Branded a Coward, Sgt. Fights for PTSD Victims

Georg Andreas Pogany

Branded a Coward, Sgt. Fights for PTSD Victims

They call him the angry guy now. Even his friends. And at this moment, on a snowy evening when he should be home, putting his son to bed, Andrew Pogany is, in fact, ticked off. He sits with a soldier in a law office. The man has brought with him a pile of medical files, and another desperate story: Sent off to war to fight for his country. Diagnosed, now, with post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet the Army, the soldier tells Pogany, is drawing up papers to discharge him in a way that could mean no medical benefits. The soldier confides he thinks about killing himself. All the time, he says. Pogany makes sure he has his cell number. Then he copies the medical records, and recommends a book by a Vietnam veteran turned Zen monk. The man once helped Pogany through his own tough times. Maybe the monk’s words will help this guy hang on.  Two hours behind closed doors, then a handshake and the soldier leaves. Pogany seethes. “Disgusting,” he fumes. “This is so disgusting.” Yes, Andrew Pogany is angry again. But he shrugs off such labels. Better to be called angry than to be branded a coward by the very military he signed up to serve, as the Army did to him back in 2003. Read More

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