Webcast with Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton

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Webcast with Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton

Earlier today with the Webcast with Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton
I asked the question: Do you agree that being deployed 3 times in 4 years as an infantryman lacks the “skills” that can be used after leaving the military? This is a huge part of your slide on resilience.
I am very involved with the USMC as a parent of a former Marine. I get these concerns daily from our Marines who have completed their EAS similar to this one daily. They feel like they have lost 4 years of their lives beings their friends are now graduating from College when they finish their EAS. Other than busting down doors or always being prepared for a possible “fight” that rush of adrenaline, they feel very alone and assume they cannot fit into the civilian society. This example is the most common one I hear daily, they may have combat ribbons, but they surely are not going to wear them around town, therefore they feel like losers and worthless. They feel they have lost their identities.
The paper work needed to file for VA benefits is so overwhelming to them, many chose not to file. If I hear it once I hear it a 1000 times. I just need to go back into the military. I always recommend they give it 6 months before making any major decision. I always remind them if they re enlist this adjustment will still be waiting for them after they finish that time serving.

They open up with me more so than their family members, I have created trust with many. I also have a nonprofit http://www.mom4rmarines.org
I must assist this young warriors and families as much as possible. My son did 3 deployments in 4 years so therefore I am very experienced with all the issues regarding PTSD and TBI. My son has been arrested etc… and has drinking problems that definitely magnifies the PTSD and enhances and adds fuel to flashbacks. Biggest problem is they do not drink for the pleasure of sharing a beer with a friend; they drink to get totally intoxicated, hoping it assists in helping them forget. Which we know only adds to their issues of adjustment.
I also have been working closely with USMC HQ’s with incorporating parents of our single Marines and Sailors into their official Family Readiness Program/ Educating parents is very important considering so many of our warriors are single.
Patty Lewis

Re: Webcast with Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton

Patty, we have a lot in common. I am a Marine Mom. I have also started a nonprofit called Military Missions Inc.. I believe we may have both been at MPU’s conference in July 2008. I was on Talking with Heroes and your name sounds familiar. Am I remembering correctly?

I'd love to hear more about your discussions with the USMC HQ's about incorporating parents of single Marines into the Family Readiness programs. I've got quite a few suggestions and ideas on that subject and have been working on how to best present this. I agree that the need is important and needs to be addressed.

Sadly, this problem is consistently found within the Wounded Warrior programs in the USMC. There are many single Marines with PTSD/TBI that have no family support whatsoever because their is no involvement with the parents. Brig Gen Sutton touched on the fact that she didn't realize that parents of PTSD/TBI patients weren't getting the same treatment as those that suffer from physical injuries. I wonder if she realizes that there are some parents that have NO idea what is being done for their children. I'd like to see this changed asap.

Re: Webcast with Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton

Thank you for contacting me!
Back in early 2006 my sons BN CO and I started an unofficial Parents Network (PN). The benfits and rewards of this program was not only huge for parents but most importantly, very beneficial for our Marines and Sailors. In early 2007 I began communicating with General Conway. He realized the need to incorporate families of our single Marines and Sailors into the USMC FRP. Gen Conway wanted to see how we could come up with a good plan that could possibly be implemented USMC wide.
He then hooked me up with LtGen Stalder the CG of IIMEF at that time, we did several OPTS until 2008. At this time the new structure of the FRP DOES includes parents and extended family members, “IF” and only IF, your Marine or Sailors gave your contact information and signed the MCT (Mass Communication Tool) form.
If you were added you should receiving updates by the Command element via the FRO. The MCT sends messages (only general information) on your cell phone, home phone or emails you; it depends on what information your son supplied on the form.
New orders on the FRP will come out in October. I still am assisting USMC HQ’s and working with IIMEF and MARFORPAC on providing the details for a Best Practice to be included in the orders. I don’t want any parent to go through what I did on my son’s first 2 deployments. My son enlisted in 2003, went to Afghanistan in 2004 and Iraq in 2005 and back to Iraq in 2006-2007.
Id parents are educated they will have less fear, if they are supported that will result in having their Marine or sailors focused 100% on their missions and jobs, not worrying about mom or dad back home. That’s the end result we want and need for our Marines and Sailors.
No I was not at that the MPU’s conference. Unfortunately, I kind of do it all myself , boy do I need all the help I can get. So I don’t get out and about often at all. I do know Bob Culvert (hope I didn’t MS his name) though, we spoke over a year ago I think… He wanted me to go on his show and I would have loved to! But I don’t have such time available to me.
Please feel free to email me via my website if you wish. God Bless your Marine!!! Tell him I give him such thanks for what he has done for our country! ALL our military acually needs this detailed program. I tired to contact Mrs Obama when I heard her platform was to be military families. I received no response.
Hugs and Semper Fi
Patty Lewis
Founder/ President

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