When I received a letter from 2LT Liana Mayo last year after she completed some of the projects for the 96th, I did not fully understand the importance of what she was saying at the time. “As an OEF/OIF veteran from the 244th EN BN, 96th RRC, I was the NCOIC for one of the first Remember My Service projects. I had no idea how much of a therapeutic experience it would turn out to be for my team and I. I was blown away at how much it helped us process our experiences overseas. At the time I was grief stricken over losing two of our comrades to suicide. I felt that if when we returned they could have undergone this experience that I literally stumbled upon, that perhaps they would not have been lost.”
Just last week, a local psychiatrist (Dr. Nathan Currier) who has spent 17 years working with veterans and is considered an expert in PTSD related issues, not only verified what 2LT Mayo wrote, but added his very compelling comments: “This project has the potential not only to save a great many lives by the prevention of suicide, but to also improve the quality of the lives of our active duty and veteran soldiers…the RMS program is integral to the success of mental health initiatives in the US Military to help Service members process their collective and individual legacy, and permanently shape what they will remember of their service for the rest of their lives.”
We at RMS have always felt a sense of urgency to be the solution as Units struggle to figure out how to get their historical records organized, processed, duplicated, and ultimately shared; given the increasing messages from mental health professionals that it is critical to help troops process their experience from a factual, not emotional, context, we are more dedicated than ever.