We don’t know whatever happened to Marine Pvt. Travis Hafterson, the Circle Pines soldier who went AWOL last year because he allegedly wasn’t getting treatment for his Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. His family stopped returning my messages after the Marines, having arrested Hafterson minutes before a Minnesota court intervened to get mental health treatment, claimed he’d never seen the combat he claimed he had. The military won’t say, and the few Minnesota politicians who tried to intervene on his behalf refused to answer questions, too.
We know today, however, that Pvt. Hafterson’s story isn’t unusual. Spc. Jeff Hanks called CBS News today to say his “treatment” for PTSD from the Army is “going nowhere.”
His story sounds just like Hafterson’s. He went AWOL, went to civilian doctors who said he was suffering the effects of his service, then turned himself in to the military, which ignored the diagnosis.
Hanks said he showed the Army counselor three evaluations from civilian therapists diagnosing Hanks with emotional problems and recommending that he be tested for PTSD, but the counselor rejected them.
“‘Those don’t matter,’” Hanks said the counselor told him. “The military doesn’t look at civilian diagnosis.”
Here’s a piece CBS did on the soldier last week.
It’s easier to track the mental health treatment veterans are getting than the treatment — or lack of it — that active duty soldiers are.