To his credit, former Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli has always been at the forefront of focusing the public’s attention on the “unintended consequences of war” facing our brave men and women when they return home from repeated deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. His moving and pointed introduction to the 2010 report seeking to understand the increasing rates of suicides among military personnel demonstrates his resolve in supporting our men and women in uniform. The 350 page report entitled “Health Promotion Risk Reduction Suicide Prevention,” painted a rather disturbing picture of the terrible and ongoing “mental” costs faced by our military veterans and their families. Sadly, two years later, the problems are compounding rather than diminishing.
General Chiarelli is currently CEO of One Mind For Research, a new-model non-profit dedicated to delivering accelerated new treatments and cures for all brain illness and injury within ten years time.
SFTT concurs with General Chiarelli grim assessment of the situation and has realigned its energies to focus on PTS (“Post Traumatic Stress”). In fact, SFTT has formed a Medical Task Force to evaluate current and emerging treatment methodologies to provide long term treatment to veterans who suffer from this debilitating injury.
While General Chiarelli and others have raised public awareness of the ravages of these debilitating injuries, we have been lax as a society to accept the consequences of sending young men and women to war. Make no mistake, PTS and TBI have terrifying social consequences that extend well beyond the individual who suffers these debilitating injuries. Thanks to the generous support of approach to dealing with trauma and many other concerned individuals, we are now beginning to mobilize the necessary resources to attack this problem head on.
SFTT welcomes General Chiarelli’s call to action to provide our military personnel with the best available treatment to help return them to wellness.