Aug. 18,2021 –
Since that tragic September day nearly 20 years ago, the Utah National Guard has sent thousands of dedicated service members to ensure that we would never experience another 9/11. You, your families, and your employers have made significant sacrifices to answer the call to serve our Nation at a tumultuous time in our history. You emerged a beacon of hope and strength for all Americans and our honorable service to our Nation and State will forever be remembered. Although we would have preferred a different outcome, we would like to focus on the fact that the primary mission of the U.S. Armed Forces engaging in the Global War on Terror has been to keep America safe, preserve our way of life, and prevent another terrorist attack on our soil. We have been successful in that mission and faithful in that duty.
If you are like us, you may be going through a roller coaster of emotions as you have watched the news reports over the past few days coming from Afghanistan. Whether you served in Afghanistan once, multiple times, in other countries, or any time post-9/11, the current situation may be greatly affecting you, and we share in your difficulty to process and reconcile our emotions over what we are witnessing. Just like we were there for each other during the past 20 years, we must be there for each other now. We ask you to talk about your experiences and what you are feeling with your teammates or any of the Utah National Guard/military/veteran resources that are available to you 24/7.
Our behavioral health team recommends the following advice:
1. Reach out to your wingman/battle buddy and support each other.
2. Engage in positive activities that are healthy, meaningful, and of service.
3. Limit media exposure if it triggers distress.
4. Avoid ineffective coping methods, such as excessive alcohol use.
5. Use the following resources for additional support:
Utah National Guard Psychological Health Program:
Caroline Searcy, ARNG Provider, 801-432-4579
Ken Francis, ARNG Provider, 801-432-4578
Annika Hunt, ANG Provider, 801-245-2210
Utah National Guard Chaplain Corps:
LTC Gene Whitmore, 801-432-4409
Vets 4 Warriors, non-profit Veteran support hotline: 855-838-8255, www.vets4warriors.com
Utah National Guard Safety App: download the Safe UTNG app to your mobile device
Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255
The United States of America remains the greatest country on earth due in no small part to service and sacrifices of each of you. It is our sincere belief that our greatest days lie ahead and that the U.S. Armed Forces will continue to play a pivotal role in achieving our national destiny. We are honored to have served with and to continue serving with you!
Michael J. Turley
The Adjutant General
Spencer D. Nielsen
Senior Enlisted Advisor