It is an army base of 100,000 people strong covering many miles of the Texas desert. The question is this: What does the government owe it’s service members in terms of safety while on the base and mental services both while in and out of the service?
We have heard the reports repeatedly by veterans of the lack of psychological and psychiatric care given for many reasons. At a program I attended on Veterans Day I learned that many of the military personnel will not come forward to get help when suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or depression with the belief that they will be treated worse for being “wimps” by their superiors. The result of this lack of care is 22 suicidal deaths of military service members every day here in the USA.
While on the base, the thought is to keep out the transgressors who could cause great harm to those who belong on base. Though this is important, the issues that has come up since the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood by an army psychiatrist, is what about the service members who can become deadly forces who belong inside the compound?
Supposedly there were some changes that were to be done after the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood. However, it seems those changes were never made according to a New York Times article written on April 4, 2014 called, Soldier’s Attack at Base Echoes Rampage in 2009. According to the article no reasons were given as to the lack of action on the new policies which would have included things such as developing guidance and awareness programs so that the commanders could identify risky behavior within the ranks; share information regarding potential threats inside the military bureaucracy; and develop more sophisticated responses to this sort of internal emergencies.
These issues need to be contended with as well as the need for better treatment for those who suffered injury be it physical or emotional as a result of an internal attack. I read a few articles that made it clear that those who are harmed in these situations are dismissed from duty, many times without any treatment for the traumas that they suffered while on duty to our government. It is disheartening to realize how little our government cares about the damage that has been done to its own service memebers once they are no longer able to serve. Many are left without income or treatment because as one article put it “this was not a terrorist act” meaning an act done by someone outside the US military service.
Frankly, I would have a very hard time seeing anyone I love fight for our country knowing how bad the situation can be should something happen to them while in service. Our government needs to stop the hypocritical manner in which it operates the military service, speaking of all the benefits while never taking full responsibility for making right what may go very wrong in a service member’s career through no fault of his/her own. Given the billions of dollars it pisses away every day, our government must be held accountable to more effectively deal with the human aspect of the human beings it presses into service.
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