WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Pentagon officials are blaming some mental health discharges of U.S. troops in Iraq on what they call pre-existing mental conditions.
Experts say many of the approximately 10 soldiers and Marines discharged every day for mental health problems actually have combat-related problems, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday.
By classifying the health problems as non-combat related, the military is saving money on treatment, the newspaper said.
Sens. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., have inserted language in a defense authorization bill to make it harder to discharge troops on those grounds, and to require a review of procedures by the Government Accountability Office.
Bond called the practice an abuse of the system. Obama said the lack of care for returning soldiers is “deeply disturbing.”