Saturday, May 12, 2012

Demand justice for soldiers with PTSD

I just took action to join with active-duty soldiers, veterans, military families, and concerned community members across the country to demand justice for Spc. John Etterlee and all soldiers with PTSD. I urge you to join us in this important campaign.

SSG Hagemann found on June 28 at a training area on base with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had been trying desperately to avoid a pending deployment to Afghanistan--what would be his 9th combat tour. He was 25 years old, with a wife and two young children.

SSG Hagemann was ordered to attend an "anger management" class. This was the extent of the treatment he received for his PTSD symptoms.

SSG Hagemann experienced criminal neglect and complete disregard for his life. The substandard, inadequate mental health treatment for all soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is unacceptable.

SSG Hagemann's chain of command at 2/75 Ranger Regiment is guilty of criminal negligence. It is emblematic of how the entire base command has responded to the years-long soldier suicide epidemic. SSG Hagemann is one of countless preventable suicides at JBLM for which the command is responsible.

Please join me and many others in this letter-writing campaign to demand justice. A sample letter is provided for you.

"Those that dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the day to find that all was vanity, but the dreamers of the day, are dangerous men, for they may act out their dreams and make them real."

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