As the United States gears up for even more military interventions, we hope to strengthen our work on behalf of active duty GIs who can’t obtain the medical and mental health services that they need within the military.
Our request in brief:
Please consider supporting our work. You may make a tax-deductible donation by clicking on the Donate button below.
If you prefer, you can send a check to us at PO Box 51822, Albuquerque, NM 87181. (If you do send a check, please make your check payable to the Allende Program in Social Medicine, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Please indicate in the note section of your check that the contribution is for the Civilian Medical Resources Network.)
Donations (including sustaining donations from a number of us who provide services) help us hire veterans and family members of veterans to do outreach and to coordinate services for active duty GIs. Our current coordinator comes from a military family and is the partner of an Iraq veteran; they live adjacent to Fort Hood, Texas. They and many of us professionals who are volunteering collaborate actively with About Face (formerly) Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and other organizations working for peace.
Since 2005, CMRN has offered medical and mental health services for active duty GIs – one of very few non-military organizations to do so. We pursue this work because military health and mental health services often remain inaccessible or unresponsive to service members’ needs. Our work has proven helpful and sometimes even life-saving for those who feel they have nowhere else to turn. We are staffed with health care professionals working as volunteers who provide assistance to these service members free of charge. About one-third of our clients are Absent Without Leave (AWOL), so they are not eligible for any military health services or insurance benefits.
As our country’s endless wars continue, the epidemic of physical and mental health problems and suicides among our active duty service members and veterans continues to increase. The ending or phasing out of combat in certain regions, without the achievement of any meaningful military goals, is contributing to soldiers’ perception that the suffering they have experienced and have inflicted on others has been futile. They have no meaningful narrative by which to explain their own and others’ suffering. For these and other reasons, we believe the need for civilian-sector services will continue to grow.
Because we have been able to help GIs with such grave problems, we continue to find our work very gratifying. By offering a different outlook for underserved GIs, we see our work as a step toward peace with justice.
Here is our most recent fundraising letter, which contains more details about our work and how funds are used.