Trump signs EO “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life”

| January 10, 2018 | 35 Comments

The president signed an Executive Order yesterday entitled “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life” which automatically enrolls service members in Veterans’ Affairs Department mental health programs when they leave the service according to Stars & Stripes;

Officials with the Trump administration, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Tuesday that many transitioning servicemembers have difficulty enrolling in VA health care because of the complex process in place. Only 40 percent of veterans enroll in VA mental health care in the first year after leaving the service, Shulkin said.

In the next 60 days, the departments will work out specifics of how to allow exiting troops to be enrolled automatically in VA mental health care, with the option to opt out, Trump administration officials said. The order did not go into specifics on how to accomplish that.

Shulkin wants to ensure new veterans will not be required to have served in combat in order to be eligible for one year of mental health care and they won’t have to prove their military service caused mental health problems, he said Tuesday during a teleconference with reporters.

Most of veterans’ suicides are from the population that hasn’t deployed to combat, according to VA statistics, so combat service shouldn’t be a qualifying factor.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (35)

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  1. Claw says:

    Great, just great. I can see it now:

    Very first interview for a civilian job after discharge –

    “I see here that you’ve been ordered to see a VA head shrinker for at least a year.”

    “Thanks for showing up, but sorry, can’t use you.”

    I understand the reasoning, but real life sometimes beats the hell out of good intentions.

    • SSG Kane says:

      I had mandated mental healthcare following my deployment to Iraq.

      My employer knew that, which means the one time I jokingly told my boss I was taking a mental health day (something that was provided to us as employees, much like sick and vacation days) he reached out to HR, who contacted my wife (who worked at the same company) to make sure her and the kids were ok, and did she know I was taking a mental health day, and did she feel safe, and on and on and on…

    • USMC Steve says:

      HOw exactly would a civilian employer know this? Most of them know absolutely nothing about military service. The VA isn’t going to send out a notice card to potential employers telling them that the service member is getting this service.

    • desert says:

      Exactly what I was thinking, not only that, but the dumocraps will somehow turn that so those veterans can’t own a weapon!! They have already tried that and the stinking NRA backed them up! I dumped NRA that day and joined Gun Owners of America!

      • johnq says:

        Think of a job in law enforcement. If you fail to reveal this happy little tidbit, you get flushed from the recruitment process and banned from ever applying with that agency again. Other agencies will reach out to that agency and the ball rolls on…

  2. Rb325th says:

    Well meaning, but I think it is too much. Using a flamethrower to kill a spider.
    As was pointed out, suicide statistics show it affects a more substantial number of non combat Veterans.
    The demographics have also shown it to be close to being in line with the general population.
    Suicide among Veterans is real, but… I am all for getting the help to those Veterans who need it, but this a bit much.

    • Hondo says:

      Agreed. The default should be “opt in”, not “automatically enrolled with option to opt out”.

      I’m also concerned about the apparent disregard of any need to prove service-connection for mental issues. This seems to buy into the BS theory that “military service makes people crazy”. It doesn’t. Someone who can’t handle the military and goes off the deep end IMO almost always had issues prior to serving.

      In my experience, it’s exceedingly rare to find someone driven “over the edge” by military service. Affected and changed? Certainly. But stressful situations in civilian life does the same. Hell, even routine life affects and changes people; some can’t handle that.

      Just my $0.02 worth; YMMV.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        I’m with you, Hondo, on the “opt-in” option. My guess is that 90%+ of those that have served probably have no mental health issues related to our service. But, there may be some that find the challenges of going from military to civilian life overwhelming, especially those of us that have served for 20 years or longer. Having access to someone to help in that transition would be nice, but to make it a mandatory “opt-in” option is over the top.

        • USMC Steve says:

          Yeah, but Doc, how many of us would admit we needed the counseling and treatment willingly? That is often not a part of a military person’s makeup, and some might not realize that their problem is coming from their head.

      • timactual says:

        “Only 40 percent of veterans enroll in VA mental health care in the first year after leaving the service”

        Statements like that certainly seem to support the theory that either military service drives people over the edge or that the military enlists unstable people.

        At the very least it certainly leads me to ask “Why so many?”. Inquiring minds (and taxpayers) want to know.

      • desert says:

        I don’t know how it is now, but when I was in, most people came out “growing up” a little!! Me included!

    • MrFace says:

      Agreed 100%.

      Although you should always use a flamethrower to kill spiders. Its so metal…

  3. civilwarrior says:

    My middle son was discharged under AR635-200 chapter 5-13. He had some serious mental health issues that remained untreated. He lived with me for awhile after his discharge, until the crazy became too.much for me to deal with. He needed help and wasn’t getting it. For my family this is a day late and a dollar short, but I’m glad it is done. Thank you Mr. President.

  4. Dave Hardin says:

    Some of you people seriously need some VA mental health care.

    I can tell a few of you are “In Transition”…you know who you are.

    Let us all take a moment today to celebrate that being a Veteran makes us all victims.

    22 a day is utter bullshit, it has be debunked countless times. The vast majority of veterans serve 4 years and then simply get on with their life and ask nothing of anyone because they served. We need to get those veterans into VA mental health care so they can deal with their Victim Denial.

    The rest of you pansies can prance down to the VA and share your feelings with the local Veteran Victim Verified circle jerk.

    I am so grateful that I came through all my years of service unscathed by feelings.

    • Used to be still serving says:

      Thanks for saying what I was thinking. More political bullshit making veterans look like victims. I can’t stand this whole victim/ You owe me something mentality.

    • NHSparky says:

      And most “veteran suicides” are among those over 50.

      This EO will likely create a greater stigma among currently serving/recently separated vets.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Don’t listen to anything he says. He is a seekrit marsupial hominid, trying to blend into the general population. Nothing he says can be taken seriously because he hides things in his pouch.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      Hahahaha, I’m one of those defectives….how’d you figure me out?

      The blatant heathen references?

      The utter lack of criminal complaints, or civil ones? The thirty years of unpaid volunteer work alongside a successful career trajectory?

      The sailing and enjoying life with my spouse?

      Oh, I know what it is…is it because I never asked for and don’t need anything from the government? There must be something wrong with me right?

      • Dave Hardin says:

        You have serious issues, your Denial is worse than even I thought.

        You must have made some kind of inappropriate comment to a female person along this career trajectory of yours.

        I bet you probably even raised your voice at people along the way.

        Sure…enjoy your success…so many others paid an emotional price for it.

        Seek treatment.

  5. SSG Kane says:

    As someone who had to do six months of therapy following my deployment (anger management issues unrelated to my deployment) I don’t like this.

    Not one fucking bit.

    Setting aside the slippery slope problems (ever been treated for a mental illness becomes ever been treated by a mental health professional which leads to you being declared unfit to own firearms, vote, manage your own finances), you also have the issue of the VA being trash.

    Took three sessions and my mandated threapist started to cry, because I called her out on her bullshit (she was late to everyone of our sessions…not because she was helping other vets who needed it more, but because she had errands to run and they took her more than an hour…)

    Scheduling nightmares (we’ll meet with you anytime you want as long as its wednesday at one in the afternoon), long wait lists (this helped me actually, because by the time they got me scheduled my six months was almost already up), lack of qualified staff (my therapist was “only an intern” something she kept sobbing over and over again”), the expectation that if you have it, you’ll use your own insurance to see someone else/better (the answer the case manager gave me when I complained about the mess), the over prescription and ease of medication (oh, your daughter was raped while you were deployed? Here these pills will make you feel better) and the external stigma (non-military, my boss knew about the mandatory therapy and I made the mistake of jokingly saying I needed a mental health day…next thing I knew HR was calling my wife to make sure her and the kids were ok (she worked at the same place) and did she know I was taking a day off).

    You are going to add thousands of veterans to an already overworked and numbers driven system rather than looking at who is developing legitimate issues and why (I strongly suspect it has to do with recruitment goals and quality). As a result, even more of those who really need the help aren’t going to be able to get it.

    Its the John Kerry effect. Oh Special Forces are our most effective force, we’ll just make more! You can’t do that with Special Forces, anymore than you can with mental health professionals and solutions.

    Fuck man, I’m hot under the collar on this one and turning this into a full blown rant.

    • David says:

      You mention an important point… this gives the gungrabbers reason to jump on the mental-health issue to deny veterans’ gun purchasing rights. Not a good reason, but certainly a talking point.

  6. OWB says:

    Always suspicious, I wonder what is so very special that “mental health issue” should automatically be deemed worthy of treatment by the VA, but kidney stones, or appendicitis, or athlete’s foot are not. AND why anyone would assume that the VA is any better able to treat “mental health issues” than they are able to treat anything else efficiently and/or effectively.

  7. Sgt Fon says:

    the VA will find a way to screw it up. the MH section here in straton is well meaning and i really think has the best intentions for troops but there is not enough staff or groups to go around right now, so they throw little pills at you and say those should fix you up.

    Opting out is fine, you almost can see the relief on their faces when someone who has a strong will finally backs off of treatment. it allows them to going back to the game.

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    IS this overzealous approach generated by some guilt trip about bad PR for admin people who just don’t give a crap about their jobs?

    Just askin’ because that’s what it seems like. If you come home, go to school or back to the civilian work force, that should be sufficient to show that you’re moving on, shouldn’t it?

  9. USMCMSgt (Ret) says:

    And on the 61st day, your PII will be compromised (again) and your health records will be “accidentally” sent to every e-mailed address around the globe.

  10. 26Limabeans says:

    “Only 40 percent of veterans enroll in VA mental health care in the first year after leaving the service, Shulkin said.”

    Only 40 percent? ONLY?

  11. Steve 1371 says:

    How about the men in a woman body and vic versa? That ought to be a whole new can of worms.

  12. Guard Bum says:

    When I retired and registered with the VA as part of out processing I would get calls about every other month for over a year along the lines of “Your record has been flagged due to your multiple combat tours in combat arms and we would like to have you join our OIF Veterans groups that meet …”(dont remember which day but it was weekly.

    I am three hours from the VA hospital where these groups meet, I kept telling the well meaning people that I had a great wife, I bought my dream farm, loved the Marine Corps and the Army and would do it all over again, have good employment and life is good! I swear to god I had no issues but they certainly could push you into a crisis just from not listening.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I already have some people who do the old “oh, you served in Iraq; it must be very hard” and look at me like I am probably close to snapping when they find out I am retired military and this will just reinforce the public’s perception we are all fragile. I always tell people I wish I could do it all over again and they really look at me strange!

  13. Ex-PH2 says:

    I only approach the VA to get flu shots. I’m sure they’re all quite nice and mean well, but I have stuff to do, as does everyone else I know. You’d think it would make more sense to not do things that create issues (like annoying people who are trying to accommodate the VA’s peculiar needs), but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  14. FatCircles0311 says:

    Just you wait. The second a democrap gets in office those enrolled in “mental health” will be denied their 2nd amendment rights. You can take that to the bank. This is garbage EO that will be used against veterans.

  15. 91A1P says:

    And this will be paid for how?

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