Friday, May 25, 2012

Remember Those Who Can't Forget: Put Soldier Care First

KUT News photo
Veterans and supporters of Under The Hood cafe in Killeen posted themselves near the entrance to the main gate of Ft. Hood yesterday for a Memorial Day action calling for base commanders to follow their own policies regarding soldiers' rights to heal from war trauma.  About 400 fliers were distributed about Operation Recovery and army policy with which most soldiers are unfamiliar.  KUT News was one of the media outlets to cover the event during their radio broadcast yesterday and online:
Veterans and their supporters gathered at Fort Hood today to share mental health information with soldiers.

Operation Recovery, whose members passed out fliers to soldiers on their way onto post this morning, says it strives to improve access to care for soldiers who suffer things like post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

Organizers say another part of their mission is to keep these so-called traumatized troops from returning to war before they’ve recovered.

“I think it could be solved if everyone in the chain of command knows that the general here thinks that there shouldn’t be stigma attached to that care,” said Jason Matherne, who served in the Navy from 2004 to 2009. He was deployed to the Middle East in 2008 and now works with Operation Recovery.

He says today’s demonstration at Fort Hood hoped to get Gen. Donald Campbell to speak out in support of existing military policies, including one about reducing stigma for soldiers seeking mental health care.

“I think soldiers would be given the space and the time to actually seek that care like if they need to go to a medical appointment and they won’t feel that pressure, ‘Oh, there’s something wrong with you? Well, too bad, suck it up,’” Matherne said.
                            -- KUT News, May 24, 2012

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