Our brave warriors deserve much more!

IMHOTEP (Wisdom to You!),

On 14 May 2009 I sent correspondence regarding the serious concerns my affiliate University and I personally have in relation to the mental health, recovery and welfare of our veteran Soldiers, Sailors and Marines addressed to The Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert M. Gates, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon R. England, Under Secretary of Defense, David S.C. Chu, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James E. Cartwright, Secretary of the Army, Preston M. Geren, III, Secretary of the Navy, BJ Penn, Secretary of the Air Force, Michael B. Donley, Army Chief of Staff, General George W. Casey, Jr., Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton A. Schwartz, Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, Sergeant Major of the Army, Sergeant Major Kenneth O. Preston, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Master Chief Petty Officer Rick D. West, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant Rodney J. McKinley, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Major Carlton W. Kent, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, W. Scott Gould, Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff, John R. Gingrich, and Veterans Affairs Under Secretary of Health, Gerald Cross.

As of the time of this correspondence, I have received but five responses from the twenty-two priority mailings sent to the list above. In simple recognition of my voice, the voice of a former Marine Veteran holding a graduate degree obtained since honorable, decorated time in service, I extend gratitude (in the dated order of receipt) to the Office of The Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, BJ Penn, the Office of Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, the Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, David S.C. Chu.

As is evident, the letter from the Office of the President was standard consolatory fare and therefore specifically addressed none of our deep concerns. However, it did state that “Now is our time… to choose our better history,” which I will address later in this letter.

The response from the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, signed by JA McBreen, acting Deputy Chief of Medical Ops, listed a Lt. Justin Campbell as the point of contact for this matter.  On 25 June 2009 I sent the following correspondence to the electronic mailing address provided for Lt. Campbell:

In his letter dated 17 June 2009, Deputy Chief McBreen stated, “Navy Medicine is conducting extensive reviews” of “practices in medical care, including mental health, that have been objectively and empirically validated as best practices.” He further expressed that “if the approach [We at The Dohgon University of Thought] advocate has an empirically based record of effectiveness, it will be given serious consideration.”

We at The Dohgon University of Thought are more than pleased to hear the Navy express its faithfulness to objectivity and objective research. We of The Dohgon adhere strictly to these principles of objectivity and that is why we wish to embark upon a wholly comprehensive research project concerning veterans’ mental health. If your reviews of past, current, or proposed medical practices are to be accurate, it is obvious that the foundation, roots, breadth and depth of the problem be fully understood. So, our first question to you is has the Navy compiled and analyzed such foundational data in its own right previous to any corrective application? Worded differently, has the true nature of the problem been identified before implementing possible solutions? These are incredibly important questions that need be addressed with highest priority if we are at all serious about healing our fellow former servicemen and this nation as a whole. Without this initial overall assessment, there is little hope of healing the immense ailments resulting from our veterans’ selfless volunteering of their lives. If we do not completely comprehend the cause, how can we ever expect to cure the abstract effects?

If such wholly comprehensive data has been compiled, then, with utmost respect possible, we firmly demand full access to these extensive empirical data sets. If no such efforts of compilation have been undertaken, We at the Dohgon University of Thought would be happy and are fully devoted to compiling, organizing and analyzing this enormous amount of data. Our intent is to review the empirical data on all the studies and surveys that not just the Navy, but the entire DoD has done on veterans stemming all the way back to the Korean War. We would require samples of all empirical data on veteran studies on alcoholism, addiction, criminal behavior, suicides, spousal abuse, child abuse, etc. With access to all this data and extensive hours of intensive review we could create an algorithm on veterans trauma topiary diagnostics. This comprehensive algorithm will certainly prove invaluable in the assessment of any proposed mental health solutions. Surely, however, without such foundational diagnostic understanding, all efforts, methodologies, philosophies and practices will be overall fraudulent and ineffective at best. Therefore, no approach, including ours, should even be considered devoid of understanding the cause. Are we intending to continue pruning the overgrown destructive weeds or uproot them?

The rift being created between returning service members and the citizens they pledged to protect is ever deepening. The issues produced by this disconnect are countless and increasing. As no exaggeration and stated in my previous letter, if your choice of action does not adequately address these increasingly volatile eruptions on every scale, while servicemen die daily fighting the enemies abroad, this country will unavoidably be destroyed from within. Understanding the cause is surely the first step. Will you grant us access to these extremely pertinent and important documents, or will you continue applying bandages to a gushing wound that will never cauterize? Is the DoD serious in their attempts to HEAL our veterans, or simply manufacturing false efforts to dissuade public criticism? The question could not be more straight forward.

This correspondence will be forwarded to Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert M. Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, Secretary of the Army, Preston M. Geren, III, Secretary of the Navy, BJ Penn, Secretary of the Air Force, Michael B. Donley, Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, and Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki.

Once again, we thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration regarding this most important of matters. My devotion to this cause is unwavering and strengthened daily.  Thus, it is with firmest resolve that, as a God-loving patriot, I ask for access to the required documents specified above, understanding this as the opportunity to HEAL my fellow veterans and this nation as a whole.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Despite sending the above message to the email address directed, as well as the best addresses obtainable for the other recipients listed, I received but two extremely minimalistic responses. The Department of Veterans Affairs informed me that “Mr. Shinseki’s office is not part of this online email system,” and the Department of Defense wrote to assure me, “ We have received and read your comment and have taken the appropriate actions.” As dismissingly disrespectful as these responses are, they at the very least acknowledged receiving my message—more than the other governmental offices listed above to which I reached out.

After sending that electronic message, our office soon received a letter from the Officer for Mental Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Deputy Chief of Patient Care Services, Dr. Ira Katz.  Our letter dated 14 May 2009 was forwarded to Dr. Katz office, to which he replied that “Treatment provided to Veterans for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental disorders must be based on a solid base of scientific evidence.” In 2008, at the request of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

undertook a systematic review of the PTSD literature. This report, referenced by Dr. Katz in the letter, unequivocally states, “The committee reached a strong consensus that additional high-quality research is essential for every treatment modality” (emphasis in original). So, the document used to identify “criteria for  evidence based care” explicitly states that “high quality research is essential for every treatment modality,” yet ineffective (lest we would not be having this dialogue) psychotherapy practices continue to be disseminated across the Department of Veterans Affairs system even when the Institute of Medicine’s committee “views its more general findings and recommendations regarding further research to be as important as its conclusions regarding the evidence supporting treatment modalities.”

The Institute’s unyielding call for further research begs that I reference what we conveyed to the Department of the Navy: “If your reviews of past, current, or proposed medical practices are to be accurate, it is obvious that the foundation, roots, breadth and depth of the problem be fully understood… has the true nature of the problem been identified before implementing possible solutions?”  If this most exigent of inquiries can cannot be unmistakably affirmed, then not only are we wasting our time, effort, money and resources, we are wasting opportunity after opportunity that presents itself for us to understand what the elemental nature of PTSD truly is. Without such a basic understanding of the cause—what “trauma” is and does—we are but searching for a needle in a haystack. Obviously, this is not the most scientific methodology available; do our veterans not deserve better than this, no less than the very best?

Moreover, the two ineffective (again, lest we would not be having this dialogue) psychotherapy practices cited by the Institute of Medicine and disseminated by the Department of Veterans Affairs are Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure. One foremost essential element required for both of these psychotherapy practices is the wounded subjects’ personal memory recall and identification of past trauma experiences in detail. Once again, I am led to reference the following statement from my initial mailing: “I know that I am not alone in saying that some of the most minute, seemingly meaningless experiences seem to cause the most trauma. Although I can vividly recall quite a few occasions, the most disturbing part is that I cannot even pinpoint many other traumatizing events, yet they still haunt me abstractly.” This very same phenomena is cited by doctor of psychology and clinician at the Wilford Hall Medical Center, US Air Force Captain Craig Bryan in his 1 April 2009 article “Bringing Mental Health Treatment to the Troops: An Empirically-Based Process Improvement for Veterans with PTSD Symptoms in Primary Care” featured in the Psychotherapy Brown Bag site that discusses current findings in clinical psychology (<http://www.psychotherapybrownbag.com/psychotherapy_brown_bag_a/cognitive-processing-therapy/>). According to the behavioral health consultant model, one of the four key parameters used to evaluate effective practices referenced by Captain Bryan is that “Intervention approach must be based on a self-management model. Interventions must be problem-focused and geared towards the development of specific skills that can be learned, implemented, and sustained by the patient with minimal support by the clinician.” Nevertheless, near the conclusion of his article Captain Bryan asserts that although Cognitive Processing Therapy “was utilized with a number of patients with some evidence of effectiveness… patient non-adherence [is] a particularly troublesome barrier,” specifically:

Some veterans did not report a specific, identifiable traumatic event in which their lives, or the lives of others, were in danger or threatened, but rather reported a more generalized dissatisfaction or disgust with some aspect of their deployed experience. These veterans seemed to be experiencing more “existential” conflicts related to the meaning of their experiences, rather than a fear or anxiety response.

Summarily, he continues, “although this initial attempt demonstrated some effectiveness, it could not be delivered in a manner that remained within the four parameters established at the outset, and therefore was not adequate.” Has Captain Bryan not “scientifically” echoed the very same serious concerns we at the Dohgon University of Thought have in relation to the abstract nature of trauma? Is it not evident that these seemingly prevailing practices are not adequately addressing the needs of our Veterans? Captain Bryan begins his article with the firm resolution: “Given that military service members are willing to sacrifice their lives to secure the safety of the nation, it is beholden upon us to ensure that proper care is available to them upon their return from deployment.” This is not happening, and that this is not happening, this is not right.

Additionally, our office has more recently received correspondence from the Commanding Officer of the Wounded Warrior Regiment of the US Marine Corps, Lt Col. David J. Lofgren, on behalf of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In his letter, Lt Col. Lofgren ensures that “combat veterans receive the highest quality medical and psychological care currently available.” The Marine Corps works in partnership with the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the same Bureaus that, statedly, is not only open to new approaches, but actively seeking them. The Bureau’s “extensive reviews” do more than signal their openness to ideas, it highlights the obvious and repetitive message that the current practices in place are not working. Thus, as this is undoubtedly the present distressing state of affairs, combat veterans are in no way receiving the highest quality care currently available, for the highest quality care currently available has yet to even be identified!

Established in November 2007, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) official mission “assesses, validates, oversees and facilitates prevention, resilience, identification, treatment, outreach, rehabilitation and reintegration programs for psychological health and traumatic brain injury to ensure the Department of Defense meets the needs of the nation’s military communities, warriors and families” (<http://www.dcoe.health.mil/About.aspx>). DCoE has launched the Real Warriors Campaign initiative “to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families” (<http://www.realwarriors.net/aboutus>).
In his letter, Lt Col. Lofgren writes that the Marine Corps and the Navy “have already identified several strategies to help identify Marines and Sailors who may be struggling with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury.” The Real Warriors Campaign FAQ page explains:

Within five days of returning home from deployment, service members complete the Post-Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA) and privately see a health care provider face-to-face to review and discuss any health concerns.
Three to six months after returning, service members and former service members complete the Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment (PDHRA) to check again for any physical or mental health concerns. (<http://www.realwarriors.net/faq>)

Because of these assessments the campaign claims, “No military system in the history of the world has done more to identify, evaluate, prevent and treat the psychological health needs and concerns of its personnel than the United States Department of Defense.” Certainly, I will not argue this assertion, not necessarily because it is true (espousing no opinion on this matter), because it is wholly irrelevant. That the DoD has done the comparative most in this arena is not in question; what is in question is are they doing enough? Surely, at present, the answer is no.

Furthermore, having personally been through the assessment processes delineated, much of the implementation of Post-Deployment Care is an overall formality undertaken simply to communicate to the public and the politicians that steps are being taken. These steps do not lead to health, they are surface and circular at best. Veterans complete checklists en-masse and then line up hundreds at a time, much in the same manner as if receiving immunizations, to “privately” see a physician that oft downplays serious concerns. Even in units that comprehensively conduct this process with integrity, most mental health issues are never identified. The Real Warriors campaign states that “20–30 percent of military members who have experienced combat will report sleep disturbance, anxiety, irritability, increased alcohol use and other symptoms” (<http://www.realwarriors.net/faq>). The reported 20-30 percent is unabatedly inaccurate because, even if debilitatingly severe, a majority of Veterans will not report symptoms of mental disturbance at all, and for good reason. Not only are service members oft severely ridiculed by their peers for admitting to these natural consequences of experiencing combat, many are, as I was, deeply concerned what formally admitting such issues might mean when transitioning back to civilian life. An extraordinarily effective way to disqualify one’s self from future employment opportunities is to admit, documentarily, showing concern for your own psychological health. Thus, if 20-30 percent of military members who experience combat voluntarily report showing concern for their personal mental health, what percent could we even conservatively predict to actually possess questions regarding their respective psyches and minds? (doubling the report would indeed be conservative)

Moreover, whether combat Veterans are aware of their psychological scars or not, and whether these brave men admit to them or not, or whether the public recognizes their PAIN or not, these same men who have voluntarily sacrificed their gift of Life in service to the welfare of the citizens of the same country they recognize having been blessed to be a citizen thereof, and thus more oft than not feel morally obligated to serve in the grandest way they know possible, are now being discriminated blanket-wise in such a disgusting manner as has in the past been applied (and in many circles debatably still) to countless racial, religious, gender, economic, etc. groups throughout all of accepted history, our great country very much included. If the validity of this statement be questioned, I simply ask you to view the Penn State training video called “I Deserve A Better Grade…Or Else”: (<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhLq9NPLv0M&feature=related>). If the screaming “undertones” of this message (relayed from my undergraduate alma mater) are not transparently obvious in your viewing, I, unashamedly and unreservedly, yet with highest respect for the dignity of your manhood and your office, in that respective order, as a contributing citizen of our greatest of nations, demand that you, without delay or reserve, review and reconsider the true history of how this country and its predecessors thereof have lawfully, though opposed to justice, treated its greatest pioneers and contributors, human beings of such ingenuity and bravery to create, sustain and defend the symbol of freedom in our world for over 230 years.

Continuing, Lt Col. Lofgren closes his correspondence by assuring that “one of the Commandant’s top priorities” is “a comprehensive Combat Operational Stress Control program [established] to prevent, identify and holistically treat mental injuries” (emphasis added). We of The Dohgon find this stated openness to holistic treatment quite promising, if sincere, and sincere the intentions seem to be. Ode, the magazine for intelligent optimists, reports in its July 2009 issue that last year DCoE spent more than ten percent of its research budget “investigating alternative and complementary medical techniques” to include “meditation, yoga, acupuncture and even pet ownership” as new tactics for treatment of PTSD and other stress related conditions (<http://www.odemagazine.com/doc/64/militarys-new-medical-frontline/>). The common denominator between these “alternative” techniques is the fostering of relaxation to diffuse the cellular harm caused by excessive stress. The debilitating effect of stress on the immune system and its catalyzing effect on disease of all sorts is now backed by over a decade of research. (If unaware or questioning such findings, please review the literature produced by Stanford School of Medicine’s Center on Stress and Health– <http://stresshealthcenter.stanford.edu/>)  Consequently, clinical psychologist and Director of Psychological Health Clinical Standards of Care Directorate at DCoE, Air Force Lt Col. Jay M. Stone asserts, “We want to know about all the possible treatments out there” (<http://www.odemagazine.com/doc/64/militarys-new-medical-frontline/>).

Nevertheless, despite these positive examples of progressive thinking, there are certainly conflicting opinions and information disseminated from different segments of DoD. For example, responding on behalf of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) David S.C. Chu, the acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Affairs for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Dr. Jack W. Smith authorized another DoD Medical Officer (Dr. Matteson?) to compose correspondence in response to our original letter. In this mailing, Dr. Smith’s representative references TRICARE, a major component of the Military Health System. TRICARE’s stated mission is “To enhance the Department of Defense and our nation’s security by providing health support for the full range of military operations and sustaining the health of all those entrusted to our care” (<http://tricare.mil/mybenefit/home/overview/WhatIsTRICARE>). Under TRICARE’s Basic Program, however, Dr. Smith’s representative explains, “the law requires all medical services to be medically necessary.” Before we define what “medically necessary” may mean or imply, allow me to reference further findings of another recent government funded research project.

A DoD Task Force on Mental Health was established in March 2007. The Task Force’s report states at the outset that “among the most pervasive and potentially disabling consequences of [military service] costs is the threat to the psychological health of our nation’s fighting forces, their families, and their survivors,” and that “the system of care for psychological health that has evolved over recent decades is insufficient to meet the needs of today’s forces and their beneficiaries, and will not be sufficient to meet their needs in the future” (<http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/mh_bcmh/docs/confandtraining/2007/An%20Achievable%20VisionJune07%20Myles%208-23-07.pdf>, ES-1). The report goes on to explain:

38 percent of Soldiers and 31 percent of Marines report psychological symptoms. Among members of the National Guard, the figure rises to 49 percent … Further, psychological concerns are significantly higher among those with repeated deployments, a rapidly growing cohort. Psychological concerns among family members of deployed and returning Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans, while yet to be fully quantified, are also an issue of concern. Hundreds of thousands of children have experienced the deployment of a parent. (<http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/mh_bcmh/docs/confandtraining/2007/An%20Achievable%20VisionJune07%20Myles%208-23-07.pdf>, ES-2)

The Task Force enumerated four necessary goals required for a healthy military transition as follows:

1)       “ a culture of support for psychological health”…

2)       “a full continuum of excellent care in both peacetime and wartime”…

3)       “sufficient and appropriate resources”…

4)       “at all levels, visible and empowered leaders”

(<http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/mh_bcmh/docs/confandtraining/2007/An%20Achievable%20VisionJune07%20Myles%208-23-07.pdf>, ES-2)

Yet, despite the serious causes of concern previously delineated, “the Task Force found that current efforts fall significantly short of achieving each of the goals enumerated” (<http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/mh_bcmh/docs/confandtraining/2007/An%20Achievable%20VisionJune07%20Myles%208-23-07.pdf>, ES-2). One detrimental effect is, as reported by New York City journalist Matt Kennard, the suicide rate in the military “is 30 times higher than the general US population” (<http://www.thecommentfactory.com/irregular-army-the-prevalence-of-mental-illness-in-the-us-military-2217>). Additionally, a congressional research report last year, RL34471 Suicide Prevention Among Veterans, identified that “about 20% of suicide deaths nationwide could be among veterans” (<http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL34471_20080505.pdf> 2/16).

Preliminary to these findings, MSNBC reported Director of the Army Medical Department’s Office of Strategic Communications, Col. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie publicly stating in 2006 that especially since “recruiting has been a challenge… we have to weigh the needs of the Army, the needs of the mission, with the soldiers’ personal needs” (<http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12777489/>).  We of the Dohgon are not so naive as to be ignorant of the unique balance necessitated in order to achieve our country’s, or any country’s military aims. However, we desire again and repeatedly to draw your attention to the increasingly and, by lack of crucial acknowledgment, ever accelerating problem perpetuated by thinking that Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ personal needs are somehow separate from the needs of the military and its mission. The military is Soldiers, Sailors and Marines; without these brave souls, there is no military. Furthermore, the military’s health is but a reflection of its comprising service members’ health—the conglomerate is a shining array of its collective parts, and not causally vice versa. As leaders, you are aware of these fundamental dynamics. Moreover, in deference to the creative powers of our Grand Architect, is this not essentially why our military fights abroad—to defend the needs of each unique individual against the unnatural curse of collective conformation, traversing the globe in a holy glorification of the One born of many vice many assimilating into a structured “One”?

Bringing our attention back to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense’s letter, let us consider what “medically necessary” might connote under these circumstances. Is survival a medical necessity? Refer to the suicide statistics above. Is the ability to function a medical necessity? The USA Today reports, “The rate of Army soldiers enrolled in treatment programs for alcohol dependency or abuse has nearly doubled since 2003” (<http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2009-06-18-army-alcohol-problems_N.htm>).  And the problem increasingly worsens: “3,057 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were diagnosed with potential drug dependency from 2005 to 2007… From 2002 through 2004 only 277 veterans were diagnosed with a drug dependency” (<http://www.thecommentfactory.com/irregular-army-the-rise-of-alcoholism-and-drug-abuse-in-the-us-military-2285>). Yet, TRICARE defines “medically necessary” as “appropriate medical care that is in keeping with generally accepted norms for medical practice in the United States” (emphasis added). Is there any evidence that these “generally accepted norms” are doing anything other than consistently wasting our time, effort, money, resources and opportunity after opportunity? If these “generally accepted norms” are effective, why did the Pentagon spend an unprecedented $300 million last summer on research for PTSD and TBI? Can we afford not to completely reevaluate our “generally accepted norms”? Is it not time to adopt and utilize a science that aims to cure the cause of pain, disease and disorder, rather than the “generally accepted norms” that numb reoccurring effects, and in doing so lead us further and further into an ever more dismal predicament?

Combat changes a man in many ways, not the least of these ways psychological. The nature, intensity, longevity and breadth of such change will vary with the summation of an individual’s life experiences, his/her resulting constitution, preexisting belief structures, etc. Make no mistake, however, that a stark psychological change definitively occurs. A prevalent Marine Corps advertising slogan states, “The change is forever.” By continuing to practice medical methodologies that are within “generally accepted norms” then the change is indeed forever. And, as has been referenced at length, the change is oft personally and socially debilitating. Nevertheless, what we of The Dohgon champion is a science that heals so that the ruinous change need not be forever.

Additionally, while composing this message our office received another response from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This letter directed us toward the Department’s Office of Acquisition and  Logistics, an office with a vision statement: “To be the premier provider of innovative solutions.” If the DoD and its alliance of partnerships continues searching for innovative solutions then, by the very nature of innovation, we will individually and collectively continue to experience more of the same harmful effects stemming from surface sciences. What we need is creativity, something wholly new. Medical practices within “generally accepted norms” simply recombine and reapply the same ineffective methodologies over and over again.

The Commander in Chief’s standard postcard response to us stated, “Now is our time… to choose our better history.”  The choice is before us: “generally accepted norms” or something wholly new.  This choice becomes luminously clear if we but consider what the history of “generally accepted norms” has written for us. I love my country and have utmost respect for my fellow military Veterans—the courageous men and women willing to fight on behalf of our home. My patriotic love calls forth a siren from within me, a siren that is to be heard across our great land. Soon, my fellow Americans’ patriotic love will beg them stand by me, bonded by love, as we at The Dohgon University of Thought and the citizens of this free nation, now and in generations to come, exclaim in solidarity, “We love our country and we will not stand for this any longer—we choose a better history!”

Much as it may be commonly inferred that deference should be shown by our university in such communications, that is, that we harbor the burden of proof in this interaction, this notion is contrary to the reasons government was established in and by this country from the beginning. The central tenant of our grand Republic is that government is a servant to the public. As such, we at the Dohgon University of Thought declare the burden of proof be on you to show that the most effective steps possible are being taken to solve this most exigent of issues.

Once again, however, we close by echoing our conviction to this cause and unbridled willingness to assist in whatsoever capacity deemed most necessary, wheresoever that may be. We know that the only solutions embarked upon by the current “needle in a haystack” approach will come too late. We owe our veterans more than this; we owe our country more than this; we owe our forefathers more than this; most importantly, we all owe ourselves more than this. Allot us the time, resources and access to key Veterans’ data and we can create an algorithm on Veterans Trauma Topiary Diagnostics. Proper diagnosis is an essential first step. Without the proper methodologies we will continue failing to provide appropriate care to those whom have sacrificed the most; in this failing will our nation continue to fail. We will not stand for this any longer—we choose a better history!

In addition to a select few individuals whom have corresponded with us since our initial mailing on this subject, notification of this message will be sent to the original list of recipients (found at the outset of this message).

Allow us the opportunity to HEAL my fellow veterans and this nation as a whole. We hope to hear from you soon.

(Think with a Unified brain and Mind!),
Todd M. Skorich
US Marine Veteran
Dohgon Ambassador