The following is a fictional scenario in which a veteran client may be arrested and charged with a crime.
Mr. Smith served two yearlong tours in Iraq. He experienced a mild traumatic brain injury after an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded on the road where he was traveling by jeep. Some of his fellow soldiers were killed by the blast. He was also engaged in a situation with civilian combatants in which he was told not to return fire and this caused him to feel frustrated and helpless. Mr. Smith had difficulty adjusting to civilian life when he returned home. He was unable to find employment for six months because the skills he learned in the military were not needed in the job market. He experienced anxiety when he heard loud noises and had frequent nightmares. He used alcohol to cope with his distress. A year after his discharge from the army, he was observed by a police officer to be driving at an unsafe speed. The officer stopped him and noted a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Mr. Smith refused a field sobriety test and became hostile and physically aggressive with the officer. He was arrested and taken to prison pending bail. His attorney employed a legal nurse consultant who reviewed his medical records and provided an analysis that was used to have his case transferred to Veterans’ Court.
Several medical issues common to veterans can be identified in the above case study. Mr. Smith was effected by traumatic brain injury. He also demonstrated symptoms of PTSD and substance abuse. A legal nurse consultant might also recommend that he be evaluated for depression.
For our criminal newsletter and blog this month we are reviewing veterans re-entry into civilian life and the medical issues that influence their thinking and behavior. The blog topics for this month are:
- Hypothetical Scenario (3/6/15)
- Psychiatric Issues (3/13/15)
- Blast Injury (3/20/15)
- Veteran’s Court (3/27/15)
Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here