More people in harm’s way

Dear President Trump,

I think Masha Gessen makes some very good points in her NYT’s editorial this morning. As you may or may not know, her main premise is that we who oppose you need to be careful not to stoop to exaggerating or fabricating to make our points and that there is more than enough that you all are doing that is egregiously problematic and readily apparent without making things up like you all do. She specifically points to the pitfalls of getting caught up in conspiracy theories about your campaign’s possible collusion with Russia to throw the election. I don’t think I’m going to be able to let it go completely if only because it dangles a carrot of not having to endure your administration for a full term, but since there is so very much else going on in plain sight that you need to be called out on, I’m going to do my best to re-engage at that level.

I don’t think I’ve told you, but I’m a scientist. I evaluate interventions for people who have suffered from trauma and have problems with alcohol and other drugs. I work for the VA (and am careful not to write to you during my tour of duty) and so the main people I am driven to find and disseminate solutions for are veterans. It makes me incredibly sad and incredibly angry to know that your budget priorities would, on the one hand, build up the military and thereby create countless more people who are injured and traumatized who will come back from deployments not knowing how to fit in without anesthetizing themselves with alcohol while on the other hand, cutting monies for mental health research. Maybe you haven’t considered that a larger military means more people in harms way who are eventually going to be civilians who can’t just park their military trauma’s at the base gate before they try and get jobs and raise families in the civilian world. But you need to consider them and what happens to them and what is available to them when they leave the military in 5, 10, 15 years. We do an ok job treating their combat and military sexual traumas, but just ok. By cutting research monies we will continue to just do ok. They deserve better.

Please take the time to think through how the various pieces of your budget affect real human lives today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now. You are the boss, this is your job.

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May your life unfold and intersect peacefully.

Tracy Simpson

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