One of the things that was addressed is the lack of preparation for service members as they discharge into the civilian life. The proposal now is for an intensive eight-day seminar or possibly longer based upon pilot programs . You'd do it your last week in and you'd learn about health care and GI benefits including the education bill and job training and so much more.
US House Rep Bob Filner disagrees. He thinks it's going to float right over their heads. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta agreed and noted that when it was hist time to discharge, he just wanted to get out of there (the hell out of there, was what he said).
So what Bob Filner wants is for the last ten or twelve weeks to be a boot camp on prepping for the civilian world. That way things are reviewed and discussed and they know what's out there in terms of employment and health and other resources. And it's not the last week so they're not thinking, the whole time, I-want-out-of-here-I-want-out-of-here.
It'll never be perfect because you never really know what you need until you need it. But the boot camp would allow for the service members to get more than a quick glance at the world awaiting them.
But take an issue like suicide. The hope is that a boot camp going out would be like a boot camp coming in and prepare you to handle what's coming up. So, in the case of suicide, they would talk about the importance of asking for help, the resources out there and more.
I think he's right and I'm bothered by the fact that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki appears to believe it's 'progress' that they're about to start pilot programs.
For more on the hearing, here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"