Posted on Jan 15, 2015
SgtMaj James Kuiken
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Let's get real about PTS and TBI. Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury are something a lot of Warriors (Veterans/Servicemembers), Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders (Firefighters/EMT's or Paramedics), Care Givers (Nurses/Doctors), and others who survive traumatic incidents deal with every day.

IT IS NOT something to be ashamed of or feared! A good friend - Rick Collins, Executive Director of Veterans 360 (http://vets360.org/) has two sayings I believe in. "PTS is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation", and "Asking for help is a sign of strength, NOT an inability to cope."

How can we ask our young Warriors and others to reach out for help, and then hold ourselves "above" that same standard? If those of us who were blessed enough to have risen to the very senior ranks, and who are still affected by these issues don't lead the way into this battle, we are perpetuating the stigma and saying that this is only for those who "can't cope"...certainly not us!

As a former Sergeant Major of Marine Forces Pacific, a highly decorated combat wounded Marine, a former Director and Senior Executive Service member from the Department of Homeland Security, a former corporate "C Suite Executive", etc., etc...and as the Vice Chairman of the Board for Veterans 360 (http://vets360.org/our-team-board/#jimkuiken), I face these issues, and I'm asking for help.

I am so grateful to have been accepted as a member of the first class of 2015 by K9s for Warriors (http://www.k9sforwarriors.org/). I am looking forward to meeting my new partner after lunch today, and spending the next 3 weeks getting to know him/her...and to letting this rescue dog come into my life to rescue me - and to help me face the issues of PTS and TBI that are a constant in my life.

Let's de-stigmatize PTS in 2015. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation - and those facing these issues deserve our understanding, respect and support.

http://www.jameskuiken.com/sergeant-major-musings/getting-real-about-pts-and-tbi
Posted in these groups: Perform-to-serve-navy-career-wise-training-presentation-transcript-34614 PTSTbi_logo TBI
Edited 5 y ago
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Responses: 9
CW5 Desk Officer
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Amen, SgtMaj James Kuiken. Thanks for this post and for sharing your story. I agree with you 100%: If more senior leaders admitted having problems of this nature after serving in combat, it could work wonders toward destigmatizing the problems of PTS and TBI. I hope you're part of the beginning of a wave of senior personnel who will do just that.
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Capt Richard P.
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SgtMaj James Kuiken Outstanding post. Thanks for your leadership on this issue, one of the most significant Troop Welfare issues of our time or any time. As leaders it is on us to reduce the stigma associated with seeking treatment for our 'normal reactions to abnormal situations.' Bravo.
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Capt Gregory Hudgins
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Well said SgtMaj. I wish you the best going forward into your future with your new K9 partner.
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