Army Vet: Protocol On Soldiers' Mental Health A Factor In Norman Standoff

Tuesday, November 18th 2014, 5:58 pm
By: News 9

The suspect in the Norman hostage standoff, Devin Rogers, is accused of holding three people hostage for over four hours. But we now know Rogers is also a 10-year Army veteran who has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); a mental health issue the Army calls an important factor in the case.

Rogers' family and friends have repeatedly told News 9 he hasn't received the help he needs. So we contacted the Army for a list of mental health services. However, one veteran News 9 spoke to called that list a joke.

"If you become a big problem we'll just let you miss a few things, count you AWOL and kick you out of the Army," said retired Army Sgt. Dave Davis.

An improvised explosive device (IED) has Davis physically confined to a wheelchair. But it's what he considers the Army's "lack of personal relationship" with its soldiers that has Davis frustrated.

11/14/2014 Related Story: New Details Surrounding Norman Hostage Suspect's Defense

"You can't throw money at a problem and expect it to go anyway," said Davis.

Davis served for 19 years and retired in October. In addition to his physical ailments, Davis has also been diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, or traumatic brain injury, and other mental health issues.

Every morning he takes over 40 pills. Davis also has a home health care worker and sees a PTSD specialist at the VA hospital; two things Davis requested.

"The Army didn't ask me to seek that. I sought that on my own," said Davis.

The services the Army does provide were detailed in an email from the Army's Public Affairs Office. In part it states the Army has, "Invested heavily in innovative programs" such as "increasing behavioral health teams assigned to all its brigade size operational units."

The Army also stated it's focused on, "Placement of (behavioral health) providers within Patient Centered Medical Homes, and a network of Embedded Behavioral Health clinics."

Davis just considers those outlets lengthy PowerPoint presentations.

"As a soldier, I can tell you 99% of them classes turn into a big joke," said Davis.

Army officials also stated continuation of care for veterans after they leave the Army is solely provided by the VA.