by Sonny Hernandez
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).
Service members that are contemplating suicide need help. Last year, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs released some alarming insights from their National Suicide Data Report for all 50 states and the District of Columbia:
- Suicide rates increased for both Veterans and non-Veterans, underscoring the fact that suicide is a national public health concern that affects people everywhere.
- The average number of Veterans who died by suicide each day remained unchanged at 20.
- The suicide rate increased faster among Veterans who had not recently used Veterans Health Administration health care than among those who had.
There are Read more
The US Navy began teaching its Sailors about women thinking they’re men, and vice versa, even as they’re deployed in Afghanistan — a nation, incidentally, in which transgenders would probably be tossed in jail or executed.
While the training is probably fairly standard with that previously discussed, most interesting in this article was an apparent emphasis by the Navy on convincing troops why the policy change was necessary [emphasis added]:
“It was a great coverage of the policy and the reason for its implementation. The scenarios facilitated a great discussion and helped me to gain a better perspective of this initiative,” said Chief Petty Officer Frosch Kent, Intern Planner at the RS HQ. “Eliminating a barrier from qualified individuals is essential and it is even more validated if this policy will prevent the increase in suicides in our military.”
To summarize, the Navy is telling its Sailors Read more
US Army MajGen Darrell Williams, Fort Lee commanding general and also commander for Combined Arms Support Command, recently signed a suicide prevention/awareness pledge and noted the dramatic decline in Soldier spiritual fitness over his career:
“We need to look at the physical, social and spiritual well-being of ourselves and one another,” Williams continued. “I noticed in my 33 years of service the decline on emphasis of spiritual fitness. I remember as a second lieutenant having a prayer breakfast, the place would be overflowing. Today, when you hold a prayer breakfast, it is much more difficult to fill the seats.
Most of you who have been to combat know Read more
Twenty four members of Congress wrote a letter (PDF) to Secretary of the Army John McHugh questioning the circumstances surrounding the Letter of Concern given to Chaplain (Capt) Joe Lawhorn.
While the Army has maintained that Chaplain Lawhorn wasn’t “punished” (and therefore there is apparently nothing to discuss), the Congressmen communicated their concerns that even the “administrative action” was chilling to rights protected under the law and Constitution:
We believe this administrative action sets a dangerous precedent for Army suicide prevention initiatives, the role of Army chaplains, and most importantly, the ability for service members to exercise and express religious beliefs, as protected under the First Amendment and reinforced by current law and DoD regulations.
The letter also raises concerns that the action Read more
The Stars and Stripes reports on comments by SgtMaj of the Army Raymond Chandler, who took the time in Afghanistan to tell troops that being a Soldier of character was more important than being a Soldier of competence:
Too often in the past the Army has emphasized competency over character and commitment, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler told troops during town hall meetings at bases in eastern Afghanistan. “The most dangerous person in our Army today is someone who is highly competent but has little or no character,” Chandler said. “Too often we tolerate mediocrity.”
Chandler noted that it is a lack of character, not Read more
Several critics have lambasted Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, for allegedly linking the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the military’s suicide rate:
The stress in our military, when you look how they have used the military for their social experimentation: driving Christianity out, putting homosexuality in, suicide rate going through the ceiling…And what are they doing? Adding additional stress by this social engineering. Unbelievable.
There is no demonstrable link that repealing DADT directly contributed to suicide — and Perkins didn’t say there was. What he described was Read more
The Fort Campbell Religious Support Office recently sponsored a “ministry fair” attended by
nearly 200 ministry leaders, mental health professionals and volunteers
for the purpose of helping the faith and military communities work together to support troops.
Fort Campbell’s Religious Support Office hosted the ministry fair to familiarize the faith community with the 571 support programs the military base offers to help soldiers and military families in crisis, encompassing 40 different areas of need, including soldier and family assistance, chaplaincy, medical support and prevention programs.
The effort is similar to one by the Southern Baptist Convention, led by retired Read more
Update: A broader official view of the Military Family Life Consultant (MFLC) can be seen at the official website.
In addition to providing chaplains and psychologists, the US military is also making contract civilian clinical counselors available to those who want confidential counseling. From the Army National Guard site on the subject, the DoD provides Military Family Life Consultants (MFLCs) who
are licensed clinicians with a Masters Degree and at least five years of experience in social work, counseling, or a related clinical discipline.
While psychologists or visits to base Mental Health might generate attention, the MFLC program is specifically designed to be Read more