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Praying For Medical Discharge...

For a couple of weeks, I actually felt guilty about wanting this... but every single day that guilt dissipates more and more. I'll start with my background story.

Since I was a little boy, I could not wait until I was old enough to join the military. Upon completing high school, I decided it would be a wise idea to go to college and get my degree so that I had something to fall back on in case the military didn't work out for whatever reason, and also so that I could eventually pursue a career as an officer.

I shipped to reception September of 2010 and I was so incredibly excited and motivated I can't even put into words. I ended up enlisting into Air Defense Artillery. At the time I was enlisting, there were few jobs to pick from and I didn't want to go straight into an officer position as I wanted to gain experience and develop my leadership skills before leading soldiers.

Through basic training, there wasn't one single day I wasn't motivated about my career, how much I couldn't wait to get to a unit, deploy, and further develop myself to excel. However, very shortly after getting to AIT, that motivation began dwindling after seeing how the other soldiers acted around our undisciplined and unprofessional instructors. Our weekly safety briefings were incredibly asinine. The fact that these acts occurred so often that they had to be reiterated to us on a weekly basis blew my mind away. This included, doing spice, other drugs, drinking and driving, beating spouses, children, etc., and many other things that contradict simple common sense. After 6 long months, I was finally graduated and back to being incredibly excited about going to a line unit as, I was sure, that motivation and professionalism would be in full effect. How wrong I was...

I got to my first unit, where I currently am, and within a week I began hating life. I was treated like a complete *** because I came straight in as a Specialist... many individuals felt I didn't deserve it, earn it, etc. The absurd amount of slack given to women because of how much they flirt with the higher ranking males made, and makes, me absolutely sick. Frankly, the amount of racism present is ridiculous. I.e... our First Sergeant, who is actually only a Sergeant First Class, is black. When it comes to females, other black people, and more specifically black females... they talk to him without going to parade rest, talk with no professionalism whatsoever as if they are best friends. When they make mistakes, he laughs it off. Now someone like myself, who is white, as well as many others who are also white, receives a tremendous amount of flack about the most miniscule mistakes. We get dropped if we even look at him the wrong way, such as if he feels we give him a disrespectful look. If one were to make the mistake of calling him Sergeant on accident... don't even get me started.

There is a complete lack of organization and communication within my unit. There will be a handful of tasks that need to be completed throughout the day and/or week. The individual in charge of these tasks fails to communicate these issues to others, therefore either the work doesn't get done at all or gets done incorrectly. Thus, the entire battery will stay at work until 1900 or later until it is completed.

95% of our NCOs and Leaders are self pretentious, arrogant, and incompetent ******. No matter what, even with proof, you CAN NOT prove these individuals wrong. Their ego simply will not allow it. They have always been there and done that so they know they're right. No matter what you say, their experience is or was much, much worse. They care much more about how they look and the advancement of their careers than they do about their soldiers. One example is during our last FTX, a soldier herniated 3 disks in the process of moving a weapons rack. Our commander fought tooth and nail to keep her there because, and I am only assuming this, that it would make her look bad. Either because someone was hurt under her watch for something that shouldn't have been taking place in the first place, or because she would be one soldier short. This poor girl had to stay in the field for 2 days in agony before the Battalion Commander caught wind of it and ordered her to go back. She was diagnosed with 2 herniated discs and received a profile for no PT, no lifting, and NO FIELD EXERCISES. Our commander actually took the effort to find a loophole to make this poor girl attend the next FTX.

From what I have witnessed both first hand and through my friends, the health care system is horrific. I had a friend go in with a knee injury. Anyone without a medical degree could see how incredibly inflamed it was and how much pain he was in. The battalion surgeon had to gall to say, "I think it's all in your mind. Take some ibuprofen." His condition worsens every single week. I, myself, incurred a back injury during basic training. I didn't want to be recycled or discharged, so I sucked it up until recently. The pain has become so incredibly severe that it greatly affects my quality of life. I have severe pain that radiates from my lower back, down my legs and into my feet. When it really flares up, my feet will actually go numb. I am pretty certain I have disk issues, however... after recently going to see a civilian doctor a the TMC, I was told otherwise. After explaining my situation and symptoms, the man told me, "well luckily it sounds NOTHING like an issue with your spine or disks. It sounds like a strain in something muscular. Go see a chiropractor, here are some high strength ibuprofen." I objected, saying that I really felt it was a disk issue and I would like to see a specialist. He became angry and said, "son, I've done this far longer than you've been alive, so I'm pretty confident I know more than you." I became angry, swallowed my pride, and left. My condition, also, is worsening every week.

We have a field training exercise for the next 2 weeks, which I am severely dreading for many reasons, mostly because of the amount of pain I am constantly in. When we return, I am IMMEDIATELY going to see another doctor and assertively push to see a spine specialist. I am PRAYING with every ounce of my being that I am right about my back and I get discharged ASAP.

I never in a million years thought that I would resent being in the military, more specifically the Army. However, I feel this is the single greatest mistake I have ever made in my entire life. I refuse to subject my body to further injury and miss any more time with my family than I already have for such an incompetent group of people who quite obviously do not give a damn about me or most other soldiers. I really could continue my rant for several hundred more words, but I shall try to save it for another post.

The reason I posted this is because I am hoping that individuals who are currently considering joining the Army will come across what I have said, as well as the others here, and truly, deeply reconsider their decision before going through with it. Thank you everyone for your time!

august06 august06 22-25 7 Responses Sep 18, 2011

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I am also in the Army and have lower back issues very similar to yours. After being misdiagnosed for almost 6 months and going through every possible medical procedure short of surgery, (which they won't do) I am now getting the run around by doctors and nurses because I think they want me to ETS instead of getting a medical discharge. I'm currently sitting outside of Womack Army Medical Center waiting to talk to a nurse (because my doctor is too busy) to see if they want to try another medical procedure. The kicker is that they refuse to give me narcotics because of "fear of dependency." So I sit around in pain waiting to see if the Army will chew me up and spit me out. I'm praying that they give me a cane so my 1SG will at least get off my back because he thinks I've been making it up. I've now been on the same profile for 11 months. It's about time that the Army cuts their losses and let's me go. I've already given up on finding a treatment plan with them that works. Some days I wish I would not wake up. It's miserable.

I feel you. I was discharged due to EPTS migraines that affected my vision. I never knew I ha them, and was told maps should have caught it. It happened during processing. I'm an EMT back here at home so I knew something was definitely wrong. After going to the hospital and scans later they saw the swelling and told me not to pt or anything like that for fear of making it worse. They were in the process of a discharge. I was made fun of every day by most of my drill sergeants. Even in front of the company, waving their hand in front of my face because I was losing my vision on one side. After I came home I got treatment. I'm on three medications a day, and I will need glasses soon (I used I have perfect vision). The fact that they failed to treat me while I was there cause potentially permanent color vision loss on the one side. I would not recommend enlisting to anyone. Since I came home I feel like a failure. I feel like I let my buddies down, my family down, and my country down. I had wanted to serve since I was a child, and grew up in military family. So now I am judged every day by people who didn't know what it was like. They didn't know how I felt as my dream came crashing down, or when my significant other left me while I was there. No body quite understands. Venting to you, and knowing I'm not the only one helped. I just know how you feel. And now I have to live in a constant reminder of what I almost had.

your not alone, I wanted to join the army for money and stability but it all went downhill during AIT, i was accuse for a sexual harrasment , one of mybarrack mates said i said something sexual during my conversation with him that made him feel extremely uncomfortable. So he reported to the company commander. So i was under investigation, the reason why my case was taken so seriously is that i didn't new soldiers were getting sexually assualted in the army. I was put as an example, I couldn't continue in training since after that incident i turn depress knowing my case will not be tolerated, i did my extra duty, got demoted from an e-4 to e-1. With that i got into heavier depression, and said what did i get myself into. I told the doctor i was depress and it is hard to focus on training while i was be investigated for something i didn't do. My company commander found out about the doctors visit decided for me to get discharge. I tried to fight to the battalion commander and to the brigade commander. I did not win or get any sympathy for case. It was fair what they done i me. **** THE ARMY for screwing me over. People who want to join, WARNING ITS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS. it is a horrible place. Hoping to get discharge benefits, i got absuloty JACK ****. I felt used and wasted my time and effort in the army. Plus the economy ****ing sucks, now im living with my parents and certified personal trainer, still can't fiind a job with this job, actually i did but i left since i found out that personal trainers don't get paid by hour they get paid my sessions, i stood in the gym for hours on end totaly, pretty much 2 weeks of training, my paycheck was 150 dollars. I wanted to more money and so i left the place now trying to find a job that pays hourly instead. UHH sorry for bitching, I really ****ing hate my life right now. I realize one univeral truth, trust no one, trust only yourself, friends betray you, Life is not happy place to be. Its dark and it will **** you up even with the smallest chance. I putting so much effort doing better in my life but no understand me, everybody thinks im being lazy. I was so depress and unhappy in my life i was to kill myself. I choose not too for one reason money, I still have money in the bank still, opportunity to turn my life 360 but im willing to do that but i want loads of money for some weird reason maybe since i put so much in effort in the army and receive no benefits i want them to pay for pain and suffering in the form of money, i think this is a subconscious problem but i have to accept reality and leave the past behind but learn from past. I still doubting that life will be okay just functioning pretty much. I first career choice was to become an occupational therapist but when i wasn't accepted to grad OT program then i had to make a dramatic choice, since i don't want to be in debt plus don't want to waist time, so i heard the army is a good choice, stable career and everything, but another bad decision. I don't what it is but god does not want me to be successful in life. Maybe god wants me to be a loser. I don't know. **** my life.

I'm active duty in the Navy, and I'm having similar issues! It's like being in high school; everyone is so immature and dramatic. I never thought I'd regret joining the military but I often wonder why I left my family and my friends and my boyfriend to be treated like an idiot. I've never been so depressed in my life!

wow our situations are so similar and i have been told the exact same thing about my back. I have gone to different doctors, seen different specialists, worn a back support, went to therapy, got injections on my back, and more since DEC 2011 and here i am still. my unit doesnt care and anybody in PT Profile is called a shitbag. It is so sad. My knees pop left and right when im running and i run slow because im always in pain. i am always threaten with counselings if i dont keep up for lack of motivation. May 2015 is my ETS day but i hope i get medically discharged.

The army is so incredibly demoralizing. I'm sittting here waiting for first formation. Depressed and dreading the work day. I hate the army. Makes me want to weep in desperation.

My son is currently in basic training (Jan 2012) and already has stress injuries to his right ankle, shin and knee. He was given the choice of going home on con-leave for 30 days and then come back and start over, or be medically discharged. He chose to be medically discharged and is in that process now. However, I just got another letter from him and the DS and others are making him feel like a failure and a jerk for leaving. But he saw his brother go through stress fractures of his hips after being in the army for two years, and doesn't want to have long-lasting injuries like that. I'm saving your letter for when my son gets home, so he can see that he probably made the right call. I believe if he stayed in, he'd be out with worse injuires within a year.<br />
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Also, for you -- hang in there. When my son was finally discharged for his hip fractures, it took months - during which time he wasn't given anything to do and was treated poorly and became depressed. He's been back in civilian life for about 2 years now and has finally become much better - active, working, married and he's going to be fine. But hang in there, save that money they'll be paying you while you wait for discharge, and use it to get by while you look for work. In fact, it's my understanding you can also collect unemployment after a discharge, but my son was too proud to do that. He should have, because he had some financial issues. Take advantage of everything you can get to help you get by.<br />
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At least you'll still have the GI bill -- -use it and get a great job that will have health benefits. Sounds like you'll need them for your back issues. Good luck with everything.