Defense paying millions in PTSD claims to Lebanon conflict vets

The Ministry of Defense is paying out millions of euros in compensation to veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in Lebanon in the early 80's.

Over the past days the national lawyer contacted Lebanon veterans' lawyers asking for an overview of the damage each of their clients suffered, the Volkskrant reports. In total there are over 400 claims. The Ministry of Defense stressed that "in the first instance it involves the 20 cases currently in court" and that each case will be "individually evaluated".

Until recently the Ministry always denied any responsibility for damages suffered by Lebanon vets, claiming that "sufficient and adequate" care was provided at the time. But in December - in a case involving Lebanon veteran Christian Kriznaric suffering from PTSD - that the Ministry could not prove that all the soldiers received the needed care and thereby failed in its duty.

The national lawyer's request to the Lebanon veterans' lawyer will also have consequences for veterans from other missions, injury-claim specialist Jan Willem Lenselink said to the newspaper. According to him, the Defense Ministry wants to clear up everything revolving around missions before 2007.

By end December the Ministry already received almost 500 claims from veterans being treated for mental injuries. In most cases it involves Lebanon and Dutchbat soldiers suffering from PTSD.