21.05.2000 | The appeal of Kharkov region Union of soldiers’ mothers

Pay attention to the health of recruits


Soldiers, who deserted from their units because of dedovshchina, or their parents often turn to the Kharkov region Union of soldiers’ mothers. During the last 8 months we obtained 11 complaints.

After a cursory analysis of the causes that forced servicemen to desert it becomes obvious that the most frequent reason of this dramatic events is an incorrect notion of recruits and their parents of the army service, their legal illiteracy, their incomplete understanding of their rights and duties.

Either recruits or their parents often conceal their illnesses from the medical commission. Then the recruit experiences the cruel reality of the military barracks, his disease becomes more acute, the life become unbearable and he deserts.

A sick recruit becomes an even sicker soldier. He cannot bear physical and psychic load of the service. Military doctors, because of lack of funds, often cannot help, they even cannot prescribe dietetic nourishment. The economic crisis that is raging in the country did not bypass the army. Those parents who hope that the army will correct their children’s behavior and health, make a grave mistake.

Sick soldiers in the army suffer much and make suffer the society, since the society, the tax payers, maintain the army, and the diseases of servicemen cost immensely.

That is why we, representatives of the Kharkov region Union of soldiers’ mothers, appeal to the parents, whose children are registered in recruiting commissions. We ask parents to come to recruiting commissions together with their children and tell the medical staff on the diseases of their children. It must be done because youths, that register by groups or classes, are often shy to tell a doctor about their diseases in the presence of their classmates. The parents must bring to the medical commission certificates on their sons’ diseases and psychological peculiarities. We recommend not to conceal from the medical staff that the potential recruit has abnormal behavior or if he is registered in militia. The latter factors make the basis for the additional investigation of the recruit by psychologists and psychiatrists. The parents must not be afraid of psychiatrists, as it often happens. A specialist can find out what is not understandable for parents and their children. An honest psychiatrist will not send to the army a youth with behavioral deviations: he knows too well how it can finish for the serviceman and his colleagues. Such a diagnosis will not prevent the young man to get education for a profession not connected with heavy psychological load.

We also appeal to teachers asking them not to write formal characteristics and to describe in detail psychological features of their pupils. It will help to improve the further investigation of the health of recruits.

Certain parents, knowing the diseases or behavioral deviations of their sons, think that their sons must not go to the army. We have come across the cases when young men dodge recruiting commissions, do not live at home, do not get their military cards. From the talks with such young men and their parents we learn that they do not expect that medical commissions will pay attention to their complaints. Nonetheless, without proper documents they will not find a legal job, will not get a profession, will not enter a vocational school or a college. The absence of the legal social status may push the youth to criminals. Such problems must be and can be solved in a legal way.

Those parents who are afraid that their sick son may be taken to the army must come with the recruit to the district recruiting commission and inform the medical staff on the recruit’s sickness, better in writing, and ask to direct him for the medical examination to the proper hospital. If their request is refused, they may turn with a written complaint to the region recruiting commission, to region health department, or to turn to our organization.

The parents, who will not agree with the results of the medical examination, may insist on the more detailed examination. The parents even can sue the recruiting commission. That is why there is no necessity to dodge recruiting, thus violating the law.

We have much more rights than we think, and we can and must protect our rights by legal methods.

Public human rights protection organizations exist in all countries of the world and the higher the development of the country, the higher is the juridical culture of the population, the greater the number of public organizations. In our country, under the economic crisis, people often have no money to pay advocates’ services. That is why citizens must know that there exist public organizations that grant consultations free of charge.

Parents and teachers, take care of out boys, we are all interested in it!

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