Letters to the Editor for Sunday, August 19, 2007

By STARS AND STRIPES | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 19, 2007

European and Mideast editions

(EDITOR?S NOTE: These are the letters that appeared in each edition of Stripes on this publication date. Click here to jump ahead to the Pacific edition letters)


The truth about EMDR

Steve Mraz has done a service to your readers by bringing them solid information about eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), the evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder that has won the highest level of recommendation in the joint Department of Defense/Veterans Affairs treatment guidelines (“Seeing relief from post-traumatic stress,” article, Aug. 7). EMDR is not only highly successful at reducing symptoms, it is also highly tolerable to clients when properly administered.

Unfortunately, EMDR has not always gotten the level of attention within the military that Landstuhl [Regional Medical Center in Germany] has provided, and one reason has been the erroneous belief, mentioned in the article, that EMDR is some sort of “proprietary treatment” controlled by a single company. In actuality, there are dozens of independent and competent EMDR trainers in the U.S. and around the world, as well as courses in several universities. They follow the exacting standards of the EMDR International Association, which is a professional association, not a private company, and their practice is continually adjusted as new findings are published in peer-reviewed journals. To date, more than 13 controlled studies have confirmed the efficacy of EMDR.

Interested readers can learn more at www.emdrhap.org, the Web site of the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program, a nonprofit training organization whose expert volunteers have trained more than 400 clinicians in the Army, Navy, Marines and VA, at bases in the U.S., Europe and Japan, since 2005.

Robert A. Gelbach
Executive director
EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs
Hamden, Conn.

Yes to quota, no to amnesty

I am not against immigration. However, the author of “Benefits of immigrant labor” (letter, Aug. 14) has missed an important point — that illegal immigration is hurting the American nation.

Any nation that becomes overpopulated faces negative consequences. We cannot destroy the remaining open spaces of the U.S. with inhabitants.

Overcrowding, traffic jams, crime, unemployment and a high cost of living are all attributable to the massive population growth. From a population in 1975 of about 240 million, America’s population has jumped to 300 million legals with another 10 to 30 million illegals hoping for another amnesty. And the vast majority of our population growth in this period is attributable to immigrants and their children.

Any kind of amnesty sends a message: Just come to America, hang around illegally and, in time, you will get in. I know immigrants who came legally to the States. Some have served (or are serving) in our armed forces. All of them are against illegal immigration and amnesty. Should amnesty be given, it is a slap in the face to those who waited honestly to get into the States.

While illegal immigrants do take jobs Americans avoid, studies and experience have shown that once the pay is increased and some benefits are provided, the same jobs are quickly filled with American labor. And illegals have financially drained many counties. They take out more than what they put back in through welfare, social programs, etc. As a former probation officer and social services person in New York City, I had to deal with illegal residents in more than one-third of my cases.

Immigration must be controlled and a strong quota must be put into place. Otherwise, our great nation will pay a price for it.

Lt. Col. Orest M. Logusz
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

Fitness for spouses

Physical fitness is crucial to the Army’s mission. Soldiers exercise religiously to maintain their body weight and overall health.

The benefits of exercise are numerous, both physically and psychologically. Of course, the military is aware of this. There is even a program now for Army civilians to exercise during their work hours (AR 600-63). Perhaps there could be a way to aid Army wives.

Spouses are a vital link in an Army family. It is a challenge to meet the ever-present demands of caring for a military family. Of course, the benefits of exercise are the same for anyone — soldier, civilian or mom. Making an effort for spouses to have gym access is an issue that directly affects the quality of life for the soldier. If I look and feel better, it affects my husband, whether home or deployed.

As it stands in Grafenwöhr, Germany, there is no available hourly child care. Needless to say, there are a great number of families who are adjusting to not having dad around for a while. These moms need to be able to access all benefits the Army offers. Being able to go to the gym can help to keep their spirits up, provide a positive outlet for venting frustrations, and simply give them a reason to get out of the house.

There are a number of options to explore for gym-based child care. There are many moms in this area who just want to exercise a few times a week. We want to get back in shape after giving birth, and combat postpartum depression. We want to set a good example for our children. We want to do our part to support our soldier and the Army’s mission. Please support us — your Army families.

Lori Harrell
Grafenwöhr, Germany

Pacific edition

There are no letters to the editor in the Pacific edition today.

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