When I went into work this morning, I was ordered by my commanding officer to go to the Hospital for a mental health screening. I was evaluated by the mental health specialists and then sent on my way. My CO is a standup guy, and I understand why he did it, but it brings up a couple of important issues:
First, excusing the actions of service members because of “PTSD” does more damage to service members than any trauma in combat. I have been in very traumatic combat situations. But because of that I am STRONGER. Post traumatic growth. If you’re worried about someone… you should reach out and check on them. But never excuse a service member’s actions with a wave of the hand to PTSD. You are crippling them by failing to hold them accountable. And for the people who checked on me after my last video… I’m sorry if I scared you. But know that despite my emotions, my words are always carefully thought out.
Second, as stated in previous posts, accountability from senior leaders would alleviate feelings of guilt or shame in service members more than individual counseling. It would save thousands of lives. On May 6th Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “the most immediate threat [to the DoD] is COVID.” According to the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report the number of Veteran suicide deaths documented in 2018 was well over 6K. And the numbers continue to rise. From a statistical perspective, it’s pretty easy to argue that COVID isn’t the biggest threat.
Third, for all my followers… I’m not going anywhere. Everyone is scared that the weight of the system is crashing down on me. But I know something you don’t… it’s the system that’s going to break. Not me.
I am moving forward with my resignation. I, like many of you, am very scared. But courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the ability to overcome it. At the end of the day, if I stand with accountability and integrity, the system can’t beat me.
We can’t ALL be wrong.
They only have the power because we allow it.
Every generation needs a revolution.