A letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Good morning. I'm reaching out to you due to both the recent House Appropriations Committee hearing on Navy and Marine Corps Installations and Quality of Life, as well as the unacceptably substantial rise in suicidal behaviors and acts of those I work with and for in the United States Navy. Though I personally am in a better place (due in part to paygrade, but also due to my current assignment), my heart goes out to those that are struggling. Be it through terrible and/or toxic leadership only looking out for their own well-being, or through what can only be described as poverty-level living conditions, something has to change.
I'm 37 years old as I type up this message. Of those, 18 have been spent in the employ of the US Navy; you could almost say I've known no other life beyond the uniformed service. That being said, the words that came out of the MCPON's mouth are absolutely unacceptable... abhorrent, even. Between the MCPON and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, it speaks volumes to just how disconnected senior leadership is from the true lifeblood of the service—of ANY service—its junior enlisted.
Over the 18 years I've been enlisted, I've worked with an incredibly diverse group of people. Many of them just want to do their best to contribute to the mission of their respective commands and the Navy at large, though I'd be remiss to not acknowledge that there are bad eggs, just as in any other walk of life. Regardless of how subpar anyone's service is, nobody deserves this kind of treatment (or lack thereof). With the billions of dollars that the government spends on things like supporting foreign wars and various other initiatives, we need to eventually return our focus to our own people. To those that make the sacrifice of enlisting in the different branches of the military.
I humbly ask you to take some kind of action to see to it that these events aren't just talked about during a single symposium and then swept under the rug. We need a major reset in the current way we attack things. We need to hold people accountable for their actions. We are in desperate need of positive change for those that serve.
I thank you for your time and consideration, and I am standing by for any questions or concerns you may have.
Best regards, and very respectfully,
ITC(IW/SW) Terrance H. Shaw
Proud native Alaskan and US Navy Sailor

Whether or not this will actually affect any meaningful change... welp... I can only hope.