Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

‘Don’t waste the pain’

That’s the advice of a friend of mine who is a chaplain for a law enforcement organization. She was responding to a note I had forwarded about the recent spate of  suicides and spousal abuse incidents at Fort Bragg. I think she is right. I’ve been wondering about how to implement her advice. My initial ...

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That's the advice of a friend of mine who is a chaplain for a law enforcement organization. She was responding to a note I had forwarded about the recent spate of  suicides and spousal abuse incidents at Fort Bragg.

I think she is right. I've been wondering about how to implement her advice. My initial thoughts:

--Understand it as best you can

That’s the advice of a friend of mine who is a chaplain for a law enforcement organization. She was responding to a note I had forwarded about the recent spate of  suicides and spousal abuse incidents at Fort Bragg.

I think she is right. I’ve been wondering about how to implement her advice. My initial thoughts:

–Understand it as best you can

–Understand the history behind it

–Tell the truth as best you can

–Turn the other cheek when flamed by people carrying the burden of traumatic experiences. Try to understand where they are coming from, and especially that counter-attacking is not the answer because they already feel vulnerable and so are attacking pre-emptively. Remember Jonathan Shay’s admonition: No pissing matches. 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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