We offer you a smattering of writings on subjects of tremendous importance in this issue, all of which provide rather stunning perspectives and experiences, though our last issue, edited by Dr. Christi Seifring, is an extremely hard act to follow. Dr. Christi has retired as a regular Guest Editor and as an integral member of the Combat Stress Advisory Board in order to be more available to her family. It will clearly be impossible to even begin to publish issues that reach the caliber of what she has pulled together from some of this nation’s finest clinicians, experts and authors, time and time again over the years. Her contributions have been legendary. As a friend, mentor, and expert along endless fronts, Dr. Christi is irreplaceable. This issue is dedicated to Dr. Christi Seifring, who has elevated Combat Stress to unexpected levels of readership. It is insufficient to convey sufficient thanks to such a blessed soul.
At a time of tremendous concern about the longevity of the very world in which we live and the survivability of the planet itself, perhaps we have served up respite from these terrible times in which the loss of our very humanity is at risk. No doubt it is inflammatory to even mention a single word reflective of spiritual or religious beliefs, but perhaps that is all we have left upon which to hang. Lives and souls are being taken-murdered. God bless American and all its inhabitants. There. I said it. Go forth and read.
Within the mass psychosis surrounding the pandemic, there is much more to the story of the trickle-down effect upon healthcare providers and the completely unethical mistreatment of those who, for valid medical reasons, cannot take the COVID vaccine. My story tells of the recent journey to write the wrongs done to the medical and psychological communities and the shameful manner in which we anti-vaxxers have been treated without reasonableness or any degree of fairness, stripped of credentials and privileges. We have become the hunted.
Army Special Forces CPT (RET) and police officer Tom McMurtry, has returned to our readers once again to share his journey of hope, as he adapts and overcomes the demons, we all carry home from war on the rivers of America in a stunning reflective piece, Where Can I Find Peace? His accompanying magical photographs will no doubt lead at least a few of you to whitewater. I will be one of them. We await his forthcoming book, which we are sure is a not to be missed publication!
Dr. Louise Gaston, as a leading expert in the treatment of trauma, has addressed the exquisitely painful subject of survivor guilt in her striking article, Moving Beyond Survivor Guilt. Through case study format, she has provided remarkable insights into the unspeakable burdens of war. Those of us who are combat Veterans know this all too well and struggle with the pangs of excessive guilt and self-blame in large doses and in grand proportions. Thank you, Dr. Louise, for the awareness’s and astounding insights provided and for the gift of your invaluable role in promoting resilience and recovery for the hordes of suffering souls through your vast knowledge, expertise, and deep commitment to those who serve.
Our very own Will Heckman, Executive Director of the American Institute of Stress, has been intimately involved with the Wreaths Across America movement and chronicled his gift to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this beloved nation. We must stop for a moment to cherish the legacy left by those who commit to levying such honors at every national cemetery across America. Thank you, Will, for inspiring us, with your heart-rendering piece.
Underlying the premise of Chaplain Dave Fair’s delightful article, Chaplains Are Like a Box of Chocolates, is that one never really knows what they are going to find in a unique chaplaincy such as the one that has enabled him to bring expertise far beyond that of a man or woman of the cloth to so many venues. Not only is Chaplain Dave an ordained minister, but a First Responder, a Veteran, and an expert of many talents and gifts in endless arenas of public voluntary services. His calling and his energy for giving back are boundless. We believe that Dave is what an angel looks like.
In the final section of the spring issue of Combat Stress, we celebrate the life, times and extraordinary accomplishments of the Chief (RET) of Police of the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department, Richard Biehl. What must be read and viewed will elicit shock, awe, horror, tears, and all things heart-wrenching. Please pay special attention to this Chief (RET) Richard Biehl Tribute section for the insights offered up to the banquet table of police work provided by this uncommon man for all seasons of law enforcement.
Profuse thanks to our readership for sticking with us and contributing to us. You have elevated Combat Stress to levels beyond expectations.
With warmest regards to all,
Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAAPM, FAIS
COL (RET), US Army
Member, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame
Facebook ~ Dr. Kathy Platoni