Local News

Wife says Army skimping on treating soldiers with PTSD

Posted July 16, 2012 5:51 p.m. EDT
Updated July 17, 2012 5:22 a.m. EDT

— An Army wife staged a personal protest along a busy Fayetteville thoroughfare on Monday, trying to draw attention to what she says is inadequate care by the Army of soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The Army is not listening," said Krystal Reilly, as she sat at the edge of a Target parking lot along Skibo Road.

Reilly's husband, Staff Sgt. Charles Reilly, is a Special Forces soldier who has been deployed six times in the past decade. She said psychiatrists have diagnosed him with PTSD, and he's assigned to Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion, where soldiers recover from physical and mental wounds.

"Every day is a challenge. He has anxiety attacks. He has panic attacks," the 32-year-old mother of two said.

Krystal Reilly said her husband's superior officers have downplayed his threats to himself and his family. She said she believes that the Army doesn't want to pay the cost of caring for PTSD patients.

“They’re not wanting to spend the money, but my thing is, you’re going to spend the money," she said. "You sent them. They’re messed up because of war. Nobody ever said war was pretty.”

Army leaders in May ordered a comprehensive review of PTSD diagnoses after complaints that 40 percent of patients at a Washington Army post had their diagnoses reversed since 2007.

Complaints also emerged at Fort Bragg this year that wounded soldiers were accused of faking symptoms and were over-prescribed medication. A review found no serious problems.

Fort Bragg officials would not comment on Reilly's protest, but they have said in the past that they take all complaints about treatment very seriously.

Reilly said she's not convinced the Army is doing all it can.

"I feel like we owe it to our soldiers," she said. "They need our support."