Thursday, May 07, 2009

A little help....

Despite the existence of General Order 1B (basically, the "Thou Shalt Nots" of Soldiers over here Down Range, one of which is, effectively, "Thou Shalt Not Drink Drunkenly (or Otherwise))," there are quite a surprising number of alcohol violations that occur over here.

I recently came to know a young man who's being chaptered out of the Army because of his alcohol violations of General Order 1B, and the anger issues consequent to imbibing spirits (to include chugging bottles of Nyquil). Evidently some 'professional' over here has branded him "antisocial" which another 'professional' -- via email -- told the young man's Commander meant the Army was really diagnosing him as a sociopath, but without using that designation.

Now I realize that I'm no psychiatrist -- nor would I want to be -- but after almost 30 years of meeting and getting to know newly-sober individuals, I'm not surprised to find out that this young man has behaved in a shockingly antisocial and very angry manner when drunk. When drunk!


But to jump to the conclusion that he's therefore a sociopath? Sheesh. I suspect the 'professional' doesn't know very much about alcoholism, or at least hasn't followed the recovery of very many alcoholics.


Anyway the young man has been coming to the AA meetings on post for the last month, and according to friends of mine who go to a lot of those meetings, has been brutally honest (quite an achievement for a drunk!) and working hard at staying sober. They (and I) feel very hopeful for him, if he continues to work the program. He almost has 30 days' sobriety at this point.

Because his Commander is now spooked that he's a sociopath, there's a push to remove him from here as soon as possible. His unit is scheduled to redeploy next month. He'd like to return home with them, if possible. This would give him the added benefit of being able to continue meetings over here where alcohol is much less easily come by than back home.

It looks as though that's not going to happen, however.

So, if anybody has any AA contacts at/near Ft. Drum, New York, if you'd be so kind as to let me know, I'd very much appreciate it. My hope would be to be able to hook him up with a temporary AA sponsor (perhaps even a Soldier?) who could essentially meet him as he got off the plane, and help him get situated in AA immediately upon his return home.

He's quite concerned (with good reason) that he'll go right back to drinking once he's back in a familiar environment, and suddenly without a job, lodging, etc., and having to deal with the shame of being chaptered out of the military.

It's my understanding that a number of recovering alcoholics take a look at this blog from time to time, so if anyone's able to help with some contact information, that would be a blessing to all concerned. cptdrfrtim (a t) g m a i l (dot) c o m (You can figure it out....)

Many thanks, in advance!

Easter blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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