Archive for the ‘Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010.’ Category

Let’s Study the Problem

May 7, 2010

Hey, Friends.

Well, President Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 into law.  I have read through the bill, although I paid a whole lot more attention to the summary.  I admit – some of the legaleeze is hard to comprehend.

Two things did stand out to me.  1.  They are training more Mental Health specialists to deal with the unique needs of Military Sexual Trauma Survivors.  2.  They are going to do a study regarding women veterans and their care at the VA.

You talk to almost any MST survivor, male and female, and we can tell you what the problems are.  You people in Washington DC do not need to do another study.  Take a few survivors out to dinner and get us talking – I prefer a nice sweet wine – and we will tell you everything you need to know.  Listen to us!  Lend us your ears!  Don’t just nod your head while you listen to the sounds of the ocean in your head while we talk to you.  Listen!

I complained.  I filed formal paperwork – which was my career’s death sentence.  My complaint went all the way up to the State offices.  I spoke with JAG.  I spoke with the civilian head of the EO department. 

Nobody did anything.  Everybody heard me…nobody listened to me.  Even the people who SAW things wouldn’t admit what they had seen.

Maybe…the best plan would be to find another way to handle Military Sexual Assault to begin with.  Truly, why not just find a way to FIX the problem instead of paying and training more people to handle the situation after the fact.  This is akin to hiring people to make sure the barn door closes AFTER all the horses escape but not making sure anyone has closed the door to begin with.

Let’s have a REAL zero-tolerance program – not just lip service.  Let’s teach our commanders and NCO’s know that if you don’t address a complaint it is the end of THEIR career – not the victims.  If a Company Commander stood up in front of the company and announced that all “n-word or s-word” had to stand in the back of the formation – that Company Commander would be in a lot of trouble.  However, that same Company Commander can refuse to address the concerns of a soldier being physically or  sexually assaulted and nothing happens to the Commander. 

Are you a taxpayer?  If you are your should be outraged.  That’s right – outraged.  The Federal Government is sending me a check every single month because an NCO and a Company Commander and a JAG officer and an EO officer did NOTHING when a valid complaint was brought before them.

Yup – one more case of putting out the “fire” after the “building” is laying in ashes.

Blessings,

Joan