

Veterans for America, formerly known as Vietnam Veterans of America, was founded by former Marine Bobby Muller. According to Sen. Hillary Clinton, the group based the report on interviews with a dozen Fort Drum soldiers and mental health providers. Clinton said the problem must be addressed urgently. In a statement, she said she's looking forward to "the cooperation and support of the Army in this process." Army officials at Ft. Drum had no immediate comment on the report.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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