Seriously? We Could Have Created This Program 72 Years Ago?
That’s right . . . The President of the United States said we needed to implement a Reverse Boot Camp . . . in 1944 . . . towards the end of World War II.
Shocking, right? Well he didn’t call it a “Reverse Boot Camp,” but here is the copy of the letter Franklin Delano Roosevelt sent to the Secretary of War in 1944:
This letter is nearly 72 years old, and still, we have not implemented a program that ensures all service members have “received the maximum benefits of hospitalization and convalescent facilities which must include physical and psychological rehabilitation, vocational guidance, pre-vocational training and resocialization.” Our nation recognized the need three generations ago, and we still have not implemented a Reverse Boot Camp.
Yesterday’s Missed Opportunity Inspires Tomorrow’s Hope
The Greatest Generation saw this as an imperative for the wellness of our Veterans, and to this day, we haven’t implemented this program. Shame on us. We had generations of Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf War Veterans who did not enjoy the benefits of such program. The consequence? We have – between 1979 and 2014 – suffered the injustice of nearly 263,000 Veterans who died by suicide based on the most recent report from the Department of Veteran Affairs. Yes, our Veterans and their families have suffered – and too many of them continue to suffer. But as we look to the future, we can finally do something about this problem.
We can change this. It didn’t happen 72 years ago, but it can happen today. Too often, social change relies on the commitment and resolve of people like you and me. Let’s fix this. Together, we can and will end the problem of military related suicide.
Please sign and share the Reverse Boot Camp Petition today.
This is Part 1 of a 5 Part Series entitled “Why We Need a Reverse Boot Camp”. Tomorrow’s post will describe the economic reasons why we need the Reverse Boot Camp Program. The Reverse Boot Camp is an initiative sponsored by non-profit organizations across the United States designed to better prepare our service men and women for a healthy, empowered life after military service.