RAWAH, Iraq --
Marines with Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, are already thinking about returning to the U.S.
Corpsmen with the battalion recently started to administer Post Deployment Health Assessments (PDHAs) to service members, a necessity when returning to the U.S. from a deployment.
“Everyone is required to do this to identify any illnesses or injuries that may have been caused while deployed,” said Chief Petty Officer, Daryl Rice, 31, senior medical department representative with the Battalion Aid Station, 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines.
The majority of the corpsmen’s finds with PDHAs for the battalion during this deployment have been physical injuries acquired during work.
“With continuous operations, sometimes eight or nine hours a day patrolling, a lot of medical things can come up. Not so much PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) issues, but more (physical) health concerns,” Rice said.
More than 900 Warlords will complete their online PDHA before
returning home, and each will have the opportunity to speak privately with Navy
Lt. Malcolm Brown, the battalion surgeon.
“(PDHAs) are an important tool,” said Brown, 38, who is from Fort Collins, Col. “We always find at least one potentially serious situation that has not been addressed or followed up on.”
PDHAs are now stored on an internet database, providing medical personnel with a patient’s combat deployment history, compared to previous hand written PDHAs that were not conveniently available. .
“Every Marine has to sit down face to face with the provider,” Rice said, who is from Grandview, Mo. “The biggest difference (now) is that you can take it online. Any provider can pull up PDHAs online, even from previous deployments.”
The battalion’s experience in Iraq during this deployment has not often entailed the combat situations which people generally associate with PTSD. The corpsmen recognize this, and they strive to be attentive and receptive to the possibilities of PTSD issues with their patients, new and old.
“There might be certain situations where (infantrymen) push something into the back of their heads, and they may start having anxiety problems,” said Rice.
The Warlords plan to finish their PDHAs entirely before their return stateside.
“It’s one less thing we have to do when we get back,” Rice said. “You can do (PDHAs) prior or after you return, but this way everyone will get to spend more time with friends and family.”