To Whom It May Concern

May 7th, 2005  

Topic: To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern: I have always been a very patriotic person, I love my country and I believe in everything we are doing overseas. I have a soft spot for soldiers and get choked up every time I hear the song, “God Bless the USA.” I have heard so many things about what goes on behind closed doors and have been told how corrupt our government is, but never really understood until I experienced it first hand. I now fully understand why people you once knew and loved go away to the armed forces and are never the same once they get back. I thought that was something that just happened a long time ago, that certainly after Vietnam the government had come a long way to ensure the men and women who are protecting our nation and freedom the same happiness as everyone else. Well, I was wrong, so wrong, that I just don’t know how I am going to sleep at night anymore.

I am writing regarding my brother-in-law, Full Name Removed. I know there are thousands of stories out there just like ours and worse; I am just not sure where else to turn. Choyce is a wonderfully funny, happy-go-lucky individual; I have never met anyone in my life that can make me laugh like he does. It doesn’t matter what is going on in his life, he always stops to smell the roses, but ever since he was sent to his vessel in San Diego for the United States Navy, I never get to see that person anymore. For the past three months he has been withdrawn, depressed and even suicidal, but we can’t find anyone to help him. Since he has been in San Diego, he has visited medical almost every single day begging for a psych evaluation for several things including sleep deprivation, severe depression and bed wetting. Each time he is promised to see the naval psychiatrist and still to this day isn’t sure if the psychiatrist is a male or female. When talks of hurting himself or taking his own life he was simply asked if he was planning to do so at that very moment, and when his answer was “no” he was told to come back when he was. For his sleep deprivation he was simply offered Benedryl. Choyce gets three hours sleep at the most every night and has to perform full duty the next day for up to 12 hours he was simply offered an over-the-counter drug used to treat allergies. Choyce has never been a bed wetter, and even though many people are known to fake this illness I know he would be far too embarrassed to do himself. Since being aboard the USS Nimitz he has been seen for this problem numerous times and has been offered no help at all.

Choyce has become very irritable, one minute you are talking to the old Choyce and the next he’s gone, he becomes a totally different person. Over the past three months his condition has rapidly deteriorated with no end in sight. He came home for a seven-day leave on April 25th. When he arrived at my home, I expected to see a happy young man glad to be home, instead I was greeted by someone I didn’t even recognize, a scared boy who was crying. He was not happy to be home, but terrified about going back. When Choyce decided to join the Navy, he was coaxed by smooth talking recruiters that talked about all these great things that we now know do not exist. Everything he was told about the Navy turned out to be hideous lies. Everything he was promised vanished into thin air. He has been with my sister for three years, and when he was on short term leave before going to San Diego he couldn’t wait any longer for them to be married. They were wed on January 28th of this year and he reported for duty on February 1st. All the talk of your spousal privileges turned out to be yet another hurdle they have yet to clear. She hasn’t been able to do even the smallest things like get a military spousal ID or even get on his insurance. Whenever asked when she will be able to move on base with him they are always told it is not a good time. She has even been written to directly stating it is not the right time and that her presence will stress my brother-in-law out. After being home a few days we slowly started seeing the old Choyce come to life a little at a time, but just as he started to shine through, things took a turn for the worse. At 3:45 a.m. Monday morning just 45 minutes before we were set to leave for the airport, my sister woke me up in hysterics. I ran upstairs and found him lying on the bed as white as a ghost. When I went to sit next to him on the bed, he was violently shaking and breathing very heavily. So I took his pulse which was 166 beats per minute, almost 80 beats faster then normal. He then started vomiting and shortly after passed out. After regaining consciousness I covered him with cold compresses and tried to calm him down. I then realized that there was no way we were going to make his flight, and even if we could, there was no way any airline would let him fly in his condition. I then immediately e-mailed his commanding officer to advise of his illness. The next day when I received my first phone call from Choyce’s mentor, CS1 Worsley, and I was assured that Choyce was not in trouble and that the Navy was extremely worried about him. I then made an appointment with our family Dr. and took Choyce in. The only thing his superior asked for was a fax advising his condition upon examination. The Dr. was extremely worried and thought Choyce to be harmful to himself. The Navy fax was out of order so she tried to call and speak to someone directly to be advised of what to do regarding his condition. After getting a busy signal at the only number that was given to me for hours she gave up because the day was coming to a close. We were told to have someone call her office and she would let them know Choyce was in no condition to fly. The next morning I received a message to call the base’s medic but once again hit road blocks, the number was either busy or I wasn’t able to speak to anyone. I started trying to call Choyce’s supervisor, but only got more busy signals. I sent several e-mails asking for alternative numbers, but when given the numbers were always busy or answered by someone who could not help me. When the Dr. finally talked to the medic she was advised to give a medication to calm Choyce and get him on a plane. She was also reminded several times that their ship was set to deploy on April 7th and that Choyce had better be there to deploy with everyone else. No one was the least bit concerned with his condition. Meanwhile Choyce was in bed not eating or speaking. The medic told me it was out of his hands because our Dr. gave a clean bill of health, so we got in the car and drove straight to her office. After speaking with her she was concerned with the fact that we were blatantly lied to and that her words were twisted. She said she was told to medicate him so he could get back to the ship and start the process for medical discharge. Whenever I talked to anyone, it was a completely different story; get him back for deployment. Cheryl was so concerned she wanted to place him in a psychiatric hospital. After realizing that being in the Navy he probably couldn’t receive treatment, she conferred with another Dr. who sent us to the VA Hospital in Houston.

Choyce’s Lieutenant called to let me know that he was marking Choyce UA, which I couldn’t understand because I had been told all along he was in no trouble. How could someone so sick possibly be in trouble for staying to seek medical treatment? I explained that we would have all necessary documentation needed to support his illness, but was told it probably wouldn’t matter and that we needed to remember that the Navy owned Choyce. I am honestly at a loss for words because in trying to communicate I constantly hit brick walls and busy signals. We are now awaiting the psychiatrist at the VA Hospital, but when Choyce called to let his Lieutenant what was going on he was basically told in no uncertain terms to get back to the base and leave his wife, who is worried sick about him, at home. After five hours we are finally able to see the psychiatrist who is also deeply worried for my brother’s safety. She says he is deeply depressed and needs medication. We were told to come back first thing in the morning, which is only three hours away, and see another Dr. Once again, yet another Dr. is concerned and can’t understand why he has not seen a psychiatrist on the base yet. He prescribes several medications, including Citalopram for depression, Temazepam for sleep and Lorazepam for anxiety. He then communicates his diagnosis to Choyce’s supervisor and Lieutenant and advises them to get him help immediately upon return. He wanted Choyce to check into the military hospital for help, but we feel like our hands are tied because of his UA status. Instead we book a flight set to leave at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, May 5th, cross our fingers and pray to God. I know his commanding officers have letters, faxes, and e-mails and have even spoken to the Doctors directly, but I can’t help being scared that all correspondence gets misplaced or even ignored until after the ship is deployed. I know in my heart that if that ship sails with my brother on it, we may never see him again. I am rapidly losing respect for the same people I was once awed by. If we are so willing to help everyone else all over the world, why can’t we still help those here in the meantime???

Concerned Citizen

Admin Edit: Full name removed. This is an open forum, so please remember PERSEC!
May 7th, 2005  
Uhhhh Yeah well.............................................. .............................

Number 1. Your brother in law enlisted in the Navy he has obligations he is required to fulfill. One of these is to return to his ship as instructed by his command.

Number 2. If and he is not hospitalized. His doctors excuse has been reviewed. He has been determined able to travel by Naval personnel. And does not comply with those orders he is UA. If his Ship leaves port with out him then he will be charged with Missing a Movement. Among other things.

Number 3. Bed Wetting is the oldest ploy in the book.

Number 4. You have stated he was seen by Naval personnel while aboard his ship. Naval Doctors do not allow Sailors or Marines who truly display signs of acct depression or suicidal tendencies to remain in their billets. That would cause a danger to the rest of the command. They are removed for treatment/discharge processing.

Number 5. Denial of Dependant benefits to your sister. Thats not that hard. Your brother in law has to present his Marriage license to to his perso fill out the requisite paper work for a D-Allotment.
More Paper work for TriStar benefits, and since your sister does not reside with him Paper work for a dependent ID card. Armed with that paperwork your sister can have a D-ID issued at a Military Installation in the area. Since you state Houston I'm assuming you live in Texas which puts you in driving distance of several bases. Has he done the necessary Leg work?

Number 6. 3 hours of sleep and then working a 12 hour shift. Welcome too the military. Underway he will get less at times. And right now there are a bunch of people in the military getting less and under more adverse circumstances than a Culinary Specialist aboard Nimitz is ever likely to see, (Since the rate of his mentor is CS1 Culinary Specialist 1st) I'm assuming your brother in law works in the Galley as a cook.

Number 7. NAVBUMED Does not care what a civilian or VA contract Doctor says. Naval medical officers make the diagnose of active duty Sailors and Marines period.

Now that I'm thru sugar coating it. Your brother in law needs to man up and go back. Kiss his wife good bye and face whatever repercussions await him at his command. If he wants out this badly I'm sure his CMCPO will gladly find a way to get him down the gang plank and out of the Naval Service, if for no other reason than to keep this from being an ongoing issue that effects the viabilty of his duty section.
May 8th, 2005  
with a name like "punksoup" i'd be a little suspicious of the motives on this.

sorry if i have made an incorrect judgement
May 8th, 2005  
Charge 7
That was my assessment too, Chewie.
May 8th, 2005  
Get him back to the '68. Now. If the ship's doctors didn't find anything wrong with him, why are you doubting that?
May 9th, 2005  
OK before I get flamed to death, pinches of salt aside. This isnt the first time I have heard of things like this, but over this side of the pond in the RAF.
I suffer from insomnia which resulted in a formal warning when I was in Bahrain last year for falling asleep on a night shift from sheer exhaustion, I saw medics and they told me they couldnt do anything for me until I got back to the UK. When I returned to my unit I went straight to the base medic and was told to complete a sleep diary for two weeks and take it back to him. That diary consisted of approximately 14hrs sleep over the two week period (and I was on leave not duty) .
I took it back to him and he told me to my face that I was faking it and lying to him despite looking like death warmed up, but he said he would send a letter to the local hospital for me to see a specialist and I would be seen before the end of january it is now may and still no visit to the hospital. I ring up and get told that he is still waiting for a reply.
I dont trust him, this is the same guy who told my mate Rob that he could still fly to south africa to visit his family after he collapsed on the football pitch having trouble breathing, no referrals or anything. Rob collapsed again two days before his flight left because it was a weekend and we were in town, we took him to the local hospital he had scans and it turned out he had a collapsed lung which meant if he had of flown on the doctors reccomendation he would be dead.
Nice to know that the forces care aint it lol
May 11th, 2005  
Doctors can make mistakes but there have been cases where serious illnesses have been overlooked when the person is part of the armed forces. Chris would never ask to be put on medical but during boot he had a 102 fever and was sent back out to do training. No Joke.
May 11th, 2005  
I have to agree with all of the previous entries. There should be no reason that your sister cannot get an ID.
A message to your brother-in-law: Suck it up, you volunteered. No one put a gun to your head and made you sign up. You very well could be facing a Court Martial and depending on the severity a DISHONORABLE discharge. You'd better get back to your ship, ASAP!
May 12th, 2005  
Originally Posted by AmericanSweetheart
Doctors can make mistakes but there have been cases where serious illnesses have been overlooked when the person is part of the armed forces. Chris would never ask to be put on medical but during boot he had a 102 fever and was sent back out to do training. No Joke.
Sounds like a sea story to me. The 1st thing that happens at BAS no matter what your there for is a temp check and BP reading. I've seen Grunts evaced from the field for less.
May 12th, 2005  
his mother might have exagretated but still he got really sick he lost 10 pounds.