1 1 of 5 12/15/ :25 AM Ads by Google National Security Global Studies UCSB Global Studies Terrorism Studies Home Benefits Business Careers Community Education Finance Forum Health VA December 15, 2009 Topics NEWS FEATURES OPINION Special Reports & Terrorism - Afghanistan & Pakistan - Armed Forces - Arts & Entertainment - Benefits - Business & Commerce - Career & Jobs - Civil War - Cold War - Drug War - Economy - Family - Government & Politics - Gulf War - Heroes - Iraq War - Korean War - Law & Order - Medical & Health - Of Interest - PTSD & Coping - Supporting the Troops - Top 10 - VA Home Loans - Veterans Admin. (VA) - Veterans Service Orgs - Vietnam War - World War II Top 5 Archives Opinion: When Army Strong Snaps Posted on November 19, 2009 by indythinker The following essay was forwarded to us from Veterans for Common Sense (VCS), and we wanted to share the red flags highlighted by a military spouse stationed at Fort Hood when the recent shooting incident occurred. All credit and copyright for the story goes to Carissa Picard and VCS, so any use or reprint must be approved by the originators. ROBERT L. HANAFIN Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired GS-14, U.S. Civil Service-Retired Veterans Advocacy Editor Veterans Today Network & Our Troops Ladder 2008 Essay by Army Spouse: When Army Strong Snaps Written by Carissa Picard Friday, 06 November 2009 VCS Editor's Note: This article was written a little more than a year ago by Ms. Carissa Picard - a proud, loyal and dedicated yet concerned Army Spouse. Ms. Picard is currently stationed at Fort Hood. After [the recent; tragedy, she requested that the Military Family Network rerun her original story with the hope that "the mental health of our service members should be a priority for everyone: the American public, Congress, and the DoD." The Military Family Network supports the care and wellbeing of our troops and their families. As a result, we respectfully oblige her request so that those who perished or were wounded in today's tragedy do not do so in vain. "Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 31 on Fort Hood" "Donna Miles - American Forces Press Service" "WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, President Barack Obama condemned the fatal shooting rampage today on Fort Hood, Texas, that left 12 soldiers dead and another 31 wounded, and promised full-scale support to get to the bottom of what happened and help the Fort Hood community recover from the tragedy." When Army Strong Snaps Cartoonize Your Face Turn Your Face into a Cartoon, Make Social History! MyTattoons.com Ready-Aim-Foreign Policy US diplomacy overwhelmed by US Department of Defense At 8:40 am on the morning of September 8, 2008, a young Fort Hood soldier shot and killed his young commanding officer and himself in front of dozens of witnesses and police officers. Both soldiers were assigned to 1st Cavalry Division, which had just returned from a fifteen-month tour in Iraq this past December  and is already preparing to leave again in the winter . The facts surrounding this case are unclear. Some neighbors said he had been AWOL when his sergeant and lieutenant came to see him but the public affairs office said that he was on transitional leave and the visit was pertaining to stolen equipment. Latest Col. Bob Pappas: Educating Obama ITS ABOUT PAKISTAN, NOT AFGHANISTAN: WHAT IS THE US THINKING? Top 10 Veterans from Around the Country Where is authorization from the Congress for this war? Regional Veterans' Rebuffing U.S., Pakistan Balks at Crackdown - N.Y. Times What to do about Islamist killers? General says Afghan troop surge will take longer Lejeune and El Toro: 'A Tale of Two Bases' U.S. Department of read more... Featured Staff Writers - Amy Branham - Bob Hanafin - Bob Higgins - Capt Lonnie Ryan - Carol Duff - D.C. Liberty - Debbie Gregory - Denise Nichols - Donna Teresa - Gordon Duff - Greg T. Rinckey - Jere Beery - Jeff Gates - Jim Davis - Larry Stimeling - LT. Bobby Ross - Matt Davison - Mark Siljander - Mike Bailey - Mike Leon - Peter MacDonald - Randall W. Ark - Robert Lee Mason - Robert O'Dowd - Robert Rosebrock - Sandy Cook - Shelle Michaels - Sherwood Ross - Tom Barnes View All 52 Staff Writers Editorial Board Ms. Picard's note: Apparently this soldier was being separated from the Army. I am extremely curious as to what kind of discharge this soldier was getting. In light of what he did...i would be very surprised if he was not exhibiting "red flag" behavior prior to this incident; i.e., engaging in acts of misconduct or other self-destructive behavior signaling that he was a soldier in distress. According to one eyewitness, the police were called when a significant amount of ammunition was seen through the blinds of the soldier's living room window. By the time the police got there, however, the soldier had stepped outside of his apartment to talk to his lieutenant. Once outside, he shot his lieutenant, exchanged fire with the police, and then shot himself. Autopsies are being performed on both soldiers. Ironically, last week the Army recognized National Suicide Prevention Week. The Army also has a "battle buddy" program/policy to combat suicide. Soldiers are teamed up in pairs and they are supposed to keep an eye on each other. (I wonder if this soldier had a battle buddy?) Despite these efforts, the number of Army suicides in 2008 is expected to surpass the number of suicides in 2007, continuing its post 9/11 annual record-breaking trend (with each new year breaking the record of the one preceding it). For the first time since the Vietnam War, soldier suicides are expected to exceed the civilian suicide rate. That being said, one needs to look not just at active duty Army suicide rates in general, but at combat veteran suicide rates in particular. Only about half of our soldiers have been deployed to a combat zone. Once a soldier is an OIF/OEF (Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom) veteran (i.e., served in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan), the chances of committing suicide increase significantly. [Former] VA Secretary Peake testified before Congress in May . Young male OIF/OEF veterans (18-35) are twice as likely to commit suicide as their civilian counterparts and young female OIF/OEF veterans are three More Veterans Today Articles Monday, December 14 Book Review: Who Turned Out the Lights? Your Guided Tour to the Energy Crisis TARNISHED GLORY: THE MYTH OF "SPECIAL OPERATIONS" The dust bowl of Babylon Families with Loved Ones at War Condemn Obama s Acceptance of Nobel Peace Prize Editor's picks:
2 2 of 5 12/15/ :25 AM VA Home Loans $0-down. Up-to $417k. Fast & Easy VA Loans. Pre-Qualify Today! Wachovia Retirement Customize Your Retirement Plan. Sign Up to Get Started Today. Military Spouse Grant MyCAA Grant for Military Spouses to Learn Medical Transcription. mycaa.cesdtraining.com US Military Loans $500-$10000 Loans. 24 Hour Service Fast Approvals. Apply Online Now! Interesting Sites - Defense Supply Store - Employers 4 Veterans - Equity VA Loan - Hire Veterans - Rx 4 Veterans - Veterans Business Directory - VA Home Loans Today - Veterans Match - Veterans Today Network - VT Network Blog - Free Publications - Travel Veterans Today - Military Medals - Asbestos & Mesothelioma - Mesothelioma Cancer Center - Mesothelioma Lawyers - Mesothelioma Treatment Hundreds of thousands of servicemen were exposed to asbestos over decades, especially during the period from 1940 to Asbestos was used in construction of naval vessels as well as shore facilities. All branches of the military used asbestos, which was also widely used in civilian applications. Asbestos can cause mesothelioma. Because this cancer has a particularly long latency period, many servicemen who were exposed years ago are now developing this disease. times as likely to commit suicide. Suicides are not the problem; however, they are a symptom of the problem: the Army does not put nearly as much emphasis on the mental health and well-being of its soldiers as it does on their physical health and well-being. Yet after waging seven years of ground warfare in Afghanistan and five years of ground warfare in Iraq, one would think that the military would realize that service member psychological stability is essential to unit readiness and troop morale - not to mention public safety. The Army says that it appreciates the importance of mental health but as an advocate I have seen unit after unit choose to punish a post-combat soldier for misconduct rather than help that soldier get evaluated and treated for PTSD (as well as traumatic brain injuries). This is a choice that Commanders make and it is a choice that completely undermines the Department of the Army's own messaging on the importance of good mental health. Nonetheless, this is happening at Army bases all over the country. [see VT editors note in the comments section below, Major Hanafin] Of course, in defense of the Department of Defense, as an institution it is doing as much as it can in light of the demands being placed upon it by our Executive and Legislative branches (to maintain two fronts in the Middle East using only our all volunteer force). Individual Commanders are being pressured to maintain their unit's numbers for deployments. The "mission" ultimately, is preparing for and engaging in these wars. The mission does not include post-combat care, which is often viewed as the VA's responsibility. Well, therein lays the rub when it comes to these "invisible" injuries. If service members separate from the military without proper diagnosis, intervention, and treatment of their PTSD and TBI, their mental and neuropsychological health is compromised and their behavior may have already deteriorated to a point that makes the idea that they can get "fixed" at the VA more theoretical than realistic. Moreover, some would argue that the VA's track record on mental health care is even worse than the DoD's. More information and resources on PTSD. Consequently, if we are going to continue to engage in these prolonged military conflicts overseas, then the mental health of our service members should be a priority for everyone: the American public, Congress, and the DoD. Mental health care and treatment has to be generously funded by Congress and aggressively utilized by the Department of Defense. If we don't, then this won't be the last time you will read a headline like this. [A sad omen for the current shooting incident at Fort Hood, also see VT Editor's note in the comments section of All Service burden sharing, Major Hanafin] Copyright 2009 Carissa Picard. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army, Department of Defense or The Military Family Network. Liked this story? Get top stories in your inbox each week from Veterans Today! Sign up now! VIEW SOURCE ARTICLE Comments Post Your Comment Your Name: Comment: Enter Code : Visit the Discussion Forum Login/Create an Account comments VeteransToday.com believes in an open discussion and seeks views from all sides. In this spirit, we encourage you to post your comments on this article and any other articles on VeteransToday.com. VeteransToday.com does NOT endorse the comments of its users or the content of Staff Writers but supports and respects the users and Staff Writers right to express their points of view. So go for it. Post your opinions, comments, reactions, and outrages! IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THIS MATERIAL IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. VETERANSTODAY.COM HAS NO AFFILIATION WHATSOEVER WITH THE ORIGINATOR OF THIS ARTICLE NOR IS VETERANSTODAY.COM ENDORSED OR SPONSORED BY THE ORIGINATOR. Top 10 Veterans from Around the Country A Mounting Suicide Rate Prompts an Army Response - Time Magazine Online What were Norwegians thinking? And here is why we will lose. "Afghanistan" is more of a ghost than a country. This is going to be a long war in Afghanistan - Time Magazine Online Nothing has changed but the Times! Sunday, December 13 Observations from LT Bobby Ross 12/13/09 Why "Craigslist Founder Joins Veterans Affairs Innovation Search Panel" The Tax Benefits of Running a Home Business New Energy Drink Brings Health Opportunities to Veterans SUPPORT CPL BUCKLES LAST WW1 VET Join his FACEBOOK PAGE Obama promised a more Open Government but embraces secrecy in Afghanistan War Planning Editor's picks: War is peace? To get peace we need to construct a war? Orwell's "1984"? Saturday, December 12 VETERANS WANT ACTION BY CHRISTMAS Editor's picks: End Iraq War Now! "No peace without Justice! A terrorist threat in our midst? A sharp turn toward another Vietnam - former Senator George McGovern (W.P.) Friday, December 11 Who is Obama becoming? What is behind the quick evolution from senator and scholar to war leader? Al Qaeda has left Afghanistan. But we are staying. Now what? 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3 3 of 5 12/15/ :25 AM - Mesothelioma Patient & Family Resources: Mesotheliomahelp is provided by Belluck & Fox, LLP as a comprehensive resource for mesothelioma victims and their families. The site provides up-to-date information on the latest news and treatment options as well as an easy to use search feature to find local mesothelioma doctors and health care clinics. We fight for veterans harmed by asbestos: Veterans with mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer should know they have options: the opportunity to bring a suit against manufacturers and sellers of the asbestos that caused their illness. If you were harmed by asbestos exposure, for example, in ships or military housing, contact Weitz & Luxenberg to get a free case review. "VIEW SOURCE ARTICLE" LINKS ARE PROVIDED AS A CONVENIENCE TO OUR READERS AND ALLOW FOR VERIFICATION OF AUTHENTICITY. HOWEVER, AS ORIGINATING PAGES ARE OFTEN UPDATED BY THEIR ORIGINATING HOST SITES, THE VERSIONS POSTED ON TO MAY NOT MATCH THE VERSIONS OUR READERS VIEW WHEN CLICKING THE "VIEW SOURCE ARTICLE" LINKS. Editor's picks: Cheney Certainly Didn't 'Dither' During Vietnam - He Hauled Ass Cremated remains dumped in Arlington landfill Top 10 Veterans from Around the Country It may not be possible to stop this war in Afghanistan at this point. Wolf in Sheeps clothing - trying at least COL BARFOOT MOH BATTLE NOT OVER VETERANS AND ALL CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN BEFORE CHRISTMAS Attach the Bill for the WW1 Memorial on the Defense Appropriations Bill NOW Thursday, December 10 GET THE JOB DONE VETERANS' CROSS COUNTRY TRIPS TO GET AMERICA's ATTENTION VOTE NOW COLORADO LOOKING FOR VETERAN THAT IS MISSING HIS BRONZE STAR MEDAL U.S. Department of VETERANS DEMAND THE US REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS GIVE THE VETERANS A SIMPLE CHRISTMAS GIFT ACTION CALL: TO SUPPORT AND HONOR WORLD WAR 1 VETERANS Older Articles Related Links More about Armed Forces by indythinker Most read story about Armed Forces: DoD Lies About Retirement Plan to New Recruits? Article Rating Average Score: 5 Votes: 2 Please take a second and vote for this article: Resources - Advertise
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