"In order to change a life, you must change the law." - Dr. Dwight Stirling
Building Better Lives by Closing the Civil-Military Gap
Dr. Dwight Stirling and his team at the Center for Law and Military Policy have created the Brothers in Arms Initiative to address the lack of connection between service members and society at large.
“To care for him who shall have borne the battle.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1865
The United States loses more than 8,000 of those who “have borne the battle” to suicide each year. On the rise since 2006, we are now at a terrifying epidemic level. Indeed, 22 veterans kill themselves every day, or one every 65 minutes.
Suicide is also rising among the active duty ranks of our nation’s warriors. In 2018, 12 service members died in combat. By contrast, 300 service members committed suicide. The Marine Corps has the highest rate of suicide among the branches, while the Army is second.
The question is – why is this happening?
We believe that the civil-military gap, which is the lack of connection between society at large and military personnel, is to blame. According to researchers from Yale and the VA, “the primary enemy most veterans face after service is not war-related trauma but loneliness.”
While PTSD garners most of the attention, it ranks behind loneliness as a risk factor for veterans. Loneliness leads to emotional and physical isolation, which leads to depression and desperation, which leads to suicide.
The mission of the Brothers in Arms Initiative (BIAI) is to close the civil-military gap. With only 1% of the American population serving in uniform, the disconnect between military personnel and society is large and getting larger. Studies have found that the lack of connection between service members and the civilian community during service contributes to the inability of veterans to adjust back to civilian life after service.
The goal of the BIAI is to bring attention to the lack of connection between service members and the civilian community and then to identify concrete ways to end the isolation. The fundamental premise is that if service members never lose touch with civil society while in service, re-integration into society will be significantly easier when they leave the military.
In partnership with businesses, unions, and community leaders, the BIAI is creating a blueprint for closing the civil-military gap once and for all. By closing the gap, the BIAI will help remove the roadblocks that destabilize many veterans’ post-military lives, including feelings of isolation, anxiety, and despair.
Premium logo placement on BIAI website, framed certificate of recognition, complementary photo, engraved trophy, full page ad in quarterly newsletter
Premium logo placement on BIAI website, framed certificate of recognition, complementary photo, engraved trophy, half page ad in quarterly newsletter
Premium logo placement on BIAI website, framed certificate of recognition, complementary photo, engraved trophy, quarter page ad in quarterly newsletter
Logo on BIAI website, framed certificate of recognition, complementary photo, engraved trophy, quarter page ad in quarterly newsletter
Recognition in quarterly newsletter, framed certificate of recognition