David Fagin

 

This is a letter in response to David Fagin who write the article Becoming A Racist: The Unfortunate Side Effect Of Serving Your Country?

 

David, I am a medically retired combat veteran of the United States Army. I am a Musician, and an Author. I wrote a book called A Warrior’s Garden that is based on using alternative methods of Self-therapy for PTSD. I just graduated from Lipscomb University with a Bachelors in Science for Psychology and have been accepted in the Counseling master’s program. I have been called by some people an expert in PTSD. Whether I believe that I am an expert in it is another story. I was retired for PTSD, mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury), hearing loss and arthritis in my head shoulders knees and toes. I recently read your article “Becoming A Racist: The unfortunate Side Effect Of Serving Your Country.”

 

David, David, David. I don’t know you personally and honestly after reading your article I could care less if we ever meet. But the spin you are putting on being a combat veteran radicalizing you into being a racist is a disgusting claim. We as veterans are in generally so far removed from even seeing race that your claim is ludicrous. To even use the sentence in your article which had no place other than to be an eye catching peace of trash is ridiculous.

“By now, we’re all familiar with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and even with proper treatment, the debilitating state it can leave a returning soldier in, sometimes for the rest of their lives.”

 

How is that even relevant to the discussion you are having? Are you trying to say that having PTSD makes you a racist or is the cause of you being radicalized? This is normally where I would make the comment that you are better than this. But I don’t know you well enough to make that assumption.  The security that was there that you called radicalized was provided by organizations such as the III%’s and other local militia groups. These groups aren’t racist. They are groups of veterans that are trying to continue being a part of something bigger than themselves and provide a service to their communities. Don’t get me wrong, I know that we have racist individuals in the military and in the veteran community just like everywhere else. However, it’s so much smaller of a number via population that it’s almost extinct.

 

I myself am a white male. I was an EO NCO (Equal Opportunity Non-commissioned Officer)  Part of my job was to assist in providing diversity training and helping my command team assess the climate in our unit. I pushed to get this job for years until it was finally given to me. And I excelled at it. For seventeen years I stood shoulder to shoulder with my fellow Soldiers and even spent a total of 28 months in Iraq fighting, bleeding, and supporting every one of every race so that a uneducated internet troll who has a blog with the huffpost can write as slanted peace of trash news calling all veterans racist because a group of individuals in Charlottesville took back up their oath and tried to keep the peace while people of opposing views gathered in public.

 

Where racists and racist organizations present at the rally in Virginia? Yes. Are all people who serve their nation “radicalized” simply because they serve? No. Is inserting a one sentence blurb about PTSD even remotely relevant to your story? No. All it does is increase stigma on an already misunderstood condition. You literally linked Racism to PTSD and military service with absolutely nothing more than your opinion and the actions of your Uncle who was a police officer which his situation doesn’t even relate. You want to blame President Trump for the poor treatment of our PTSD and our Veterans but apparently ignore the lack of treatment or care that happened under both Bush and Obama. Let’s also not ignore the fact that the 2012 NDAA  (signed by then President Obama) listed veterans and Evangelical Christians on the Terrorist watch list.

 

I would offer you this advice. Write more without your emotions attached to it and more of your intellect. Nothing you write had even a remote amount of proof or verifiable evidence. Writing about your family and making irrational assumptions on PTSD of which you obviously know nothing about is a waste of time and makes you look ridiculous.

 

Ralph Malachias Gaskin, Retired Combat Veteran

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