An important update on Jeff Hanks

Jan 12, 2011

Jeff's deployment date was postponed.  Now we know why.

Overwhelmed by the pressure and anxiety of his pending deployment that night, Jeff had a mental break-down on Sunday afternoon.  He is now receiving care at a civilian mental health facility where he will be for at least the next ten days. The Hanks' are feeling more optimistic about Jeff's care now that he is out of the Army's reach and getting in-patient treatment by civilians.

We are relieved that Jeff was not deployed given the state of his mental health.

But we are outraged that it had to go this far.

Let us be clear - the U.S. Army command at Fort Campbell, specifically Captain Jason Ambrosino, pushed this soldier to the brink.  And they need to be held accountable. 

We know that your emails to Cpt. Ambrosino are having an effect.  To date his inbox has been flooded with over 2,400 messages, letting him know that people from around the country are monitoring his actions closely. (After about the 1500th email, it appears that he has set up an auto-reply message referring people to the Public Affairs Office at Fort Campbell.)  He also is required to respond within 15 days to the Article 138 redress request we submitted charging him with various violations of Jeff's rights.

Presently, Army officials at Fort Campbell are remaining quiet about what Jeff could face when he returns from the hospital.  They could choose to punish him for going AWOL back in October.  They could try to discharge him without any benefits.  They even could set a new deployment date.

We are preparing to increase the pressure should Jeff's commanders take such negative action, but first we need to give Jeff and his family a little space and time for Jeff to get the care that he needs. 

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  We will keep you informed as soon as there are new ways to take action.

Jeff is one of thousands of soldiers right now who are being forced into combat despite suffering from serious mental health problems.  The Army is denying treatment to soldiers in Jeff's situation every single day.  That is what the Operation Recovery campaign aims to stop.  Over the next few months, we will be sending outreach teams to military bases with high rates of suicide, letting GIs know that they have the right to heal and holding those accountable who are denying that right.

Your support is what makes this work possible.

Thank you,

The Operation Recovery Campaign Team