Judge: "Military...fell down on job.." in case of soldier with P - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Judge: 'Military...fell down on job...' in case of soldier with PTSD

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The case of Marcus Carey shines light on what some suggest is an escalating problem: Combat veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who don't get the help they need.

Carey fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffers PTSD. Now, he's serving 30 years for murder and some question if proper treatment might have made a difference.

Whether you call it shell shocked or PTSD, it's a serious mental health issue for veterans being reintroduced into society after being in combat.
 
Jim Jackson, who served in Vietnam, knows all too well.

"Today, I can sit here and look at things that happened in Vietnam in 1965, and you got to go back and deal with this. In today's world, with the computer systems we got, psychiatry we've got, the help we've got," said Jackson. "We should never, ever allow a veteran to fall through the crack.  And we did that."

In the case of Marcus Carey, he brutally murdered a young soldier, Byron Whitcomb, who had a wife and 2-year-old daughter. Whitcomb had given Carey a place to stay after he was kicked out of the Army.

Defense attorney Jim Boren said Carey had severe PTSD and the military knew it.

Even U.S. District judge Patricia Minaldi, who sentenced Carey to 30 years said, "I greatly respect the military, but I think they fell down on the job here."

Jackson said inadequate treatment for PTSD is a severe problem. He has harsh words for the Veterans Administration.

"The program's broken and we can't get it fixed. We can't get those folks to help us in the Veterans Administration. The Veterans Administration, in many cases, is not the friend of the veteran," said Jackson.

And he said there will likely be more tragedies involving veterans who don't get treatment.

"There's a lot of time bombs out there," said Jackson.

Jackson said the veterans did what their country asked of them and should now get the help they need.

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