Health professionals get taste of military life

By Sgt. Cody Cooper, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Medical professionals observe as Kentucky National Guardsmen demonstrate how to clear a building as part of Operation Immersion at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, May 10, 2016, Greenville Ky. Operation Immersion offers participants the opportunity to experience the stresses that Soldiers encounter during basic training, mobilization, deployment, and demobilization. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Cody Cooper)

Medical professionals observe as Kentucky National Guardsmen demonstrate how to clear a building as part of Operation Immersion at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, May 10, 2016, Greenville Ky. Operation Immersion offers participants the opportunity to experience the stresses that Soldiers encounter during basic training, mobilization, deployment, and demobilization. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Cody Cooper)

GREENVILLE, Ky. – Civilian mental health professionals participated in Operation Immersion at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, May 9-13, 2016. The exercise offered participants the opportunity to experience the stresses that Soldiers encounter during basic training, mobilization, deployment, and demobilization.

The four-day event required participants to abandon their comforts by way of conducting intense pre-sunrise physical fitness training, consuming Meals Ready to Eat, and executing mock combat missions, thus allowing them a real-world view of the deployment process for a Kentucky National Guard Soldier.

For Operation Immersion alumni Wanda Beckley, a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor at Jessamine DUI and Substance Abuse Program, this was another opportunity for her to experience the exercise.

“This is my fourth time attending Operation Immersion,” said Beckley.

Beckley realizes the importance of Operation Immersion and values her chance at helping service members reintegrate.

“This program helps me realize how much our service members sacrifice and how important it is to take care of them when they come home.”

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Participants had the opportunity to listen and converse with veterans who had deployed, to include others who told personal stories of attempted suicide and how they were able to overcome it.

“It is important for mental health professionals to understand and have common ground for those who have served to protect us.”

“Operation Immersion is a great chance for social servers to learn more about and understand how Soldiers operate,” said Judge Timothy Feeley, a retired Army Veteran and the Deputy Secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

 

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