Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Saving Money the Old-Fashioned Way: Cheating

You got to hand it to the bozos in the military, they've come up with a unique way to cut costs: Just discharge everyone you can under Regulation 635-200, Chapter 5-13: "Separation Because of Personality Disorder."

For the soldier who just wants to get the fuck out of the service and out of Iraq, it's a strong siren song. By accepting a 5-13 discharge, it's a free ticket home, without all that pesky red tape to slow things down.

The only problem is that a 5-13 discharge puts a scarlet letter on your chest, and you'll have a snowball's chance in hell of ever collecting VA disability.

Take the case of Specialist Jon Town, chillingly described on the always-valuable VA Watchdog website.

Long story short, Town was flattened by an explosive ordinance round that hit about two feet above his head. After the blood stopped flowing from his ears, he took a 5-13 so he could beat feet out of Dodge. Now he's plagued with PTSD and a perpetual headache. The VA's response? Tough shit.

Pre-existing condition, they say, and Specialist Town is fucked.

Multiply this by the over 22,000 service members who have been discharged under 5-13 just in the last six years and you have a potential savings that run into the billions.

Sad to say, none of this surprises me. It's just another in a long list of horrible examples of how the BFEE treats its soldiers of empire when they are no longer capable of hoisting the flag of conquest.


Anonymous said...

What I don't understand....

I'm a 57-yo housewife from the midwest, and I KNOW how the military & VA treat the troops. (Okay, so perhaps my experiences back in the Vietnam era "color" my opinion a bit).

But if I know this, if I know all about the first-hand accounts of medical malfeasance, why can't/won't our 18-19-20-year-old tech-savy generation figure this out as well and stop enlisting?

Some of these kids were 14-15 when this debacle started; they should KNOW better!

Why don't they?

Mr. Ed said...

sulee - I can tell you from experience that when you're a young male fresh out of school and the job prospects are looking mighty thin the siren song of joining the military is practically irresistable.

Besides, at that age, you know you're indestructable. Anything bad that'll ever happen will only happen to someone else.

Anonymous said...

"Separation Because of Personality Disorder." has a long history. In an article dated 11/69 in the American Journal of Psychiatry Lt. Col. Frank W. Hayes proudly cites the period 1/1/67-6/1/67 in Vietnam where men with 'combat exhaustion' were reclassified as "character and behavior disorders". In other words they fucking lied about these brave men, who never got 'treated'; but rather turned them out of the service,"their definitive disposition is a non medical function of their unit commander". Fucking sick bastards.

--Blue Girl said...

I found you while googling 5-13's for a feature. I would like to extend an invite to you to join the Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus that edger started up. Here is a link to a post on my site that sorta tells who we are and how to join us.

I'm a Navy Brat - ROTC trained (former) flight nurse (turned science academic) - married to a retired SAC officer - and this shit ain't what I dedicated my life to create - know what I mean?