For a wounded soldier, a mom keeps fi...

For a wounded soldier, a mom keeps fighting

There are 46 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Dec 11, 2010, titled For a wounded soldier, a mom keeps fighting. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

"Your dad is in the army. The flag is in the army. That's where he works," says Rene Schwappach to her four-year-old granddaughter, Sophia Schwappach, as she plays with a flag she received at a Veteran's Day event, while Rene drives a school bus in Hammond, WI, November 11, 2010.

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Rhonda Chamberlain

Hubert, NC

#2 Dec 12, 2010
Dear Mom of Soldier In Need, Please contact Bill O'Reiily at Fox News. He does so much for soldier's and veteran's. In the meantime, I am praying for you and your son. Sincerely, Rhonda Chamberlain
bonnie

Rochester, MN

#4 Dec 12, 2010
this is so good to read. we delt with this with my son in law a couple of years ago...and now he is deployed again ....it is going to be hell when he comes home. we hit our heads on brick walls trying to get help. nothing out there. they don't want to help the soldiers...they tend to look the other way. i thank you for sharing your story and i feel your pain. let me tell you this, if a soldier could go to the end of his mental mind and do the worst thing in the world you could think of.......he did it. it was hard....stressful and no one understands but you. thank you for your story!
38bud

Elk River, MN

#5 Dec 12, 2010
Get Real wrote:
This just sounds pathetic. Your son is a grown adult who most likely does not have PTSD. I'm sure the guys in his unit must laugh at this guy. If this guy needs help, the options are available to him. He doesn't need his mom to complain to his senators about his problems.
I have seen this all the time in the military. People enlist with all types of problems. Then they blame all their problems on the military.
He fails a couple drug tests: It must be the military's fault.
He gets diagonoised with bipolar, again must have been caused by the military.
The only thing this article explained that would have caused PTSD was seeing a dead Iraqi Policeman's body. If that caused it the this guy clearly had issues prior to him enlisting.
The mom states that she wants his PTSD put onto his medical file so she can get a disability pension for life for her son, how about her son getting a job instead.
Also, she stated she had put all this money into her fight for her son like paying to go see him while at Ft Drum. So you wouldn't have paid to go see your son anyways? Well if that's the case then the mom is hopeless too.
Maybe you should strap on some boots and a uniform and go over there and serve If you were any kind of person you wouldn't be talking down on our military people. You should get your ass kicked for that
National Guard Mom

United States

#6 Dec 12, 2010
GET REAl: Sounds like you served our country, if so then you would know exactly what this soldier is suffering from because you have a medical degree, am I right?
Do you know the symptoms of PTSD, do you know what triggers it, have you suffered from it yourself and made a complete recovery? I can bet the answer is no three times. Do not assume you can tell what triggered this poor guys symptoms, and how dare you think that it's a case just not getting the right resources, it can take years to diagnose PTSD, and as far as the military 'helping' a person get treatment, think again. Our family has been dealing with this issue with my son, and I have to say that it's been hell trying to get him into a treatment program because the military has this 'suck it up attitude' and if you can't do that, it's like you have a whole company of people that collectively turn their backs on you and pretty much make you feel like you can not penetrate that wall of backs in front of you.
Read the news, notice the trend of murder/suicides on the increase among servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan?
How dare you assume you know what is going on, my opinion is you don't have a clue.
Simon

Minneapolis, MN

#7 Dec 12, 2010
Oh please. Get over yourself. Your son is not better than thousand of soldiers fighting. Let your son be a soldier, not a ninny mamas boy. You are embrassing the boy flying over there and asking for special treatment. Let your ninny son be a man!
unknown

Hibbing, MN

#8 Dec 12, 2010
Sad to say.. but thats why the goverment calls the military expendable assets.
Rina

Outing, MN

#9 Dec 12, 2010
My heart goest out to the mother, wife, child, and the Soldier. I too have had a problem with this and to be honest the army dropped the ball on several occasions. Through all the drinking, alcohol poisonings which resulted with a trip to the ER twice, and one attempted suicide my husband got to have a sleep over with his boss, just to sleep it off. AND the kicker is they sent him back over seas anyway. I am not looking forward to when he comes home because it was rough before he left and Ihave so support from family or friends.
I have contacted some one who I thought would help or direct me where to go (a senator) but that resulted in a dead end. I'll keep trying, I don't give up easy.
God Bless you and your family and maybe together we can get this taken care of.
Doubt It

New York, NY

#10 Dec 12, 2010
So Mrs Schwappac, when you say "they don't care", who is they? All the people from his old unit? His squad leaders, platoon SGTs, 1SG, company commander, Nurse Case manager, his Primary Care Manager, his Behavioral Health providers, his physical exams board leison officer, the VA physical exam providers, the Battalion Surgeon,the battalion Seargent Major, the Battalion Commander, the Garrison Commander, or the Division Commander? Obviously there is a grand conspiracy against your son. Thank God you found out. Given the massive amount of attention that has been given to warrior care since the Walter Reed incident, Walter Reed CG fired, and Secretary Gates and all the Chiefs of staff focusing on this issue, I am suprised your son would receive such blatant mistreatment. Obviously, there is nothing else that would explain whats going on.
Sun Worshiper

Phoenix, AZ

#11 Dec 12, 2010
I support the Schwappachs and 2-3 weeks ago read another article about their plight from a western Wis online news. That story had more details about the "amenieties" at Ft. Drum in NY. One "minor" thing that caught my attention was that some of the beds at Ft. Drum did not even have bedsheets for these returning wounded warriors. This prompted me to forward that article to my AZ Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl with my comments on the Ft. Drum story. Why, you may ask? Because that very same day in a Phx area paper was a big spread as well as online slides/video of an Arizona Immigration Holding facility (one of many around the country). The video showed their outdoor recreation area, individual rooms WITH BEDSHEETS, what appeared to be stero systems, etc. ALL TAXPAYER FUNDED "amenieties" for those that SHOULD NOT have been in the US to begin with. I forget the cost of this particular holding facility but $35 million comes to mind. A similar AZ holding facility "highlighted" earlier mentioned individual furnished apartments, right down to hanging planters, for these Illegal Aliens. Get on your representatives in D.C. and demand that Taxpayer funding benefitting Illegal Aliens be stopped and redirected to those wounded warriors injured fighting for US!
National Guard Mom

United States

#12 Dec 12, 2010
Doubt It--I am going through this situation with my son. I can tell you from personal experience that his 'old' unit's rear command has to this day never contacted us inquiring how our son is doing. As it is it took me a week to find out where my son was flown to stateside. I would think that the rear command would have done more to at least keep us up to date on his whereabouts but it took me contacting the Red Cross to finally locate my son, by this time he had been discharged from the hospital--too soon if you ask me, who asks a person who has gone through this if they are okay and accept an affirmative to that statement as fact.
Do not for one minute assume that this woman hasn't run into brick walls. I am sure it is a daily occurance.
I call BS

New York, NY

#13 Dec 12, 2010
Sun Worshiper wrote:
I support the Schwappachs and 2-3 weeks ago read another article about their plight from a western Wis online news. That story had more details about the "amenieties" at Ft. Drum in NY. One "minor" thing that caught my attention was that some of the beds at Ft. Drum did not even have bedsheets for these returning wounded warriors. This prompted me to forward that article to my AZ Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl with my comments on the Ft. Drum story. Why, you may ask? Because that very same day in a Phx area paper was a big spread as well as online slides/video of an Arizona Immigration Holding facility (one of many around the country). The video showed their outdoor recreation area, individual rooms WITH BEDSHEETS, what appeared to be stero systems, etc. ALL TAXPAYER FUNDED "amenieties" for those that SHOULD NOT have been in the US to begin with. I forget the cost of this particular holding facility but $35 million comes to mind. A similar AZ holding facility "highlighted" earlier mentioned individual furnished apartments, right down to hanging planters, for these Illegal Aliens. Get on your representatives in D.C. and demand that Taxpayer funding benefitting Illegal Aliens be stopped and redirected to those wounded warriors injured fighting for US!
All the WTUs at at Fort Drum are now housed in a Multi-million dollar facility that was just completed. Computers, lcd tvs, private rooms and many other amenties. So the guy had to pick up some sheets from supply like every other Soldier in the Army and that spurred you to action, brilliant. I don't think we should be rolling out the red carpet for illegal aliens but to imply they receive better care than WTs is absurd.

Soldiers in the WTU are not invalids. They are there to transition back to the Army or back to the community also known as the real world. Doing things for yourself is part of life. No one is expecgting them to coordinate their own care but they do have to do some things for themselves. Every WTU has a robust staff to assist Soldiers, but I doubt a "tucking in liason" will be part of the unit anytime soon.

P.S. You should also write about the lack of breath mints placed gently on the pillow.
Highly Doubt it

New York, NY

#14 Dec 12, 2010
National Guard Mom wrote:
Doubt It--I am going through this situation with my son. I can tell you from personal experience that his 'old' unit's rear command has to this day never contacted us inquiring how our son is doing. As it is it took me a week to find out where my son was flown to stateside. I would think that the rear command would have done more to at least keep us up to date on his whereabouts but it took me contacting the Red Cross to finally locate my son, by this time he had been discharged from the hospital--too soon if you ask me, who asks a person who has gone through this if they are okay and accept an affirmative to that statement as fact.
Do not for one minute assume that this woman hasn't run into brick walls. I am sure it is a daily occurance.
So your son was well enough to be discharged from the Hospital but so debilitated that he couldn't contact you? No doubt all the Drs, Nurses, medics, and so on cared so little about your son that they never thought to ask if he needed to contact someone? I know if I were injured in combat I would be contacting my family immediately to let them know I was OK. Out of curiosity, why didn't your son contact you? No doubt another conspiracy. Nothing else could explain it.
joe

Minneapolis, MN

#15 Dec 12, 2010
well, this is about how it works in the military..they dont address it till he goes out and mow-down bunch of ppl in a govt office,,then they can really say he has a problem..but since he hasnt don it- they cant say that he does actually has those symptoms. lol
karzi

Saint Paul, MN

#16 Dec 12, 2010
My son came back from afganistan after been in hospital for over a year from a head injury , his moods r up and down and i feel so helpless , he gets close then he backs away , he is inthe VA 4 times aweek for treatment and anger therapy , he views life as nothing,he hides away and now after2yrs they want him to travel to another state to have a medical review done, its hard enough that he has to cope with this brain injury let alone be insulted enough to be questioned on whether he deserves retirment benefits from the military , He has done 2 tours and now is fighting for a half normal life , he cannot work because of the injuries . WHEN is this Goverment gonna take care of our sons , husbands Daughters Wifes ???? and their blessed children who have to try to comprehend what has happened to them . Im so Angry and Im MUM and can't do a thing to help
Highly Doubt it

New York, NY

#17 Dec 12, 2010
Karzi, I can understand your frustration as life is never the same after closed head injuries.

Your son was in the hospital for over a year but was not medically retired? Seems unusual. Is he currently not receiving any disability pay or benefits? Again seems unusual.

Fortunatley it sounds like your son is receiving care as he is going to the VA 4 times a week. Sounds like the government is living up to its obligation of caring for wounded Soldiers. However, there isn't always a "cure" for everything. Perhaps getting a medical review will be of some benefit, as based on the "facts" you have presented it seems obvious and should be a no brainer right?

It always baffles me that people look upon the military healthcare system and VA system with such mistrust. The people in these systems are fellow retirees, Soldiers, Drs, Nurses, Medics, etc who have dedicated their lives to helping the sick and injured; but now we are to believe they are out to screw Soldiers over?
Joy

Saint Paul, MN

#18 Dec 12, 2010
Very sad.
National Guard Mom

United States

#19 Dec 12, 2010
Highly Doubt it wrote:
<quoted text>
So your son was well enough to be discharged from the Hospital but so debilitated that he couldn't contact you? No doubt all the Drs, Nurses, medics, and so on cared so little about your son that they never thought to ask if he needed to contact someone? I know if I were injured in combat I would be contacting my family immediately to let them know I was OK. Out of curiosity, why didn't your son contact you? No doubt another conspiracy. Nothing else could explain it.
Funny you should ask, my son (suffering from short term memory problems) was issued a phone card and showed a phone bank. You ever try to use one of those cards without memory problems? Mental health issues take a different turn when your child is an adult, my son was injured, just not so a person could see, as a result he had to make the call as to whether or not we should be contacted, and he was ashamed. Does that answer your question. I am sure if he had been shot it would be a different story, with someone making the call for him. Seeing as he wasn't though I don't know if circumstances would have been different. Tell you what you let me know if it would have been different, I'm sure you can find someone to ask, I seriously am curious.
Mr Tech

Saint Paul, MN

#20 Dec 12, 2010
The bigger the base clinic the better lady.

I bet Bush II never planned on the cost of medical care like this. Both him and Cheney had better things to do during Vietnam!
Highly Doubt it

New York, NY

#21 Dec 12, 2010
National Guard Mom wrote:
<quoted text>
Funny you should ask, my son (suffering from short term memory problems) was issued a phone card and showed a phone bank. You ever try to use one of those cards without memory problems? Mental health issues take a different turn when your child is an adult, my son was injured, just not so a person could see, as a result he had to make the call as to whether or not we should be contacted, and he was ashamed. Does that answer your question. I am sure if he had been shot it would be a different story, with someone making the call for him. Seeing as he wasn't though I don't know if circumstances would have been different. Tell you what you let me know if it would have been different, I'm sure you can find someone to ask, I seriously am curious.
If your adult son was deemed competent and he decided not to contact you, that is on him. It is a violation of patient privacy to tell others, even moms, about health issues. You can't blame his commanders who are in the middle of the battlefield and you can't blame the hospital staff for respecting his privacy so that leaves..........

I know it sounds mean, but that is not my intent. Mental illness is a serious condition and with all the focus on PTSD, TBI, Suicide prevention, depression screening, pre and post deployment health assessments, depression screenings every time you visit a provider, massive amounts of education provided to the line units on mental health, and so on; you can't say the military isn't aware or doesn't care.
National Guard Mom

United States

#22 Dec 12, 2010
Highly Doubt it wrote:
<quoted text>
If your adult son was deemed competent and he decided not to contact you, that is on him. It is a violation of patient privacy to tell others, even moms, about health issues. You can't blame his commanders who are in the middle of the battlefield and you can't blame the hospital staff for respecting his privacy so that leaves..........
I know it sounds mean, but that is not my intent. Mental illness is a serious condition and with all the focus on PTSD, TBI, Suicide prevention, depression screening, pre and post deployment health assessments, depression screenings every time you visit a provider, massive amounts of education provided to the line units on mental health, and so on; you can't say the military isn't aware or doesn't care.
I don't believe I ever said that the military doesn't care, the VA has been very helpful so far. It's the guys in his unit (aside from a few that were with him when he 'collapsed') that have turned their backs on us, as if by doing so that what they can't see can't hurt them. Believe me we have some major issues going on and it would be nice to have someone in our corner to help us jump the hurdles and knock down the walls. I am open to more suggestions if you have any.

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