Posted on Feb 3, 2015
SGM Erik Marquez
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What do you say to a Vet service member that knows they have issues, but is aware of the stigma, the unwanted consequences of seeking counseling, knows that once that genie is out of the bag, it can not be put back or forgotten and will, not if, but WILL be used against that member at some point in a negative manner.

Issues that are perhaps not catastrophic (suicide ideations) but troubling.. A movie scene that triggers memories and emotional stress and distress. Temporary depression lasting min, hours or days.. not long term hide in the closet. Survivor guilt that festers below the surface for weeks or months then hits hard. Likely they will self medicate to some extent.

You want to tell them, the "right" answer, go get help... but you know they have a point.. it will be used against them later.. For the sake of discussion, don't go down the privacy law, confidentiality clauses, ect.. We know that to be a false security. We know the info is shared among governmental agencies, we know law enforcement can gain access, we know the VA plays fast and loose with the specific info and the data as a whole. . So lets just leave the fantasy of privacy out of the conversation please.
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Edited 12 mo ago
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SGT Kristin Wiley
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More hassle than its worth. They have to deal with the bureaucracy of the VA, which I’ve heard is a headache. Then for some, it’s shame and fear. The military instills a pretense in us that makes us want to be stronger and any sign of weakness is a vulnerability to be exploited. It takes strength to ask for help and realize that you’ve reached the limit of what you are capable of accomplishing on your own, but the military mentality is that asking for help is only for the ‘weak’. Actions speak louder than words, our leaders are saying to seek help, but their actions say differently.
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SGM Erik Marquez
SGM Erik Marquez
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SGT Kristin Wiley "Then for some, it’s shame and fear. The military instills a pretense in us that makes us want to be stronger and any sign of weakness is a vulnerability to be exploited."

^^^^^^
This as well as... the SM would need to admit, they had been lying to themselves and others.. that is is not ok.... that they are not fine.

You tell a lie long enough, loud enough, frequently enough, and it almost becomes the truth...except, it's not.
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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I have a Navy friend. She is medically retired. About a year after she got out, she got a letter from the VA basically saying that she is not qualified to handle her own affairs, including her own retirement benefits.

She was able to get this squared away after a couple of months, and a hell of a fight.

Under no circumstances will I ever go to the VA about a mental issue. I don't trust the VA to deal with any mental health issue, after seeing what happened to a friend.

I realize she may have been an isolated incident. But what if she wasn't....
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SGM Erik Marquez
SGM Erik Marquez
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS Your position and justification for it is commonly held in my experience.
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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SGM Erik Marquez I'd love to be able to "trust" the VA, but having dealt with them on the Health Care side (as opposed to the Education side), I just can't.

Sec MacDonald is a man I can definitely respect. When asked for his cell during a live teleconference, he gave it out without batting an eye. And I know of people who have used it (his cell) and gotten positive responses.

But the "system" is flawed.
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SSG(P) Instructor
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Not as uncommon as you think, I have seen that letter floating around on FB...at the time, totally thinking it was fake.
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SFC David Reid, M.S, PHR, SHRM-CP, DTM
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Edited 12 mo ago
I think so, because of the perception that’s something wrong with them for the wrong reasons! As opposed to getting the right help and assistance!
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