Since the dawn of warfare, the high ground has been a coveted space. You have overwatch over the field of battle. You can defend your space easier. You can shoot farther. Sun Tzu probably mentioned it first, but I imagine it's in our DNA to value the high ground.
Pick a battle going back through history and you'll find that armies have always tried to be first to the field of battle so as to take the high ground.
Consequently, you can imagine my complete surprise when the Republicans, first to take the field in this years election, barely mentioned the military much less the veteran's during their convention.
Now, it hasn't always been this way, but everyone knows that since Jimmy Carter the GOP has carried the sacred sword. So, maybe they just figured they had veterans in the bag.
I could be swayed by that argument except for two facts: First, the only thing the entire country agrees on these days is love for and the support of the military and veterans. Second, our beloved armed forces are dying by their own hands faster than by our enemies.
This is a recognizable national tragedy. So, whomever delves into this issue and comes up with some real applicable plans to fix the problem gets to be first to the fight and takes the high ground.
If Romney and Ryan had made the military and its veterans a key piece of their national address, they could have held the high ground and claimed that the Obama administration was playing catch up on an issue they were first to nationally address.
Similar to the way Obama was second to Louisiana after Hurricane Ivan, Romney could have planted the GOP flag in the ground first.
I may be wrong, this may or may not have an impact on how people vote in November, but I'm going to spend the rest of this post talking about what I like about Obama's executive order that was reported on by The Military Times the day after Romney's Speech.
“If you are hurting, it’s not a sign of weakness to seek help; it’s a sign of strength. And we are going to help you remain strong — ‘Army Strong,’ ”
President Barack Obama
The immediate effects of President Obama's executive order are:
The VA will expand programs based on veterans helping veterans, directing the department to hire 800 more peer-to-peer counselors.
I really like this piece of the order because I believe veterans are more inclined to share their shadows with other vets over civilians. Don't get me wrong, I know there are a ton of civilian services that can help vets, I just think it should be a vet recommending them.
The VA is required to partner with DoD in developing and implementing a nationwide year-long suicide prevention campaign aimed at veterans.
I have a lot to say about this campaign. First and foremost this campaign should begin the day Smbrs get home and should be treated as nothing more than standard operating procedure.
Processes for armoring down your shoulders, neck, and back, after a year in body armor should be just as normally integrated into the day as cleaning your weapon and turning in your gear.
There should also be time in the day for mindfulness meditation lessons as a means to sleep better. Mindfulness is already used to create a smoother trigger squeeze so there is no reason why it couldn't be repackaged to teach relaxation before lights out.
I could go on and on about this......more to follow in later posts.
A panel, known as the Military and Veterans Mental Health Interagency Task Force, will “make recommendations to the President on additional strategies to improve mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members and their families,”
There should be a focus in this piece on job placement. Not getting wasted is partly contingent on needing to be your best for tomorrow's obligations.
The VA must expand its veterans’ crisis line capability by 50 percent by Dec. 31st and ensure that veterans who identify as being a danger to themselves or others connect with a trained mental health professional within 24 hours.
This is playing catch up. Obama should have made this a priority four years ago.
The Romney Administration claimed that the Presidents order was to little to late. This is exactly where being first to the field and taking the high ground would have paid off.
Man, they could have hammered Obama on this and scored major points.
I'm a one issue guy. Show me you will love and take care of the men and women that took care of you and you will get my vote.
This post was guided by the 26th stanza of the Art of Peace, a book written by Morihei Ueshiba , the founder and creator of the Martial Art, Aikido.