Military Veterans protect us every day, isn't it about time we start protecting them.

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Dear President Trump

 

     Please allow me to congratulate you on your victory in winning the office of Commander and Chief of our great nation, no other office is as honorable or important to the American people.

 

     I come to you with a heavy heart over troublesome waters that our Veterans, and We The People, are currently facing. A dear friend of mine Jimmy (Cali) Gift lost his son Amon Gift in January 2017 whom fell victim to PTSD  (suicide) after being back stateside only 8 short months from Afghanistan. As a nation of Love and Compassion, it is my opinion that we must recognize, and address this catastrophic mental illness that is directly, or indirectly, affecting every single resident, and constituent, in our Godly Blessed United States of America.

 

     PTSD was first recognized in 1678 by Swiss Physicians and labeled as "Nostalgia". This mental tragedy has changed names over the years many times, but it's effects on the victims have not. In a 2012 report commissioned by Congress it was noted that $3 billion dollars a year has been spent on PTSD affecting our Veterans with another $294 million on active service members, yet no acceptable or usable record of treatment, and/or success of treatment has been kept in any orderly fashion. The Department of Veterans Relations was quoted as saying the current treatment to our soldiers is "ad-hoc, incremental, and crisis driven" according to the report commissioned by Congress. In my opinion I must ask "how can this be?".

 

     Mr. President Trump I come to you on this Mothers Day, May 14th 2017 and respectfully ask that special attention, and a special committee be appointed to address PTSD and get our military men and women, modern day Heroes, the proper care and treatment that has been justfully earned by them, through their service and contributions to this truly great nation. It is my strongest opinion that no Mother, or Parent, should ever have to face the loss of a child, when we have metrics in our knowledge, available to utilize and minimize the catastrophic out come of not giving proper attention to these warriors whom have already given so much while asking so little in return.

(Prayer) I pray for the safe return of all military men and women who have chosen by free will to defend the freedoms, and honor, of ALL, that reside in these United States of American, A nation truly Blessed by God, Amen.

(It is my opinion that legislation should be passed, and should be considered as the Amon's Gift Act to guarantee no more soldiers suffer, and that Amon's death is not in vain.)

PTSD

    Let's begin by defining what this acronym stands for, and is defined as. I chose the Oxford Medical Dictionary  because it is arguably the oldest, and best educational entity in the world.

PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; A condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.

 

PTSD is nothing new, nor something that just showed up one day.  Below I am going to briefly show just how well founded this mental disorder is.                                            

Ø  1980 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is founded,  

Ø  1972: Chaim Shatan raises awareness of ‘post-Vietnam syndrome’ in the New York Times,

Ø  1969: Pettera, Johnson, and Zimmer conceptualize ‘Vietnam combat reaction’ ,

Ø  1965: Each military battalion is provided with officers trained to treat psychological problems during the Vietnam war,   

Ø  1953: Harold Wolff proposes a holistic model of stress based on an evolutionary model,  

Ø  1952: ‘Gross stress reaction’ is included in DSM-I, 

Ø   1947: U.S. Army releases a documentary about causes and treatment of mental illness during WWII,  

Ø  1946: The National Mental Health Act is passed, and provides for expansion of mental health facilities,  

Ø  1945: U.S. Army creates a training video for unspecialized medical officers for the treatment of combat exhaustion, including administration of sodium pentothal and suggestive therapy,  

Ø  1939-1945: Terminology changes to ‘combat exhaustion’ during WWII, and U.S. Army adopts the official slogan, “Every man has  his breaking point”,   

Ø  1920: Freud submits a memorandum about the rumored brutal treatment of psychologically wounded soldiers,   

Ø  1919: Freud’s colleagues publish a book about his theory of ‘war neurosis,’ and Freud writes the introduction

Ø  1918: Smith and Pear advocate for the term ‘war strain’ and for treatment of soldiers’ emotional symptoms

Ø  1917-1919: Distress of soldiers is attributed to ‘shell shock’ during WWI

Ø  1905: ‘Battle shock’ is regarded as a legitimate medical condition by the Russian Army

Ø  1871: Jacob Mendez Da Costa publishes a study about ‘irritable heart’

Ø  1861-1865: U.S. military physicians document the stresses of Civil War soldiers

Ø  1678: Swiss Physicians identify ‘Nostalgia"

( All the above references are credited to historyofptsd,wordpress.com)
There are certainly many more historical listings about the harms that war causes to the soldiers whom fight it, but I am just trying to make a point, it has been known about long enough that our /all governments should have taken the necessary steps needed in order to help these brave men and women heal, and move on with their lives.

A commonly made mistake by many people is thinking PTSD can only happen to a soldier, and only while in battle. The truth is, anyone who goes through a traumatic experience is acceptable to becoming affected by PTSD. According to (ptsd.ne.gov) 10.5% of all women in the USA suffer from PTSD, double the amount of men at 5%, for an estimated total of 5.2 million people in the course of a single year inside the US. alone. As with most mental illnesses there is no cure for PTSD. But, it can be effectively managed to restore an individual's life back to normal through medication and treatment , but many find comfort in enjoyable activities like fishing, camping, spending time with family, hobbies, and the list can go on. Professional psychiatrists have found that "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" is the most effective treatment in restoring one's life to a manageable condition, and it is the most common form of treatment today, although medical marijuana has become center stage at the latest congressional meetings in Washington DC lately, and gaining some ground.

Treatment to our soldiers for PTSD is seemingly poor at best, and military personnel have untraditionally not properly collected data to effectively monitor the success, or declination of how treatment is affecting those whom become ill with PTSD. According to a report commissioned by Congress, the military health system was "ad-hoc, incremental, and crisis driven" said the Department of Veterans Affairs. With government spending $3 billion on PTSD treatments for veterans and $294 million more for service members in 2012 alone, one would think that records, of both where the money was being spent and the type of treatments being used, including which treatment worked best would be second nature, but that does not seem so.

President Trump, I respectfully and humbly ask you to please assign a special committee to investigate why our soldiers are not being given proper treatment, and why proper records has not and is not being kept, that would safe guard our precious  Veterans, as also the tax payers whom in my opinion are not receiving adequate services for the taxation dollars being spent to treat our military men and women and Veterans. If I may, may I please suggest that new legislation be introduced to guarantee change, and that it be considered as the "Amon's Gift Act". 

Respectfully your's

Troy Allen Riddle,         (The American American, Fighting to Restore Our Free Nation)



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