Iraq soldiers and veterans being screwed over

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From the Army Times and CNN.com, respectively:

Iraq war vets sue VA over delays (my emphasis added on PTSD, which recruiters never talk about)

Frustrated by delays in health care, a coalition of injured Iraq war veterans is accusing VA Secretary Jim Nicholson of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.

The class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, seeks broad change in the agency as it struggles to meet growing demands from veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Suing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of veterans, it charges that the VA has failed warriors on several fronts — from providing prompt disability benefits, to adding staff to reduce wait times for medical care to boosting services for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit also accuses the VA of deliberately cheating some veterans by allegedly working with the Pentagon to misclassify PTSD claims as pre-existing personality disorders to avoid paying out benefits. The VA and Pentagon have generally denied such charges.

General: Iraq soldiers’ tours of duty could be extended beyond 15 months

After five years of war, the U.S. Army is stretched thin and long deployments are taking a toll on soldiers and their families, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Tuesday.

Casey, who became the 36th Army chief of staff in April, said the continuing war in Iraq has put so much pressure on the Army that limiting deployments to 15 months can’t be guaranteed.

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