Idaho Air Guard reacts to Charlie Foxtrot investigative report

Idaho Air Guard reacts to Charlie Foxtrot.

BOISE -- A six-part national investigative report called Charlie Foxtrot is airing around the nation this month. It uncovered cases around the US where the military gave active duty servicemen dishonorable or less than honorable discharges for admitting to having suicidal thoughts as a result of PTSD stripping them of military and VA benefits.

It has sparked outrage by many who are calling on their state’s congressional delegation to take action in Washington.

When asked if what the Charlie Foxtrot investigation has uncovered has happened in Idaho the Boise Veterans Affairs said it hasn’t. The VA laid out a litany of resources they have for vets who are struggling with post-service issues.

Officials with the Idaho Air National Guard said the same.

"The Idaho National Guard has never discharged a member for suicide, attempted suicide or even ideations of suicide." Major Chris Borders of the Idaho Air National Guard said.

Borders stressed the difference between the culture of Idaho National Guard members and active-duty soldiers.

"It’s important to remember Idaho National Guard members have grown up together, gone to high school together and served together," he said. "We enlisted,  we have our careers, go to combat together, and come home together so it really starts at that battle buddy/wingman level.” 

Cutting out service members who are struggling with thoughts of suicide would push them farther from the help they need, he said. 

“If we were to discharge these people then we would cut them off from the services they need," Borders said. "If it means keeping them in the organization to get the access they need, then we'll do it, we'll keep them in.”

The resources Major Borders says are available for airmen include behavioral health teams who are embedded with every unit deployed in case immediate attention is needed overseas.  Meanwhile, back home their services include marital and financial counseling.

To read the entire six-part investigative series Charlie Foxtrot, click here.

Here are links to some resources for veterans:

Idaho Veterans Network

Wyakin Warrior Foundation

Boise VA Medical Center

 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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