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Soldiers Re-Evaluated For PTSD Amid Madigan Investigation

Liz Jones

Soldiers who believe they were misdiagnosed are getting new evaluations for PTSD. That's happening at Madigan Army Hospital near Tacoma, as KUOW's Liz Jones reports.


One of the first soldiers to speak out about his wrongful diagnosis is Sergeant Stephen Davis. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

His wife, Kim, joined him for a press conference in Seattle Wednesday. She says he returned home a shadow of the man she married.

Kim Davis: "You can see in his eyes, it was just a blank slate. You could see everything was gone. It wasn't the same personality. It wasn't the same caring."

Sergeant Davis was first diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder in 2006. Years later, a forensic psychiatric team at Madigan reviewed his case.

Davis says that appointment only took about 10 minutes. His therapist later told him that team decided he no longer had PTSD. But this week Davis received a new evaluation from Walter Reed Medical Center. It reinstates his diagnosis of chronic PTSD.

Stephen Davis: "It means a great deal to us to get the respect that we deserve and not be told, you know, that you're having problems adjusting. You'll be okay. And just carry on and deal with it."

Davis is one of 14 soldiers who is getting a new review after they complained that Madigan reversed their diagnosis. The Army says more soldiers have asked for a similar review.

The Army is investigating how Madigan evaluates PTSD. Army officials have said they want to find out if some diagnoses were reversed to save money.

Kim Davis says she's grateful her husband will continue to get the care and therapy he needs. And she hopes other soldiers can now avoid this fight her husband went through with Army doctors.

Kim Davis: "Labeling these guys as, you know, liars and exaggerators, you know, that was so hurtful to men who are already down. They're already embarrassed of their diagnosis. Invisible wounds aren't respected by a lot of people. They don't see them, so they're not there."

Soldiers diagnosed with PTSD qualify for a higher level of financial and health benefits.

Senator Patty Murray chairs the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. She says she's pleased the Army is quickly carrying out these re–evaluations.

The week, the Army announced the head of Madigan was removed from his post due to the ongoing investigation. I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News.

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