Camp Lejeune Whistle-Blower Sent Warnings Outlining Serious Flaws in Mental Health Care System
Psychiatrist sought to prevent Fort Hood-style violence among Marines about to “lose it” instead loses his job
by Mark Benjamin
Salon, Nov. 16, 2009
Last April, two Marines at Camp Lejeune predicted to a psychiatrist that some Marine back from war was going to “lose it.” Concerned, the psychiatrist asked what that meant. One of the Marines responded, “One of these guys is liable to come back with a loaded weapon and open fire.”
They weren’t talking about Marines suffering from a tangle of mental and religious angst, like news reports suggest haunted the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. The risk they reported at Camp Lejeune was broader and systemic. Upon returning home, troops suffering mental health problems were getting dumped into an overwhelmed healthcare system that responded ineptly to their crises, the men reported, and they also faced harassment from Marine Corps superiors ignorant of the severity of their problems and disdainful of those who sought psychiatric help.
As Dr. Kernan Manion investigated the two Marines’ claims about conditions at the North Carolina military base, the largest Marine base on the East Coast, he found they were true. Manion, a psychiatrist hired last January to treat Marines coming home from war with acute mental problems, warned his superiors of looming trouble at Camp Lejeune in a series of increasingly urgent memos.
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Filed under: Resources Tagged: | Camp Lejeune Whistle-Blower, Cmdr. Robert O’Byrne, Department of Defense inspector general, Dr. Kerman Manion, Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, Marine Corps, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, PTSD, Pvt. Jonathan Law, TBI