What is the treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? No one really knows, not even the VA.

It is probably “tincture of time.” What isn’t the treatment is prison for errors in the sufferers’ judgment.

We send the cream of the crop into combat for years at a time while we sit back here and relax. When they return and self-medicate with alcohol or pills or make bad decisions, we put them in prison. Then, we wonder why their suicide rate is so high.

PTSD and drug addiction are medical problems and both have high percentages of relapse.

The legal system doesn’t help them when they return them to prison after they relapse. It is no wonder that their recidivism rate is so high.

Law enforcement and the Department of Corrections shouldn’t be involved in what is essentially a medical problem. I believe that the VA has failed our veterans with PTSD.


The VA has one representative liaison with civilian courts for the entire state of Maine.

The VA needs to have more involvement with the court system, and the legal system needs more guidance to stay out of veterans’ medical matters.

We owe our veterans this.

Retired Col. Richard P. Brackett

US Army Special Forces


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