By Miriam Raftery
Editor's Note: Military authorities declined to speak with East County Magazine regarding this story. We also requested permission to interview veterans at Balboa Naval Hospital to obtain a diverse range of views on conditions in mlitary service. Our request was denied.
October 18, 2008 (San Diego)--Army intelligence officer Selena Coppa has risked her freedom to speak out. “One of my soldiers died. He had PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome),” she said. “It was ignored.”
After she revealed the truth about the soldier’s death, Coppa told East County Magazine, her commanding officer threatened her. “He said if he’d known what I was going to do, he would have put me in Walter Reed in the mental ward and made sure I never got out. Then what would happen to my little girl?”
Coppa and Hess accuse the U.S. government and military officers of neglecting soldiers with serious mental health problems and of fostering a climate of intimidation against those who speak out.