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The Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline — Why Now?
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The Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline


Lurch at Main and Central reports on the The Wounded Warrior System:

The Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline can be reached from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. [EDT] Monday through Friday at (800) 984-8523. The call center is under the command of the U.S. Army’s Human Resources Command. As the system gears up, it is expected that it will go 24/7.

This is a reaction to the problems with the military medical system. It is a start, and should be used so they can at least understand the scope of the disaster.


1 ellroon { 03.27.07 at 10:16 pm }

Thank you for catching this! I commandeered your entire post!

2 Bryan { 03.27.07 at 10:50 pm }

Spread the word.

3 Kriste Odom- Dieziger { 03.30.07 at 12:23 am }

To whom it may concern,

I’m writing this document because I am either unable to personally attend a meeting where I can convey this concern or because I want you to be able to attach this information in my words to certain processes, in particular the request for medical retirement for my husband is applying for. If either of those do not apply then I have posted this letter on the internet to try to bring attention to my husband’s issue and to try to bring understanding to the issue of our soldier’s returning from war without the care and concern they deserve.

Since my husband returned from his tour in Iraq, he has been unable to demonstrate even the most basic affection or any kind or sincere intimacy, not just towards me but also towards his immediate family or friends. The mood swings he suffers from can be profoundly deep and last for days. I can not say that my husband was a “ social butterfly” before he went to Iraq, but he had a wonderful sense of humor, enjoyed going out for card nights with our friends or bowling either as a date for ourselves or usually on a league. Now he can barely stand to be in a room with more then three people for any length of time.

More often than not, Kirk cries out in sleep and as if someone is chasing him; he runs in bed. There have been a few times when I have tried to share our marital bed with him only to be woken up with him on top of me, obviously asleep, barking orders at me to “ take cover” or “ pick it up, pick it up, keep moving”. On many occasions his flailing arms and legs have injured me, but that along with the severe snoring and sleep apnea he developed while being in Iraq we have to keep separate bedrooms.

Kirk knows that using the C-Pap machine he was ordered by doctors to use will help his sleep apnea and his severe sleepiness during the day. However, we have tried everything we can think of to help him become comfortable wearing the gear at night and he still manages to rub or knock it off his face during his sleep.

Since his return from Iraq he, for the first time in his 14.5 years in service finds himself unable to wake up and it has caused him to be late or sleep through his duty assignment or times. I have learned not to try to wake up my husband as it usually ends in me being physically injured. Because of this and the sleep apnea he’s developed while in Iraq, we as a nearly newly wed couple have been unable to share our marital bed for nearly three years now.

Kirk returned with absolutely no sex drive and continues to have little or no interest in it. He has told me that he simply cannot stand being touched by anyone and has no interest in touching anyone else. Though he has pulled away from any intimate relations he has become obsessed with pornographic material of a particular type and has spent a considerable amount on said material.

His counselor on post Dr. Funkhauser has advised that I don’t interrupt the time he spends on his computer playing sci-fi fantasy games. The doctor advised that it is his only source of release and that I should allow him as much time as he feels he needs. Kirk spends 12 to 14 hours at a time playing these computer games. I feel that it is unhealthy but his counselor assured him it was a safe outlet and he should embrace it.
After his return from Iraq Kirk has become obsessed with food. I have found food
“Stashed” all through out the house. Hidden in drawers, under the bed and in the tops of closets. He eats in his sleep it appears. I believe that this is from the medication he is on because he has no memory of eating at night. Aside from that though, he hoards food in our home and in our car and can become enraged if you try to take it away. A horrible event occurred when I gave some food from our pantry to a needy friend. It was as if I had betrayed him in an unforgivable way for giving away food.

Due to his compulsive eating then saddled with his physical issues he is unable to exercise which is adversely affecting his health and his ability to perform his job in the army. I am convinced that this issue is being caused by the medications he must take for the mental health issues that have been caused from his tour in Iraq
However regardless of why the weight gain continues the additional weight will continue to be a destructive factor adversely effecting the damage to is back and his knees for the rest of his life.

My husband has always handled our financial responsibilities and because of my own health issues I am unable to take over. I have recently discovered that many of our debts are not being attended to and we begin each month on an average of $500.00 in deficit.
We receive our tax refund totaling over 1000.00 and it has been spent with no credible explanation as to how. I believe that my husband’s mental health issues are preventing him from being able to make sound financial decisions for our family.

Without discussing it with me he recently took out a car title loan with a local company that charges 23% a month! The vehicle he used the title of take out this loan is our only mode of transportation and if we lose it we will have no way of being able to replace it now considering our credit is ruined because of his poor judgment. Since his return from Iraq he has not been able to keep a current line of car or home insurance.

One of the more disturbing problems is Kirk has stopped bathing. He has his haircut, shaves his face and washes his hands, period. In recent months while tasking for the SGM of his company, the SGM noticed his lack of hygiene and reported it to his ISG. The ISG informed Kirk’s immediate in the chain of command and he was counseled. This has not changed anything he has not bathed or taken any more interest in his environment at home.

I believe that his complete lack of interest in hygiene of just not his body but also of our quarters and the housework began in October of 2006. I have hired someone to take over the care of our quarters and of the housework of our home. I have done this because of my severe disabilities and because we have no family in our area to help. I believe that on some level Kirk is still “ there”. In his mind he is still at war and aside from his immediate needs, he has no forethought or concern.

In October of 2006, even though Kirk had just been discharged from a 10 stay at a secured mental health ward and with his objection, his command insisted that he attend a three-day course at a live fire range. Though he was not allowed to handle a weapon, not that anyone could have stopped him if he had wanted to pick up a weapon, he was forced to spend three days listening to live fire from many different types of weapons. It was after that he stopped bathing and taking care of our home.

He plunged into a severe deeper depression and his mental health medications have had to be increased three times and additional medications added to his regiment. Kirk was unable to attend Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities. Other than attending work, which is a struggle for him, he does not leave the house.

Kirk’s ability to concentrate has been greatly effected. He was once someone who could remember details concerning a meeting nearly to the minute and word for word. Now Kirk is unable to shop for and complete a shopping list despite us going over in detail moments before he leaves for the store. He cannot take a list of four items from me and go from the living room to the kitchen and retrieve all four items. At best he may be able to bring back two, usually it is only one item.

I have tried everything I can think of and the only reason I can get him to leave the house for other than work is to take me to my doctor’s appointments. When I suggest we go to a friends house to play cards he will pick a fight with me to avoid having to go. He shows no interest in any of his former hobbies. He insists that I only have visitors to our house while he is at work. I know that this is because he cannot tolerate having guests for any length of time. There have been times when I have had a friend come from out of state to visit with me and Kirk remained in his room during the entire two-day visit.

In the month Kirk was ordered to participate in virtual reality training where he had to handle a “ dummy weapon M-16” where he was to fire upon “ the enemy”. When my husband told me that he had been ordered to do this I had a horrible feeling of foreboding to what behavior this event would spur. As I suspected the depression, the intense mood swings, inability to tolerate socializing, obsession with food and the outbursts at night during his sleep has become more intense.

I called Sgt. Delaney who is the person who ordered him to participate in the virtual reality training to ask why he would order a soldier whose permanent profile restricts him from weapons and ammunition to participate in this program. His response was that “ it’s a just a big video game and its not like it’s real anyway.”

Even “ if “ Sergeant Dieziger did have the PTSD thing it’s just a game.”” Its my job to make sure the soldiers get their training and unless I’m told by the 1SG to exclude him he trains like everyone else.” I asked him if the 1SG knew that Kirk had a no weapons on his permanent profile and he said, “well he must, he is his soldier.”

I spoke with Sergeant Delaney about Kirk’s issues and my concern about his needs not being addressed by his command to protect his needs. While we discussed Kirk’s situation and the subject of his lack of hygiene the sergeant told me “You’re his wife, make him take a bath” I told him, Sir, my husband is a full grown man, I can not make him do anything. He replies with “ guilt him into it” “ embarrass him until he does”
“ Well what do you want me to do about it? Do you want me to come to his house and make sure he washes his hands and feet?”

I told him that I felt he was being insensitive and not doing his job by taking care of his soldier’s needs and he ended our conversation by saying that he was leaving for TDY the following week and that Kirk wasn’t going to be his soldier anymore and to contact another sergeant about these issues and that if he had time he would mention our conversation to the 1SG.

My husbands already fragile mental state is aggravated on a daily basis by those he works with and for in the army. Aggravated by being held to a standard that he is incapable of achieving and maintaining by those in his command who are obviously ignorant or uneducated about the issue of having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the devastating effects it can have.

After his return from Iraq, his co-workers and those in his command have shown at best an affable attitude towards his limitations and true needs and concerns. Our Chaplin, when I first contacted him about Kirk’s condition suggested, “ perhaps what is wrong with your husband is that he is grown tired of you”, and that I should try to “spice up our marriage” by attending one of the religious courses about marriage he offers.

Each person I have contacted in my husbands command concerning the issues that are affecting our family about Kirk’s condition after being in Iraq have responded with nothing aside from being crass, patronizing and insulting. It was at that time I completely understood the hopelessness my husband was trying to explain to me about feeling that he had absolutely no support or camaraderie within his command.

When I tried to explain to one of his immediate in command I was told that Kirk was having problems waking up and being able to stay awake after he began a course of mental health medications and that perhaps he should be given a more clerical position until he had made an adjustment. His response, which was completely out of context and in my opinion was intended to be crass, was “ well I’m not going to let him go home and take a nap every day”.

Other conversations with those in his command told me “ Look Ma’am, I was over there too and its not like he was really in the field or one on one combat, he was in the rear with the gear. Sgt D’s problem is that he just isn’t motivated enough and I’m going to fix that, rest assured.”

“You’re husbands problem is that he is lazy. He has the classic profile of a loafer, uh I mean an unmotivated soldier. There isn’t anything wrong with his back or his knees and as far and this PTSD thing, (long sigh) all that is a loafer, uh I mean a unmotivated soldier’s complaint to get out of work.”

“ PTSD is a garbage pail diagnosis for a solider to get out of their contracts with the army. Both my wife and I have been to war and seen some pretty awful stuff but it has never kept either of us from reporting to our points of duty.”

I was told by the 1SG that I was not to contact him. If I had any concerns or felt that I needed to tell him something to call his wife, who is also active duty with her own command and with one exception, was too busy to talk to me either.

In the last four months I have called and left multiple messages for a return call for both the commander Capt. Keller, 1SG Denzine and our Chaplin. None of those calls have been returned. Instead of returning my call 1SG Denzine pulled my husband into is office and told him to stop me from calling him or the commander anymore.

Every agency or person I have contacted for help has ended poorly. I contacted the housing control company agency Picerene for help and instead of offering me any suggestions for assistance, they contacted Kirk’s 1SG. That resulted in Kirk being called “ on the carpet” by the 1SG “ and being embarrassed about not being able to control his household. Being embarrassed about it, Kirk deferred the blame and told his 1SG that his wife was over reacting so the 1SG told him to get his wife under control and stop me from calling his office or insisting these “ meetings”.

I am far from being a disgruntled wife. I am dedicated to my marriage and to my soldier. I am terrified to what our future holds if the medical discharge board doesn’t find 100% in his favor and grants our family all the benefits available. Being that we are now both severely disabled and unable to provide any form of income or medical coverage and with the current level of care I see being offered to my husband I felt compelled to write this statement and provide to every agency involved in his, my husbands, medical and administrative care.

Mrs. Kriste Odom- Dieziger Point of Contact is: KristeDieziger@yahoo.com
81 Blackwell St. Fort Rucker Alabama 36362 or
508 Springdale Dr. Enterprise, Alabama 36330
(406) 205-4492 home phone (334) 494-4946 cell phone

4 Jesse Chavez { 04.26.07 at 12:33 pm }

I’m a TV news reporter for NBC in El Paso. I’m looking for troops or family members who can tell me about the treament conditions at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso or Fort Bliss. Of course, officials there are not talking. But, a new report from Associated Press reveals that there are problems similar to those exposed at Walter Reed. It is pertinent that I speak to someone directly affected, so that the truth will be exposed. I can also be reached at 915-532-5421 x205. Any information would be greatly appreciated.