Join SFTT at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington DC on Saturday, March 22nd where the Bacon Brothers pay tribute to Military Veterans.
In addition to the Bacon Brothers we have a lot of great talent lined up and General Peter Chiarelli will be presenting a Purple Heart to Major Ben Richards. Major Richards is a distinguished graduate of West Point and like many veterans serving in Afghanistan and Iraq he suffers from the “invisible wounds of war”: PTSD. Join us at Lisner Auditorium for a night of great music and to applaud a brave hero and listen to Major Richards tell his story.
For those of you who want to grab the best available seat as Lisner, CLICK HERE or enter http://bit.ly/sftt_dc in your browser. Note: Before you can enter your payment details you must SELECT THE DELIVERY OPTION (dropdown menu to the left) to proceed.
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.
The US Army released a 350 page report seeking to understand the increasing rates of suicides among military personnel. Entitled “Health Promotion Risk Reduction Suicide Prevention,” this comprehensive report is the most serious effort yet to understand the disturbing trends that are affecting the mental well-being of men and women in uniform.
The report contains a sobering introduction from General Peter Chiarelli, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, who reports that there were 160 active duty suicides in fiscal 2009 (239 across the total Army including Reserve components). In addition, there were 146 deaths attributed to “high-risk” behavior and 1,713 attempted suicides.
I echo General Chiarelli’s point: “These are not just statistics, they are our Soldiers.”
Among the factors cited in the report that may have contributed to these deaths and high-risk behavior are the following:
- the rigors of service,
- repeated deployments,
- injuries and separation from Family which contribute to:
- a sense of isolation
- life fatigue
In conclusion, General Chiarelli states that “. . . we must now face the unintended consequences of leading an expeditionary Army than included involuntary enlistment extensions, accelerated promotions, extended deployment rotations, reduced dwell time and potentially diverted focus from leading and caring for soldiers in the post, camp and station environment. While most have remained resilient through these challenges, others have been pushed to their breaking point.”
Indeed, the “unintended consequences” maybe the most unfortunate outcome of this war in Afghanistan. We are pleased to see the US Army coming to grips which this serious and debilitating problem for the men and women in uniform and their families.
Richard W. May