January 21st, 2013
The Honorable U.S. Senator Murray,
First of all, thank you for your concern and efforts to help reduce military suicides through your support and leadership in passing the Defense Authorization Act of 2013.
Unfortunately, an office and/or education are going to do little to solve a problem that is caused by ignorance and a flawed system. The primary solution in reducing suicides will be by providing confidentiality to our military when seeking mental health treatment as well as education for leaders so that they understand the importance of therapy/counseling for their troops over the promotion of their own careers.
I am a retired military officer, disabled Veteran, and expert in the treatment of mental health problems with a focus on active-duty military and Veterans. I have also written and spoken extensively on this topic in my blog - http://www.CombatCounselor.blogspot.com - and YouTube channel - http://www.YouTube.com/combatcounselor. My article, "The Stigmas Killing Young American Heroes", will be published in De Oppresso Liber magazine later this month. You can also find an earlier version on my blog.
With more troops being lost to suicide than combat, we must do something soon. One active duty military and 18 Vets die EVERY DAY by their own hand, 6,900 each year, so something MUST BE DONE...SOON! Our heroes deserve no less.
I recently sponsored a petition on this topic on the White House Petitions website, but only managed to collect 70 signatures even though my pleas reached tens of thousands of my followers and subscribers. Apathy and ignorance are rampant in this country and I will do whatever I can do to eliminate both, particularly when it comes to the well being of our military and Veterans, in my lifetime.
Thank you again for your service country and your concern for our military men and women.
C.T. Sorrentino, LtCol, USAF (Ret)
MS, LPC, NCC