I’m not much of a joiner, but occasionally I run across a group doing something I think is so important or for which I have such an affinity I cannot help but do what I can to promote them. These ladies are such a group. Their efforts are still very new, so it remains to be seen how effective they will be, how they will behave as stewards of the movement and many other things. But, I applaud their efforts completely and without reservation, because this is a story that needs telling and a wrong that needs righting.
Having been a company commander, currently serving on my 3rd combat tour, I have some insight into the issue of mental health treatment within the Army system. I will give the majority of mental health providers the benefit of the doubt, they didn’t go to school for years and amass tons of debt to go into a field they care nothing about. The vast majority want to help, as best they know how. The problem is, very few counselors have combat experience. Very few of the academics who develop the curriculums or do the scientific studies upon which the counseling is based have combat experience. Not to say that you have to have experienced something to be able to counsel someone else, but there are simply far more abuse victims, children of parents with significant mental and emotional issues, etc to go into the field than there are combat vets. This skews the research and the findings somewhat.
And, we are dealing with a bureaucracy. That means that those who fund it want measurable metrics. Yet, the very best counselors deal in ways that do not lend themselves to metrics, and those who know and are willing to work the system are rarely the best counselors. Add in a risk adverse military bureaucracy on top of that where a significant uptick in suicides can shit-can an officers promotion potential (anybody think the leadership at Lewis-McChord will get promoted after making national news in a negative way?).
So, the system is designed to fail from the get-go. We must, as tax payers, as citizens whose rights these men and women have suffered and sacrificed to protect, live up to the debt we owe them. Whatever you may think of the policies that sent them, they fulfilled the oaths they swore and went where they were sent and in doing so, they sacrificed a wholeness most of us take for granted. Spread the word of what these ladies, in the truest sense of that word, are doing.
This is the original article where I found out about them.
Another way to look at it: