By Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAAPM, FAIS
COL (RET), US Army, COL, Ohio Military Reserve/State Defense Forces
Editor, Combat Stress Magazine, Dayton SWAT, Member, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame
*This is an article from the Fall 2020 issue of Combat Stress.
First and foremost, it is our sincere wish that all of our readers exercise their most vital patriotic duty on November 3rd. Get out and cast your ballot. Wear your “I Voted” sticker proudly. Get in the game and make what you believe count. Even one vote makes a difference.
We the People are responsible for standing for the greater good in the words of LTC (Ret) Charlie Bass, returning once again as one of our most heralded authors. In our fall issue, he has chronicled election fury and fever by recounting scandalous historical facts surrounding the cramming of ballot boxes and large-scale scamming of the public at large in some of this nation’s most infamous elections of all time. In his words and as this contentious election proceeds, we are poised for a gunfight at sundown, not unlike the Wild West that we have become.
We are privileged to publish the work of the likes of Ulster Defense Regiment Veteran and Former Corporal James, as told to his co-author and compadre, Peggy Simpson. His name has been altered for his protection and that of his family, as his life remains in danger. The shocking horrors of war and the souls destroyed on the battlefield are certainly not uniquely an American experience. In Northern Ireland, ripped apart by the conflict between Catholics and Protestants, one that turned an entire country into killing fields, James has illuminated his survivorship of a haunting dreadfulness to once again, return to the light. The gravity of his words and his terrifying experiences are no less than riveting.
Returning again to save the souls of our war-injured, Chaplain (Dr.) Daniel Roberts, CEO of the Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc., who is one of the foremost national experts on the subject of moral injury and spiritual leadership, has highlighted an often forgotten and overlooked segment of the Armed Forces: Servicewomen. His is the only pastoral care authority to conduct research specifically for the benefit of military women, he has become the driving force across the nation to mobilize initiatives in support of a widely traumatized population, stemming from an entirely new level of psychological trauma. Dr. Roberts welcomes our readership to consider joining forces with him.
It is our very good fortune to revisit one of our most eminent and celebrated authors, Dr. Louise Gaston, who has also returned to educate our readers about the risks and perils of exposure therapies. Though extensively extolled among the worthiest of evidence-based practices, exposure therapies carry with them, a plethora of adverse effects when applied arbitrarily and haphazardly and within both military and civilian populations. I know of a network of social workers tasked with the provision of crisis intervention services for the law enforcement community as this applies to a particular rural county in Southwestern Ohio. Everyone receives EMDR therapy regardless of the presenting problem. This is not only unwise but borders on malpractice. One size never fits all.
RoseAnn Sorce, Account Executive for Sturges World Communications and volunteer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, relates the remarkable tale of US Air Force and Gulf War Veteran Kerry Steuart. RoseAnn has imparted to our readership what has enabled Kerry to find value, meaning, and purpose in his life once again after his uninvited medical discharge from military service. As a leader for the Warrior’s Ascent retreat program, Kerry has devoted his life to usher healing and recovery for both Veterans and first responders. He does so by facilitating that piece of knowledge that giving back to one’s community in the form of volunteerism is the ultimate remedy for the soul; in other words, still serving. It is RoseAnn who encouraged his writing. RoseAnn has also devoted herself to working with the VFW to promote the Still Serving Campaign: #StillServing.
Endowed with another of his very clever treatises, Dr. Ron Rubenezer has presented our readers with chapter 3 of his acclaimed book, How to Best Handle Stress-Your First Aid Kit. This time our readers will have the opportunity to master How the Best Handle Stress. This is sorely needed at a time when no one is immune from the ravages of nationwide lockdowns and civil unrest. Life as we knew it has taken an extended leave, while many of our lives have spiraled out of control. It is well worth the effort to master Dr. Rubenezer’s techniques in order to adapt and overcome.
To our authors, copious thanks and gratitude for all that you conveyed with your words for the betterment of so many suffering souls.
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Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAAPM, FAIS
COL (RET), US Army
COL, Ohio Military Reserve/State Defense Forces
Editor, Combat Stress Magazine
Member, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame