A tragedy of the worst kind
When I read the June 9 “One Army, Two Failures” article (“Maltreated and hazed, one soldier is driven to take his own life”), it touched me deeply. The more I read, the more my blood boiled!
Lt. Col. Heyward Hutson is a piece of work! I wonder if he would feel different if it was his son who died and the people responsible for his death weren’t, in his words, “culpable enough”? His behavior as a officer is reprehensible, his actions disgraceful.
The four noncommissioned officers involved are still in the Army in charge of young soldiers, probably still doing the same stuff to other soldiers because they feel empowered now. Nice job, Lt. Col. Hutson. This lieutenant colonel and his above-the-law NCO squad took the Army values and walked all over them, but this goes further because someone in Hutson’s command should have stepped in and overruled him.
Obviously this goes further than these five individuals, all of whom should be in prison. The biggest slap in the face is this Capt. William Fisher. I wonder if Fisher told Spc. Brushaun Anderson’s family that this was blown out of proportion and how he will take this to his grave. The only thing worse than their actions was the cover-up.
Kudos to Stars and Stripes for letting the world know that there are people not worthy to wear a uniform. This is beyond a failure; this is a tragedy of the worst kind and thank God for the Internet, because you can damn well bet I am gonna send this article to anyone who will read it in cyberspace.
The guilty can run, but they can’t hide.
Articles won’t effect change
“One Army, Two Failures” (articles, June 9-10) might draw more attention to post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide among our nation’s most treasured resource, but the unfortunate reality is that that’s all it’ll do. Those with the power and authority to apply proven measures haven’t failed to do so. This would imply an attempt on their part. There has been no attempt to apply proven measures.
There have been staffs peopled with those who have little to no experience with PTSD, depression and the suicidal. There have been brochures, posters and American Forces Network spots created that speak to those who want to feel good about themselves, but that say nothing to those in need. Those who are still alive are still in need: of acknowledgment and acceptance, medication, therapy ... outlet and occupation, and regular and recreational physical activity.
It’s no coincidence that as the number of servicemembers in need increased, so did the number of servicemembers ousted without resource (and their benefits yanked away). The amount of money and the number of man-hours dedicated to thinning the herd far exceeds the resources dedicated to saving those whose wounds cannot be treated with prosthetics.
Powers-that-be (you know who you are), the answers have been right in front of you (legacy.stripes.com/blogs/spouse-calls/spouse-calls-1.9571/coming-out-of-the-darkness-1.141523) and your knowledge of how bad things are for these young men and women has existed since well before Harry Chapin’s 1975 ode to the not-atypical combat veteran, “Bummer” (www.you tube.com/watch?v=RLNfmxn5jt4).
You could be helping, but you’re not — even as you cry for attention to your pitiful PowerPoint slides and podium-based rhetoric. Put your money where your mouth is or shut it completely. As it is now summer, we could all use a little less hot air.