Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, joined Daily Rundown Wednesday to discuss the recent report that showed a significant spike – nearly one a day since the start of the year – in suicides among active U.S. military members.
Murray said she planned to press Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta on the issue today when he testifies in the Senate regarding the defense budget.
“We all should be very concerned about the impact and our accurate diagnosis of our troops that have gone to war multiple times and coming home and showing the stresses of these wars,” she told Daily Rundown guest-host Luke Russert. “We owe [troops] an accurate analysis, we owe them a timely diagnosis and treatment, and I want to make sure that all the way to the top of the Pentagon they are focused on getting this right. I will be asking Secretary Panetta very directly that today.”
Murray, a Democrat from Washington, did credit the Army with opening an investigation into accusations that PTSD diagnoses were unfairly overturned.
“We have uncovered very serious problems. We have multiple cases of soldiers diagnosed with PTSD and as they were leaving the military, they were told they were malingers, that they were lying, that they were costing this country money, and that is just wrong,” Murray continued. “The Army to their credit is going back and reviewing all cases back to 2001 to make sure we are accurately diagnosing our troops. It is a system-wide problem.”