General Donald Campbell needs to answer to the troops he sends into harm's way.
As Commander of Fort Hood, the largest military base in the U.S., home to approximately 50,000 troops and their families, General Campbell is a key figure in the growing scandal surrounding the epidemic of untreated trauma among members of the US military. Service members are being sent back to war again and again without receiving the mental healthcare to which they're entitled. A recent report concludes that active duty military members are committing suicide at a rate of one every 36 hours.
The situation for soldiers in need of help at Fort Hood is particularly egregious, and General Campbell is responsible for the culture of denial that is at the root of the problem.
Suicide continues to be one of the largest causes of death at Fort Hood, but General Campbell has stated publicly that he views service members’ post-deployment mental health problems as a discipline issue instead of a health issue. Thus, those who need mental health care are severely stigmatized at the company and battalion level and are discouraged from seeking treatment, especially during work hours.
The average wait for a service member to see a counselor at Fort Hood is six to eight weeks, a delay which can mean life or death for a soldier desperate for care. Service members who are single parents have few if any childcare options when seeking health treatment or counseling.
Service members who do get to see a mental health provider are overwhelmingly prescribed psychological medications as the only treatment plan -- often without receiving actual medical diagnoses. Many soldiers are on multiple medications at once and are being sent back into combat. General Campbell is denying his service members’ right to heal from war by promoting a culture of denial, limiting access to care, and sending troops who have untreated trauma back into harm’s way.
Stop the abuse and neglect of soldiers at Fort Hood.
- General Donald Campbell
As the Commander of Fort Hood and Third Corps, you have the power to change the policies and correct the lack of oversight and accountability which allow for the abuse of women service members, neglect of service members right to heal, and the deployment of traumatized troops. The soldiers under your command have volunteered to serve their country and have faithfully followed leaders overseas into harm’s way.
I ask that you honor their service and your creed by respecting their right to heal.
I urge you improve access to care for those under your command who need mental health treatment to heal from the traumas of war. I also request that you to host a town hall meeting at Fort Hood addressing issues of military trauma, suicide, over medication, and access to care. Service members, military family members, and veterans sharing their personal experiences should be protected by your command from any type of retribution.
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