The central premise of the book is that war is such a terrible, terrifying, dreadful, horrible, brutal, unimaginable thing to do that no sane person wants to be any part of it, and so pretending to be insane to avoid having to continue is a demonstration of the opposite. Klinger, in MASH, was a later expression of the same meme.
PTSD is a clinical diagnosis which accords the status of an actual injury to the altogether human revulsion to what war does and is, to the psyche of the soldiers. But the military mind cannot divorce the symptoms of PTSD from the institutional abhorrence of "malingering," or "goldbricking." So survivors of PTSD are held--unofficially, by the brass--to have pulled a fast one, and such claims are routinely impeded. The Purple Heart will not be awarded to PTSD survivors, because to do so would honor what the brass STILL consider "weakness."
Here's some of what happens until the Cathcarts of the world are overthrown. Meet Col. (Big D) Dallas Homas:
Col. Dallas Homas was administratively removed from his position as head of the Army’s Madigan Healthcare System near Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, Army officials announced Feb. 20. Col. Homas, a West Point graduate, had headed the medical center since March 2011Here endeth today's lesson in the oxymoronicity of any notion of military ethics, honor, or respect for the "wounded warriors."
Col. Homas was removed during an Army inquiry into the practice of intentionally not diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in soldiers. Such a diagnosis entitles one to certain rights, benefits and compensation.
Col. Homas, the commander in charge of making sure soldiers on base are being cared for, denied soldiers their right to medical treatment and other rights to “save taxpayer money”—an absurd statement considering the multi-million dollar defense budget that has unlimited funds for corporate defense contractors, but suddenly “not enough money” when we’re entitled to compensation for legitimate psychological wounds.