Lost In The Flames
Saturday, February 11, 2012
By now, many of you know of the firestorm created by the arrogant and ignorant comments in a post on the now-apparently-defunct "Army Wife Army Life" blog. The post, with comment and then post by "The Hubs" has set off a chain of events that is still growing, courtesy in large measure to the ill-considered responses both of them made when confronted with objections. Yes, there is a right to free speech; however, there is no moratorium on consequences from exercising free speech. You have the right to run your yap, but you have to take what comes as a result. The command involved has done some counseling, and I hope that a change of venue is in works for him as he and his wife have rather effectively poisoned the well for themselves in the state/region, with massive overkill even.
I have nothing to add to the many takedowns by active duty soldiers and wives worldwide who were appalled at the post. Indeed, I would be hard pressed to do anything approaching the level of the inimitable Nicki at The Liberty Zone.
Instead, I want to focus on one specific area brought up in the rant, which appears to be the firm belief of both involved. Specifically, that PTSD doesn't affect those with "solid" minds. If this is indeed his belief, I pity any under him for it is nothing more or less than a complete abrogation of the NCO creed.
PTSD can and does hit anyone. There is, both in and out of the military, a damnable attitude that it only effects the weak minded. Bullshit. It is precisely that attitude that keeps people from seeking help even when desperately needed. Knowing that they *WILL* be stigmatized and penalized for trying to do what's right.
If you want to know more about PTSD and what it is, read this excellent post by Grim. Then, go listen to the links at this post.
There are times where tough love can and does help. There are times when more is needed.
The one thing we need, above everything but ensuring that seeking and getting help won't wreck lives and careers, are NCOs who can and will step up. They are the first line, and the best line, for the troops. My hat is off to those who can and do step up. Whatever else I may ever say about one certain NCO out there, who doesn't need anything else headed his way and so won't be named, is that he has my utmost respect for being honest about his own battles and in trying to make sure his troops were taken care of.
Any NCO who doesn't do that, who operates on the 'it doesn't affect those with strong minds' fallacy, fails of their duty and their oath. Worse, they fail their troops in a way that WILL result in their death. In so doing, they are no better (and in fact worse than) the bigots who gleefully perpetrate the myth of the crazed vet (often for personal gain).
As for "Hubs" I honestly don't know where he falls on this. Based on his comment and post, I know where he appears to fall. I hope that such is not the case, but his actions and words...
We need more good people, more good NCOs to step up and do right by their troops. We don't need to read more like this, we need to not be reading the stories where help did not arrive in time.