November 8:

Rivera apologizes to Operation Just One and Pogany for "anti Army" slander, but not to peace groups

City council address Tuesday, November 8 at 1 pm after Mayor Rivera shuns community healthcare outreach to soldiers, vets, and families.

Address to Mayor from Terry Leichner read into the record Nov 8, 2005.

Please join us to show that we are the constitutional patriots and the PEACE movement supports healing of the wounds of violence.

Letter writing campaign all week. Please write all papers and council members.
Gazette
Independent
Rocky Mountain News
Denver Post

City Council emails:
Mayor Rivera
Larry Small
Scott Hente
Darryl Glenn
Jerry Heimlicher
Margaret Radford
Tom Gallagher
Randy Purvis
Richard Skorman

Background:

Mayor Lionel Rivera first endorsed, then flip flopped on a proclamation of Combat Operational Stress/PTSD Awareness Day and in the process politicized what should have been a lauded community outreach of mental health professionals providing pro bono services to soldiers and vets returning from battle.

Another address to city council will be held at City Hall, Tuesday, November 8, at 1 PM. You can address City Council for up to 3 minutes each during the public comments segment of the council meeting, but must sign up in chambers, at the clerk's desk, starting at 1:00 PM.


TALKING POINTS:


1. Rivera first endorsed the program, Operation Just One, created by a returning veteran of the Iraq war, Andy Pogany.

2. Then he reversed himself and refuses to work with the program at all.

3. His retraction is consistent with the military's insistence that its mental health programs are adequate, and their propaganda to hide incidents of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

4. Local vets and soldiers feel that the Army's program of 6 free counseling sessions is not adequate.

5. Many soldiers and vets with psychological problems do not seek treatment within the military because of the stigma. Community outreach programs are a good alternative (as Rivera initially agreed).

6. Rivera took issue with some of the proclamations language, but that language is based on the Veterans Administrations own publications on PTSD.

7. In attempting to minimize PTSD and the benefit of this free community outreach, Rivera discourages participation in the program by health providers who would offer pro bono services.

8. He is also discourage soldiers from seeking treatment because implied in the message that PTSD is not a problem, is that the soldier's psychological distress is not valid.

9. Rather than supporting the troop's healthcare needs, Rivera has failed the troops.

10. JAMA study that 17% of returning soldiers admit PTSD symptoms; 9% for Gulf War.

11. VA projects $1.65 Billion shortfall in mental health programs by 2007.

12. 2003: 134% increase in PTSD but ONLY 44% increase in VA budget;

13. 2004: 42% increase in severe PTSD but ONLY 22% increase in funds.

14. Slower increase in 2004 PTSD compared to 2003 makes no sense at all.

15. 2003 PTSD victims waiting average of 47 days to get into treatment.

16. Of 5,000 soldiers on "medical hold" ONLY 860 are regular Army; other reserves, Guard.

17. One Springs Psychologist has 60-70% of clients from military.

18. Army assessment: 2003 suicide rate was 18 of 100,000, compared to 10.8 for US.

19. Army assessment: 60% with mental health problems got NO therapy in 2004.

20. Army assessment: 59% NOT trained adequately to handle combat stress.

21. Army claims 19% PTSD in transport and support, but ONLY 11% in combat squads.

22. 2004 GAO report: VA has not fully met ANY of 1985's 24 recommendations.

23. 2004 GAO report: VA does not plan to meet 23 of 24 recommendations until 2007.

24. 2004 GAO report: 6 of 7 VA hospitals have not been able to meet PTSD demand.

25. Aug 2005 VA tries to "review" 72,000 cases in "witch hunt" to limit disability payments.

26. September 7, 2005 study on PTSD, released by Dr. Joseph Boscarino

27. Suicide, PTSD, healthcare rates from Vietnam Veterans of America

28. 110 self inflicted wounds by Iraq Veterans as of October, 2003

29. February, 2004 Army admits suicide rate is up 20% in Iraq Veterans

30. CDC study found 9,000 Vietnam Veterans committed suicide within 5 years of leaving military

31. 60-90% of Veterans with PTSD have chemical dependency problems after release

32. Army Mental Health Advisory Team report: average of 2 suicides per month in Army

33. 67 suicides among Iraq Veterans after getting home

34. National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

35. Chief of Psychiatry at Walter Reed, Hoge: 30% of Vietnam Vets had PTSD

36. VA report: number of PTSD cases grew by 100,000 from 1999 to 2004 to 215,871

37. Sexual assaults up 19% from 1999 to 2002 in report from Wash Post under FOIA lawsuit

38. The full report on sexual assaults the Army tried to hide (PDF format)

39. 1,700 sexual assaults in 2004, 1,275 against other troops

40. 17,000 cases of spousal abuse in military families in 2003 as reported to the Miles Foundation

41. JAMA report (Hoge) on PTSD from July 1, 2004; 15.6-17.1% victims, but only 23-40% seeking help


Research:

VA publications:
http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/publications/cq/v2/n1/harkness.html
http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/facts/veterans/fs_iraq_afghanistan_lay_audience.htm

Mayor Rivera in the news:
http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_3070751
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3073440
http://gazette.com/display.php?id=1310872
http://www.csindy.com/csindy/2005-10-06/personalspace.html
KRCC's Western Skies addresses Mayor Rivera and PTSD (part 1 transcript);
Western Skies on Mayor flip-flop and PTSD (Part 2 transcript)
Both Western Skies shows MP3 audio of broadcast

PTSD, Fort Carson, reports, organizations:
Mike Lemke and Donald Dills interview on PBS on Fort Carson and PTSD
Walter Padilla and Joshua Petersen interview on Fort Carson and PTSD treatment
Another report and interview with Mike Lemke at Fort Carson
Save Our Vets.com collection of government reports
Report on legislation to review 72,000 cases of PTSD
Report on Springs' psychologist with 75 PTSD clients
Operation Just One
National Gulf War Resource Center
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Veterans for Peace

CONTACT:
Mark Lewis
719-471-9400
CSAction.org