In a September interview with CBS, Army Colonel John V. Bodgan claimed that U.S. Military guards stationed at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. prison were twice as likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than combat troops. The statement has since been included in a 60 Minutes TV special and a BBC broadcast, both aired in November.
Now the military is restracting the claim, according to the Miami Herald. The statement was given without verification and was embellished by a female Army captain who was quoted on the BBC broadcast saying that guards at Guantanamo often suffer indignities such as having human excrement hurled at them by the more than 160 prisoners within the detention centers.
While not impossible, the claims of increased PTSD risk among Guantanamo guards remain unsupported, as no statistics have been produced to compare PTSD rates between Guantanamo guards and other servicemembers. This is partially due to the brief deployment times and mixed branches of military that make up the guard population, according to the Herald
PTSD is still a cause for concern among the Guantanamo guards often stationed on 14- to 16-hour shifts in unfavorable working conditions. Officials at Guantanamo cite their belief of high PTSD rates comes from their guards working long shifts in direct presence of the enemy, often suffering harassment by the inmates and under constant stress.
As the military continues to research and track PTSD cases, it is important for all military personnel to undergo regular mental health assessments while on active duty and when discharged. PTSD can occur in a soldier from any branch of the military in any occupation if exposed to traumatic situations.
The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group, PA are here to help veterans who suffer from PTSD related to their military service seek a fair disability rating and the appropriate benefits. If your veterans disability claim has been denied or unfairly decided, contact our firm today – 1-855-855-8992.