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The 4 Letters Employers Must Forget When Hiring Veterans: PTSD
Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.
As I approach organizations for staffing needs, I hear chronic concerns from hiring managers over candidates with the mysterious “PTSD,” to which I quickly try to put their minds at ease. If you are nervous about hiring someone with PTSD, then you should be nervous about candidates with depression, anxiety issues, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, and more; and at that point, you have just eliminated one in five Americans as candidates.
Employers must remember to not give into the myths surrounding veterans with PTSD. The common stereotypes associated with PTSD make service members fearful of being associated with weakness or lack of employment. By halting your veteran hiring initiatives out of fear of this disorder, you are directly amplifying the reintegration issues we continue to face in this nation. Show your support as a company versus being a roadblock.
As a company, before you consider not hiring veterans because of concerns about PTSD, ask yourself why you want to hire veterans? It should not be for the tax break, to increase your business, or simply because you feel sorry for them. I can assure you that vets do not want to be treated like charity; they want to be given opportunities because they are the right people for the job. It is not your concern to ask them about the combat experiences simply because they served. Being cautious of “strange” personality traits in the hiring process is legitimate, but making presumptions about an individual because of his or her military background, is another.
Remember that PTSD can affect anyone who experiences a life-changing event, and also those who witness it, and deal with the ramifications later. As documented by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, PTSD can impact the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma, increasing the chances of hiring someone who had experience PTSD at some point in a lifetime even greater than you suspect.
PTSD can be caused by natural disasters, rapes, kidnappings, assault, sexual or physical abuse, childhood neglect, car or plane crashes, terrorist attacks, sudden deaths of a loved one, and of course, war. An employer’s ability to truly rule out PTSD in a veteran candidate, without the individual being scrutinized with a psychological evaluation, is unlikely. While the Department of Veterans Affairs notes that the rate of PTSD in those returning from combat is greater than the general population, it is by no means the only population afflicted by the disorder. As a hiring manager seeking to bring on veterans with your company, here are some steps you can take to overcome the stigmas associated with PTSD:
- If you are using a direct service for hiring veterans, address your concerns with them. If you are using someone like me to staff your company, you can feel free to bring up those concerns to avoid making judgment calls on your own.
- Steer clear of generalizations about what a veteran may have experienced. Making assumptions about your candidates will not show your support, but rather alienate them.
- Have your company sponsor or donate to organizations that specifically help with PTSD treatment and reintegration.
- Educate yourself on what PTSD really is and take the time to educate your staff on how to support those who are already hired.
- If your organization is large enough to support “wellness” overall, then it should support physical well being through exercise, diet, and overall stress management programs. Adapting this to encompass more facets of stress management should not be a stretch.
Yes, PTSD is very real, but as a company leader or hiring manager, you personally do not need to be concerned about a PTSD diagnosis during the hiring process. Would you be fearful of hiring me into your organization just by looking at my profile? You might assume I have fewer “issues” than the young Army infantryman who deployed. Don’t stereotype and don’t overthink what you don’t know --- you only make success for your company more difficult.
Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."
"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.
"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."
Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.
Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.
No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.
With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.
Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.
And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.
But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.
As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.
The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.
That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.
The Justice Department has accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of illegally using campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with five women.
Hunter, who fought in the Iraq War as a Marine artillery officer, and his wife Margaret were indicated by a federal jury on Aug. 21, 2018 for allegedly using up to $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses involved with his affairs, ranging from a $1,008 hotel bill to $7 for a Sam Adams beer.