FEAR OF REPRISAL |
October 20, 2006
FEAR OF REPRISAL
Name: NCO at Campbell
Posting date: 10/20/2006
Returned from: Iraq
Recently I read an article that centered on how males don't seek help for mental problems and the like for fear of reprisal from other males. I never realized how true that was until I came back from Iraq and started thinking about it. Look at the facts, and I say facts, because this is truth, no nonsense, no b.s. to it: When soldiers try to get help, especially when they tried to in Iraq, they were shunned, mocked, and treated like a lesser person. And I'm not going to lie and say I didn't do it, because I did. I shunned and mocked with the best of them.
The Army has tried to create this mindset where soldiers should feel that if they need help then they are weak, and that goes up the chain of command. It seems as if the mental health professionals are there just for looks, not actually there to help people. When a soldier does decide to get help, it's automatically assumed that he is falsifying his condition or just trying to get out of a patrol. But is that really the case?
Then when we redeploy back to the states, we have all these soldiers who needed help but didn't get it. When we go through the whole redeployment process we're told about Military One Source, where you can call and seek help, and get six free visits to a civilian psychiatrist/counselor. Now is that private? As with everything else in the military, everything gets out, everyone finds out about what you're doing at some point. All soldiers know that regardless of what you're told about something being private, such as your seeking help for a mental issue, it's not. It will get back to your chain of command and go downhill to the lowest NCO, to the lowest soldier that works beside you. And the soldier seeking help will never get it, will then say he's alright, that there isn't any problem with him.
Now is this right? It's not. This is something the military needs to change. But it probably never will, and you'll see down through the years, where the number of homeless vets increases, the vets that are jailed, violent offenders -- it all comes back to soldiers not being able to get help, no matter how much they wish to.