Wisconsin has a “green alert” for at-risk veterans who may pose a threat to themselves and its a terrible implementation of a well-intentioned idea. It’s like an Amber alert, but for veterans who might hurt themselves. Wisconsin shows the veteran’s picture, license plate, weapon status and whether they have been diagnosed with PTSD on the news, mobile phones and highway signs as an emergency.
My “You Didn’t Think This Through” concerns are 3-fold:
1) An American’s right to privacy.
2) Competence of someone claiming that the Veteran may be a threat to self or others. Who is qualifying these alerts?
3) The training of the first responder to handle a crisis-with-weapon situation.
The best case scenario for all 3 concerns is an absolute disaster. That’s before the governor has to eventually apologize and admit there’s “room to improve.” By that point, it’s too late for someone.
In light of the cluster Wisconsin has implemented here, I recommend a mobile network of veterans and their families to receive notifications of one of their brothers whom is in a struggle, within 5, 10, 15 or 25 mile range.
No one understands what it’s like to come back more than someone who already came back and had to adjust on their own. Our men and women don’t deserve to do that alone. With a mobile network, Veterans could be on scene, talking one of ours down, identifying and bridging the crisis to “Its going to be okay, you’re not alone” before someone with a badge and an itchy trigger finger arrives to make matters worse.
Wisconsin: your intentions are good but your implementation is a nightmare. Yes, our veterans are at risk but they are not a hazard to society. They are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. They deserve our every effort, not to be broadcast as a potential criminal.