Depressed Vet Attacked On Facebook

Ask Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband has long been out of the military. We finally started getting to the "normal" life again even with his depression after being discharged from the military.

Until today. Today, an airman who used to work with my husband decided to make a huge attack against my husband on Facebook.

I know it’s childish, but the subject could not be ignored. The airman bashed everything my husband had left of his military career. He also started an attack against me and made lies about how I feel about this country.

Messages were soaring, and some of these people were just awful. I asked the airman many times to take it down and it took about 60 comments for Facebook to get the job done.

What can I do about this? For years, we've worked so hard trying to get back to normal. We now have a beautiful baby who sometimes has to see her father upset. This airman deserves punishment for what he did, but I am not one for revenge. What can I do?

Sincerely,
Where’s The Justice?

Dear Justice,

Congratulations to you and your husband on your new baby! I know it’s been stressful for you both as he leaves a military career behind and embarks on a new journey. I say this because, honestly, I think this is where the focus has to remain -- on you and your family.

You are correct that your beautiful baby is witnessing a father who is upset. Research shows that children will naturally pick up the emotional cues from their caregivers. In other words, children can have symptoms of depression, anxiety, worry etc. all from their environmental stressors.

Well, let’s face the facts: You may never receive justice from the slander that was done on Facebook. Social networking has been instrumental in many ways that are beneficial. On the other hand, this valuable tool can be devastating too. Many times, posts get out of control as people comment and feed into the frenzy.

The airman who posted the slander wanted the attention from you, your husband and others. For this reason, I think you should take the high road and let it go.

If I were “getting out of hand,” my grandmother would say, “Vicki, let your enemies see you doing good because if you’re not, then you have given them exactly what they want.”

Yes, the airman certainly should pay for the damage he caused, but that may never happen. So, don’t wait around for it. I think you and your husband should disconnect from Facebook and don’t read anymore of the comments and don’t respond to his postings. Tell your family and friends not to respond, either. Let them know that you and your husband are moving on.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.

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