Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Soldier Wanted Help For PTSD, He Faced Being "Disciplined" Instead

A soldier battling PTSD reported that he wanted to hurt his commanders. They disciplined him.
The Baltimore Sun
Ian Duncan
November 1, 2016

Since returning from his second deployment to Afghanistan, Army Spc. Scott Miller had been through several stays at a mental health hospital. But after Christmas, the thoughts about taking his own life were joined by new ones about killing members of his unit.

Scott Miller suffered PTSD after serving with the Army in Afghanistan. When his symptoms got worse and he was having thoughts of killing people in his unit, he sought treatment but ended up being disciplined for making threats. (Family photo / HANDOUT)
Miller, a helicopter mechanic from Bowie, sought help in the emergency room at the hospital on his post at Fort Campbell, Ky. He says he revealed his murderous thoughts so that he could get the treatment he thought he needed.

He eventually was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. But his words triggered a criminal investigation and a lengthy disciplinary process that ended with him stripped of his rank on his way out of the service.

"I didn't threaten anybody directly," Miller said. "I was there to try and get help, and I was honest with the behavioral health provider. I know that I'm not going to get any better if I'm not honest with my feelings and thoughts."

Lt. Col. Jay Thoman, the Army lawyer who represented Miller in his disciplinary proceedings, said he was unable to find other cases in which hospital staff aided a criminal investigation, or a commander took disciplinary action over something a soldier said to a medical provider.
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