Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 14:27:04 -0400
From: ABCTV News Niteline NLINTRN1 <>
To: <>

Hi Mr. Rustan,

Thank you for writing to Nightline. We always appreciate hearing from our viewers and take your input seriously in planning future broadcasts and reflecting on past ones. We have passed your thoughtful message along to our producers for their consideration. Thank you again for taking the time to contact Nightline.


ABCNEWS Nightline

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Posted At: Thursday, June 26, 2003 1:59 PM
Posted To:
Conversation: NIGHTLINE via
Subject: NIGHTLINE via

from =
name = Mr.Robin J. Rustan
question = Ted,
Regarding comming home Iraq is much different from those comming home from Vietnam. As you said the Marines are taking a different approcach by regognizing the symtoms of PTSD and getting help for those that need it???????
I have a website Voice For Veterans Services, go to and look at how the U. S. Darnell Army Hospital failed to give PFC Robin J. Rustan proper medical care after being in a near fatel accident by being crushed by 55,000 pounds of metal when the main gun was lowered into the tank turret while I was doing my job off loading shells from a firing exercise Dec 2 1969 in a government tank.
Darnell Army Hosptital, Fort Hood Texas, refuesed to give PFC Rustan any medical help for his injuries because the Company Commander orders PFC Rustan to Veitnam with a broken neck from his hospital bed. As you know the perfect medical care was promised on the first day of induction and then later denied. During any war, Malpractice and negligence was more of a prioity in military hospitals than best medical care promised. I had a MP and a Medic escort me to a war plane with no neck brace and was forced onto a war plane for Vietnam with these serious injuries. The U.S. Army gave me a neck brace when we landed in Hawaii, Tripplet Hospital and they continued to send me to Vietnam with a bottle of pain pills and no medical help? I ended up in Vietnam March of 1970 where I had to find medical help in the field hospital 93 evac near lon bien.
Present day I have survived with alot of unecessary pain from military malpractice and I am asking Senator Boxer to investigate military malpractice in military hospitals on my behalf to resolve the issues that I had back then and still do today. As you say we carry the burdon of war for life.
Military Law The Federal Torts Act ("FTCA") 928 U.S.C. Section 2674 destroys medical duty of care for enlisted. All enlisted personel are bared from military malpractice claims and those that are not bared by the Federal Torts Act are military dependendts to sue government hospitals for negligence and malpractice nor are military retirees bared to sue for military negligence or malpractice. Seems as though all that serve should have this right to sue government hospitals because in the beggining we were all promised perfect medical care?
I am asking Senator Boxer to resove this issue so that I can have permision to sue the goverment for putting me on a war plane seriously injured. So comming home was real tragic change since I was sent into war by military doctors that knew my neck was Broke. No medical care is a crime and PFC Robin J. Rustan should be fully compesated for this act of negligence and malpractice. Presently speaking I am rated 100% disabled by the Bureau of Veterans Affairs and want to collect for back payments back to Dec 2, 1969 and the Federal Torts Act is military law that should be modified to say All enlisted will have the same privledges as the military dependents and military retirees to sue goverment hospitals for the act of negligence or malpractice when special proof pervails even if it is for service connected injuries. Then medical duty of care is what it should be. Because of these laws changing the military will think twice before they put injured soldiers on war planes instead of giving them the medical treatment that they deserve. Flying into war with a broken neck was a horrifying experience and I ask for change in the Federal Torts Act laws so this will never happen to anymore soldiers.
Seriously Damaged,
Mr. Robin J. Rustan