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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

Veteran mental health policy sheds negative light

Regardless of one’s stance on the United States’ involvement in warfare, there is a widely accepted and universally understood policy of inherent respect for veterans. These men and women have subjected themselves to what many of us will never be able to imagine, all in the name of guaranteeing the safety and welfare of citizens at home. We revere the efforts of these soldiers on our behalf with two days of national holiday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day. After all, it is through the continued defense provided by these people that we have enjoyed the liberties we experience today.

Until now, the struggles and dedication of these service members were highly rewarded. Unfortunately, a policy that was once negated has risen to the forefront of controversy once again.

According to a McClatchy article, soldiers returning from battle are now denied compensation for mental health issues that may have resulted from their service. The problem lies in the military’s definition of “personality disorders,” which are considered pre-existing conditions and therefore disqualify the affected for the standard health benefits that other soldiers would receive. Now, these service men and women are returning from external conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan where they experienced some of the most hostile and terrorizing guerilla warfare that has ever been witnessed. Yet, when they return to the U.S. with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, the article states they are diagnosed as having a personality disorder, which qualifies it as pre-existing. This same method is being applied to other mental illnesses so that these people are not receiving the funded treatment as necessary.

Not only does this shed a negative light on the way in which the military treats its alumni, but it also serves as a provision that may convince an otherwise worthy candidate to choose another career path. New sources indicate that the counseling resources available have been heavily under-utilized and that the Pentagon’s divisional policy has resulted in this negative outcome. The issue was first confronted in 2007 but has since drifted in importance to linger behind concerns such as the number of troops necessary in a certain area and the tactical efforts required for success.

However, it is the response to this problem that will ultimately prove the most beneficial for the military. Their efforts are currently facing stalwart competition, regardless of the region. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that its members are treated with considerable care, especially those who have been damaged both physically and mentally from these conflicts. The article indicates that the Government Accountability Office is currently investigating, but simply “looking into it” is not enough. The institution of these policies must be reversed and a radical change must occur so that soldiers know that they will be supported by the government in the same way that they have chosen to support their country.

Of all issues in the military, this may seem to be limited in scope, but it may in fact be the most important of all. We can only hope that the often slow bureaucratic process of the U.S. government be swift in amending this policy.

Matt Boaz is a senior political science major from Edmond, OK.

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