Three Point Program to address Military Stress-Related Issues

We call upon the Armed Services Committee to institute mandatory stress counseling for all military personnel.

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, want to ensure the following programs are instituted for all our military personnel. These programs could come under the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act, or perhaps as an extension of the Transition Assistance Program.

1) Goal: To institute mandatory "grief" counseling for all military personnel as an integral part of the boot camp programs. It would be similar to that which the police and fire fighter personnel receive, so as to enable them to more effectively cope with the emotions that are associated with the trauma of loss of life and limb.

Justification: A) Our troops go into combat totally unprepared for the trauma to come. B) This preparation would pave the way for making treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) more acceptable and more effective. C) Troops would be more effective and efficient in accomplishing assigned tasks.

1) Goal: Establishment of a mandatory Civilian Re-Entry Program for all military personnel prior to discharge. This could be accomplished efficiently in larger groups. Justification: A) This will give personnel tools and skills to assist them in dealing with the transition to civilian life. B)

It ensures more effective screening of those who are severely affected but who neither recognize nor admit it. C) Making the program mandatory, as well as calling it a Civilian Re-Entry Program removes the stigma of PTSD and acknowledges that it is a human condition, that the personnel are not broken nor weak. D) Making the program mandatory prior to discharge also enables those who receive a Section 8 or conditional discharge to get appropriate attention they would otherwise not get due to the loss of benefits. E) This program ensures that no one slips through the cracks.

1) Goal: Making support groups available after discharge, similar to a 12-Step program, to enable separated personnel to continue to lead productive lives. Justification: Such a program would foster more trust among veterans, the government and civilians through concrete evidence that the nation they served cares enough to do something both practical and effective.