Letters to the Editor (February 2012)

The military’s loss

(Re: Armed Forces See Need for Social Workers, Jan. 2012)

Though I applaud the armed forces for the opportunities that they are offering newly graduated MSW’s, I am disappointed that those of us with years of experience have not been afforded the same opportunity to join the military.

In 2001 (when I was 48 years old), I applied to join the Army and Navy Medical Corps with the intention of working with soldiers in the field. I had 21 years of clinical experience with PTSD and other mental health and addiction issues. I had 15 years of clinical experience and requisite social work licenses and addiction certifications. My physical condition was such that I completed a half marathon, a mini-triathlon and hiked the Grand Canyon that year. However, neither the Army, Navy nor Air Force was willing to waive the age restriction so that I could serve.

I know that I am not alone in this experience. There were other social workers who were willing to leave their careers to serve IMMEDIATELY, without the necessity of further training or experience. What a loss for our armed forces and their families.

Carol B. Sisco, Ph.D., BCD,
Riva, Md.

Social work values

This letter is in response to Dr. Theriot’s letter to the editor (Jan. 2012) regarding the article on the impact of certain governmental policies on LGBT families. Dr. Theriot seems to suggest that we as social workers should be free to pick whatever moral platform we “embrace” and that the profession has no business taking a particular political position. What? Our profession has never hidden the fact that we have a particular set of values, which shape what political, moral, ethical stances we take as social workers.

We agree, when we join the profession, that we oppose any type of discrimination, which includes assigning one type of family to a marginalized status. This marginalization, by the way, is what hurts children, not having same-sex parents. Our profession asserts that it is not in the interest of human beings or our society to allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, along with all the other characteristics that are often used to oppress and marginalize. And we certainly don’t embrace inserting religiously based morality into policy, if it advocates limiting the civil rights of certain groups. That is surely immoral.

Jo Nol, Ph.D., LCSW,
West Simsbury, Conn.