"We" lost another fairly well-known veteran Saturday to their own hand, apparently. I heard of it on a call Tuesday from two high-profile military veteran leaders who both knew the man personally. And it's a damn shame.
The demons got him, and my gut is that big pharma was likely feeding those demon wolves in one way, or many.
The status quo continues killing.
It nearly got me, too, in 2017-2019 timeframe. With Wife. Kids. Parents. Siblings. The pharmaceuticals perpetuated my mindf<#!. Is that happening to someone you know today? Is it you?
The pain doesn't stop when a veteran commits suicide, it's simply transferred to the family/friends, to the spouse and kids.
This is a leadership failure, in a fight that the bureaucracy doesn't want to end. There's no "profit" in stopping it.
I'm not getting very deep into my explicit history on that today, but just know my personal experience, and what I've learned about the economy, the corportacracy, and the government over the past two years is the genesis of this discussion.
So, shall we?
Read on for 14 minutes, or listen here at accelerated speed. This is the 7th Edition of the KnowledgeBombs for Military Transition series, and the first of the "Life" Pillars (Health | Self | Wealth) being addressed through early May. It's Thursday in the Far East, so I'm releasing a day early in the West this week.
Let's open with a question I received during a virtual mentoring session 3 years ago, with a young officer not in my organization or chain of command (amazing how open we'll be outside of the rank and file structure):
"How does medical work?" - Ensign (2nd Lieutenant equivalent), 3/4 of the way through a training pipeline, circa 2019.
The Health Landscape
It took me way too long to realize that the medical system is an asset to utilize to its fullest extent after getting broken, or having health taken, in one aspect or another through five deployments and on grueling staff assignments ashore.
Medical is not something to avoid.
Allowing ailments to accumulate and waiting until your last year of service to document whatever it is that's ailing you isn't putting yourself in the best possible position to live life to its fullest. That approach is dumb.
I suffered with sleep apnea leading to chronic fatigue and severe anxiety for almost a decade, perhaps longer, but I didn’t know it.
Life….it suffered, needlessly.
And that sucked.
Don’t do that.
Instead of conducting your Physical Health Assessment every six months in preparation to go out and crush the physical fitness test (‘cause you’re a badass), know how the medical system works and make damn good use of it throughout your military career. That will set you up for continuing to use it smartly throughout your life.
And, ensure your people (that includes your family, too) are doing the same.
There’s no money to “save the government” in medical care expenses early in your career. If you’re worried about the government’s dollar, save it from spending money on you later after allowing ailments to severely hinder your body over years, or decades, until you’re broken and miserable.
Your older self, and the people who must put up with you, will thank you for not doing that.
Utilization of the Defense Health Agency (DHA) on AD
"Defense Health Agency - that's an oxymoron if there ever was one.
Words Still Matter
For this ride on the Liberator Bomber:
1)the state of being free from illness or injury;
2) a person’s mental and/or physical condition;
3) the condition of being sound in body, mind, and spirit; freedom from pain
Health and Medical are NOT the same thing (words matter):
1) relating to the science of medicine, or to the treatment of illness and injuries;
2) requiring medicinal treatment
to restore health;
3) reaction to, or treatment for,
poor health condition(s)
An ounce of Health prevention is worth a pound of Medicine cure.
The miltiary doesn't do wholistic health. It does medicine, and Big Pharma and Big Corporate Medicine is a BIG piece of that pie.
Yes, the physical fitness aspect of Health is reinforced and encouraged with some fairly good gym facilities, but there's much more to Whole Health & Wellness than the billions spent on gyms.
Here’s the real skinny on how to best use the bureaucratic medical systems to your advantage. Draw a process map for yourself as you read through the following paragraphs (You don’t expect this to be fed to you on a silver spoon, do ya?). And beware the pharmaceuticals.
An entry point for most (non-emergency, non-dental, non-optometry) ailments is your primary care physician (PCP).
This is the “doc,” enlisted or officer, on the ship or assigned to your operational unit, or at the base medical treatment facility if already in your first ashore staff assignment. Any treatment you need, aside from dental and optometry, or emergency, goes through this primary care physician.
If an emergency, for goodness sake, go to the ER or Urgent Care facility.
Don’t call me!
Get to know your PCP very well. They’re a very important part of your Mission, at every duty station and on every operational mission you’re assigned to.
Your doc will cure what ails you initially with Motrin and ice and send you back to your department. But you can’t let it stop there. A “yin and yang” exists, necessarily, that prevents unscrupulous service members from gaming the medical system too much, but that’s not you (is it?), so there shouldn’t be any problem.
If you believe you need a specialist, expect at least two, and perhaps three, visits to your primary care physician before a referral is issued to visit a specialist. No need to hate...just play their game and get your referral by clearing the hurdles the system puts in the way.
A referral to specialty care is not the end of the world...it’s your access to the care you require to maintain peak physical and mental condition, so use it. Your physical and mental well-being directly ties to your emotional states.
Limited Duty (LIMDU)
That junior officer's next question was, "What about limited duty chits and “showing your cards?”
There’s little reason to be concerned with LIMDU. If you get two LIMDU chits within a year’s time frame in an operational assignment, you could be entering a danger zone for not being medically qualified for service. But your PCP, specialists, and the nurses will likely warn you before entering that status.
The point here is: ASK! Ask if a certain diagnosis can push you toward a medboard, or whether or not a LIMDU chit is being issued; you don’t have to take a chit. They’ve asked me if I wanted a chit before, and I usually turn them down. Unless it’s something that’s keeping me from performing a PFA cycle, I’d usually choose not to get a chit, and remain FMC for my unit, and for service.
It’s your Health. It’s your choice to care about it. Own both. That’s your responsibility.
Once you’ve received the referral, “two sources” for specialty care are usually available, depending on geographic location and proximity to both: the base medical facility or “out in town.”
For the base specialty referrals, the treatment should be documented in your medical record automatically. Trust, but verify by pulling that record to confirm a few weeks after the treatment. For the “private” provider out in the economy, it’s on you to capture the care provided and ensure any documentation makes it into your official government medical records.
Going “out in town” typically isn’t easy, either. You’ll have to call the appointments line after the referral is issued within a few days to set up the specialty appointment, and then call the provider directly to schedule the visit. As you work your way through the bureaucracy, take scrupulous notes, with names, locations (addresses), doctors, and front office staff contact information, and DATES/TIMES!!! Document it all so you can streamline your follow-ups with them.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Also document these interactions for that inevitable Veteran's Affairs claim...like everything else in government work, it requires substantial documentation in your medical record...and that's completely your responsibility, and noone else's.
It's Your Health - So Own It
Get familiar with the online systems...it really makes the process much easier (excluding hyperlinks because they change often, so just "Google" for them):
MyHealtheVet for managing your Whole Health from now through your inevitable veteran status
Humana Military Beneficiary Self-Service
Tricare Online Patient Portal
Your local MTF’s online access portal
Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA)
Electronic Health Record (EHR)
Pre-AHLTA (Hard Copy record, as applicable)
There's no need to blame our government medical system when it doesn’t claim to have a record of your care. It’s your responsibility, not “the systems.” And no, the information systems between private providers and DOD don’t talk to one another, and you shouldn’t expect them to during this century. It's also not the bureaucracies fault for denying you services. That falls squarely on your shoulders.
When I say ensure ailments and occurrances make it into the record, I’m not saying hand the only papers you received to your doc, and that he’ll take care of it for you. No, that’s not how winners operate.
What I’m saying is take your paperwork to the medical records desk (AHLTA input location) at the MTF, and have the admin clerk who’s sitting there waiting on you to show up to upload them directly into the AHLTA system, or other government medical records system, for you.
For afloat or “field operations” care, recommend doing the same either during the operational tour, or immediately after transferring (taking documentation from the ship [or land-based equivalent] to your follow-on shore assignment with an MTF available).
After submitting the documentation, request a disk copy so you can file that away in your safe at home. Now that particular healthcare event (transaction/treatment) of yours is fully documented, and you’ve got a copy for yourself; proof that you had the ailment. That’s important during the Transition Battle™!
As a side note, financial freedom beyond the uniform is also tied to your Health position before your one and only Liberty Event™ (big “L” Liberty), when you finally shed the rank and jump off the tank, ship, or plane.
You're overcoming all you’ve likely been led to believe about Health is the first and highly necessary step in achieving your Liberty...and Freedom once you return to society after military service...and that day is very likely to arrive sooner than you might believe.
Instead of simply checking the block at each annual physical health assessment, why not use the PHA requirement as a compass check with your life-long goals using an individual WHOLE Health assessment? You're invited to use this tool:
Veteran's Affairs Whole Health Assessment Card (why this wan't issued at indoctrination training, I've got no idea).
In the Liberty Pride community, I identify the Mission ahead through something I call the OPREP Series. In the first edition there, the inevitable Mission is discussed at length, and it leads straight into Your Transition Battle™. I learned of Jason Redman's book Overcome recently, and his phrase "Get off the X." We all leave uniformed service; it’s inevitable. It’s guaranteed, as sure as taxes, death, and your one and only dash “–” through this life.
So get off that X on your Transition Mission. Otherwise, you're just on an assembly line being moved toward the ambush. That's why today's picture is an assembly line of Liberator Bombers...you can stay on the assembly line in military medical and uniformed service, or you can get off the X.
We’re building out virtual Liberty Power Teams to provide you and your family with a safe haven of peers, seniors, and subordinates to discuss issues in Health that you likely won’t bring up in your command environment.
We’re going to ensure you utilize medical to its max potential, get the real skinny on medical services, and not be surprised when you separate, or “retire,” that the government offerings in place may not be the best for you as an individual, but were touted as the best for the collective group.
I know from personal experience, because I didn’t have a guide through my military service time as it pertains to Whole Health and Wellness and the medical system that can support it, if you know how to make it. There's no need for you to spend your time learning the hard way, either, having luck get you to where I am now.
The life you’re meant to live is through those you’re meant to serve. The opportunity is made available to you only through your intentional Health-building early on in military service, from the day you get that head shaved until it's over, and the new life begins.
Here’s what you can do now as you prepare to control and manage your Whole Health & Wellness...and through it your future Freedom...and Liberty.
Spend time and figure out your Health landscape, based on the elements you identified that matter to you. How does your Health support the other pillars discussed so far in the KnowledgeBombs for Military Transition, and the relationships you’re building for the future?
I provide an exercise in the "OPREP Series" released every federal holiday weekend from Martin Luther King Jr. holiday through Veteran's Day. This planning structure is included with the $10 membership in the Liberty Pride tier (with Liberty Planning Teams) on the Patreon.
I invite you to consider it and join, if not quite ready to become a Liberty Lion with indivual access to me personally.
It’s your life….and you’ll be free to live it once you understand your healthcare and the medical systems in place to help you sustain peak, Whole Health and Wellness.
Your health is a major consideration and impacts every other aspect of your life.
Don’t neglect Whole Health & Wellness.
Get into the mindset of refusing to let others dictate what you can and can’t control about your Health. You have complete control over this while wearing the uniform, so don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Get control with your Liberty Power Team here.
At a minimum, consider signing up for the Newsletter List on Substack in the case that the censorship sheriffs of Social Media decide to silence dissent, so you'll be sure to stay connected with me and my content! This platform's newsletter tool isn't conducive to reaching out directly in masse. I send the same newsletter out via email there weekly, and historical posts reside there for your viewing pleasure of the previous knowledge bombs that will blow your mind.
To Your Liberty,
It happened again...22/day isn't going away. This week's KnowledgeBomb Edition is flying a day early for multiple reasons, but it's Thursday in the Far East, so they get it on schedule! A link for joining the list off of this platform is available, too, as it seems the social censor sheriffs are becoming more active. Invite you to sign up there (link in Conclusion) as a backup to staying connected with this content in case I get a bomb sent my way on this platform. What do you know about the military medical system that I missed or didn't discuss? I'm not claiming expertise in this arena, but I've figured out what not to do. Have you? To Your Liberty, 🗽 Paul Jason Moni Robert Adam Albert Justin Annie Monica Jason Jason hashtag#transitioningmilitary and hashtag#militarytransion, the hashtag#military doesn't transition, servicemembers and hashtag#militaryspouses do. Plan for it.
It begins with what we're eating, and how we're going about the regular day to day.
Gotta get back to the basics.
Medicine is reactionary.
Proactively attacking the threats will win this War.