Showing posts with label Rep. Harry Mitchell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rep. Harry Mitchell. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mitchell takes on the stigma of vets' mental-health issues

The message reads: "It takes the courage and strength of a warrior to ask for help."

It goes on to list the VA's suicide prevention hotline number: 800-273-TALK (8255).

Mitchell takes on the stigma of vets' mental-health issues
by E.J. Montini - Jul. 22, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Late last year at a congressional hearing in Washington, Rep. Harry Mitchell listened to a couple named Mike and Kim Bowman tell the story of their 23-year-old son, Tim, a soldier who had returned safely from his yearlong deployment in Iraq only to commit suicide at home.

"We already were hearing that suicide among veterans who were between 20 and 24 years old was 2½ times higher than non-veterans," Mitchell told me. "And I remember thinking to myself: 'We can't do this again.' "

The first-term congressman previously had attended a "stand-down" event in Phoenix, at which homeless veterans receive free haircuts, showers and meals, as well as medical check-ups and help with housing or job services
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Tim Bowman was alive and reached out for help. His parents tried to get him the help he needed.

Tim comitted suicide and ended up resting here,

instead of healing his wounds, here, at home with his family.

What's wrong with this? Start with losing more after war, after they should be done risking their lives for the country, but still find their lives at risk because the country didn't take care of them. If you want to dismiss PTSD, say the VA is doing all they can, the DOD is doing all they can, because of a few news reports regarding their efforts to catch up, then plan on a lot more dying for your attention.

Let's put it this way. Here's a hypothetical situation.

Ten veterans go to the VA. The VA has room to take care of six of them. While the news would be about the great care the six received, what is not reported is the fact four were turned away. The six were not in danger of dying if they did not get seen right there and then, but the four were in immediate need of help.

One was so angry he was out of control and afraid he would hurt someone. One was on the verge of becoming homeless. One was afraid if he didn't get help, he'd get fired because he was self-medicating and drunk driving. One was suicidal.

Weeks later we read about the angry one, killing his wife and then taking his own life.

We read about the veteran who did end up homeless and died in the doorway of a church in the dead of winter.

We read about veteran who drank to kill off feelings he could no longer cope with and the innocent family of four he killed in a car wreck.

We read about the one who was clearly suicidal going home and hanging himself in the garage.

This hypothetical situation happens all the time. It happened to Tim Bowman and far too many more. When will we say it's great the VA is trying to play catch up but gearing up for anything other than 100% is not adequate enough. It was 100% trained to send into combat. It was 100% to be provided with uniforms and weapons. It has to be 100% of the wounded being taken care of today.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos

International Fellowship of Chaplains

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington