Stacy Bannerman has been a guest blogger on LeftFace before. She wrote a piece on The Daily Beast about PTS and Domestic Violence that you really really need to read. She told the story of a friend of hers, who was the target of an incident of domestic abuse from her husband. Stacy has some very sobering statistics and projections -
About 63,000 soldiers will return from combat tours between July and December. According to military statistics, nearly half of active-duty National Guard members, 38 percent of Army soldiers, and 31 percent of Marines report mental health problems upon return from Middle East deployments. If just 20 percent of them have post-combat stress, then it can reasonably be projected that roughly half of those veterans will commit at least one act of severe domestic abuse or interpersonal violence in the coming year. That's approximately 6,300 veterans' wives and kids who are at risk.
As she also says - our community has been hearing much more about PTS and domestic violence from within our own ranks. The hurdles flung in the path of her friend who was trying to find counseling, some help in dealing with her situation with the understanding of military families and deployments, are daunting - as are those that her husband is encountering. He knows he has a problem with PTS, but finding help is difficult.
We've been hearing from the highest echelons that they understand, that they get it.. so why are we not seeing results? We need counselors who understand that very specific world, who have experience with the military family, with deployments and the results, understanding how the military works and how difficult it is to admit to a problem in our own little community. My own worry, with the insistence on reducing costs and savings, are we going to see funding for mental health counseling and treatment reduced?
No solutions, just questions. Lots of questions.