Words defy what is becoming of our beloved country. From pandemic to pandemonium, the direction taken by sinister forces underway have attempted to shred the fabric of America by destroying not only our history, but our identity. This sets a precedent of anarchy and lawlessness, reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Treachery and treason are poisoning the roots of our independence and those basic freedoms that once made us the most powerful nation in the world. This is not the time to play ostrich or to remain indifferent and ignorant, as the consequences will be dire, allowing corruption and evildoing to reign supreme. Remaining asleep at the wheel is unaffordable. Wake up, America! Our summer issue takes issue with much of what is dominating our existence, as our beloved country cries for what is becoming of us.
In the summer of 2020, we celebrate the retirement of Officer Tom McMurtry, this time from the Sinclair College Police Department after his brilliant military career as a US Army paratrooper, with yet another set of superb contributions that speak to the subject of the impact of tragedy and trauma as this applies to the brave and courageous that wear the uniform, whether military or law enforcement. He also takes the reader on an up close and personal journey through the violent protests in Dayton, Ohio and that are now in an upswing, dominating our communities and our country.
Another of our local heroes is also featured in this issue, SGT Bill Titley of the Fairborn, Ohio Police Department. SGT Titley, a renowned author, speaker, and law enforcement educator, will take our readers to a place where most readers will never tread with his victim impact statement at the sentencing of the suspect who made a lethal attempt on the life of SGT Titley. Few will ever walk in the boots of officers involved in deadly force encounters. SGT Titley’s account will take you directly to the scene of his second officer involved shooting, leaving the reader breathless.
Dr. Gary Jackson, distinguished clinical psychologist and international expert on the subject of mass shootings, former Secret Service agent, CIA agent, and my best all time boss 44 years ago at Sunland Training Center in Opa Locka, Florida, has provided our readers an ominous and alarming insight into the impact of mass attacks on the global stage from a military perspective. His insights into the opportunism underlying the COVID19 epidemic as a weaponized viral attack on the world’s population are astounding and based upon facts and not media sensationalism.
Returning author, LTC (RET) Charlie Bass, physician and clinical psychologist, further expands upon Dr. Jackson’s findings in his astonishing piece surrounding the issue of yellow journalism, revealing the unspeakable truths that vast numbers of our population refuse to acknowledge. As with Dr. Jackson’s article, this is another wakeup call for which America has been waiting.
In my travels I have been so very fortunate to cross paths with a number of brilliant clinicians and those, who even as non-Veterans, have devoted their lives to the welfare and recovery of one of our most precious resources…. our military Veterans. Johanna Miller, MA, LPCC, and her husband Ryan Pepper, are two such heroes.
As coordinators for the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Team River Runner, founded at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and creators of the annual Veterans Kayak Football Challenge, our readers will be far beyond amazed at the accomplishments of this legendary couple to bring healing and recovery to a large population of Veterans, even those with severe disabilities sustained in service of their country.
One of our most celebrated authors, Dr. Louise Gaston, has returned to contribute yet another striking expose’ concerning the overlooked and underreported negative effects as this applies to trauma-focused therapies. Her perspective should serve as a staggering alert for those who apply these therapies indiscriminately.
Attorney Lisa Wright, former law enforcement officer and homicide investigator for the Houston Police Department, has come forth to share the devastating impact of surviving a home invasion and officer involved shooting at her own home, one of the most horrific and life-altering experiences ever to be faced by those charged with guardianship of the public safety. This is a story of recovery, of hope, and of overcoming what many will never have the courage to undertake.
A continuously generous sort, Dr. Ron Rubenzer has gifted us with another book chapter from his recent publication, How to Best Handle Stress – Your First Aid Kit. Chapter Two – Attitudes, Breathing and Choices is a must read for the difficult and dark times that all of us are facing, whether first responder, Service Member, Veteran, family member or clinician. This simple step-by-step guide offers invaluable guidance for the living and breathing.
International scuba expert Kevin James, a diehard devotee of the healing powers of scuba therapy, details his discovery of the powerful bearing of this form of intervention in PTSD recovery. This exceedingly generous man has made it possible for any number of military Veterans to attend his training without cost and to find a degree of peacefulness underwater that has eluded them above ground, restoring hope to souls so battered by war.
We will conclude the summer issue with another gift presented to us, a tribute to military service poem created by Merissa Kelley, whose father retired from the United States Air Force in 1974. Her gratitude for his military service, as well as all those who serve, is so aptly woven into her striking words.
Profuse thanks to all of our authors, whose contributions can be only be considered exceptional, as is their dedication to the welfare of humanity at large.
Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAIPM, FAIS
COL (RET), US Army
COL, Ohio Military Reserve/State Defense Forces
Editor, Combat Stress Magazine
Member, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame
Combat Stress Magazine
Combat Stress magazine is written with our military Service Members, Veterans, first responders, and their families in mind. We want all of our members and guests to find contentment in their lives by learning about stress management and finding what works best for each of them. Stress is unavoidable and comes in many shapes and sizes. It can even be considered a part of who we are. Being in a state of peaceful happiness may seem like a lofty goal but harnessing your stress in a positive way makes it obtainable. Serving in the military or being a police officer, firefighter or paramedic brings unique challenges and some extraordinarily bad days. The American Institute of Stress is dedicated to helping you, our Heroes and their families, cope with and heal your mind and body from the stress associated with your careers and sacrifices.
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