Local News

Army Decides Not to Deploy Soldier With Mental Problems

Posted April 20, 2007

— An 82nd Airborne Division soldier who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder was given a reprieve Friday afternoon, meaning he won't have to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit Sunday.

During Spc. Ryan Hice's last deployment, a mortar landed next to him when he was in Khandahar. A member of 508th Infantry's 1st Battalion, he said has suffered from panic attacks and seizures since the incident.

"I have nightmares about it a lot -- almost every night," Hice said. "I'm not allowed to touch a weapon, and I'm on suicide watch."

Doctors at Womack Army Medical Center diagnosed Hice with post-traumatic stress disorder and adjustment disorder two weeks ago and ordered that he not be deployed until he has completed treatment.

But the Army was ready to deploy him this weekend until WRAL called Fort Bragg to ask about his situation.

A spokesman for the 82nd Airborne said the division's chain of command learned about Hice's situation only Friday. Hice will now remain at Fort Bragg until doctors clear him to return to Afghanistan, the spokesman said.

A soldier wouldn't be put in harm's way if he couldn't handle the job, the spokesman said.

But Hice said that's exactly what was about to happen before his reprieve.

"All I'm asking for is my treatment. They say they'll give it to me in Bagram (Afghanistan). But everyone knows I'll go straight back to the line," he said.

" I can't do it anymore," he said. "I've given the Army everything. I'm hurt, tired, confused."

Hice's mother, Therese Steinhoff, said her son needs help now and she fears he wouldn't have gotten it in a battle zone.

"To send a man into combat with a profile that says he can't be around weapons, you're sending him on a suicide mission," Steinhoff said.

Still, she and her son aren't certain what their fight with the Army will ultimately cost him.

"It could cost him his career. But if he doesn't get help, it could cost him his life," Steinhoff said.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • poke-a-dotcom Apr 23, 2007

    tigger...your daughter didn't even get through basic training without hurting herself...maybe she should find another career!

  • poke-a-dotcom Apr 23, 2007

    seeingthru...I agree with your analogy...except

    apparently this guy doesn't want to NOT be a soldier...he just doesn't want to be DEPLOYED this time...""It could cost him his career. But if he doesn't get help, it could cost him his life," Steinhoff said."

    it might be this kind of inconsistancy is why the military hesitated to begin with...after all when did he first tell anyone of his symptoms...two weeks before he was to be redeployed????

    there is always more to these stories than is told on WRAL

  • poke-a-dotcom Apr 23, 2007

    strolling bones...unless you were in the military during Clinton you have no idea what you are talking about!!!

    medical services to active duty troops, their dependents and veterans were ALL DECREASED under Clinton...

    funds to replace equipment was not approved...assets were allowed to literally rot for want of funds to use or maintain them...

    military pay had not been increase, expect for the minimum cola allowed all federal employees

    not until our present President took office did any of that change...

  • seeingthru Apr 22, 2007

    I suffer from PSTD from a housefire, the whole nine yards. Would I want to be a fireman?? I cannot believe that the military actually considered sending him back in the war zone. He and probably a few others would have been killed due the unstable nature of PSTD, he would have freaked out totally.

  • strolling bones Apr 22, 2007

    Bush loves the troops lol ....excuse me this isnt even funny. Seems Bush has done more to ruin the military than any other president in history. This comes from the top....walter Reed etc. Its all from the top. We spend billions on war but do not want to help those who volunteered to help this country. If you still support Bush and his administration then you have TURNED YOUR BACK ON OUR TROOPS.

  • icmfal Apr 21, 2007

    They have already been doing this to the soldiers at Ft Benning Ga. Sending soldiers back that have been recommended for medical retirement. Some have had injuries so bad that they are unable to wear the full armourment as they are physically unable to carry the weight. Because of this surge, they have to send soldiers over, so they are part of the number game. Even soldiers diagnosed with PTSD are being sent back before they are medically ready. He is not the first. I am glad the now he can stay until he has been deemed medically okay to return to duty.

  • tigger Apr 21, 2007

    Spc. Hince is not the only soldier that has been treated this way. My daughter came home from basic training last summer with a knee injury, she went to Ft. Bragg in Nov to get x-rays, still to this day we have no clue what those x-rays said. I had to take her to an orthopeadic because she was in so much pain. She ended up with a shifted knee cap and has had surgery on it in March of 2007. This could have been taken care of months ago. Spc. Hince I sure hope you get the help you need. I hope you dont loose your military career over this, even though my daughter might because of the surgery. No one who fights for their country should have to be treated this way.

  • ninenine99 Apr 21, 2007

    This is pathetic. A sick service person has to go to the local news station to have them intercede on his behalf so that he won't get sent back to the front lines sick. What a sad failure our military is on many fronts. It's long past time to dismantle this bloated, expensive mess of a standing military. Everything that Eisenhower warned about has happened.

  • sorry Apr 21, 2007

    I have PTSD and I tell you at times its pure hell..

  • pwilliamson53 Apr 20, 2007

    Bless this soldier and "HELP" him. He's deserves help, he's asking for help. Let our country support and give these brave men the help they have earned. Stand by them as they stood for us on the battle fields. Give him the help he is seeking cause if it hadn't been for soldiers like him, where would this country be? These brave young men choose to stand up for our country, let's not turn our backs on them. Our taxes help pay for Va hospitals and for sending our young men over there to fight for our freedom. What happened to the statement, "We will stand by our servicemen and give them what they need, as the gave of themselves when they could have so eaily said to signing up. God Bless our men and women, they don't need to beg,,,, cause every American is looking forward to the day this will all end and our young men, women and leaders will come home, open our hospitals and all other depts... to help them out.