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Topic : 12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

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Created on : Thursday, December 11, 2008, 02:55:31 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Military men and women are true American heroes who spill their blood fighting for our freedoms. But are we doing all we can as a nation to honor our contract with these warriors? When a soldier survives war, oftentimes he/she comes home and to face a different battle. Dr. Phil's guests are vets who say they've returned from the front lines only to fight a medical system bureaucracy that is failing them. Randy was severely injured during an ambush while deployed in Iraq. His mother, Tammy, says the military lied to him, and used him, and that Randy was eventually lost in the system. She says getting any help from Veterans Affairs is a struggle with minimal results. Dr. Phil introduces this wounded warrior to two special people who want to make his life better. Next, Jerry says he got a "raw deal" when he returned from Iraq, and he's struggling with what he believes to be Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His wife says Jerry is angry and violent, and she's afraid of him. You won't believe what they say Veterans Affairs advised Jerry to do to cope with his suicidal thoughts. Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran's Affairs, Congressman Bob Filner, and FOX News military analyst Colonel David Hunt passionately share their opinions about health care for veterans. Then, Kevin and Joyce say their son came home from Iraq a changed man. They say they tried to get him help for what they believed was severe PTSD, but it didn't come in time. And, Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs and Paul Rieckhoff, Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, weigh in on the cases. If you're an American, this is your call to arms to step up and help turn things around for the men and women in uniform. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 15, 2008, 10:02 pm CST

Bush and His War- The Truth.

Quote From: tell_the_truth

This is a senseless abuse of power from within our own government. First we went unprovocated without any proof to substantiate our presence into Iraq which has now become a sham and useless waste of human life. To some the war of Jihad may be new, but make no mistake... it has been going on since the time of Abraham! How presumptuous of our government to even think we could stop a war that has been waged for over 2,000 years. In the underlying aftermath, we have found absolutely no substatiated proof of any weopons of mass destruction, tried and hanged a military leader (who without doubt was an evil man) and systematically destroyed a culture that is as old as history itself! The disagreement over religeous politics will not end simply because we asign it as a clear and present danger! innocent men and women killed as colateral damage that is presumed necessary and as acceptable loss. The problem is that Iraq is not the hot-spot Bush thought it was and he was ill advised when he gave the order to declare a war. Military leaders will always seek out a reason for warring against other nations as a test of metal and not as much decided by need. Now we have made a mess and we have an obligation to establish some form of political structure that will endure. You and I both know that the minute we leave Iraq, that a power-play will ensue! It is their way and we cannot change the minds of militant factions with sheer brutal force! This is a war unlike any that has ever been fought. The enemy is seen and unseen, much as in Vietnam. How can you tell who the enemy really is? They will never stand a traditional front and fight face-to-face! Their war is fought in the shadows of ignorance and fear. 40,000 men and women! That is not acceptable colateral damage! What will it take for our leaders in Washington to pull their heads out of their rear-ends and realize that this is futile and we cannot win a war against a people that do not play by tradional rules! They tell us we are making progress in Iraq. Bull! We are simply adding fuel to an already volatile situation! These people resent us just as much as the innocent Vietnamese who were burned, bombed, tortured and killed. No-one wants to be told how to govern themselves. How many wars have to be fought before world leaders realize that trying to make others accept their rule as absolute and unyeilding does not work! How many innocent people have to die for a cause they cannot comprehend or understand. These people have been cut-off from the rest of the world and only know what they are told. That leaves little room for consideration. Most of the people in Iraq preferred the terrorist rule of Saddam as opposed to the massive destruction that has taken place in his stead. At least when he was in power the terrorism was under some control. Now the genie is out of the box! Senseless!

When Bush came into office as President, he said he was a "War" President. As it happened, the Twin Towers attack brought him right into it. Bush did talk with our allies and other countries in the region. At that point he appeared to be a competent President. After eight years he has shown the world that he is an arrogant liar, is still affected by his alcoholic and druggie days, does not have the capacity to be a world leader, is a religious fanatic, and is an incompetent wimp with no integrity or credibility any where in the world. I have seen some diagnose his psychological profile, and it does appear that he has a huge ego problem and is not mentally sound. It is what it is.


Now, all of us can support the troops 24/7, but that is not where the problem is. The problem is our leader who does not take the blame for anything and runs wild.


Now for the Wars, Bush's "War on Drugs" fizzled out. His nuclear defense system fizzled out. Al Qaeda took him head on. But, Bush's "War on Terror" was not going any place. He had alienated all other significant countries who could help. So, they just let him pay for his war. At any rate, Bush was not looking like a hero; and his ego needed a boost. So, he turned his attention to Iraq rather than Afghanistan. It would appear that he thought he could attack that country under some fabricated reasons, get Saddam and be back out within a couple of months like his daddy did. He would thus return a hero with people flowering at his feet. He even landed on a ship and announced that the war is over. That was more than a trillion dollars ago.


To sum it up this far; many people have been killed, Alqaeda has again anchored itself down in Afghanistan, Bin Ladin is still on the loose, the USA, moneywise, is broke, and the financial systems and economies of the world are in shambles. The only way this country is ever going to be able to pay its debts is to just print more money. Inflation would then sky-rocket.


Anyway, the results are that the money is spent. There is no money to take care of the Veterans. I guess that Bush and his Cohorts never considered that there would be wounded, injured soldiers both physically and mentally along with disabled veterans that need help. Supporting the troops by the people at home is helpful, but it does not pay the bills. It appears to me that those in the military think they got the shaft and the troops are very much not pleased with it. I think they did too, and I would not like it either. I think we can thank Mr. Bush and his personal war on Iraq for this predicament.






December 16, 2008, 12:22 pm CST

Shafted by my country and the army I served

Dr. Phil,

   Our country dose not care about the American Vet, except at election time. I served my country and the U.S. Army from 1969 until july 2008. At which time I was mediclly retired with 40% disablitiy by a MEB and a PEB at Fort Sam Houstion, TX.The PEB would not consider my back injury or my PTSD or the bone spuirs in my neck. They only considered my right shoulder and arm and gave me the 40% based on that. The Army then turned my files over to the Sociurity Admin. The found disabilied unimployable. The VA rated me at 90% disabilied. The Army takes the VA payment out of my military pay be cause they said that I did not have 20 years total active Duty. I had a combuned total service of 38yrs, 8mo, 29day. With a twentey year letter from the reseves and 7300 plus retiment points. But I am still not elagable to draw my military retirement and my VA compensation concerantlly, because i did not have twentey year on active duty. There are a lot more out there just like me. And when i ask how I was to live and keep a roof over my familiy I was told that was not their problem, sell my home and get a little appartment. We now live pay check to pay check. If I try and go back to work and find I can not do the job, I losse my SSI and can not get it back for 3 years. I am dammed if I d and if i do not .

December 16, 2008, 2:19 pm CST

returning vets

It has always been a fact that when the Vets return to their dear old USA, they find that

their spous has learned the tricks to live with out their aid or advice.  Therefore there

should be regular counseling for the home spouses and children to go to while their

loved one is over-seas serving their country.  The spouses have to recognize the trama

the vets are facing each day especially the very hot weather in Iraq.   Of course they

come home with stress, then they can't find a job, and have to put up with children

that are not disciplined, and a spouse who says 'I'm  tired!' Duhhhhhh!  Their men have

lived a 'hell' and come back to their spouse who has had a lot of luxeries! 


December 17, 2008, 1:55 pm CST

Vietnam Veteran

The subject matter is Veterans, but as always there are people like "Haroldbras" who came here to promote their position of hate. The same hate I have felt from the American people when I returned from Vietnam in 69. My service in Vietnam caught up with me in 2002, I spent 67 days in the hospital in 2003 and diagnosed with complications from Agent Orange. I was given a year or two to live, but by the Grace of God, I am still here. I applied for benefits from the VA and to this day I am still not rated as "Service Connected." Since my claim was filed, the VA has lost my records twice, asked for the same doctor records 5 times, and denied my claim over and over. Each time I appeal and we start over again. Sometimes I feel people like "Haroldbras" work for the VA, that way they can spew their hatred toward those who are willing to defend their right to do so. Remember the VA motto: "Deny, Deny, until they Die."
December 17, 2008, 3:22 pm CST

So called help for Vets

My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. He was told he does not have any sort of benefits that are deserved. The reps just keep telling him that he doesnt get any benefits and they are not nice when they tell him. He served twice. They say unless it was service related, dont ask.I feel they need to take care of them since they served thier country.   
December 18, 2008, 12:00 pm CST

Beyond the Front Lines


Hello, Dr. Phil.  I am a wife of a Navy man who was a "lucky" one to come back.  He had been on a Ship not too far off shore from Viet Nam.  When they got back to the States in '67, they were told by their C.O. to remove their Uniform BEFORE LEAVING THE BASE.  Otherwise, they might be shot!!!!  Quite a "Welcome Home!"  Anyway, we had the fortune to meet Tammy Duckworth at a Veteran's Day program in Schaumburg, IL.  She will HOPEFULLY be very good when it comes to Veteran's Affairs. 

I just want to add: GOD BLESS ALL OUR TROOPS & GET THEM HOME AGAIN SOON.  We also support our Troops over there.  My husband is involved with the VFW, too.  They are a great organization & they have places for our men & women to go so that they can talk to someone who really understands & listens to them.  We will be watching your show tomorrow, too.  Thank you!


December 18, 2008, 4:54 pm CST

Concerned wife

Dr Phil. My husband of 34 years returned from deployment in Iraq April 2007. It has been a total nightmare since his return. If I did not know my husband and the man he was before deployment, I would have divorced him. He came home with the attitude that nothing in this world could affect him anymore after what he lived through. He was so confused. I watched him daily make awful and devastating choices. I could not get through to him. Nothing I said mattered. He was so full of fear and would not allow himself to feel. I know that he saw some horrific tragedies there. He has enough LEGAL prescription medication to fill up my medicine cabinet. That too has become an issue for me. The VA answers seems to be a pill.My pain is definitely on the vets, but being a wife is a direct concern for me. I hear everyday about military wife's and there returning vets. The stress is unbelievable.  My husband and I are not a young married couple. My heart goes out to the couples that have been married for less than 10 years. You have to live it to know. It has been a year and 8 months since my husband returned and we are still not "normal". Pray for us.

December 18, 2008, 5:43 pm CST

Coming from a base in Japan

My hubby is in the Navy (and thankfully has not been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan).  We were recently stationed at a Marine base and the injuries both medical and psychological is outstanding.  Everyweek there was someone from our base that died.  Thanks Dr. Phil.  I do think that this is a message that needs to get out there.  I have seen the effects of this war first hand.  My husband joined the Navy in 2000 and we married a month after 9/11.  The military atmosphere has changed so much since then.  Thanks for the dialogue and please keep it open.
December 18, 2008, 5:53 pm CST

12/19 Beyond the Front Lines

Quote From: luannet

I've said from the start of this war that those little magnetic "we support our troops" ribbons that everyone sticks on their cars should cost $1000 each and go to a fund for the vets.....then we'd see who supports our troops....Love, Luanne


Amen, sister!  As a side note, do not buy those unless they are going to some fund otherwise you are just supporting the store in which you bought it.  Also if you see a sign outside of an establishment that says "we support the troops" ask them how.  Most of the time the sign is their support (to me that is not enough)!  
December 19, 2008, 6:59 am CST


I am sooooo sorry for the parent and the vets on stage.  Yes they are getting a raw deal, BUT DO YOU THINK THIS IS NEW?   I am a 16 year Vet.  100% unemployable.  I have PTSD, anxiety, depression, migraines, agoraphobia, just to name a small amount.

I had to fight for 2 years to get my rating raised from 0% to 90% in 1993, in 2002 I was rated as permanently 100% unemployable.  I am supposed to go the the VA for my medical treatment but THE VA IS A PTSD TRIGGER.  I have gone to the VA out of desperation and been sent into the ICU in cardiac crisis due to an anxiety attack but they DON'T CARE.  I have tried for 1 1/2 years to return to my family phyisican of 9 1/2years  via the fee basis program and they will not let me...   So, I have no insurance and no medical care.

BUT THIS IS NOT LIMITED TO THE VA.....  I have been fighting the SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION since 2002 to get the disability insurance I PAID FOR.  I have been denied 3 times and have been waiting for 1 1/2 YEARS --- YES YEARS for a judical judge hearing.  THEY TELL ME I AM NOT DISABLED ENOUGH......  100% UNEMPLOYABLE - PERMANENTLY!  How much more can I get?  DEAD!

You have no idea how ANGRY I am right now....  This is BS!   

I want to scream at the TV, I want to THROW things at the TV - I am soooooooo  #$$%@  I can't even say.  People keep talking about this issue and IT NEVER CHANGES...  You have to be FOUND by someone like Dr. Phil for something to be done for you.  Become the media's pet project.  I have been living what the couple on stage are living for 16 years and no one helps me......  I have 3 kids and luckily a wonderful husband who would never leave me over this.....


I wish them luck and prayers to them but there are others out there that have been living this since the FIRST IRAQ WAR...  what about us?


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