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An Open Letter to Sarah Palin January 21, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Mrs. Palin,

I am a former US Marine and US Navy Officer with a Combat Action Ribbon as well as service connected disabilities. I am also a Republican.  I have also served with, and am friends with, dozens of combat veterans who suffer daily from various injuries and wounds to include PTSD.  I recently read your comments related to PTSD in which you attempted to excuse your son’s arrest on domestic abuse charges and firearm charges by referencing his supposed PTSD.   Based upon your previous comments I am not surprised that you would choose to use this very serious condition as a political football and, once again, attempt to divert blame from your own family’s abhorrent, violent behavior.

In 2014 your entire family was involved in a late night ‘drunken brawl’ at a party in which Track Palin (the accused domestic abuser) was involved in a bloody fight.  While you publicly stated how proud you were at your children’s violent actions, maybe this should have been a sign that Track has a problem.  It is certainly curious that you did not feel the need to reference his supposed PTSD in this situation and instead stated: “…my kids’ defense of family makes my heart soar!”  Maybe, instead of encouraging Track’s violence, you should have taken the opportunity to get him help.  Maybe, instead of being the result of PTSD, your son was simply trying to uphold the stated Palin family values and “…make your heart soar” by abusing a woman.

PTSD is stigmatized in the media and not well understood by the general public.  An estimated 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the United States.  This is nearly 8,000 veterans who take their lives every year.  Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) stated: “Every day in the United States, 22 veterans succumb to suicide — losing their personal battle to invisible wounds of war.”   Veterans who have willingly given so much in service to their country should not have to bear the burden of being further stigmatized by your ignorant and foolish statements.

While I do not propose to speak for all veterans, I am clearly not alone in my views regarding your unfortunate statements.  They were unfortunate for the many veterans who face further disdain and discrimination based upon your inaccurate and ignorant portrayal of those who suffer with PTSD as well as the causes of the condition.

While I would personally prefer that you simply avoid public life and simply fade away,  if you insist on trying to use your “celebrity status” for a cause, please educate yourself on the facts of PTSD and try to help veterans by using your significant influence in a more productive, and less political manner.  There are a number of veteran’s organizations to which you can donate time, money and energy to make a difference. Two organizations you may want to consider is the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation and the Recon & Sniper Foundation.


Chris Mark



1. Guy-Serge Hilaire - January 22, 2016

Well said soldier

Willie - January 23, 2016

Well stated, we are very fortunate to have veterans and civilians with your caliber of values. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. FROM ONE VETERAN TO ANOTHER.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you very much for the kind words!

Susan Macaulay - January 23, 2016

Thank you VERY MUCH for your well worded statement to the Palin’s. Those thoughts come from many Vets and other folks too but aren’t said enough! THANK YOU, AND ALL VETERANS, FOR YOUR SERVICE. FROM ANOTHER VETERAN.

Nancy Senor - January 23, 2016

We just had a 1.5 billion dollar Power ball that was won by 3 tickets. 1.5 billion!!!!! All contributed by the people of the U.S. of A. There definitely should be money for PTSD, disabled, Wounded Warriors, and death benefits. Why are we so backwards when it comes to our freedom. What can we do to make it better??? Unfortunately money is power and when you have it you hold the power no matter what comments are made.
I want to thank all the veterans and their families. Their sacrifice is enormous, powerful, and triumphant. Our country wouldn’t be here today were it not for them.

mike - February 2, 2016

you forgot the 150 billion that the great one give to iran and all the homes and welfare for the refugees that would have taking care of all the vets and are homeless

Oklahoma Girl - January 23, 2016

I agree. But given the fact that this woman hasn’t bothered to educate herself on the many topics she throws up in the air, don’t hold you breath on this one. I have family who suffer PTSD from Vietnam. While veterans are spoken of in a more positive manner at this time, I don’t see that much change in the actual treatment. We need to take better care of our veterans
and provide them all the support they are in need of. Thanks for your letter.

joodie - February 1, 2016

would it be nice for Chris to meet up with the Palin, have it discuss inperson and see how it goes. To place this issue on tube such one as this, I believe is plain coward. Am not against of what was stated but would it be better to settle this issue infront of the concerned. Tube become a tool to divide america…..!

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

She placed it in the public domain. I simply responded to her ignorant and insensitive public comments.

Joe Drager - February 1, 2016

He’s obviously about as much of a Republican as is John McCain.

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

OK…please explain..your comment was facile and ignorant…give more context and I will respond

jeff - February 1, 2016

Chris. Suck it up. It is hell then if you’re lucky you come back and move on. If you have your life say thanks. Take a look at some of your leaders who caused the pain. Recognize its people like Trump and Palin who honor our veterens. Remember our heroes that didn’t come back. Look at Mr. Rogers (ex navy seal)and (Captain Kangeroo). They and many others recover and regroup to change the world. Victims are those who have no recourse or were left by their buddy. Your actions in service and my actions in service are a moment in time. Time to vent your frustrations down range at the teal enemy. This present administration and the former ones that did not include patriots we see and hear today. Trump2016.

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

Wow…bro…get some help….read a book and try again….I can see why you support Trump…wow…..my brain hurts trying to dicifer you inane drivel….

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

What? That is so inane and illogical that I can’t even respond…Mr Rogers? Really? Learn to use”the Google” my friend….

doris - February 28, 2016

How can she be involved politically and still take care of a handicap child If in an office position

2. s dolan - January 22, 2016

Great and thoughtful post. Is she ever going away???

3. Candace - January 23, 2016

Thank you so much for sharing your personal thoughts in this matter! Know… That, I completely agree and couldn’t have said it better! I totally respect your diplomacy in reference to Palins outrageous remarks. I’m an average citizen, who also, suffers from PTSD not related to military service. Having developed this disorder, is not an excuse to overt bad behavior or commit crime! God Bless you!

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you Candace! Many people do not understand that PTSD is not unique to military members. Unfortunately, comments like Mrs. Palin’s just add to the stigma attached to the condition. Good luck!

Roxann Boylan - January 23, 2016

We Alaskan’s are not all like the Palins. I hope you don’t get a bad image of ALL os we Alaskans that do respect those that do truly have PTSD. But know that Alaska knows the Sarah Palin meaning of PTSD stands for (Palins Tragic Stupidity Disorder)
On behave of Alaska I will apologize for her ignorance in this incident and and for past and future behavior. Oh and the reason Track even ended up with a uniform on was to avoid jail time because he got caught cutting the brake lines of the school busses.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I love Alaska and have met fine people there! I don’t not believe she represents all alaskans

4. Savannah Francis - January 23, 2016

Very well written! Thank you for your service to this country as well!

5. Gilbert Keywehak - January 23, 2016

I am a AK Native U.S. Navy veteran decorated for a week-long 1967 Xmas mission to North Vietnam. I am embarrassed that Sarah Palin makes AK her home; AK should deport her to the Lower 48.

itheori - January 23, 2016

Thank you for your service Gil! But the Lower 48 must respectfully decline as we are attempting to help our great country raise it’s iq testing average. Perhaps, we can trade her to Canada for a discount on some of their delicious Maple Syrup.

In American Brotherhood,
Wendell Tucker.

Elan Lynes - January 23, 2016

Sorry but as a Canadian Hockey Mom we don’t want her either. I still remember the lipstick comment.

Jo - January 23, 2016

No No & NO – we don’t want her!!!!!

Rich Guggenheim - January 23, 2016

But we don’t want her either. You understand.

Kandace - January 23, 2016

She has a home in phoenix which she spends only 90 days at of the year to avoid qualifying for a pfd. Smh! I’m also from Alaska and I can’t stand her and her noise!

Chris - January 23, 2016

Why torture us down here? It’s bad enough we as a nation have to claim her as a citizen.

lisa - January 23, 2016

we don’t want her, either.

Daisy - January 23, 2016


Agnes Randall - January 23, 2016

We don’t want her down here. She needs to be put on an island without a boat

Barb Lynn - January 23, 2016

That’s the best idea yet!

6. Johnny - January 23, 2016

As you post on your political personal matter you need to do you. Let.et others worry about others

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016


Nathan - January 23, 2016

I think you got a response from Sarah P. herself!

7. Ernan - January 23, 2016

Nice, as a veteran with PTSd. Her comments were insulting, and slanderous to me and many other veterans.

8. Lezlie Kirkpatrick - January 23, 2016

Thank you sir. My beloved son is a resident of the VA domicilliary in Anchorage, recieving treatment for opiate abuse and PTSD. Mrs. Palins comments hurt and her fame terrifies. Your letter is reassuring and a comfort. Thank you for your service and compassion.

9. M Cessnun - January 23, 2016

Thank you for your thoughtful article. Alaska is my family’s home and we are truly sorry that Palin claims it as her state also. Her ego and ignorance are appalling!

10. katagramstudios - January 23, 2016

Chris, first of all, let me Thank you for your service to our Country, because of you and ALL Veterans, I have been able to raise three wonderful children in a FREE Country, a “safe” Country with noble people who are proud to be Americans !! Secondly, you speak such truth in your words, and I couldn’t agree more !! I just hope she reads it and takes it to heart.

11. Rich Guggenheim - January 23, 2016

Surely this is an opportunity not only to draw attention to Mrs. Palin’s egregious behavior and words, but to help ordinary folk like me understand how we can help create understanding, dialogue, and become allies in this battle?
How does one help in this situation? I am sure I know someone or someones dealing with PTSD, but I am unaware because due to stigma, they remain in the closet and face it either alone or with the assistance of only their closest confidants. What can we do to help those who suffer and how can we become involved in the fight to end the stigma?

hippielady - January 23, 2016

Rich, the best thing you can do for someone who has PTSD is let them talk and just listen. Most people are uncomfortable hearing about the trauma a survivor has suffered and so the survivors keep their pain to themselves. Let them speak and be a willing and nonjudgmental ear.

12. A LOVING mother - January 23, 2016

I think what she was trying to say was he suffers from PTSD & that is the reason things happened. He did not get help when he returned & so he turned to alcohol & violence. She just got caught up in the moment & it all came out wrong.

I truly believe in her & what she stands for. I’m sorry so many were hurt by “how” her statement came out.

Thank you to all our veterans & I too have lived through a son-in-law & fiance with war time PTSD & it’s true there is not enough help for them. But I pray they reach out to somebody before it’s too late.

God Bless you & God Bless the USA!!!

Cheryl Harkey - January 23, 2016

Sorry, but the family has always had problems, Trig is the only exceptional one in the whole Palin mess. Track does not have PTSD, he drove jeeps for officers while on tour for heavens sakes. He had a choice of either going to jail or the military for his crime of vandalism. Let’s reserve the PTSD sympathy for our troops who really experienced combat and have been diagnosed.

George Gobel - January 23, 2016

In other words, he’s just a jerk. Gee, what a surprise

Roxanne Dahlman - January 23, 2016

I agree with you, mama Bears will always defend their Cubs,,and who’s to say her son doesn’t have PTSD. Just feeling too much criticism going on here.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

He may have PTSD. The issue is that Sarah Palin is blaming PTSD for her son’s domestic violence. She is doing a great disservice to those who have PTSD. If she doens’t want criticism she should put her self in the public light and make ignorant, irresponsible comments.

lisa smith - January 23, 2016

I have the feeling this was written by Ms. Palin herself.

For the record, Track had problems long before he was sent-read not voluntarily enlisted- to the military. Ask any long term Wasilla resident about the Palin family and they will tell you about the real Palin clan. As for what she “stands for”, I’m fairly certain that all of her claimed “family values” have been repeatedly disproven now and shown to be what they truly are; simply another gimmick to keep her and her dysfunctional family in the news in order to bring in money. She has no other training, you see, nor experience. If it wasn’t for people like this poster, they would have faded away a long time ago.

As a Gulf War veteran, her statement regarding Track is ludicrous and inflammatory and a disservice to all of my fellow vets who ACTUALLY suffer from PTSD.

Gary Miles - January 23, 2016

If you “believe in” Caribou Barbie, YOU are part of the problem.

kennadog - January 23, 2016

1) Her son has a violent history that goes back long before his military service. His arrest record is public record.

2) Her statement was ignorant and insulting to peogle who suffer PTSD, because the indicator symptoms of PTSD do NOT include violence against others, which she would know if she educated herself about PTSD.

13. James Eskdale - January 23, 2016

Would you people rather have Hillary??? Give me a break please!!!

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Were you confused by my post? I was calling out Palin for her ignorant comment. I would not rather have hillary but that does not mean that our own politicians should not be held accountable for their ignorance the statements

George Gobel - January 23, 2016

Over that nut job? You’re damn right I would.
I’d vote for Zippy the Pinhead before I would let Sarah Palin with in 100 miles of the White House.

Nancy Morris - January 23, 2016

I absolutely would.

14. Dixie Billings - January 23, 2016

Amen nicely said

15. Sarah - January 23, 2016

It is so easy to attack Sarah Palin. She is a woman, she lives in what elitists think is a backwoods state, she is married to a native Alaskan. Everyone hates her and her family. Your judgmental letter is one of many millions attacking her and judging her family. May God bless you for your service and thank God you came out intact in every way. Some get wounded, some get killed, some got maimed, some commit suicide, some got away but their minds get screwed by what they saw. No one gets away without something going haywire in some way. But you did. You are lucky. We are grateful for all who served to put their lives on the line for our country. God bless America.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Yet you judge me without knowing my own disabilities. I don’t not hate her but she needs to be held accountable for her irresponsible comments.

gobucksharper - March 12, 2016

OK – you’ve done your ‘job’ to attempt to totally discredit her. And, the rocket scientists who jumped right on the Mack bandwagon, when they, sadly, ‘admit’ they’d sooner vote for the GreatHillary?…well, that’s ALL I need to figure their brain power. For God sakes, let it freaking go. You’ve made and remade and REmade your damned points. Rest.
ThankYou for your service. And, I probably question that you are a CONSERVATIVE, Sir

Akmomma - January 23, 2016

Yes, it is easy to attack Sarah Palin. She tanked the McCain campaign with her ignorance and lack of self-awareness. The pride she exhibits in her own willful ignorance is astounding to the educated public. It is not that people “hate” her and her family. We are sick of the hypocritical, money-grabbing. Bristol, the two-time unwed mother by two different fathers, paid to speak out on preventing unwed pregnancy. Sarah, a Republican, talking about lack of services for returning veterans, when it is the Republicans in Congress that keep cutting services to returning veterans. and your comment, “she is married to an Alaska Native” as if that is something people criticize. Not up here, we don’t. He was a slope worker and a fisherman until her money-grabbing began, now he walks behind her and carries her purse. She just liked it too much when she got to play beauty queen and ride around in limos, and she does not want to do the work it takes to hold a real job.

I am an Alaskan woman, former fisherman, raised my family here, and have too much respect for myself as an Alaskan not to tell the truth about the Palin bunch.

gwsevt - January 23, 2016

While he didn’t dwell on the details I believe he made it clear that he did not come away from his very decorated service (by the sounds of it) unscathed. In fact he has “service related disabilities”, not that I agree that’s a requirement for voicing a very well stated and fair opinion, which I do think his service has certainly given him the right to voice. While some of the comments may have reached the level of “attack” I think this soldier did an excellent job of refraining from taking that tact and I think it’s important to remember comments don’t come from the original poster unless they are labeled with his name so frustration or disagreement with them shouldn’t be aimed at him.

Susan Beck Magill - February 1, 2016

You all spent too much time watching SNL.

Ron Robertson - February 1, 2016

That reply literally makes no sense.

Lynda Armstrong - January 23, 2016

Sir, i thank you for your service, but i have to say you have not do all of you home work On Track Palin. He has been trested PTSD at a place in Houston, Texas . He served One tour in Iraq, two in Afghanistan. so i don’t you If you should be quite so judgemental, none of us know the full story, but it seems everyone is ready to jump. I feel she was trying her best to address the situation. Her words were also for the care of all vets and those in the service now. she was try her best to say government is not taking care of you.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Whether he has PTSD or not does not excuse his behavior in beating a woman. There is no ‘jumping’. her comments were, quite bluntly, to 1) gain political advantage and 2) excuse her son’s behavior. Track Palin is a redneck POS who beats women. Period. I am not going to politely debate whether a person who commits domestic violence should be given ‘the benefit of the doubt’. I come from a home in which there was domestic violence. Here excusing his behavior is nonsense. I know men who have served 8 combat tours, and have been gravely wounded. Guess what? They don’t beat their wives/girlfriends/mothers etc. To suggest she is doing this to ‘care for all veterans’ is facile.

16. Tana Smith - January 23, 2016

You make me proud! My own son is retiring after 7 deployments and 20 years in the Army as a Medic! I find Ms. Palin’s comments deplorable! You Sir are the kind of soldier we need to hear from! Hopefully Track Palin will get the help he needs!

17. Jay F Harmon sr - January 23, 2016

thank you Chris for your courage to speak out I have never trusted mrs paylin from the day she quit Alaska

18. Michelle - January 23, 2016

I applaud you sir. I have recently lost a loving soul in my life to her battles with PTSD. Though not military enduced, PTSD just the same. Such an eloquently written article which I am not sure that Sarah Palin deserves. I am from the great state of Alaska and I am embarrassed. Thank you for your service sir.

19. Phyllis - January 23, 2016

This statement to her hopefully find its way to her eyes to read. Well said may she now truly understand the meaning of her son’s issues and not use other problems to blame his actions. As for her in the political arena she just needs to NOT BE VOTED FOR she hasn’t finished her term as Govenor of Alaska so what makes her think she’ll lead our Country.

20. Edward - January 23, 2016

This is a well-written, articulate and accurate letter – Too bad the author used so many large words that will escape her understanding –
In order for any Palin to understand something, it has to come in a beer bottle for Track, a naked guy for Bristol, or a bigoted, hate-filled statement for Sarah

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

HAHA! Well played sir!

Lori - January 23, 2016

Ha, absolutely brilliant! Thank you for your service Chris Mark and for this insightful article.

21. patty k - January 23, 2016

I agree Sarah Palin and her family are out of control, and she is enabling her children,while claiming she believes in moral family values. She then makes excuses for both children’s bad behaviors. ……….I believe in the daily suffering of many war veterans and absolutely believe the suffer from PTSD. However, I do not know the whole story of Track, and only a professional can diagnose him.

22. Diane Wardlow Tatakis - January 23, 2016

Your letter is written so well!!! When my late husband passed away in 1987, PTSD wasn’t written about much and I believe he commited suicide because of this . he had been in the military for 15 years and just couldn’t go on. We had only been married one year. Thank you for your telling Sarah Palin that no one believes for a second that her son is suffering from that. He is an alcoholic . period. Her kids all have problems and she needs to be their Mother not a candidate for anything. She can’t keep an eye on her kids, why would she keep an eye on the U.S.A. and the job of a political person. Stay at home Sarah. Take care of your kids. Thank you to you for telling the world how we all really feel, you said it perfectly.

kennadog - January 23, 2016

Actually, both kids are adults. Regardless of their parents and upbringing, th rt are the only one especially responsible for their behavior now. Adults don’t need mommy to take care of them.

23. Glenn Havinoviski - January 23, 2016

Well done sir. Pay no attention to the ignorant who are offended by anything that counters their narrative of hate as promoted by Palin, Trump, etc.

24. Corinne - January 23, 2016

Unfortunately I made the mistake of voting for Palin for Governor many years ago. I’ve lived to regret that decision. I too wish she’d avoid public life and just fade away.

Dave Hummel - January 23, 2016

She is an idiot , I’m a Vietnam Vet , with PTSD issues ,

25. Marlene - January 23, 2016

I agree with this letter… Well written…

26. Dave Hummel - January 23, 2016

I don’t think she or her family have the soul to understand what you just said , i too am a Vietnam vet , that has some PTSD issues and her rant is very offensive

27. andie + adam - January 23, 2016

I agree. As for any politician, we expect any topic they propose or speak of to be well rehearsed and thoroughly educated on. This is a standard that is sadly slipping through the cracks and politicians are no longer being held accountable for their words. Passing blame rather than taking responsibility for ones own actions is a horrible trait to possess. I hope people know that her using PTSD as defense for him was just a sad attempt to protect her own reputation. The bottom line is, domestic violence is inexcusable and NEVER acceptable.

Thanks for a good read.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I could not agree more! Thank you for commenting!

28. Georgia Brent - January 23, 2016

Yes she is frightening but what is worse are the people who believe her!

29. Margo - January 23, 2016

Chris, a very well written and articulate letter. As other have said above, it had to many “big” words and she nor her brood will be able to understand it. I have lived in Alaska for over 50 yrs. Suffice it to say, that the Mat-Su Borough (where Palin lives) is the meth capital here. All Alaskans laugh about that & her family. She is an embarrassment to this state and our nation. All of her comments continue to be SNL fodder. Thank you, sir, for serving our country.

30. Jus Alaska..... - January 23, 2016

Thank you Chris Mark for your service…. May God continue to bless you and yours…. This woman leaves me very speechless and at awe in what comes outta her mouth….. Wow….

31. windmillwife - January 23, 2016

Thank you for the sacrifices made by you and your family and thank you for being the kind of man who calls out those using your brothers in arms as political ammunition regardless of your party affiliation. Comments like those that Sarah Palin made are disrespectful and dangerous and should not be allowed to be made unanswered. I, too, know less than I should about PTSD. However, your letter has inspired me to learn more and find ways I can help. Perhaps the best way to fight ignorance these days is to first make sure I’m not a part of it.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you for the thoughtful response. There are many who suffer in silence. In fact, I just got off of a txt exchange with a Marine brother who was struggling.

32. Edna Charley - January 23, 2016

Thank you for your statements and speaking out for the veterans. I have 5 brothers and three are veterans and the oldest was a Korean combat veteran. A nephew and grandson are also veterans. My home village has many veterans and I have a lot of respect for all of them. Thank you again. As for Sara, we are fortunate that she QUIT. Now if she would only quit the publicity seeking.

33. ginzart1000 - January 23, 2016

Well stated Chris Mark! Thank you for your service!

34. Tammy Holmes - January 23, 2016

Wow very well said I DON’T even think he was active duty from what I have read I will have to definitely applaud you thank you for all your Service

35. Debbie Harrison LaFevers - January 23, 2016

Chris Thank you for your post. I lost my 27 year old 21 months ago to PTSD. He served in Bagdad in active duty. Came back broken and suffered for years. He was found in 6 inches of snow only wearing shorts. Found on the ground with blood under his fingernails and scratches on his face. He suffered a back flash and died of hypothermia. There was noone there to bring him back, no one to pull him out of the War his mind was in. I have three other boys in the military and still support what they stand for. It saddens me that anyone would use PTSD as an excuse. I am not mad at Palin, I am sad yet greatful for her that her son will not and does not suffer as mine did. May she one day realize the power of her words.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Hearing of our veterans losing their lives is a story I am too familiar with. I agree with you on Mrs. Palin

36. George Gobel - January 23, 2016

Thank you Soldier, not only for your service to your country, but for a first hand rebuttal of Ms. Palin’s rantings. It seems her goal was only to take still another unwarranted cheap shot at the POTUS by trying to blame him for the actions of her out-of-control son.
Your final thoughts are especially appropriate, as it is reckoned that with her current financial net worth, Sarah Palin could easily afford to provide the best care for her son’s alleged condition as well as contribute to other resources for aiding our veterans.
I fear that will never happen, as it will not afford her the opportunity to continue with her rambling rants against President Obama.
My best wishes to you and again my thanks not only for your service but for holding the Palin family up for what they really are

– GG –

37. Ann Hardesty - January 23, 2016

Poor–Poor Sarah. She desires attention so. Says nothing and has done nothing to contribute to society. Her criticism of President OBAMA is appalling. She should clean her own house BEFORE criticizing others. She has a mess of a family. This person really needs to be medicated.

38. Theresa Helm - January 23, 2016

Standing ovation!!!!! Whistle & cheer. Good job and very well written

39. Menachem bar Lev - January 23, 2016

She is truly an idiot.

40. Laura - January 23, 2016

Thank you.

That is all. And yet, it is everything.

41. Linda Shore - January 23, 2016

Well said, Chris, and thank you for your service! There are many of us civilians who have not experienced PTSD but have empathy for those who do (for whatever reason, military service, police, firemen, police and fire dispatchers) and do NOT consider it a weakness! We are all human, after all. Not to mention that as a life long Alaskan, Sarah Palin and her trashy family do not represent us in any way.

42. Teresa - January 23, 2016

I honestly don’t know how she even made governor, I didn’t vote for her and never would. It’s too bad she has the rest of the U.S. Believing she represents this great state. She’s a true idiot.

43. Tyrone Blackman - January 23, 2016

I’d stand with you anytime..

44. Terri - January 23, 2016

The republican party made her. The republican party raised her to her current status. Republicans are the only ones who can make her go away. You sowed the wind and she and Trump are the whirlwind. She only invented her son’s condition because it gave her an out, a way to avoid admitting that her children are all a hot mess, and let her insult the government. It’s up to you all to make her and her ilk go away. She is an insult to both every veteran who suffers from PTSD and from those like myself, domestic violence survivors who suffer as well.

Bob Pakney - January 23, 2016

I am a Vietnam Era Vet, I lived in Alaska for 20 years and just recently moved away for improved Cancer care. Initially was a supporter of Sarah because of the way she held the oil company thieves feet to the fire and because of the way she made the liberals squeal in protest when she would verbally attack Obammy. Mainly because I detest that man with every ounce of my being and I applaud any negative comments addressed at him. As far as Palin is concerned though, After reading your post and many others I no longer have any respect for that woman. Thank you for your well written post and for your service.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you for your service! Good luck on the treatment!

45. Linda Wallace - January 23, 2016

First of all thank you for your service. My heart goes out to all who served, to those who came home and those who did not and especially to those who carry the wounds of war regardless of what form they take. I have never and will never take your service for granted.
Of all the Post Palin comments I have read ( my own included) your comments really hit the mark for me. From what I have observed, the Palin family is not just troubled, is not just in love with celebrity, but neither understands nor accepts the notion of taking personal responsibility for one’s actions. While I hope in time the family gets the help they so desperately need, I call upon members of the media and political candidates and leaders everywhere to avoid giving Ms.Palin any opportunity to spread her delusional thinking and insane ramblings.

46. Eryn - January 23, 2016

Most people with PTSD do not abuse their partners, and most people who abuse their partners do not have PTSD. This was a lame and unfounded excuse on her part, and it is harmful not only to people with PTSD, but also to victims of domestic violence everywhere. The military, as well as social programs, needs to provide better screening and assistance for people with PTSD, but to try and weasel out of trouble for threatening, injuring, terrifying, or otherwise harming people by making it seem like a result of a noble endeavor is just shirking responsibility.

47. Jean - January 23, 2016

Boy, you people are sure lucky that you have no problems.. Or if you do, I guess that gives you permission to run someone else down. I read most of your comments and I hope none of you are people I know. Or maybe you’re just having a bad day and you are belittling someone else to make you feel better. I appreciate all the veterans. I have lived as a soldiers wife and that is not easy either. Especially with a tiny baby. Anyway God bless you all. And I pray none of your kids get pregnant out of wedlock. Or that any kids ever get drunk. ( no excuse for hitting someone).

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

The post I wrote was not ‘belittling’ someone it was responding to an irresponsible and ignorant statement that has direct, harmful effects on other people. It was not due to a ‘bad day’ it was due to Palin’s ignorant commentary and justify her son’s abuse by blaming PTSD. Your comment on being a ‘soldier’s wife’ is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

48. Brian - January 23, 2016

I have a question that some here may have more of an educated answer or opinion than I do.
Has the Obama Administration been actively supportive of our military veterans? Both during active duty and once back home?
I know of our First Lady’s and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative. I have read about President Obama’s support of the Wounded Warrior Project. I also know of the initiatives and support that the Obama Administration has been able to put in place in spite of Republican led opposition to Veteran’s support legislation.
Additionally, is it fair to say that the Democratic legislators have been more active in getting help to our military veterans and the Republican legislators have been obstructive? This is my take. Curious what others, especially those directly affected, think.
Reference: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/veterans_and_wounded_warriors_record_0.pdf

Jerry - January 23, 2016

I would have to say that President Obama and his administration has been very supportive of ALL Veterans, active and retired. Giving lip service, as so many GOPers do, is not the same as actually supporting the troops. Any research on this subject will always be biased depending on the source. But I do believe that a little research will show that the President has been far more veteran friendly in the long run. Also, Palin trying to imply that the President is somehow responsible for not getting her little boy help for his supposed PTSD is about as low as it gets. I shudder to think that she would ever have been a heart beat away from the Presidency.

49. Cornell Jones - January 23, 2016

Just her money. I don’t want her speaking about PTSD or working with people who suffer with PTSD.

50. John Zavoyna - January 23, 2016

Let me not mince words. For context, I am slightly right of center. Sarah Palin to conservatives, is what Nancy Pelosi is to the liberals. Village IDOIT. And if Sarah’s husband doesn’t like my perspective … bring it.

51. Lesa - January 23, 2016

As the wife of a combat veteran (Viet Nam 1969-71), I salute you soldier! Very well stated and I share your wish that she would just “fade away” but I fear we are not that lucky.

Gary Fadley - January 24, 2016

I would like to bring up your awareness: You would do well to call a soldier a soldier, a marine a marine, and a sailor a sailor.
He declared himself a marine and a sailor, not a soldier. I am not reprimanding you, only bringing up your awareness of military protocol and conventions. God bless you and your husband.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you. I am not offended😉

52. George Redner - January 23, 2016

Fire, police and EMS are offended as well by her statements.

53. j. davis - January 23, 2016

She is lost in life if shes not in the spotlight. She needs to take care of home

54. M Beth Aufmuth - January 23, 2016

As a PTSD sufferer from a traumatic sexual assault, I was doubly wounded by Ms. Palin’s comments. I applaud this veteran for his succinct and brave words. God bless you and all who serve to keep me safe every day.

55. darnell hasty - January 23, 2016

I feel so sorry for you all yes my husband was in Vietnam,and he got very sick there,but he did make it home as some of his group didn’t.my husband been gone 3 years now due to cancer.and it very sad when our man and woman don’t make it back.but mrs palin did a lot for Alaska,guess a lot of people forgot that.this lady has been tore apart by people mouths,and her kids.is our life so good that we can throw the frist stone.watch Obama get off the plane half the time he pay no att to our guys standing there.does anyone think how depressing this is to mrs palin she not the frist are will she be the last what happen to our guy over there needed help did they get it no ask me let the guys vote that are frighting for us vote and get someone in there to help our veterans.and the old people of America,no the lazy bunch of welfare peoples votes get mad at me if you want I answer to one person above.god bless

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I was the product of the ‘welfare system’. I appreciate your comments and your husband’s service but I politely disagree with your position. I am not ‘throwing stones’ rather correcting her ignorant position.

Meghan - January 23, 2016

She did nothing for Alaska, except leave her elected position early. She changed her stance on a number of issues when they became unpopular, even though her stance would have helped the state. She had an opportunity to make a difference, but she chose to join the political bandwagon and abandon beliefs that would have been a benefit to Alaska.

Her comments about PTSD are ignorant, but we can expect nothing less from a woman who has been blaming other people for her children’s actions their whole lives.

myrtle - January 23, 2016

It amazes me how people “know” what another person has done or not done…you don’t know if her son is getting counseling or not! And she loves the military, her comments were not at you!!
The public has been very cruel to that family…”…judge not, lest you be judged”…..

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

What I “know” is that Track Palin has been arrested for domestic violence for (according to the arrest record) punching a woman in the face…and holding a gun. I know..that the Palins were involved in a drunken brawl. She is a ‘public person’. She invites commentary on her ignorant comments. Anything else?

Basil Katz - January 23, 2016

Palin is a victim of press and political attacks. She had @95% approval until she joined McCain and became the focus of the left. Some criticized her for giving birth to a Downs syndrome child. She was hit with 18 frivolous ethics violations and @ 118 freedom of information requests. This froze the governor’s office plus cost enormous amount of overtime and lawyers fees. The suits were brought by a woman who was angry Palin didn’t give her a political job! She would continue filing nonsense FOI’s. So Palin resigned and saved the state millions of extra man hours and lawyer fees.

Shawn - January 23, 2016

I think the public has also been very cruel to the Obama Family as well. Not only his family but other past presidents also. The stones thrown have nothing to do with our political stance but more to do with our moral character and boy have we got issues there, the way we throw stones at public figures of any kind and make mockery of them is ridiculous and uncalled for. We can all use some redirection in that area.

Worst nachtmare - January 23, 2016

Sarah Palin is an ignorant shit stirrer

Gary - January 24, 2016

A very thoughtful response..We do not know for sure what is going on in her family. We are just guessing…

Roseline - January 24, 2016

She puts herself in public so, she can only expect to be scrutinized by the public. It seems ignorance is bliss for her. Her stupidity never ceases to amaze anyone, only that she continues to put it on public display.

sue - January 23, 2016

Wow, your vocabulary is just as bad as hers and that indeed is bad!

Barbara Frost - January 23, 2016

Is that the best you can do,Sue??????

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

I have published scores of articles and spoken at hundreds of events. This is the first (my f key is not working😉 that someone has tried to disparage my vocabulary.

Hallie miller - January 23, 2016

I am a Vietnam Era Veteran. One of many of the “old people ” You’re referring to in your post. My husband served in Vietnam as a Mortar Platoon Leader and died from complications of Agent Orange. Let me be clear by one thing until Sarah Palin takes responsibility and stop blaming the president for her disfunctional family’s action , she should access her priorities as a Parent.

Darnell, please use punctuation and spell check.

Melinda Kemp Lyerly - January 24, 2016

Hallie Miller, blessings on you and thank you for your service and for the sacrifice of your husband. I agree with your opinion completely; you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head!
Sarah Palin chooses to take no responsibility for her children’s actions or to have them take responsibility for their own actions.
Sarah instead supports their awful behavior by blaming everybody and everything else.
Her shrill, rambling, nonsensical word salad endorsement speech was a complete embarrassment for our country.
It is no wonder that Darnell supports Palin, they appear to have nearly the same poor education, she with writing properly, Palin with speaking properly, and both with logic and moral decision-making.

Michael Greer - January 24, 2016

Learn to read and write..Maybe that’s why this country is in deep shit trouble

Margarete - January 24, 2016

Sarah Pailan had done damages to Alaska beyond repair due to her dislikes towards the Murkwaski’s;
She has stop the gas line in Alaska.
She had paid a Canadian company five million dollars to restudy the gas line, and to shut down the project.
She had stop all the development in Alaska under her governorship.
She quit after she spend all the money that governor Murkwaski had left for the native communities in Alaska.

Diane Lackie - January 24, 2016

What “language” are you writing in??

Jiminak - January 24, 2016

I am sorry for the trauma you have experienced through others, Darnell, but your statements regarding President Obama are based on manipulated images by people who hate him because of, either his political party or his race. There are absolutely ZERO actual incidents showing Obama dis-respecting our military and, if you dug deep enough, you would find testimonials from military people who have been close to him these past seven years who thing quite highly of him. I live in Alaska and don’t know of much that Sarah Palin did that was good for us other than raise taxes on the oil industry. Her chosen Lieutenant Governor, an oil company lobbyist who succeeded her, changed those regulations so that Alaska pays the oil companines more in rebates than they pay in production taxes. Her family has been nothing but a nightmare to law enforcement here and, if you can’t see that she is nothing more than the kind of “crony capitalist” that she has stated she abhors, then you are not paying attention.

Dee - January 24, 2016

And there it is, putting President Obama’s name in this ignorant woman’s situation, which has absolutely nothing to do with nothing. What does her family fights, punching women in the face, or claiming PTSD have to do with Obama….wake up people, Sarah is a dumb B. Her son has been arested for Domestic Violence numerous time, and all of a sudden it PTSD, not Obama.

56. Brenda Hanley - January 23, 2016

Thank you and all veterans for your service. Palin should walk off her porch into Russia never to return. She is an embaressment to the US!!!

Deborah Garcia - January 23, 2016

excellent Brenda and very well said! Does SP ever read any of this? Why doesn’t she stop talking????

57. Mundo DC Lopez - January 23, 2016

Good letter, frank and to the point, I too am a Vietnam disabled Veteran…I do feel the same way as this soldier states.. while I appreciate your son serving in our Armed Forces, I still can not support your endorsement to this Coward Trump, who willingly denied his services to our country when they called him… this is pure cowardliness, deferred 8 times and finally paid to get a medical status, which was later found he faked…that is pathetic, and downright despicable……

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Wow..very good response. I agree.

Wendy - January 23, 2016

So, help me out here. We are to believe Track Palin’s behaviors are not associated with PTSD, but rather being the product of his upbringing simply because you say so? And how did you evaluate Track? How many conversations have you had with him in order to doubt his condition? Are you a licensed mental health professional? Not likely. You really shouldn’t mock another’s burden, especially when it is a fellow soldier’s. Some brother you are.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Since you struggled to follow the post…I will repeat. My issue is with Sarah Palin trying to make PTSD a political football and excusing her son’s behavior of abusing women by claiming he has PTSD. PTSD is stigmatized already and her ignorant comments have done nothing but further stigmatize those who suffer.

Yvonne Wheeler - January 24, 2016

Chris, I love your response to all of these comments. But, I am thoroughly impressed that you are reading and engaged in the comment section.

Thank you for your service to our country, and I wish you well in your future endeavors’.

58. Helena todd - January 23, 2016

He was much kinder than I would have been she is undeserving of his words he has my respect and gratitude for the individual he is and the honor courage and service to his countryHe

59. Jim Haskins - January 23, 2016

Chris, thank you for stating what we all should be thinking.
Nam ’67 vet

60. Billy Rose - January 23, 2016

Bravo Brother …..Thank You For Arriving At The Words Most Of Us Cannot ….My Son Did Three Tours In Iraq and Two In Afghanistan …I Too Am A Veteran …..It Breaks Our Hearts That Something As Serious As This Is Taken So Lightly ….Thank You Sir For Your Service and For This Heartfelt Response To An Obvious State Of Denial The Palin Family Lives In ……

61. Roger - January 23, 2016

So did you vote for Obama. Sounds like that is your problem. You really must like his rules of engagement. Àlso his distain for you and your military brothers. Using you guys for his social experiments. Sarah Palin has your six. You are feeding off the left wing agenda of hate for her and her family. They aren’t perfect. But then again find out the facts of the situation before you judge. Thanks

Brian - January 23, 2016

Good idea you had about finding out the facts of a situation before judging. This helped me. All the best to you and yours.


Background N015e (@backgroundN015e) - January 23, 2016

I appreciate the original poster’s point. Here’s hoping his message — which is being echoed by many other veterans — will get more air time.

Thank you for posting that response, Brian. Anyone who seriously thinks this administration has been unsupportive of veterans or active duty military clearly has not paid attention, or is willfully ignorant.

Joe Biden is one of the few senators who had “skin in the game” as he famously noted when he derided Sec. Rice for her cavalier attitude. The Bidens are not alone on this. The First Lady and Jill Biden have been consistent on promoting this cause every chance they get.

I would also point out, Obama went to Dover. That’s something the previous administration never bothered to do.


Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Let me be clear. I don’t think Obama is ‘evil’ and ‘doesn’t care about veterans’. Of course he does. Of course Joe Biden does. I would bet even Nanci Pelosi, who I disagree with on 99.999% of issues, believes we should support our veterans. Can we do better? Sure…the fact that the Phoenix VA is a mess is NOT President Obama’s fault. Sarah Palin is silly to suggest this. We can all disagree…that doesn’t mean either position is truly wrong. My post was on a specifc point. Sarah Palin stating that her son’s abuse of a woman was a result of his PTSD…that is all. She is wrong and ignorant in her position.

D Germaine Kleckner - January 23, 2016

Brian, I can attest to some of those changes because we benefited from it. My husband couldn’t get VA care for his ptsd because it wasn’t documented in his service records, so we were having to get his mental health treatments through a civilian psychiatrist. When the VA included Gulf War 1 vets in their priority for treatment in 2009, we were able to finally get him in to the VA for treatment.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Here is what I learned. Ask your husband to go to the VA regional center PTSD screening. He answers some questions etc. Based upon that he is asked to speak to a ‘specialist’ who can give an initial ‘diagnosis’. Then he gets a formal diagnosis from a MD or PHD. If he has a combat badge (ie. CAR or CIB) it makes it much easier. Service Records are only used for ‘combat’ or what they call a “trigger”. That does not mean he is not or cannot be rated.

jimbenton - January 23, 2016

Roger, what does Obama have to do with Sara Palin’s misinformed abrogation of responsibility and general ignorance? Since she took the stage eight years ago, it has been a continuous stream of empty platitudes, non-sequiturs, glittering generalities, and incoherent word salad from this woman, not a single meaningful syllable. Half the time I don’t even think _she_ knows what she’s saying. This is a woman with no credible understanding of foreign policy, military theory, economics, political theory, or rhetorical principles. The only thing she has is a particular look, and attitude. Not only did she deflect her son’s behavior onto PTSD, but she blamed the PTSD on Obama. What a joke of a worthless human being she is.

You say “she has your six,” but in truth, she has no other interest but her own narcissistic self-promotion. Take your own advice, find out the facts before you judge.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Well said..We may not agree politically but you make a very valid point and good argument.

Wayne Austin - January 23, 2016


Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I apologize for being direct but ALL CAPS sound like yelling and …I struggle to follow the argument. Is there a single period (.) in this post?

62. lynn - January 23, 2016

sarah palin is a worthless pos that needs to crawl back under the rock she crawled out from….thank you for your service and i am so sorry you suffer….

63. Suzanne - January 23, 2016

Thank you Chris Mark for speaking out in defense of those that suffer from PTSD. Thank you for your service….for protecting me, my rights and the freedoms I enjoy daily. It’s a heavy burden that our military carry. I will be forever grateful!

64. Minna Heilpern - January 23, 2016

So beautifully stated. Thank you for your service to our country.

65. Pat meacham - January 23, 2016

I read an article that said Track had an agressive personality before he enlisted.

66. Ann - January 23, 2016

Excellent letter, Chris. Thank you for speaking so eloquently from your own experience to someone who clearly needs to hear a voice other than her own. I appreciate your respectful tone and constructive suggestions for Ms. Palin. And thank you for your service.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you for the kind words!

67. Peggy O'Neill - January 23, 2016

Chris, First thank you for you service, as all the people have above commended you for THANK YOU! However, I wish you had posed this question in your letter to Sarah: “If you believe Track’s behavior is related to PTSD, then what have SHE done to get help for him, and what are her concerns about the other family members, especially Trigg’s safety? Should Track be allowed to NOT only purchase a gun, but have one in his possession, these things are not in the President’s hand, they are in her hands. Who and what is more important to her Track and Trigg, or Political Money and Guns?”

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

My post was not intended to start a discussion on gun laws etc. I was simply explaining that I thought Mrs. Palin was wrong in exploiting PTSD for political gain. I have numerous guns and I have been diagnosed with PTSD. Should I NOT be allowed to own a gun? Quite bluntly, this is some of the stigma and misunderstanding associated with PTSD and why we have veterans struggling. PTSD is NOT a disorder that compels one to violence. It is a disorder that manifests itself in many different ways. Mrs. Palin’s comments feed into the perspective that you are perpetuating. That PTSD sufferers are ‘violent’ and should not be allowed to have ‘guns’ as we are ‘unsafe’.

Peggy O'Neill - January 23, 2016

My post was not intended to exploit her PTSD political gain, that would be too many of those to mention. However should her first job as a parent is to keep her children safe, and as it might well be Trigg who need her the most to do that. This should not be a teachable moment, but a take action moment, before something drastic happens, we have children who are in need of therapy after they see something tragic happens, can we say Trigg will be immune to seeing his brother or any relative hurt. I ask you, how do you propose Sarah can keep this from happening? You have stated yourself, PTSD patient commit suicide, and so do people with other mental illnesses, or did I misread your statement?

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Forgive me as I am truly not trying to be rude but I am struggling to follow the question. Can you repost with more context? Thanks.

nancy carter - January 23, 2016

I personally back our military…with all her money I can’t see where she can blame anyone..not even the va she can afford to get him help..where so many others don’t have rich moms to help them..and are at the va mercy..or lack there oof

Nese - January 24, 2016

Actually Chris, because PTSD is a psychological disorder, no matter if it directly leads to violance or not, you should not be allowed to have guns.. The depression, the fear, the anxiety and all other sorts of things might very well lead to a breakdown.. And violence is not necessarily against others, you mentioned about 22 soldiers commiting suicide every day.. Guns are a means to increase that number.. This is not a stigma, psychological illnesses should be treated neutrally like phsiological ones.. If you stomach is upset, you stop eating junk food, if your liver has problems, you stop consuming alcohol until it gets better.. If your mind and soul is hurt, especially due to events involving guns, you should stop your relations with them until necessary.. Take it out of political debate and put it into rational perspective..

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

That is a facile argument and not based upon reality or facts. There are larger rights underpinning various aspects of this debate but I will not attempt to discuss them in this blog. Infringing upon the Constitutional rights of others because you mistakenly believe the ‘guns’ are the cause of violence is terrifying. Please read Hume, Mezloff et al and we can discuss causality. It is clear you don’t have a solid grasp of PTSD.

68. Doug Zachary - January 23, 2016

Thank you, Mark.
In my work as staff for Veterans For Peace I know personally many traumatized veterans; Ms. Palin’s exploitation of them is inexcusable.
Semper Fi,
Doug Zachary
USMC 2499557

69. Dave - January 23, 2016

And your a Republican that I hope is rethinking his involvement in that party

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Not at all. I am a very socially liberal Republican (with some exception) but ffiscally (my computer is meeting up so it is misspelled)…conservative person. I vote on issues but generally agree more with Republicans.

CW - January 24, 2016

Chris, you had me until you said you support the Republican fiscal conservatism. I would assume, then, that you supported your party’s slashing of the President’s 2016 VA budget by 1.4 BILLION DOLLARS! Not yelling – just trying to point out the hypocrisy of the Republican Party.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

This is not a political debate. This is a single post about a single issue.

70. Betsy - January 23, 2016

Thank you for your service to our country. Thank you for continuing to serve by speaking up for those who have served and sacrificed.

71. smokeygranny - January 23, 2016

Thank you for the letter. My husband IS treated for PTSD..from Vietnam, It took him a long to come to grips with the fact he had problems. My diagnosed PTSD is from an abusive ex (now late..and I did not do him in) spouse. I also feel that Ms. Palin is in serious need of treatment, before she does any more damage to her family including her grandchildren. It also would help if she actually learned her history and actually knew dates…

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you for your post. Too many people don’t realize that PTSD does not only affect veterans. You clearly know this. It took me 21 years to get treatment…I can thank my wife for pushing me. Thank your husband for his service on my behalf!

babealso - January 23, 2016

thank you for stating that PTSD affects not only veterans but ordinary everyday people. i suffer from it and have since my husband was murdered twenty years ago in my sight. it is an awful thing to have and more people need to understand that
we can’t “just get over it” certainly if we could we would. Palin is an idiot, she and trump make a scary pair.

Julie Showalter - January 23, 2016

i know this is also off track but I feel the need to thank-you for mentioning PTSD in others. My dad is 85 now and was one of the first ones to hit the shore in Korea. He was a front line rifleman. Out of his squad he was the only one that returned. he came home with 3 purple hearts and many other medals. It has only been in the last few years that he has opened up and talked about his experiences and all the men he had to kill. I came to realize about 10 years ago that he has suffered with PTSD his whole adult life. Guilt, why am I here and all my friends aren’t etc. Everyday of my life I’ve heard him say he’d be better off dead. it affected not only my mom but my sister, brother and me our whole lives. All 3 of us have mental health diagnosis. We are still trying to survive and heal from all the abuse we took from him. Last year I finally confronted him which you never do with my dad unless you want a nightmarish confrontation, but he just kind of laughed and said: what are you talking about I don’t have that. ” Sorry to bother you but I feel better after having shared that. And, I hate to admit but I have lived in Alaska 26 years and all Sarah did for us was desert us!

72. John - An Alaskan - January 23, 2016

I am not a veteran but have many friends that are. Yet I am an Alaskan and am insulted by what this backwater dimwit spouts. This also shows how clueless Trump is. She destroyed McCain as she will destroy Trump, thanks goodness for that!

73. Heather - January 23, 2016

Well said. Thank you for your service.

74. Terry Jamerson - January 23, 2016

Chris, what if you are wrong. Just because Sarah is high profile does not mean her son could not have a legitimate PTSD problem.. Your letter is more political than hers since you have left no doubt that her son could not have PTSD because he’s her son. You are being one sided.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

OK..Let’s say her son has PTSD. Does this excuse his beating his girlfriend? I will state, for the purposes of this argument, Track Palin has PTSD. Are you justifying his actions? To suggest what I am doing is ‘wrong’ is incorrect. What I am doing is absolutely ‘right’ in that I am objectively offering an opinion and allowing people to decide. Did you read my last post? I also took Michelle Obama to task.

75. Lisa - January 23, 2016

Thank you for your service sir. Both to this country and brain dead media.

76. Kevin - January 23, 2016

Very well said Chris. She needs to educate on serious issue and maybe hold her accountable for such remarks. why do we even allow her to talk on public like this. I’m sorry for her.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Agreed. 😉

77. Carol Ables - January 23, 2016

If Track is over 18 or 21 or whatEVER age one is considered an adult, Sarah cannot control his behavior. Don’t judge the entire family or how they were reared by the actions of the adult children. Some of the BEST parents I know have SORRY kids and some of the SORRIEST parents I know have the BEST kids. Even God has trouble with his children………………..

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Then why is she advocating on his behalf? If she had said: “My son is an adult and makes his own decision” I would not have written this post. Instead, she has continued to support his behavior then tried to blame is abusive behavior on PTSD. Make sense?

Basil Katz - January 23, 2016

If she did, do you honestly think the press would cover it? LOL. Her point is that the VA is corrupt and men and women are dying because of it. It’s much more than Phoenix. That you state that supports your political leanings plus lack of information, no surprise since the press ignores it.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

I apologize but I cannot follow what you are saying.

78. Mike Emery - January 23, 2016

Spot on. You certainly are speaking for this veteran.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you Mike!

79. Veronica Alleyne - January 23, 2016

spot on, Chris Mark!

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you!

80. Charles Edward Pardue - January 23, 2016

Thank you for writing this letter. I’m sure it will make little impact if any upon Ms. Palin but the rest of us appreciate the effort.
Sergeant – 2nd Mar Div 78-81.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Semper Fi Marine!

81. Jim Beaver - January 23, 2016

Welcome home, Marine, and thanks for the thoughtful and insightful response, not only to Mrs. Palin’s near-incoherent and damaging remarks, but to the variably coherent comments you’ve received as a result. Such clear-headedness and reasoned response are indicative of the best traditions of the American people and the U.S. Naval Service.

Jim Beaver
USMC 1968-1976
Vietnam 1970-1971

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Semper Fi Marine!

82. jack hajdusek - January 23, 2016

I promise not to vote for Sarah Palin.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016


83. Tammie Youse - January 23, 2016


Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

OK..not trying to be a jerk but 1) all caps is YELLING AT ME!!! and 2)…no periods is hard to read. I get you are a Ted Cruz fan…wow…

84. Bandele Ganiyu - January 23, 2016

Thank you for protecting our country and God Bless you. I’m sorry you developed this illness keeping us safe.

I don’t know enough about PTSD but I’m learning more every day. Since she said it stemmed from his service in the military, I thought it involved being in combat; I didn’t know spending less than a year as a chauffeur in the Green Zone would cause Track Palin to have it. Especially since he displayed violent tendencies prior to military service. Take Good Care

85. Mike - January 23, 2016

The bigger offensive element here is that Track Palin had more than enough of a record to disqualify him from service pre-2008. This is not someone new to substance abuse and violence. Iraq probably made his situation worse, sure, but his high school shenanigans suggested he was not right in the head to start. If he was Track Smith, he’d probably have been rejected from service in the first place. Family got him in – they own him now. His name ain’t Track Obama, that’s for sure.

86. Basil Katz - January 23, 2016

I applaud you for your service.
You are a liberal who either did not hear or chose not to hear Palin’s comments. You didn’t read the police report in which the girlfriend stated Palin took the gun to threaten suicide. You know suicide is a major threat to the lives of those with PTSD and should not be ignored.
Remember Joe Biden’s son was kicked out of the service because of cocaine use. But Biden is a Democrat and received a free pass from the press. Palin is a strong conservative women and is open to criticism. Lots of it.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

I can assure you I am far from a ‘liberal’. Just because I disagree with what a fellow Republican says does not make me liberal. Did you read my latest post on Michelle Obama? I believe in objective analysis and not simply following party lines.

87. Diane Powell - January 23, 2016

Mrs. Darnell Hasty – you are mistaken Mrs. Palin did not do a lot for Alaska. She quit her job as governor and turned her back on all Alaskans. I know this because I worked for the State of Alaska while she served her sorry partial term as governor.

88. Kyle trew - January 23, 2016

This is one of the best written statements regarding ptsd from somebody who is not afraid to speak the truth. Thank you brother for your commitment to educating those who are not.

Sincerely Brother in arms

89. Sharon - January 23, 2016

Chris, thank you for your service, and your letter. I agree with you. My husband was in Vietnam and retired US Navy.

90. Michele ~ la Smoocherina - January 23, 2016

Please, anyone looking for help with PTSD or TMI, look into K9’s for Warriors in Florida, a former Bomb dog handler was suffering so bad with PTSD, so his mom out him to work. She sent him to kennels and shelters and had him pick dogs that would make good companions. They have training for 6-8 months by volunteers then the Warriors come to Florida. Never out of their pocket. They stay for 3 weeks and get trained on how to have a service dog. Someone who will always have your back. They have groups of men and groups of women. They separate due to the incidence of sexual assault possibilities for women that can compound stress. (Most sexual assault isn’t reported and could have happened earlier in life and adds to PTSD).

And they are a Charity that goes 100% to the cause. No six-figure salaries going to CEOs. This is about helping our Veterans.

If you’d like to learn more, google Jason Haag and HLN and K-9as for warriors, they did a little special on them.

Oh. And Thank you for speaking out against this crazy woman. May she be trampled by a moose she’s trying to kill. If you knew what a tree hugging, non-violent person I am, you’d know how much anger I have towards her.

Thank you for your service to our country.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!

91. Dave Schardan - January 23, 2016

Chris, first thank you for your service, utmost respect. However, what I think you maybe over looking is this a mother looking for anyway that she can protect or stick up for her son. As a twenty something I was a testosterone fueled idiot. I never, ever struck a female. Thank the Lord. A lot of bar room brawls and when you come to blows with a guy many times his girl is on your back clawing your face. In every one of my incidents of stupidity my mom was there whenever I needed her and stood by my me to everyone, even when she new I was way out of line. Of course her and I did have very different conversations in the privacy of our homes. Perhaps her comments were out of line but to me it’s a case of a mom sticking up for her kid. Even if she knew he was in the wrong. From experience, I can not fault her for that.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Good point. My concern is she used a public forum to further stigmatize PTSD and use it as a political football.

92. Paula - January 23, 2016

Chris, Thank so much for the letter! I lost my son to PTSD On Christmas day 2013 he served two tours. I wished he could have the help he needed. Thanks for speaking out on this…

93. Gina Murray - January 23, 2016

My concern with PTSD is how can anyone explain or know how someone suffering from this will act or react to any given situation. My understanding is that PTSD can cause numerous problems with your mental health. With that said, PTSD could be triggered in numerous situations people face on a daily basis and acted on in such ways as aggression, anxiety, depression and whatever else a brain is capable of. People with mental issues and illnesses cannot be figured out on how they will or will not act or react, unless of course you are able to read someone’s mind and it seems like a few people commenting on this are capable of doing

94. Joyce Wilson - January 23, 2016

kudos well said…..

95. Ann Harper - January 23, 2016

I was interested in her phrase “supposed PTSD.” Does that mean her son hasn’t been diagnosed? Does that mean she is using PTSD, whether real or imagined, as an excuse to explain his behavior? Does he actually have it and she doesn’t believe it exists? I am appalled that she would consider his behavior acceptable on any level and that having someone speak negatively about her would be a valid reason for striking a woman. Would she expect and accept that her husband would hit her if she said something detrimental about her mother-in-law? And then to blame the PTSD on the president… she is shameless.
I thank you, Chris Mark and other veterans, for your service to our country. I can only imagine what you go through to live with PTSD. Thank you for speaking out against Palin’s inaccuracies and misplaced blame. As adults, her children are responsible for their own actions. Sure, we have all made mistakes and I don’t blame them for making their own. As their mother, I would expect her to support and love them, no matter what… but to place blame elsewhere? That’s just plain wrong.
She used all this to support Trump. And from the look on his face during her speech, I’m pretty sure he realized what a mistake it was to allow her on the same stage.

96. rlincolnharris - January 23, 2016

Reblogged this on Blue Batting Helmet and commented:
Bravo to Chris Mark. This is only the second time I’ve reblogged something on this site, but it’s well worth a read.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Thank you!

rlincolnharris - January 26, 2016

Thank you for saying it. There’s a time for politics, but not when it comes to the well-being of those who served. You have a standing to say this that I never will. Thanks again for standing up to her nonsense. All the best to you.

97. akgirl - January 23, 2016

can i just say bravo to the author of this!!! i was born, raised and i am still living in alaska. a little background for those that dont know. the only reason she was elected was she was the lesser of two evils at the time. she made a lot of promises that never came to the light of day. the only thing she did was add more money to our perm fund checks we get every year to ease the high cost of oil. if any of you think to praise, commend anything she does or says please think before you do. we alaskans dont want her here and we cringe any time she is even brought up in conversation. for her to blame ptsd for her son beating another woman is deplorable. this poor girl hid underneath a bed waiting for the cops to show up. this is not the first time he has been in trouble and i doubt it will be the last. so thank you chris mark…a job well done.

98. snaggletooths - January 23, 2016

Her son is a Veteran and its true that Vets are not getting the help they need. PTSD is very real. she never excused her son’s behavior at all. You are so far off track with this. Try to listen to what she said instead of taking it all out of context because you don’t like her or trump.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I have read and listened to what ‘she’ said. I do not believe I am ‘off track’. Her comments are clear. I was pretty clear that my feelings for her are irrelevant. Where did you get ‘trump’ from my comments? Yeah…no doubt…no where. I am happy to debate this issue with you..

snaggletooths - January 23, 2016

Palin addressed Track’s arrest, citing his PTSD and indirectly blaming President Barack Obama, whom she accused of failing to adequately support veterans.

“I guess it’s kind of the elephant in the room because my own family going through what we’re going through today with my son, a combat vet … like so many others, they come back a bit different. They come back hardened,” Palin said at the rally. “They come back wondering if there is that respect for what their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to the country.”
She is right about Vets not getting the help they need the VA is so ill run . and has been for decades.

Juanito Esguerra - January 24, 2016
snaggletooths - January 24, 2016

The WH is the problem

99. Ron Robertson - January 23, 2016

I just recently found out that Track Palin got in the army because he had the choice to either get in the army, or go to jail. That was because he had been cutting brake lines and vandalizing buses (I think school buses!). Clearly, he had serious problems before joining the army. Possibly they have been worsened and he does have PTSD. However, the statements he made to his girlfriend do not sound much like PTSD to me, but more like someone who has masculinity problems. Anyone who thinks that he needs to say what he did to her is not a man secure in his manhood. I’m not sure why he would be given a choice to join the army. I suppose whoever did that thought it would “straighten him out.” But I don’t think the purpose of the army or the military is to straighten out people. I understand if a person voluntarily goes of his own volition and because of his own desire to “straighten himself out,” but that’s a clear goal. He was there to avoid responsibility for his actions, a habit his entire family seems to have. Just look at his sister, who’s pregnant twice, unmarried both times, and yet is supposed to be a spokesperson for abstinence. Anyway, I guess that’s enough rambling for now. Thanks for posting your thoughtful comments about her irresponsible and childish statements.

100. Mar - January 23, 2016

He might have excellent credentials as a soldier …. but to be judging other fellow soldiers with PTSD seems to me to be misguided. Does everyone with PTSD have to pass muster with this guy? I hope not.

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016


101. michaelwelsh - January 23, 2016

Dear Chris Mark: as a US Army veteran (Viet Nam) and long time Alaskan I want to thank you for your thoughtful letter to Sarah Palin. The only criticism I have is that your letter showed greater degree of restraint than I would be capable of in consideration of her endorsement of the disgraceful DonaldTrump.

And thank you for standing up for President Obama, too. While he is not a perfect President or Commander-in-Chief, I have no doubt whatsoever that his concerns for America’s veterans is heartfelt. I believe that his cautious approach to the use of military force in the Middle East for which he is often criticized by the likes of Palin reflects a sense of grave responsibility to our soldiers, sailors, and airmen whose lives would be put in harm’s way on his orders.

102. John Henderson - January 23, 2016

Mr.Mark …. You stated that you have a Combat Action Ribbon, but failed to state in which combat operation/theater you participated. You also stated that you had service related disabilities, but not that they were combat related. You did not state that you suffered from PTSD, yet you felt compelled to judge someone else as to whether they suffered from PTSD. How can you possibly think that you have the knowledge to judge whether or not someone else suffers from PTSD. What is your expertise in PTSD? Are you a Psychiatrist? A Doctor? Not according to your website, In fact your website does not even state your credentials in relation to your own business. A study done by the National Center For PTSD states ” Though considerable research has examined the relation between combat or war trauma and suicide, the relationship is not entirely clear. Some studies have shown a relationship while others have not.” It also goes on to state that “There is strong evidence, though, that among Veterans who experienced combat trauma, the highest relative suicide risk is observed in those who were wounded multiple times and/or hospitalized for a wound, This suggests that the intensity of the combat trauma, and the number of times it occurred, may influence suicide risk in Veterans. This study assessed only combat trauma, not a diagnosis of PTSD, as a factor in the suicidal behavior.”

I think I do know what you suffer from. I think you suffer from a large overdose of Liberalism. I feel competent in making this statement because of statements you made yourself, in your letter to Mrs.Palin, and your replies to the responses posted by others to your letter. In your letter to Mrs. Palin, you quoted statistics about PTSD related suicides, but gave no references to studies where these statistics were complied. Oh wait, you did use statistics provided by a Democratic Senator Blumenthal. Did you consider researching these statistics yourself before using them, you know, just to ensure that they were accurate? Probably not. You stated that you were a Liberal Republican. Personally, I think your a Democrat. You stated that you did not think President Obama was a bad President, and that he cared about our military personnel. Yet many of our military leaders have risked their careers to criticize him. No, I think perhaps you are playing your own little political football game to gain favor with the current government to advance the aspirations of you and your SDVOSB. I will say I was a little surprised by how many former veterans responded positively to you letter. Of course there is always the possibility that those individuals may be pretenders, you know, people who pretend to be someone their not.

John Henderson
USMC 1974 -1984
Concerned American

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

OK..wow…long post. Again…google me. you can read my DD214. I am not ‘judging’ someone with PTSD. I am (please read closely because you seem to get lost) responding to Sarah Palin’s own comments related to her son’s actions. Pretty hard, right? I did give a reference. I tell you what…I am tired of reading your inane and lengthy comments. I will offer that I will publicly debate you on this issue. Let me know if you are up for the challenge champ. BTW…again…do a basic Google search on me…get my DD214 you will see that my CAR is from Somalia as a Sniper in Somalia. Thank you for posting the dates or your own service. 74-84…pretty much nothing? Do you have a CAR? No..thought not..

Joe Steed - January 24, 2016

Chris your wasting your time. I totally understood what you were trying to point out. Anyone who reads any deeper into your statement and not get your point is more ignorant than that idiot in Alaska.

Cynthia Martin - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your letter. Very well written and stated.

Jim Breidster - January 24, 2016

Great response to a major asshole. I’m a Vietnam vet with a 70% combat related disability. I know all about assholes like Henderson who never saw any kind of action but are quick to bring up this kind of crap. He clearly thinks you’re way too tough on poor Sarah, as well. The woman is a wart on the ass of the world; racist, hypocritical, and worst of all, ignorant. I wish you all the best.

Jim Breidster

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I can’t remember if I responded to this. Dude..it is 1 am…you are an ignorant ass. That is all. Go away.

Marvie Lyon - January 24, 2016

Thank You Sir!

Brian Berneker - January 24, 2016

Maybe you should ask what combat operation/theater Track Palin served in too then. Records have it that he saw no combat.

If you had a pair, you would stand up for the valid points Chris is making, or if you disagree, dispute them on their merits instead of some brain dead polemic argument.

Your puerile namecalling, with terms like “liberalism” is perhaps the result of your own political football game.

Cindy - January 24, 2016

John Henderson, get a life. What I read that Chris Mark wrote, was the concern of the stigma that so many young soldiers are dealing with visible wounds and that her son may have benefited if back during the fight at the bar that she showed her concern and got her son help back then instead of reinforcing his violence. So again get a life and don’t go looking for a fight with someone who is trying to do good.


discophobe - January 24, 2016
Cynthia Martin - January 24, 2016

It really does not take any political party affiliation to realize that Mrs. Palin takes no responsibility for her actions or her children’s action. It take no scientist to realize Mrs Palin blames everyone else…I raised my sons with the belief they are responsible for their action and the consequences of their actions…..When you point a finger at someone, their are three pointing back at you…

George Panagakos - January 24, 2016

Are you sure you even read the same letter I did? Your response is nothing but presuppositions and interjection of a completely separate agenda…Earth to John!? Lose the monstrous ego & work on your reading comprehension, and work hard.

Doc randolph - January 24, 2016

Henderson is a lying right wing ignorant schmuck. And I’m a non-liberal republican. Too bad you weren’t killed by friendly fire. Doubt you even served.

Arthur Watkins, US Army Vet - January 24, 2016

Mr Henderson,

Liberalism? You really are quite humorous. How many Vets of ALL Political persuasions have served in the US Armed Forces? No one Party has a foot hold on Patriotism. You really ARE quite offensive. Besides, what makes you the expert? This isn’t about Party but since you brought it up, how many times did the Republicans vote down legislation for Vets??

Getting back to Palin. She reminds me of a drunken hillbilly with a microphone. Basically, she is nothing but a media whore, seeking attention when she should be at home taking care of the family that so desperately needs care.

Arthur Watkins
US Army 1969-1973
Quang Tri, Viet Nam

103. Michael McKinney - January 23, 2016

Hey Chris, what is your BUD/S Class number?

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

I think (since 1999) 217? Could be 207? Since you are clearly trying to “out” me..please read my DD214. You can get it on my blog. BTW…what is your BUDS class number?

Chris Mark - January 23, 2016

Don’t know if this was sent…”What is your BUD/S” class?” Please see my DD214..I have NEVER said I graduated BUD/S…I get where you are trying to go champ…do your homework first….if you need some help, let me konw

Joe Saunders - January 24, 2016

Mark you talk like the real deal…Thank you for serving.

104. Elizabeth Erickson - January 23, 2016

Thank you for speaking up. You are very eloquent and I hope your sincere and powerful words might give some pause to consider just how disrespectful Palin’s words are to all who suffer from PTSD, It is treatable and there is hope if those suffering seek help. Thank you for your service to this country.

105. Kurtis Morin - January 23, 2016

Haters gonna hate! This is the internet where anyone can claim to be anything. Do not believe what you read on the internet especially when the person saying it has a political agenda. How to tell if they have a political agenda: If they mention any persons name, organization, race, religion or gender. enough said.

106. Don Nusbaum Sr. - January 23, 2016

The most interesting part of this whole thing is, this all happened at Todd and Sarah Palins residence. They were there, alcohol was involved, and can we be assured that both parents were aware that Track has a problem with being aggressive when drinking? I have three sons, all grown and on there own. If I were to have a social function at my residence and alcohol was a part of it you can rest assured that I would keep it monitored and if this sort of thing started showing up would defuse it before it became a brawl as it seems to have. I have a son that is over half a century old, however I am still his parent and will do all in my power to control his actions and reason with him. Once you accept the responsibility to be a parent it is for life. Pull up your big girl pants and accept your responsibility.

Mj Lyon - January 24, 2016

They were in Iowa!

107. marecek - January 23, 2016

Grizzly Grifter is not the least bit interested in donating her time or helping veterans in any way. She could take as her motto the one stated by Rick Blaine in Casablanca, “I’m the only cause I’m interested in.”

108. Kay - January 23, 2016

Chris Mark— Very well written. My only question to you is, after all of the well known news over the past year, plus what you wrote, why are you still voting Republican?

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

I could ask the same question of anyone still voting Democrat…or independent, for that matter.

Arthur Watkins, US Army Vet - January 24, 2016

The article was well written and insightful. No Political Party was endorsed and was not a part of the issue. Simply facts.

Thank you for your effort and service.

109. Wayne - January 23, 2016

What the hell are you saying?

110. Rose - January 23, 2016

As an Alaskan I wish her and her whole family would fade away they make Alaskan’s look bad and ignorant. We are far from the example that her and her family have displayed as Alaskans. She should be ashamed of the behavior that their who family have shown the rest of the country over the years and I wish the media wouldn’t keep influencing this family to continue on they way they have and stop adding fuel to the fire. 😒

Sheldon Bird - January 24, 2016

You blame “the media.” The media put out things that people choose to watch so they can get ratings and sell ads. The media are certainly critical of the Palins, which is why Sarah blames them for all her problems, but in the end, the public is directly responsible for what they see in “the media.” Including that Sarah gets to lie without being called on it right to her face then and there.

The media are owned by entertainment corporations. Do you think we can do better? Other countries do, but that’s “tyranny” and “socialism.”

111. AMJ - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your military service, and for your continued service to this country in the form of this open letter to Sarah Palin. Acknowledging your veteran status, your related disabilities, and your Republican affiliation will surely help some to hear this message. While we are superficially quite different, you spoke my frustration brilliantly — without the swear words I have been struggling to suppress.

PTSD is grossly misunderstood, which leads to shame, denial, and delays in our veterans and their loved ones getting the personal and professional help and support they deserve. For this conversation to be part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign adds salt to these wounds.
For a host of reasons I hate listening to Sarah Palin: Her constant dodging of any personal responsibility for her family, WHILE actively blaming the President, war, PTSD, and anything else she can throw in a sentence, all while presenting it for claps and laughs is far beneath any standard we should have as a nation.

My hope is that all people — NO MATTER THEIR POLITICAL AFFILIATION — if they truly support veterans, will speak up and challenge Palin and others to stop spreading this wrong and harmful misinformation.

Thank you again.

112. Don - January 24, 2016

She’s a clown! Everytime she opens her mouth it’s just her own lame consequence!

113. Marilyn Lott - January 24, 2016

I am appalled that Ms Palin is using PTSD to excuse her son’s behavior. I have no intention of getting into petty political or personal food fights here: It belittles the importance of the problem
I was there until April 6, 1975. My husband died of a cancer directly attributed to Agent Orange.
PTSD is not funny, and it’s not trivial. Behavior like hers makes it very difficult for people to believe in the seriousness of this condition.

114. lora - January 24, 2016

I am surprised by people who feel Palin is a supporter of the military. The man she has endorsed has been highly disrespectful to her former running mate, specifically in reference to the fact he was a Prisoner of War. Trump’s offhand comment about people who “got caught” was pretty disgusting.
I have seen the effects of PTSD in someone I care about. He has finally gotten the help he spent years looking for. I thank you for addressing this issue.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

That is an excellent point. Mr. Trump’s comments toward Senator McCain were deplorable. Thanks for the insight.

115. Jon Stern - January 24, 2016

Mr. Mark, i had written a long message about this incident and how deplorable it was. But I came to the conclusion that you had responded to this infinitely better than I could ever do. So, I would just like to thank you for your service, wish the best for you, and promise to continue to support veterans organizations.

PS. Ms Palin is lucky that my mom, a WWII army nurse is not able to hear those awful comments.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!

116. Slc - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your courage and bravery and protector my rights. And honest words to Sarah Palin. May you and your family be blessed

117. Cynthia Buskohl - January 24, 2016

Well said! Only hope she reads it – wait, IF it’s what she considers part of her “current reading material”! Thank you for writing this because thousands of others will read it!!

118. Unlikely Story - January 24, 2016

Track Palin was never in a combat position overseas. For the one year that he was in Iraq, in 2008, he was a driver for dignitaries and high ranking officers.

His troubles started as a juvenile, when he and friends cut the brake lines of a school bus among other things. As this post points out, trouble isn’t new for the Palin family.

119. Steve - January 24, 2016

Chris, Well stated letter. Also, I commend you for your patience with your detractors.

120. David - January 24, 2016

Sarah Palin – divorcee caught cheating on camera

121. M A Carter - January 24, 2016

One point that is being missed is Track served one year in Iraq, not in combat, and under Bush. If nothing else, Mrs. Palin deserves to tell ALL THE FACTS when she speaks, not pick and choose what suits her agenda.

122. Sean - January 24, 2016

Obviously he doesn’t like Sarah Palin to start with, and having watched her speech when she spoke of her son, I don’t think she was making an excuse for her son at all. Theres a fine line between a reason and an excuse. She is her son’s mother, and I challenge anyone to take a stand against their own flesh and blood Knowing he has a problem, and how does this marine know that she hasn’t tried to help her son, so he’s speaking out of ignorance of their efforts.
She has every right to endorse a candidate, regardless of whether this marine, or anyone else likes it or not.
He’s entitled to his opinion, and just because he’s a vet, doesn’t make him right.
Maybe he just needed to get that off his chest, maybe he feels better now.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

I did not speak to her endorsement of Mr. Trump. My comments were directed at her own public comments regarding her son’s abusive behavior and her attempt to justify those actions by claiming he has PTSD. My goal, as stated in the post, was to make a statement about PTSD and the fact that she is doing a disservice to those who suffer from PTSD.

Christine Ness - January 24, 2016

Right on Chris. Point well taken and don’t take any crap from people like Sean. They haven’t walked in your shoes. And for being a Republican I can’t fathom how anyone can support GOP national candidates when they have cut so much funding for our active military people as well as our veterans. It’s dishonorable what they have done to all who are or have served in any arm of the military of the United States. God bless you Chris.

Kathy Stuart - January 24, 2016

Sean, I am a mother of a son who got into trouble with the law when he was a teen. He is bi-polar. I made no excuses for him and in fact I was the very first person to tell him that if he had not wanted to go jail he should not have done something stupid. I always wanted him to know that regardless of his problems he is ultimately responsible for his actions. And I certainly didn’t blame the president at the time for the dearth of mental health treatment options.

123. Christine - January 24, 2016

A very well written letter. Unfortunately, the less then intelligent Palin, I am sure was not able to read all of it, yet alone understand any of it. Thank you all, men and women of the armed forces, for your service and sacrifice.

124. JeanieB. - January 24, 2016

Excellent letter Chris. This is what I’ve come to expect from fellow Americans who are worried about saving their country. You have stated your opposition with facts, not emotions, eloquently. Trump and a lot of his supporters are behaving like the petulant left, 2 year olds with new found emotions and zero experience on controlling them. We can and do,forgive 2 year olds for their behavior because, well, THEY’RE 2! Sarah has done a great disservice to those vets she claims to support by putting herself above our men who sacrificed all for our country and fellow countrymen. I am not angry about her poor decision, just saddened. I will not jump on the “bash Sarah” bandwagon, but will support our vets over her, as she should have.I will share your letter because you state how I think and feel much better than I ever could.

125. Din - January 24, 2016

She did great as a gov, but then quit to go for the bigger paycheck. Shes been nothing but a loose cannon every since. I voted for her as gov but never again.

126. Lorna - January 24, 2016

Thank you Chris for your comments- thank you to your service and your family for supporting you. I have been privileged to work at the VA with our Veterans (as a therapist)- her comments were offensive as they often are- Thank you for speaking up!

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service!. Unlike many people, my own experiences at the VA have been very positive. I cannot speak to other regions but the SLC VA system is very good and the people are very caring.

127. Suzanne Lyng Walzer - January 24, 2016

Amen. God bless all our veterans

128. Florence Craye - January 24, 2016

Very well said, Mr. Mark. I fear Ms. Palin will not understand your letter, however. Too many big words.

129. Olaf Casperson - January 24, 2016

Disagree, what I saw was her referencing that are boys come back “different”, “hardened”. Having been born in AK and grown up in MT I don’t expect the general populace to understand us woodsman but we don’t prescribe to violence against women and neither do the Palins. You lost all credibility with me when you referenced Dick Blumenthal. I now live in CT and he is nothing more than an ambulance chaser. All he did as AG was sue and all he does as Senator is show up in TV spots when a tragedy happens. All this after he lied for years about serving in Vietnam. Everyone but Liberals in Ct hate him. I served for 21 years and have many friends in the military and LE who live with PTSD. None of us really know how it affects the next guy as Docs are just figuring it out. We should all withold judgement.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

I disagree with Mr. Blumenthal on just about all issues. Just because I disagree with someone does not mean that I cannot respect them or believe they have a relevant point. I agree people should withhold judgment. Sarah Palin chose to make this a public point and clearly her son does not abide by the same virtues that you espouse. To suggest he “…doesn’t prescribe to violence..” is contradicted by at least two events in the past year where he acted violently.

130. Debbie Bruseth - January 24, 2016

I do agree. She always blames it on to something else other than having problems in her family. She and her family need help and leave the real service people out of it. She’s great at shifting her family problems.

131. Willy - January 24, 2016

Excellent letter, mr. Mark. Needed to be said.
I am wondering however, what “action” or ” trauma” young Tack Palin supposedly experienced and where, which caused his supposed ptsd….
Maybe running for cover from a plane over the tarmac ” under sniper fire and bullets whizzing past”, like Hillary…?
Keep well and thank you for your service.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!…

132. Faith Marie - January 24, 2016

Hi Chris, Love your story. However, the first thing you said about being a former Marine and Navy officer doesn’t do you justice. You are a Marine and Navy veteran officer. Once a Marine, always a Marine. I’ve never been in the military myself but many of my family and friends have, and I have the utmost respect for you all. For years I’ve wished joining the military was an option presented to me. It was just assumed that would go to college. I don’t think they’d take a 47yr. old woman now. Best of luck to you. Semper Fi (spelling ?)

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!

133. Don Wayne - January 24, 2016

I was very supportive of Sarah Palin when she first entered the national political scene, but the more I am exposed to her, by media from both sides of the political spectrum, the less enthused I have become towards her. Maybe she is the ultimate “Trump” card in sabotaging Mr. Trump’s run for President, but for that to be a fact, I would have to give credit to the Republican establishment for being smarter than what it has showed its voters over the last few years.

134. Schelly peterson - January 24, 2016

I feel sad for mrs. Palin. She is being a mother, she is giving her son unconditional love. He in return has been very disrespectful has caused her embarrassment and pain. It is wrong for her to make up excuses for him, but people who live in abusive situations use those behavioral escapes for their own calming. it is natural human behavior.

135. Susan M. Satya - January 24, 2016


Thank you for your astute letter to Palin! I hope all note your essential observation, the fact it was a sign a loved one NEEDED HELP. I spent decades addressing & directing 5 human service programs dealing with Societal (incl Family) Violence as well as later personally my own TBI & PTSD (still w/o any treatment covered; natural has worked best tho an MRI needed immediately was never done, too often same for troops i hear). The 22 a day suicides I understand is only active duty, there are far more. Especially as many if not most are caused but the less understood, undiagnosed #1 injury come home, TBI, bleeding into & trauma to the brain, most often receiving no benefits, understanding, or healthcare. A main reason I am for Bernie Sanders who supports the much needed Medicare for ALL (& Jill Stein). To have a veteran of Desert Storm, Iraq, & Afghanistan whose TBI case was denied say while I was doing Life Coaching, “I’d love to do that but I have no healthcare” is so wrong!
Every Marine & Navy person I know, including my dad Fred Edwards – Omaha Beach, Navy, WWII who also went undiagnosed, untreated*, & still at almost 90 denied needed benefits! (he’d love veteran support visits or calls), all want troops home. And they each agree with me that troops are being used as security detail for private business interests of a sinister greedy handful, paid for by American taxpayer dollars & our loved ones lives (not to mention the millions of destroyed lives we went “to save”: I do know that those who went touched lives & had an impact that was not wasted, a moment of love or courage never is). btw, that same sinister group owns most media, ( why the ads are mostly of their other companies – oil/gas, greedy insurance, big pharma, & super banks).

The last First Lady who did enormous good was Rosalyn Carter, tirelessly spearheading Community Mental Health Center grants. Made services client friendly (& saved money on needless duplicated intake sessions for every needed service), & creating services to fill in any service gaps, like the Family Counseling Unit I co-founded. First Ladies since have been too often self-serving. Too bad Nancy didn’t “just say no” to their running drugs in on military planes to sell on our streets, for Iran-Contra $, devastating whole communities.

btw Chris, Barack was HER intern.

Wishing you along with all veterans & those who give a darn about others, the happiest of new years. FILLED with joy & everday miracles.

* Tho some wonderful doctors, nurses & social workers at the LaJolla V.A. have recently been helping Fred against the staggering odds.

136. Bethany - January 24, 2016

My roommate has combat PTSD and I have rape related PTSD, so we were both appalled when we heard her statements.

The worst thing my roommate does because of his is hide in his room and blast his headphones when people set off fireworks. He is never violent, and warns us when he is having a rough day. He never imbibes alcohol when he knows there is even a chance of him having an episode.

Track is an irresponsible asshole at best and a deliberately drunk violent asshole at worst.

If SPalin wants to help people with PTSD instead of using them as a smokescreen for her moron son, she should just donate.

137. Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

So I finally took the time to read all of John’s comments. Since you clearly want to ‘pull it out and measure’ Here is a synopsis of my own military experience. MOS? 0311 (Infantry); 8541 (Scout/Sniper); 8654 (Recon Marine Airborne and Scuba Qualified). Combat Action Ribbon for actions in Somalia where I operated as a Scout/Sniper. Graduate from numerous military schools including Scout/Sniper. Urban Sniper, Amphibious Reconnaissance, Airborne, Pathfinder, Navy Scuba, R&S, HRST Master etc. Selected as a SEAL Officer Candidate in 1999…injured in training. Spent 1.5 years as the training officer for the Marine Basic Reconnaissance Course (you know…where we train Recon Marines). So John…why don’t you tell me about your Marine Corps experience? Let me guess…POG? If you are so interested you can read some of my articles in The National Review (wait..isn’t that a conservative magazine?), The Counter Terrorist, or SC Magazine (among others). Or, you can see me interviewed on NewsMax (hey..another conservative group)…do your homework before you try to call someone out online.

Chris - January 24, 2016

dang Chris, you had me until you said “NewsMax.”:). But seriously, I have no idea where John was coming from in his response, but you are spot on. My reaction when she said that was that maybe his actions were the result of PTSD, but that instead of blaming POTUS, she should be seeking out help for Track. But then she has to deal with the broken VA system, and there are decades of blame to spread on that.

138. Jennifer Wilck - January 24, 2016

Very well stated. Thank you for your service and for your voice of reason.

139. shockmama - January 24, 2016

PTSD is not only a diagnosis of veteran origin. Did you know Farmers have a higher incidence of suicide than do Veterans each year?
Now before you go assuming my background, I am a nurse for the VA. I love my Veterans and will do whatever it takes to care for them.
Your freedom of speech to impale Palin with her own words is yours. But please, understand that PTSD comes in many forms, many faces, and many families.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your comments. This has been reiterated in the comments by numerous people (including me) but is an important point. Irrespective of where a person acquired PTSD it is a serious issue and should not be used by Mrs. Palin as a political move.

140. Rhonda Wolfe - January 24, 2016

I thank you sir, for your comments and for your service.

141. molly2rivers - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service to your country and for being the sort of Republican the U.S. needs. I am a “libtard” who would dearly love to see a good, thoughtful, responsible Republican Party re-emerge from the current unholy mess. People like you call it like it is.

142. Nelly Shore - January 24, 2016

This is a great letter, and, Mr. Mark, God bless you for your service. There is no way civilians can ever express our gratitude.

Palin family challenges aside (and all families have challenges – let he who has none cast the first stone), I think the bigger issue is mental health. PTSD is one aspect of the bigger picture of mental health in general – the whole topic is a crisis in our country and the rest of the world too. It deserves attention. I might add that PTSD is not a new thing – it is just a relatively newly recognized diagnosis. Many of our other war veterans, including WWI and WWII and especially Vietnam vets, suffer and have suffered from this as well, but it was never recognized, acknowledged, researched, nor treated. At least our current vets have some social and medical support. We are moving in the right direction.

There are dozens of mental health diagnoses. There is lots of just plain “bad behavior” out there, too – where parents cannot admit that their kids need discipline and redirection. Who knows what Track Palin’s issues are. Perhaps he is an alcoholic; maybe he has anger issues; maybe he has a disability: it doesn’t matter. What is important is that problems are acknowledged and not swept under the rug in hopes that no one will notice, or that it will go away, and that nothing bad will happen. This is why bad things happen and then people say “oh, maybe I should have said or done something about that because I saw the signs.” But our society has become too afraid to “call out” problems for fear of hurting someone’s feelings or being “not politically correct.” I don’t follow Sarah Palin, but I do think she speaks out and does address “elephants in the room” where many people are too cowardly to do that. Hopefully she isn’t enabling a family member’s problems, which inhibits the likelihood of the person getting help. That is the bottom line – no matter what the etiology of the behavior is, SEEK HELP. Seek help before something worse happens.I have seen people hide issues that needed some form of action (and families are particularly good at this because they love their own, as well they should love them – but please don’t enable them – this speaks to your point about Mrs. Palin’s protection of her son), and ultimately someone gets hurt, or worse yet, dies.

In summary, I am not disagreeing with your point, but I am using it as a springboard to encourage people to face a problem and work toward a solution, versus pointing blame or putting one’s head in the sand. This goes for mere “bad manners and behavior” and ranges up to serious mental health concerns. Thank you for your post.

143. Leslie Lewis - January 24, 2016

Canadian neighbours also thank you for your service, and your common sense. The world needs to understand the plight of soldiers and others who suffer with the effects of mental health. Moreover, regardless the political affiliation, I too believe our leaders (and their families) need to be held accountable for their actions, just like the rest of us!

144. Cora - January 24, 2016

I found her comments offending. Palin’s son didn’t see any actual combat and was deployed for a mere 6 months.

And blaming Obama is just ridiculous. He was deployed in 2008 under Bush!

145. Tony Martin - January 24, 2016

Thanks for calling her out and it is time for her to fade.

146. Laurie Woz - January 24, 2016

Thank you for this thoughtful letter, as well as for your service to our country. I listened to Sarah Palin’s remarks regarding her son and PTSD and was appalled at how she once again mingled fact and fiction. I too am a Republican but am finding the front runners for our party’s presidential nomination this time around far from my values. To my recall this departure from respectful, reasoned and intelligent political debate began when John McCain chose Palin as his running mate. Other than the fact that she is a reasonably attractive female, I don’t understand why. Up to that point, McCain always had my respect.
As citizens, more of us need to use social media technologies to have respectful and reasonable discussions of the issues before us, as most people here have done. We will never all agree on everything, but I believe if we begin ourselves, at the grassroots, to discuss things in more depth than simple sound bites, as has happened here for the most part, a trickle up effect will occur.

147. E garcia - January 24, 2016

To the Vet. Who commented . Democrat ‘s respect there Vets due to the fact 3/4 of vets are poor . They let her get away with the way she is because most Republicans are ignorant and full of hate and she feeds it to them absolutely no compassion . I’m 58 yrs and been voting a long time and this is the most stupid I have seen America or white people . Abe L. Said no country will be able to take over this country militarily it will come from within damned if he is not right . How can this ignorant bitch get away with this .

148. Peggy VanTassal - January 24, 2016

Chris thank you so much for your post. My husband was wounded in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart. He came home to the hatred of people who never had to fight for the United States. He was diagnosed with PTSD and still goes to group to talk to other Veterans who also suffer. So as of Sarah Palin who doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground I say thank you again.❤

149. Mark - January 24, 2016

God Bless Chris Mark

150. Bonita - January 24, 2016

thank you Chris for the great letter to Palin…and thank you for your service too

151. Frances - January 24, 2016

Thank you, Chris Mark for your letter. It’s to the point and shows what kind of female Sara Palin is she’s a quitter as well. Quit Alaska halfway thru her term as Governor. My thinking is she wasn’t smart enough to do the job so she quit. I wish they would stop calling her “the former Gov of Alaska!” Real Alaskans don’t claim her. We will soon hear Thrump’s campaign in it’s death throes. Lol. Doesn’t she live in Arizona now??

152. sharon - January 24, 2016

chris mark,,you are 100% right! ms palin is a disgrace,,to make excuses for a grown man who is a violent verbally abusive individual.. we have sevice men in our family who have returned from war who would never behave this way,,,reguardless of their circumstances/ what they’ve been through. she needs to go away! & her son needs to be locked up,,, he,s a piece of shit,,,

153. An Open Letter to Sarah Palin | Central Oregon Coast NOW - January 24, 2016

[…] An Open Letter to Sarah Palin […]

Dwight Newsom - January 24, 2016

Sarah Palin is flakey and superficial. I lost what respect I had for her when she quit her office in mid term as governor of Alaska. She is now out for the money and little else.

SJC - January 24, 2016

You had respect for her? Really? Why?

Arthur Bradbury - January 24, 2016

In general Palin isn’t worth giving the time of day. She is worse than superficial, obviously incapable of understanding even the most basic concepts of humanity. She is an insult to any government office holder at any level.

ann - January 24, 2016

I think that Sarah P. knows full well what the tour(s) of service have done to her son. I am glad that she brought this PTSD and its causes to the attention of the American People. There is a reason that 22 service men(women) are committing suicide every day. I don’t think she is being superficial at all. Face the truth! I seen the results of PTSD wit my own eyes! She is right on!

Margaret Maxwell - January 24, 2016

Having a nephew who served as a sniper in the Iraq war affirms your writing. The military does have great services for those who are able to seek the help. Thank you for your support and be well. You are a positive force, I sure do hope Ms. Palin takes your advice to heart.

Peter Regnier - January 24, 2016

God Bless your nephew, Margaret.

Jacquilyn B. Griffin, Ph.D., PHR - January 24, 2016

Very appropriately stated…unfortunately she probably will not understand the message…she is a poor excuse for a human being.

Diane Furie - January 24, 2016

What a gentleman you are. I am not a warrior but am wounded and suffer slightly with ptsd. I am ashamed that Ms. Palin has said what she said with obviously no understanding but I am sure your eloquent letter will help. Thank you.

Pris - January 24, 2016

Thank you for writing the facts and description of PTSD in your open letter to “celebrity” Sarah Palin. I have two active Marines. I only pray they complete their deployments, and return safely, while our current president is in office.
Thank you

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Please think your Marines! My days in the military are well behind me and it is the young guns today who protect us.

Patti - January 24, 2016

Insightful, and smart article. Thank you, and I am for anything that can change that number of 22 suicides a day! A day. omg.
We have seriously failed the very people we send off to the hell of war. Shame on our country. Get with the program “leaders” and Help stop this carnage! Time is wasting, with 22 suicides a DAY!

Judy F - January 24, 2016

Chris Mark : I am proud of you and your service, & also proud you wrote this letter addressing Palins’ lack of parenting. I dont see how anyone could vote for her and she only hurts anyone that she supports (might be a good thing) This world needs a good strong leader with morales and leadership and understanding….. I challege the younger generation to “step up” if you meet those qualifications, as I know there is many people hungry to find a “OFFICER & A GENTLEMAN” to lead us in the right direction. Thanks!!!

154. Jess Weiss - January 24, 2016

Chris Mark, I want to commend you on a very thoughtful, well written letter; straight to the point, and spot on about our nation’s need to address PTSD; the need to take personal responsibility; as well as the cult of personality that is tearing us apart.

I condemn those who attempt to discredit you and your eloquent criticism of Sarah Palin simply because they are a fan of the former governor. Blind allegiance to any celebrity, politician, or cause has the makings of fanaticism and fascism. And I was also encouraged to see your rational defence of your quote from Senator Blumenthal as well as disheartened to see some challenging your personal decision to identify yourself as a Republican. The ability to find common ground and civil discourse on important issues is what is sorely lacking in our public arena, many of our politicians, and government today. The elevation of those who put self promotion over the common good through the theater of the absurd, where the person who says the most outrageous statement or soundbite commands the media and public’s attention over those who give issues thoughtful consideration and voice is hurting us. We need people with difference backgrounds and political viewpoints (like Senators Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders) to come together to address our important challenges including Veteran’s care, mental health and healthcare in this country. Although this Palin letter was my first introduction to your blog, I look forward to reading more from you from this point forward.

Keep up the good work.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Well said! Thank you!

Kim - January 24, 2016

It seems that you are denigrating PTSD by making statements suggesting that Track Palin does not suffer from the affliction. I have no idea whether he has been diagnosed with it or not. However, until he has been seen by a doctor and given a positive or negative diagnosis, please don’t assume that Ms. Palin is “using it as a political football”. IF he does suffer from PTSD, that has been used as a defense in a multitude of cases…including domestic abuse. PTSD affects different people in different ways…Even the medical community can’t always agree on what constitutes PTSD…That is part of the reason for it being “stigmatized”…For the record, I have very little use for Palin and her progeny…They strike me as not much more than The Kardashians, of Alaska…Like Bristol,. who now has 2 children by 2 different men…so much for “abstinence” and “purity”…All of the children have been spoiled rotten…much like the kid from Texas who has been dubbed “The Affluenza Teen”…Perhaps that is Track’s problem…he has been so spoiled he doesn’t know right from wrong…Again, until there is some sort of diagnosis, nobody can say for sure..I thank you for your service to the country and applaud your courage in speaking out…

Pam - January 24, 2016

Thank you, Chris Mark, for your service and for your intelligent comments. Much better than the name calling from other people.

deee Schwartz - January 24, 2016

Thank you Mr Mark for your spot on assessment of the palin clan. Son track had problems long before he joined the service. And this was first reported during the bush administration. Also daughter bristol had her 2nd baby born without benefit of marriage, now on baby #3.
Family values at it’s best.

155. George - January 24, 2016

I too wish Palin would go away. She dumped her job in Alaska for a TV show and fame. She has made a lot of money. Like any other family, they have a lot of issues. All of the bitter comments are like the current race that we are witnessing now. It is a disgrace that this is the best we have to offer America, regardless of which party you support.
I am a Vietnam Veteran with PTSD. In my weekly group we discuss all kinds of issues. There are a number of guys in our group that have violent flashbacks and have hit there spouse during that flashback. A good number are divorced for that reason. some are purple heart recipients but not all. Not all of us hit our wives or anyone else. We all deal with different levels of PTSD, some have it much worse than others.
Does it matter how many of the 22 vets that off themselves each day had PTSD or TBI or missing limbs? It’s a sin whatever the case may be. So please stop the fighting and unite to make America better. Vote, vote, vote for which ever party you want. Some great people died so we would have that right and the right to post negative comments.
Please don’t fight, please unite. GBA & GBOT

156. Brent Bollmeier - January 24, 2016

Regardless of her other statements, PTSD has been an ignored problem long before President Obama was even born — let alone in office. See George Carlin’s rant on Euphemisms.

157. Barbara Guarnaccia - January 24, 2016

Thank you Chris Mark, for your letter to Palin and for your service to our country.

kathy - January 24, 2016

Thank you.

158. jai - January 24, 2016

Well said.

159. Naro - January 24, 2016

If anything Palin should blame Bush and the NEOCONS( including herself) for starting the senseless and counter productive Iraq war that created so many veterans who were wounded and traumatized. Without the senseless Iraq war we would not have so many war veterans Aviv the VA cannot handle.

160. Donald dellefield - January 24, 2016

About time these people are called out on what say. Most of the time she is rewarded for her coloring of the facts. She got fired from fox and that says it all. Go back to Alaska and be momma bear!

161. Eddie Casson - January 24, 2016

Thank you for you service and speaking truth in your letter…

162. Robert Brittain - January 24, 2016

Chris Mark, thank you for your letter. PTSD is grossly misunderstood, stigmatized and understudied. I suffer from PTSD myself and did not serve in the military. I think when many people see those four letters they automatically link them to traumatized, front line soldiers/veterans and don’t realize there are so many other factors that can cause the condition. Myself? I’m not afraid to say I suffer from PTSD due to being raped and sodomized as a child. I’ve carried a lifetime of guilt and shame with me. I think that speaks volumes to the non-understanding of the affliction. We can be connected by an illness, but that illness (like any other) has several causes. I’m not saying this in anyway, shape or form to defend Trip Palin. I simply advocate for those who suffer. It’s tough going through life with clinical depression, anxiety and panic disorders, and PTSD. It’s especially frustrating due to the stigma attached. Again, thank you for your service and bringing this issue to light in an intellectual manner.


163. Ron Whaley - January 24, 2016

I may have to find what she said….I only saw it reported once…and the feeling I got was that she didn’t directly blame the president….for her sons ptsd….but for his lack of respect and concern for veterans above illegal aliens….

So maybe I missed the entire incident….but on the second part . .she is correct.

Sharon D - January 24, 2016
Gayle Renee Art - January 24, 2016

Thanks for sharing this Sharon. I never understand Veterans who are Republicans. Its the GOP who doesn’t care about our Vets.

164. Todd Zeigler - January 24, 2016

Huzzah! right on point

165. emotionalarcheology - January 24, 2016

How does one spell ‘boo-ya’? I want to lend my support to your thoughtful open letter to Sarah Palin. You have hit the nail on the head when you take offense at using PTSD as a political football. As a child growing up in the 60’s I lived next door to a man who came home from WWII almost 20 years after the war ended. He had been in a hospital recovering from what used to be called ‘shell shock’. Louie was my friend, and interacted with me and my siblings, his mother and my mother, but no one else. He needed it quiet. He lived out the rest of his life quietly with his mother, never exhibiting outward signs of the trauma that injured him. It wasn’t until my educated adulthood that it clicked for me what Louie had, was in fact, PTSD. I felt Sarah Palin’s almost manic rationalization and externalized blame for her son’s criminal action to be disgraceful, superficial, and self serving. I am going to share your post to help educate more people about PTSD, and the disingenuous rantings of Sarah Palin.
Thanks for your service,

166. nickonflicks - January 24, 2016

Thank you for sharing this. It says a lot more than coming from a liberal democrat like me😉
I am also sharing a video my 15 year old son & classmate made called “22”

Watch “22” on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/112327932

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank so much for sharing that. Very powerful. I am going to publish on my blog if he is OK with it. Thanks again!

167. nickonflicks - January 24, 2016

Thank you for sharing this. It has more impact than coming from a liberal democrat like me😉

I’m sharing a video my 15 yr old son & classmate made called “22”
Watch “22” on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/112327932

168. Sharon Breeze - January 24, 2016

Just above this article on facebook was the announcement that Sarah Palin’s son had never been near combat. President Obama has done more for soldiers and their families than any President before him. Thank you for your service, Chris…and thanks too, to all the Louie’s of the world who served, returned, lived, without anyone ever saying thank you.

169. Jen - January 24, 2016

Great letter. Well written, factual and powerful. Thank you for lending a voice to this and for all your service to the Country.

170. Kim M - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service and your well written letter.
The Mother of a Marine Veteran.

171. Israel Gonzalez - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service, but You are no Republican!! Might be wrong the way she used PTSD, but when you say Palin fade away that says you are an Bernie socialist democrat!!

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Seriously? This is, in my mind, the problem with our country today. Most Americans are, in fact, moderates. We employ satis(f)ficing (f key is messing up) when we vote. The fact I do not like Sarah Palin does not in any way make me a socialist or democrat. I think Sarah Palin is bad for the Republican party. I am surprised you did not use the old RINO label on me.

msducttape - January 25, 2016

Chris, I hope you get more airtime to share the content of your letter, and your reply to the comment above. Few things have harmed the Republican brand more than the current wave of anti-science/facts, anti-social (against immigrants, Muslims, poor people, etc.) and the “take no personal responsibility” rhetoric we see going unchallenged.

I appreciate your military service and your continued service in the form of your open letter for many reasons: I’m the daughter of a Marine, I think commitment to country should come before political affiliations, and I work in the preparedness realm of emergency management. Serving the safety and readiness needs of people with PTSD is fraught with MANY challenges — not the least of which is that it is so painfully misunderstood.

So far, the link to this post has been shared 84 from my Facebook page, and I’ll continue to share it. Hat tip to you for also actively engaging in these comments. It takes a level of real commitment to address some of these comments as you have.

Thank you!

172. Andrea Davis - January 24, 2016

What a lovely way to address ignorance Mr. Mark. I thank you for taking the time to write this letter and set Mrs. Palin straight (not that she will take it heart) on a very serious, often debilitating disorder. I’m so frustrated with how our U.S. hero’s do not get the help they need from or government. I do believe it’s time that the people of this country take our country away from the full control of the government and remind them that they work for us, not the way it had been. We work hard so the government/congress gets richer and the people get poorer.
I wish you well Mr. Mark
Andrea Davis

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!

173. Kevin Sullivan - January 24, 2016

Well said, SIR! We need more individuals with your conviction and courage to stand up and tell the truth! Thank you.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!

174. PWB - January 24, 2016

Respectfully, as a physician, without knowing this young man, it is irresponsible for anyone to make a judgment call as to whether or not his behavior was or was not related to his PTSD. It may very well be that it was. In fact, irritability/angry outbursts is a recognized manifestation of altered reactivity and is one of the necessary criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD, according to the DSM-5 (the guidelines psychiatrists use for making diagnoses). I never make clinical conclusions on patients I don’t know, but it is very likely that this is PTSD-related. It is true that Gov. Palin has a public audience and therefore must choose her words carefully. However, it is not “inaccurate” to state that some (by no means all) PTSD patients suffer from angry outbursts as part of their illness. Whether or not that leads to discrimination depends on how much a person is willing to educate themselves.

KJ - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your comment. I agree with you. No one knows all that happens in a family. What doctors may diagnose does not always agree also. Your opinion is well noted.

Maggie - January 24, 2016

Well said PWB!

Gayle Renee Art - January 24, 2016

Wonder what she blamed his teenage behavior of cutting brake lines on school buses Doctor.

joyce - January 24, 2016

They may exptess anger but do not become violent. He became angry because his wife was cheating on him. Track never was in a battle at all

175. Tara Gray-Wolfstar - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service, and for your letter, Chris. As a mom of a twice-over combat veteran, I have seen the direct effects of PTSD. My son commands a unit with many soldiers who are dealing with this, and he is rather the activist for them. It made me sick that Ms. Palin would use this both to excuse her son’s actions and for her own political gotcha. Your letter was respectful, thoughtful, and well-informed, and I applaud you.

176. Wm Mixen - January 24, 2016

I am not defending anyone here, but none of you know that young man or what he’s seen or been thru. PTSD maybe, along with alcohol, bad combination I’m sure.
Let’s here about the skeletons in yours or your families closet so the rest of us can smear you and your families name all over the media. Unless you were there to witness her and her families problems, just shut up.
And if your getting your info on what Sarah Palin said from some news source as opposed to actually listening to her speech, then I suggest you find the video of her speech and listen to it rather than what someone else interpreted what she said.
I’d like to see proof that you all actually can walk on water.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

I listened to it. Here is what we do know (as I put in my post) 1) they had a ‘family brawl’ where SP was gloating over the violence of her family 2) Track Palin “punched a woman in the face”. You are absolutely defending him when you tell people to “shut up”. If Sarah Palin had not willingly put her ignorant comments in the media, I would not have commented. She chose to make them public. She is a public person (under the law). These are not ‘skeletons in closets’ these are public facts. Please work on your reading comprehension before you tell my readers to ‘shut up’.

Terry Ward - January 24, 2016

Some day, in some faraway place, your service to your fellow citizens will be rewarded more than you could ever imagine.
This world is flawed and conflicted and imperfect and often unjust.
The next one is not.
Thank you from someone who will never understand what you endured.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!

Shelley - January 24, 2016

What we DO know is that he DID NOT see COMBAT,and his mommy LIED about that, spittingon all who DID, who do truly suffer from.PTSD. Her twisted son was NOT diagnosed with PTSD when he cut the breaks on a SCHOOL BUS in 2007 and an AK Judge gave him the chouce of Military or Jail…so he choses Military…in 2007…before Obama was elected. His mommy LIED…twice…using an ugly, horrific condition that our extraordinarily BRAVE Men and Womrn who DO see and experience things that the rest of us will never have to, Thanks to them, the selfless and brave. So, I feel very comfortable passing judgement on Dipwad Sarah and her piece of crap son.
And the world is welcome to look under my bed in my closets ANY TIME. My parents did NOT raise breathing turds.

177. John Sack - January 24, 2016

Historians may one day honor Sarah Palin as the Dunce of the Century.

178. Cassandra - January 24, 2016

Thank You Mark. I shared your letter on FB, along with my own comment, concerning the lack of available Effective and AFFORDABLE help for those suffering from PTSD;

I was unable to attend my own grandfather’s funeral, due to, already having; a Brother, twin sister, and my Mother, previously buried at that same cemetary. I have PTSD. Financially, the cost has been far greater than an Ivy League education; Emotionally…SH*T…
Attempting to explain this to my Stepmother; Who is actually an RN, working at the V.A.;
….My stepmother screaming,”Well YOU SHOULD GET SOME HELP THEN!”, as she attempts to push me into the wall. “AT THE VA WE SUCCESSFULLY CURE VETS EVERYDAY!…So tired of Your PTSD BULLSH*T”!…
At that time, 2011(?), we were losing 22 vets a day to suicide. “Successfully”?…
Humanity deserves better than “Reality Deniers”.

179. Rebecca Mota - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your letter and your service, Chris Mark. It is like a breath of fresh air amid the political blather that currently surrounds us all. Best wishes for you and your fellow veterans.

180. Eric - January 24, 2016

Well written Chris and this disabled Combat Vet whole heartedly has your 6 and concurs with your letter. Allons. SSG Retired Eric Cooper

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you!!

181. Mike Bonifer - January 24, 2016

Thank you, Chris. Vets in southern NM and West Texas can connect with the Veterans Theater Project in Las Cruces.http://veteranstheater.com


Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you Mike!…We have some brothers in those areas. I am going to pass this on to some Recon and Sniper groups.

182. dcgadfly - January 24, 2016

Reblogged this on dcgadfly and commented:
His honesty and directness takes my breath away. Thanks to John McCain and Bernie Sanders for working so very hard to care for and respect the veterans.

183. Carol Junsay - January 24, 2016

Sir, you will ALWAYS be a Marine & Naval Officer! I will forever be grateful to you for your courage and sacrifice because I know it has come at a high price! You and your fellow soldiers continue to blanket my family, friends and me with safety, peace and security. I wish you all of the universe’s blessing and love! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

184. Edith Bogart - January 24, 2016

Thank you, Chris, for an intelligent, well composed letter. You make me feel there may still be hope for our humanity.

185. Bob Frapples - January 24, 2016

Unfortunately, Palin will most likely never get a chance to help vets. I can’t imagine any nonprofit; with an ounce of integrity, wanting to associate themselves with her.

186. Greg Nelson - January 24, 2016

Thank you Chris and Semper Fi!

187. Patti Montgomery - January 24, 2016

Mahalo, Chris Mark! I concur with every word of your letter, and am so grateful to you for writing it. Well done, son.

188. Ingrid Oliphant - January 24, 2016

Well said!!

189. Anne Fletcher - January 24, 2016

Nicely and graciously stated! There is little I find admirable about what Sarah Palin says or has to offer our country. I will continue to support Democrats, like our President, who do care about veteran issues and have fought to eliminate veteran homelessness through the First Lady’s Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and fought the Republicans to increase benefits as well as the active pay of our military men and women. I am thrilled about Obama passing the directive leaving NO PAWS BEHIND! It is a Godsend that our k-9 veterans will be able to come home now and are not left behind to suffer horrific fates as they have been in the past. It is equally cool that their human partners will have the first option to adopt them! I was shocked that Palin dressed down Obama for negotiating the release of our sailors after they strayed off course too. She is an opportunistic politician who clearly does not care about our military men as individuals or she would have been grateful our sailors came home to their families unharmed like the rest of the country is. Thank you for your thoughtful commentary.

190. Kathy Jeffries - January 24, 2016

Chris – you did a wonderful job in your letter. Mrs. Palin has excuses for all of her family’s behavior. Thank you for composing this letter.

191. Herb Kasube - January 24, 2016

An eloquent response to an ignorant statement. God bless you, Chris and thank you for your service

192. Jeanne - January 24, 2016

Once a Marine always a Marine never former. Thank you for your service.

193. Meloney - January 24, 2016

Amen! Thank you for your service! God bless.

194. Sean Williams - January 24, 2016

Thank you, Sir, for your eloquent and heartfelt letter. I believe that it is both our right and our responsibility to research and to question those who would represent us, regardless of political party. I am a Democrat, and I would not hesitate to be intensely critical of another Democrat. Of course I agree with you about the Sarah Palins of the world; more than that, though, I respect you for doing the research and bringing your informed criticisms to light.

195. Toni - January 24, 2016

Wonderfully written with professionalism and etiquette. Thank you for your selfless service and speaking out for men and woman in arms. Thank you

196. Mikhail Veneer - January 24, 2016

Re: Sarah Palin devoting energy to Foundations-I fully support the idea of Palin donating herself as a Volunteer Shooting Target,with live Armor-Piercing rounds,at a 100-yard distance,dressed in “Dayglo Hunter’s Orange”…so as to further camouflage Palin from the Snipers.Two to the head wins-body shots do not count.May I also nominate Trump and Hillary for the same shooting exercise .????

197. Mike Allen - January 24, 2016

I appreciated your reply in general but it’s the topic of PTSD that interests me. Your statistic of 22 suicides per day is from the VA assessment. Even the VA thinks that number is understated.
I volunteer at a small neurotherapy clinic in Bethesda, MD where the therapists are having great success treating PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Their success rate is near 70%. The treatment is pain-free, drug-free and patients do not have to talk about their experiences.

We try to cover the costs for veterans with donated funds in our 501(c)3. We don’t always have deep pockets but we do all we can. If you are interested, check us out: http://www.helphealptsd.org. There are some great videos under the “success stories” tab.

It’s frustrating to know there are so many vets and active duty personnel who need help. We wish we could help them all.

198. Ryan Gomes - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service bud.

199. Joye from Iowa - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service to our country, Sir. Then and now.

200. John in Brooklyn - January 24, 2016

While I agree with this entire letter, I must also say it will be of little use to the Sarah Palin.
I don’t think she know’s how to read.

201. dianne - January 24, 2016

could have not said it better….Palin should stay OUT of things she knows nothing about…unless it is s brawl !!!

202. Martha Kennedy - January 24, 2016

Thank you. I’ve taught many returned soldiers — men and women — and most of them enlisted for the chance to go to college after they got out. None of them expected to be such completely different people afterward. I won’t detail their myriad problems, but I taught a young woman for whom a simple quiz was such a terrifying prospect that she got sick migraines. I taught a man who was so afraid to write an essay for fear it would not be good, that to do it he had to share my desk with me to write anything. I taught another young man who was sure that all his professors were out to get him; his paranoia was so profound he could barely function. All of these were combat veterans. The woman had been near the front on the supply lines. The first man had been a sniper. The second had the job of checking for mines and other explosive traps. That’s three of probably thirty young people I taught whose lives and souls had been damaged. Sarah Palin is a media wh*&^ who, unfortunately, is taken seriously by far too many people. I hope your letter is shared everywhere.

203. Thomas Turner - January 24, 2016

Thanks Chris. Your letter was spot on. Blessings to you and yours

204. Nancy Gilbert - January 24, 2016

BodyTalk therapy is effective in helping with PTSD.

205. Former Marine suffering from PTSD pens scathing open letter to Sarah Palin - January 24, 2016

[…] is the open letter in its […]

206. Tad Snaith - January 24, 2016

Beautifully written Chris an thank you for your service.

danny tatum - January 24, 2016

yes great letter most people do not understand PTSD and cannot unless you have it

207. 61chrissterry - January 24, 2016

Reblogged this on 61chrissterry.

208. Sheila josilevich - January 24, 2016

Thank you…..for so many things.

209. Jelcy Romberg - January 24, 2016

I am completely in agreement. The Palin Family History of abuse, in multiple forms, illegitimate children, outlandish living as a result of undo fame and fortune for the wrong reasons, is history. Her being in denial that she might have used better judgement in raising, teaching, and/or training her children to become responsible adults is more the case than Track having PTSD. If it IS, in fact PTSD, it’s from being raised in her household, not from what happened in the military where he could have had a “fighting chance” of being a responsible, sane man.

210. Isela Davis - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service!!

211. Patti Rivera - January 24, 2016

I agree Beautifully written and right on!!!! Chris your service is greatly appreciated.

212. Michael Brigham - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service, Sir.

213. Kitty Plourde - January 24, 2016

Thank you so much for your service to keep me living the life of freedom. Your letter should be a wake up call to Ms Palin, but don’t hold your breath, she is beyond the scope of ignorance.
Your letter was exquisitely written and right to the point.
Again, thank you for your service, you and all soldiers deserve much better than you are getting.


214. Diane - January 24, 2016

You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig!!!!!

215. Richard Hendrickson - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service first off and being a Vietnam vet I understand the fight our young people go through very well written and spot on if only people can see what war does to our young people if only people would stop and listen to them the fight is real for them

Rory Aguilar - January 24, 2016

I agree but don’t stereotype combat PTSD as only affecting young people. Combat PTSD does not discriminate. There were many soldiers, seamen, marines, airmen, and coasties that have fought in combat and are suffering from combat PTSD.

216. Mable Morgan - January 24, 2016

The comments on this page seems to be more Political than about PTSB..People Hate Sarah Palin so much it amazes me. WHY? Are you so threatened by Her that you stoop to calling her and her family names.. Get a life Folks…

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Is that what you read from my post? it is PTSD not PTSB…I am certainly not threatened by Her(emphasis added).

Brian - January 24, 2016

Clearly you did not even read the man’s message let alone attempt to comprehend it. He clearly articulated his position and reasons for it. It is your defense of her which abundantly shows your own cognitive challenges, not ours.

Be gone useless Troll.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

awsome response😉

Cathy Prouty - January 24, 2016

Mable Morgan, you really should not comment on a subject you know nothing about. I have and had 2 brothers that were in the Vietnam War. One could never get over it and died. The other is getting help. I could never imagine seeing the things they saw.

RUTH NEWMAN - January 24, 2016

You are an ignorant person Mable Morgan If you don’t understand that Palin is just as much of an embarrassment to our wonderful country as that idiot/moron/ buffoon Adolf Trump.
You and you kind are going to be the down fall of our country.
By the way I think you must be cut from the same cloth as the Palin family just by your ignorant comments.

CL Perry - January 24, 2016

Aman she is a ignoramus nothing more nothing less you are right her and her kind is going be the downfall of this country bottom line

Tigergrl90 - January 24, 2016

Because she comes at others like they are the bad people causing problems. She doesn’t acknowledge her bad children and screwed up parenting. Of she’s going to put her son’s behavior on the president come up with a legitimate reason. She has none. Her boy never saw combat. He’s just an abuser.

Kenda - January 24, 2016

People dislike her because she influences a vast swath of the American voters despite the fact she only cares about herself. People dislike her because she may very well be one of the most ignorant people to ever run for office. People dislike her because she holds a high priority on violence over compassion. People dislike her because when ignorant people have power, they perpetuate ignorance, and in her case, the ever-widening gap between parties. When an ignorant, self-absorbed, violent, mean girl bully has power, she can potentially threaten the sanity, the evolution, and the freedom of everyone with whom she comes in contact. The question is, Mable, why would you like such a person?

I’ll get a life if you do some research: it’s PTSD which stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you spent less time listening to Sarah Palin and more time paying attention to the veterans who have contributed to the freedom of this country, you may have known that already.

Patricia Holmes - January 24, 2016

You’re the one that needs to get a life Ms Morgan, and include an education in it.

Cynthia Strickland - January 24, 2016

Why?? It’s not because I’m threatened by the former mayor of methville. The reasons are countless but let me tell you this, Alaska has some of the highest rates of DV, and murder of women with guns in the country so any person acting as a public official here, or anywhere, should NOT EXCUSE DV and the resulting PTSD of victims of DV. Alaska has always also has a large military presence and we do our best to provide services to our military. She is using a very serious condition to justify the complete failure of Alaska to protect women, children and men from assault. Why don;t you send one of your younger female family members to Anchorage for a year, alone and see how long it takes before she is stalked..

217. bobkavanagh - January 24, 2016

I would remind folks that it was the Republican Party which brought this woman to national prominence. She was the official Republican candidate for VP in 2008. I believe that the Republican Party has to answer for this. The unofficial Tea Party was also a strong supporter of this woman.

218. janice - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service. I agree that Mrs. Palin is trying to make this all about her. I thought Trump was smarter than to align himself with her…

Bre - January 24, 2016

Really? You thought he was above famous endorsements and flashy showmanship? Do you not know Trump? Making a scene is his thing. Smart is not the word I would use for him.

219. Justin Ahlquist - January 24, 2016

In my 17 years of military service I have never heard of a former marine; unless you were oth or dishonorably discharged.
Sgt. VMAQ-4 1996-2001
Msgt 749th AMXS 2003-present

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

You can see my DD214o online. I was discharged twice…both honorably. It is certainly easier to say ‘former’ than to explain to civilians that I am not on active duty when I simply say Marine. It is used as a convenience. Given that you are an active duty Msgt I would expect you to know that Marine is a proper noun and is capitalized. Semper Fi….

Dave Welsh - January 24, 2016

Right. It is awkward saying you’re a Marine yet. Former Marine is correct. Of course we are always Marines. Semper Fi. ’72-’74.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Semper Fi!

220. Mgarza - January 24, 2016

Isn’t she suppose to know this already being governor .

221. Cathy Prouty - January 24, 2016

Mable Morgan, you really should not comment on a subject you know nothing about. I have and had 2 brothers that were in the Vietnam War. One could never get over it and died. The other is getting help. I could never imagine seeing the things they saw.

222. Michael Meltzer - January 24, 2016

Trouble is, even if Gov. Palin has correctly identified PTSD in her son, it does not cause abusive behavior. If it causes a desire or impulse for abusive behavior in his instance, that is another matter. He still has to act on the impulse or desire, which his mother should have already taught him is simply and unequivocally wrong. Even if you want to hurt somebody, you just don’t do it. Ever.

223. Susan Wade - January 24, 2016

My son a Marine,I’m sure now has PTSD
as he did serve in Desert Storm & etc.&,since then, I know, will never be the son I used to know.
Yes, PTSD is a very Serious Emotional
Disease. It does effect the whole Family of the effected Marine also, & especially
when the Ill Marine Denys that they are
sick & won’t get help.
As a Mom, I’m embarrassed for Sara Palin every time she opens her mouth, let alone for the crazy words she speaks.
Enough said.
Thanks for writing & publishing your Article Chris,…hopefully Palin sees it & takes it to her (soaring heart) !
Sincerely, Susan Wade

224. Republican, Democrat, or Independent? | Global Security, Privacy, & Risk Management - January 24, 2016

[…] wrote an open letter to Sarah Palin two days ago and it has since generated almost 400,000 views.  While most of the comments have […]

225. George Bachora - January 24, 2016

Thank you sir I really appreciate your service

226. Lauren Musso - January 24, 2016

You expertly managed to capture raw, uncut & inexcusable words and actions of Ms. Palin, yet also succeeded in writing a fact-based, educational, informative & patriotic letter wherein u did not come across as bitter or angry. The “normal” amount of emotion needed to convey empathy towards our brave soldiers can b felt by the reader, while simultaneously portraying the blatant ignorance and judgemental biases surrounding the Palin family. You should b ashamed of yourself Ms. Palin, and may you never have to endure the pains and emotional distraught our brave veterans face each and every day, at home and overseas. GOD BLESS AMERICA! Thank you, veterans and soldiers for all you’ve done and continue to do.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you very much for the kind words!

227. Chris - January 24, 2016

Thank you very much. All good things to you.

228. Catherine - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service, and for your letter. I sure hope she reads it.

229. Tami Schaeffer - January 24, 2016

Agree 100 percent. Thank you and all veterans for your service.

230. Kathy Hunt - January 24, 2016

Good for you Chris. We all want to see our Vererins get the help they need, and we are fighting for your rights too. We need to keep sending letters to our Representatives. On a regular basis. Good luck.

231. JLM - January 24, 2016

Well stated Chris! As a member of the Armed Forces, who is currently serving – I thank you for your Service and commitment.

232. Jo Patrick - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service and your views, hopefully they will not fall upon deaf ears.

Greta Murphy - January 24, 2016

Chris, thank you for writing this intelligent and well-informed open letter. To begin with, the public needs to know more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Secondly, Palin needs to be called out for politicising this terrible disorder. Third, considering their behavior, and the facts you raised, one has to ask if the entire family has PTSD. My point: she’s full of it. Thanks again for your letter.

233. Robert - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service, you hit the nail directly on the head!

234. cudgelmckickstomp - January 24, 2016

Well done, Chris. Every time I read something from this woman it makes me want to go slap John McCain.

235. Paul Kelly - January 24, 2016

Thank you for being a strong voice of reason.

236. C L Perry - January 24, 2016

Sarah Palin is a complete idiot politicizing veterans what a cheap shot I’m a Vietnam veteran and I disapprove of her comments they are completely out rages and as far as Mr. Trump goes He’s also a disgrace to the veterans

237. Clay Nicolsen - January 24, 2016

Chris, thanks for your thoughts, and for your courage in going public with them. We need more human beings to speak up.

Clay, Regular Army, 1971-74.

238. Peter Britton - January 24, 2016

Right on! May Sarah Palin fade away to focus on her trials as a poor example. And may her son find help.

239. Linda Barnett - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service and I hope this brings to light PTSD and helps the many victims of this terrible disease. As for Sarah Palin, she is to ignorant to change.

240. Catherine Sullivan - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service. I am Nurse Practitioner and understand what PTSD is and is not.
If Trak Palin is suffering from PTSD, then he should be busy getting treatment, not threatening a women with a gun.
Given his family history, I understand how PTSD effects depression and vice versa. Track Palin should have a plan in place to help him recover. If I was invoked with his case , I would recommend a short stay on a psych unit where a realistic plan of care can be developed.
People who pose a danger to themselves or others, should be 2 PC’ed to a psych hospital for evaluation and starting effective treatment.

241. Marylou - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service . I am the wife of a Vietnam veteran with ptsd and , I totally disagree with Sarah Palin .

242. Ksigrid - January 24, 2016

Thanks so much Chris Mark. I would also recommend Ms Palin take that automatic rifle away from her son under the influence of alcohol or drugs before we read more about his right to carry a gun even if he has PTSD. Shame on her for trying to use PTSD for the antics of her crazy son. She wants to blame someone, she only needs to look in a mirror.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Just to be clear I do not believe that PTSD is a reason to prohibit someone’s 2nd Amendment rights. the rif(le) was a semi-automatic but I do agree he does not need to have it under the inffluence. (my f key is broken)

243. Robin - January 24, 2016

Well said sir, and thank you for your service

244. Jay - January 24, 2016

Great write-up, but the real challenge is, if possible, ensuring that Sarah Palin actually reads the letter. We can congratulate the writer to high heavens for a job well done, and share the good feeling that the letter provokes. It’d be much more rewarding, however, to know that the message reaches how. I wonder if it’s possible to try to hand-deliver the letter to her.

245. Bryan - January 24, 2016

We who have not served salute your heroism and sacrifice. Thank you, Chris.

246. stitchhappy56 - January 24, 2016

When I saw Mrs. Palin on television with Donald Trump I was pained beyond belief as she spoke in defense of her son. It is my fervent prayer that her endorsement of Mr. Trump will be the kiss of death of his campaign and her place in the limelight. I would like to say thank you from my heart to yours for your valor in the line of duty and am so very sorry for the pain and suffering that PTSD brings to it’s victims. May you all be blessed and that at some point you will find peace.

Clay Nicolsen - January 24, 2016

Couldn’t agree more. She personally cost John McCain the Presidency of the United States, I hope she does the same thing for Trump.

C L Perry - January 24, 2016

Hallelujah brother you are so right she is a thorn in the Republican side why would she want to Divide the country I am African-American and I have whites in my family and I do not regret it people are people regardless of their race

247. Ed Merrick - January 24, 2016

Sir, I have the honor to address you as the Marine you are. Your response was well researched, well thought out and clearly delivered. You are an honor to the service, to the body of American Veterans and to our Country. Thank you for your response and your service.
A former E-5 sailor 1960-1964

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Thank you very much for the kind words!

248. Alan Wool - January 24, 2016

First–Thank you for your service. Second–Unfortunately Sarah won’t read this. It has too many words and syllables for her to comprehend. Again THANKS for your service.

249. Bryan Krantz - January 24, 2016

Very well said in a voice of calm and concern. I have had several veterans come though my EMT class and they were dealing with their issues with the same inner strength that you show through your writing. PTSD is real but it’s not a blanket term, nor a convenient cover to just throw over ANY kind of aberrant behavior. Perhaps Mrs. Palin should stop trying to steer other’s thinking until she has recalibrated her own moral compass.
Thank you for your commitment and your duty.

250. Jay Elder - January 24, 2016

Chris Mark, very well said for a majority of us Amercians. PTSD combat related or not is a very serious disability. I very much doubt Mr. Palins actions were/are a result of combat PTSD, just doesn’t fit the symptoms or effects. He is just a poorly raised child who was never taught right from wrong. Just like his sister Bristol (“Ill never have out of wedlock sex again”)!? Semper Fi Mr. Mark.

251. Debra Fritz - January 24, 2016

Mr. Mark,
First and foremost, thank you, sir, for your service. My father, now deceased, served in WWII and I have a grandson in the National Guard. My dad used to have dreadful dreams. I have to believe he suffered PTSD before anyone knew what that was! If not for you and the many brave men and women, we would not have the many luxuries we do as Americans.
I also sincerely appreciate your post. I, too, wish Sarah Palin would simply “fade away”. As a female, I find her inappropriate and inarticulate rantings offensive and a poor example of a role model for women of all ages; but as a mother, I find her behavior appalling and her “reaction” to her own child’s abusive and disrespectful behavior (to another human being…not to mention, a woman) bordering on abusive in its own rite. The fact she still has a voice at any level is incomprehensible.
I am a Democrat, and while there is an apparent “impasse” among the parties, I continue to hope that our United States of America can move beyond the current state of hate and selfishness. I believe there is a middle ground that would benefit all Americans and would prove the blood, sweat & tears of our service people is not in vain.
I appreciate you sharing your voice and send
Peace and Light to you and yours.
Deb Fritz

252. Sue Franz - January 24, 2016

As the sister of a fallen marine (Vietnam) and having a brother that served in the Navy, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service. Semper Fi my friend.

253. Sue Franz - January 24, 2016

As the sister of a fallen marine (Vietnam) and having a brother that served in the Navy, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart. Semper Fi my friend.

254. Maureen - January 24, 2016

Thank you Mark for your service and for your ‘Open Letter to Sarah Palin’. I’ve shared your letter and have asked others to share it too. My comments on FB: I have a brother who was drafted during Vietnam, an ex-husband who joined the Navy and served two tours in Vietnam where he lost many friends doing river patrols, a nephew who with 18 years of service is still serving our country after many, many tours overseas, and another nephew who is about to graduate as an Army Ranger. Thank you to all who proudly serve in the military!!! Chris Mark got it right in his ‘Open Letter to Sarah Palin’ – she just needs to ‘fade away’!

255. Jerry Campbell - January 24, 2016

Nicely stated response…thank you

256. Shari Zale - January 24, 2016

Thank you for writing this letter in response to a loose cannon and seemingly uncompassionate, narcissistic, and clueless human being. Thank you for who you are and for what you have sacrificed to defend the nonsensical reality of war that destroys, piece by piece, all of the humanity of the human race. Stay strong and continue to share your convictions and wisdom with all human beings, even those people who seem to be being entertained at the expense of the unimaginable pain and grief other human beings are suffering through. With appreciation, Shari

257. Jean Robertson - January 24, 2016

as an observer, I cannot understand why some in the public dislike Sarah Palin so much….. it’s not like she is a hag feminist and communist/islamist sympathizer like Clinton….. and as for unwed mothers, my goodness, most of Hollywood is an unwed mother/father… and as for egregious crimes against society, nothing she or her kids could ever do would come close to the 55 million abortions that have happened in North America., or come close to the manipulations of the elite of America, the EU, etc. I think women are jealous of her natural good looks and her ability to speak ‘off the cuff”, she is smart, and American first. I don’t get it.

Maria - January 24, 2016

yes, I agree that you definitely don’t get it

andy syrett - January 24, 2016

Well, Jean for starters: She quit after serving only two years as Alaska’s governor. She is basically an incoherent public speaker. her children act like trailer trash and she blames it on anything but their upbringing, Her grasp of reality is tenuous at beast and she would rather throw grenades than deal with anything that disagrees with her distorted view of the world. I suspect you get your “news” from Fox and Rush and distrust the mainstream media.

stitchhappy56 - January 25, 2016

Please don’t lump us folks who live in trailers with Ms. Palin… Trailer trash stands head and shoulders above what she stands for. Thanks.

Rob Felber - January 24, 2016

If you think Sarah Palin is smart, there’s really not much use speaking to you because you’re living on Bizarro world.

Sandi Bieber - January 24, 2016

Because she is an idiot and an attention-whore.

Doug Hamilton - January 24, 2016

Smart? She couldn’t name a single Founding Father other than Washington during a Glenn Beck interview. She thinks the Pledge of Allegiance was written by the same Founders she cannot name. It was not even written in the same century! She also thinks it mentioned God in its original form. (it did not!) In short, she is either ignorant of American history, or she is trying to convince the world she is ignorant of American history! Either way, the effect is the same.

Essentially a failed public servant and lousy mother, she is only in the limelight because she has a vague physical attractiveness. If she looked like Madeleine Albright, we’d have never heard of her.

She is shallow, bitter, has appeared to be drunk while giving speeches. Not qualities I desire in a leader.

howelldoeshe - January 24, 2016

Hi Jean,

I wouldn’t say it’s ‘some in the public’ who dislike her. I would say a majority of Americans share a disdain for her seemingly drunken spewing of incoherent phrases, her ignorance, her inadequacies as a public servant, etc.

Please, don’t defend someone whose sole purpose in life is to make herself a reality TV star. We need real stars… leaders with integrity, stature, real smarts and the experience to do the job. Sarah is one of the greatest examples of what we don’t need…

And, regarding your statement concerning Secretary Clinton being a Muslim sympathizer, perhaps you should walk a mile in the shoes of devout Muslims who share many of the same views concerning family, religion, community and country. They are beholden to all, and have the same rights and protections as you and I, as citizens of the USA.


flyingdwarf - January 24, 2016

Jean….you can’t be serious. really. you have too much Kool Aid in your system. this gentleman wrote an eloquent letter in the hopes that folks like you that PT
SD is NOT a political football. it is a serious problem that crosses political lines. i’d call you an idiot, but that wouldn’t be fair to idiots.

Malia Chow - January 24, 2016

silly woman

Sher - January 24, 2016

Wow. Just…no. You’re not paying attention.

And to the marine, thank you, sir.

Suzette - January 25, 2016

Well when your Christian daughter…whomis the spokesperson for abstinence…gets pregnant for the second time out of wedlock…ummmm, yeah…that is a problem

Frederick Huicochea - January 25, 2016

Jean Robertson: Correct me if I am wrong but does she not pander to the public by the means of “GOOD CHRISTIAN VALUES”? It doesn’t matter what everyone else does, she and her family invoke “CHRISTIAN VALUES”. Her daughter as had 2 children out of wedlock as she instructs children on the values of abstinence, she talks about her son’s PTSD and blames it on the POTUS, exactly when was he sent over seas and when did he return. Now out to the light is the story that e never saw combat. wats that about?

Fritza - January 25, 2016

You’re right, you don’t get it!

258. Leslie E Anderson - January 24, 2016

Thank you Sir

259. Bud Black - January 24, 2016

Chris–I can only hope that Ms. Palin sees your letter and learns from it. But based on her history, I doubt she will. And blaming President Obama for the issues her son has when it was a President from HER party who got us into that mess in the first place was also offensive. I can only hope she brings Trump down with her.

260. Edward Savage - January 24, 2016

Thank you Chris…..both for your service to our nation and for straightening out Ms Palin!

Ed Savage
San Diego, Ca

261. Dana Hooten - January 24, 2016

Thank you Chris, very well said.

262. Eléna - January 24, 2016

Thank you for a extremely well written letter. Unfortunately, she won’t understand it. Your service to our Country is greatly appreciated, and God Bless you..

263. ricky - January 24, 2016

Who the ____ are you to comment? Are you a known leadership figure in the USA? Or not?

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

Are you suggesting that only ‘known leadership (f)igures should be able to comment on a politician? Wow…your grasp of our system is unbelievable. I am a US citizen and I have a blog. I can comment and opine on any person or subject I so desire. As you likely are unclear….the 1st Amendment protects that RIGHT…any further questions?

Jean Connol - January 25, 2016


Carly - January 24, 2016

Who is he to comment? He is a US citizen. It is his right and responsibility to comment and question our leaders. They work for us.

Dearnley - January 24, 2016

Are you questioning Chris’ right to comment? Strikes me that it’s not only his right to comment, but that he’s obliged to do so when he hears politicians ‘manipulate the truth’ in such a way.

264. Sergio Rivas - January 24, 2016

Sarah Palin is a troubled person. She quit her job as Alaska governor to make more money. Not to be more “effective” like she stated in her speech. The people of Alaska are probably better off but the people that voted for her were ripped off by her. She was elected to fight for them but when the chance came about to enrich herself she dropped them like a bad habit. So now she’s stuck pretending she might get back into government, which she won’t do as long as she thinks the money will still be coming in.
She doesn’t really care about the subject of PTSD. From what I understand her son didn’t even see any combat. So unfortunately she won’t be taking Mr. Mark’s letter into consideration. But I am glad he wrote it.

265. Steve Martinelli - January 24, 2016

Excellent response Chris. I have long considered Sarah Palin to be a blight on society and a perfect example of how not to parent your children. She is physically and mentally unable to accept responsibility for her own family’s moral and ethical shortcomings.

266. Brent - January 24, 2016

What’s obivous to me is your all Obama supporters with your head in the sand thinking he’s done a good job with this country. Maybe you should vote for Hillary who cares for nothing but for herself and Bill and all the money they have hidden in off shore accounts. Wake up people.

C L Perry - January 24, 2016

Have you forgot who sent your ass to war GEORGE BUSH,people just don’t get it GEORGE BUSH lied you in to that terrible war

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

“…sent your ass to war.”? There has not been a draft since 1973. Every military member volunteers to ‘go to war’. My own experience was under President Clinton. Does this change your perspective?

Mike - January 24, 2016

We went willingly and look at the votes to send troops. Majority votes came from the democratic side public records look it up.

jen - January 25, 2016

Off topic much?

Jake - January 26, 2016

Brent, can you tell me how your life is worse that it was when he took over in 2008? And do you honestly think Hillary is the only one in this race that doesn’t have offshore bank accounts? Trump? Perhaps it is you that needs to wake up.

267. An Open Letter to Sarah Palin « Reading, Drinking and Dancing with a Chaser of Snark - January 24, 2016

[…] Source: An Open Letter to Sarah Palin […]

268. Karen C. - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service to our country and for this eloquent message. My father and uncle were veterans, along with other family members. We lost one member at the Pentagon on that September morning. Every time that woman and that presidential candidate open their mouths they do nothing but disparage our country and sink to lower depths. She could do more to help her family by getting help for them and for herself. Thank you again.

269. Beth Threlfall - January 24, 2016

Very well stated! Thank you for the letter and thank you for your service to our country. My husband is a Viet Nam veteran and a Bronze Star recipient. I too wish Sarah Palin would disappear.

270. Ranald Bruce - January 24, 2016

Chris Mark. Why are you a Republican? Please wake up.

Chris Mark - January 24, 2016

To suggest that my leaning toward the Republican side somehow makes me ‘ignorant’ is offensive. I could ask “why are you Democrat”. I am sure you would have an answer that I would not agree with. It is this type of divisive rhetoric that our country can do without.

C-Ray - January 24, 2016

Exactly. I might not agree with your lean…(i.e. Republican), but I can agree with your comment. Too often, we, as Americans, assume that only OUR side has the right answers. This cannot be further from the truth. We MUST work together. If we can’t, we are doomed. BTW…I am Democrat.

Daniel Szafran - January 24, 2016

Damn Chris, you are quite the word-smith. I wish there wasn’t a two party system, it quickly divides us all. I hope Palin reads your letter, and even if she doesn’t, you’ve obviously reached a lot of people in a short amount of time. All the best.

Pj Neeley - January 25, 2016

I am also, technically, a Republican. I do not vote that way most of the time due to the direction the party has taken since 2008. However, politics aside, you wrote a reasoned and well stated letter here. Those who are trying to make it even more political than Mrs. Palin already has need to try and take their party politics out of things from time to time. If more people could do that, and stop this fanatical, almost religious devotion to political parties (neither side seems to be able to admit the mistakes their party of choice has made over the years and there are plenty to go around without a doubt!) maybe we could work to better this country for all of our citizens!

Thank you for your service and your well thought out response to Mrs. Palin. I am sorry that she seems to be a standard representation of the Republican party these days and I’m sorry that you will likely catch flack from Republicans and Democrats alike for this for one reason or another.

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

I could not agree more! Thank you for the response!

271. kory - January 24, 2016

Chris Mark your letter touched me,I’m.Glad someone like you have guts to educate ‘Palin, but,if she likes to join REPUBLICAN PARTY AGAIN let her do so. ENCOURAGE her to exercise her freedom.of Speech. Thank you.

272. Hal Ackerman - January 24, 2016

Beautiful articulate statement, sir

273. Terry H. - January 24, 2016

Excellent response to Ms. Palin’s rhetoric. Will she read it? Possibly. Will she learn anything from it? Doubtful. What is equally frightening is the number of people who believe she would be a great choice for VP…. only a heartbeat away from the Presidency. I hope your letter and more like it will get America to wake up.

274. Lisa Petersen - January 24, 2016

I’d like to add the EOD Warrior Foundation (eodwarriorfoundation.org), and The Real Warriors Campaign (real warriors.net) to Chris’ suggestions of worthy organizations dedicated to helping those members of our armed forces who suffer from PTSD, and I’d also like to direct you, Ms. Palin, to ptsd.va.gov, and afterdeployment.org, two very worthy organizations that strive to help our veterans with PTSD while also educating the public on what PTSD is and is not. Education is a powerful tool, which can increase not only your knowledge base, but also your credibility…

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

Thank you!

275. Jodi Suntken - January 24, 2016

My brother in law became “one of the 22” last year. Thank you for your service, and your letter in his defense. You are a true hero.

276. Cheryl Roberts - January 24, 2016

Thank you Chris for you letter to Sarah Palin. Anyone that thinks she is smart has serious issues themselves. She needs a book to teach when to speak and what not to say.

277. Gator mccluskey - January 24, 2016

Have you ever thought about taking basic English courses? Ones that teach one to match subject and verb? I don’t necessarily like Sarah Palin but your rant made me laugh.

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

I have looked for more ‘basic English’ courses in my doctoral studies and cannot seem to find any. Come to think of it, I can’t recall many in my MBA or BA, either. Gosh, my sincere apologies for “making you laugh” with English error on a f’n blog post.

Lisa - January 25, 2016

…says the man who forgot to capitalize his last name.

278. Heather - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your service, and THANK YOU for saying for what so many of us are feeling. I too have a brother who is a veteran of The current war that suffers daily from PTSD. It is a serious condition and shouldn’t be taken lightly or used as an excuse. It breaks my heart to see fellow Americans say such absurd statements the truly know nothing about, especially when they are in the public eye.

279. Anne Leonard Louer - January 24, 2016

Well said – stay strong and thank you!

280. Patricia - January 24, 2016

Thank you for your letter and, most of all, for your service to our country . . . both are greatly appreciated. Your letter is beautifully written, but I’m afraid Sarah Palin will never be able to comprehend your words and their meanings. I am mortified to think of her and Donald Trump trying to run this country . . .

281. I Bev Linafelter - January 24, 2016

My thought was , does her son really have PTSD ? my next thought was , who am I to question whether he does or not. Meanwhile Hillary is under investigation by the FBI for mishandling secret information, putting our security at risk. No one seems to care !

282. N Citizen - January 24, 2016

Mr Mark, I don’t care if your political leaning is as a Martian, when you are right, you are right. Thank you, sir, for your service and I hope that you got some satisfaction out of your open letter, because even if Palin were to read it, and had a dictionary handy, she’d never understand it.

283. Roberta Wylie - January 24, 2016

THANK YOU CHRIS!!!!! For serving your country and protecting our freedom AND for this lettering putting Palin in her place. Like you, I wish she would fade away, far,far away. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

284. J. Shanks - January 24, 2016

Exceptional letter and more people to read and share it, more importantly someone needs to get this letter directly to Ms. Palin and more importantly to Mr. Trump. A relationship with Palin will only hurt his campaign and if he has any doubt about that, he can simply and Senator McCain.

Mr. Trump, distance yourself and your campaign from Ms. Palin, let her fade quietly into the Alaska Sunset.

Thank you for your service.

J. Shanks, USAF retired

stitchhappy56 - January 25, 2016

I would suggest both Palin and Trump fade into the sunset. They are both pompous gasbags with not one creative idea between them on how to solve this nations ills. All they are good at is pointing out the frustrations of a nation that has had 8 years of living under a man who was, and still remains, a man who was never qualified to be president. I hope America gets its head on straight and finds a REAL candidate to run for president or we are all doomed.

285. Rocky Z. - January 24, 2016

Very well written sir. If she doesn’t get a clue from reading your letter, she never will. Thanks for your service as I can also relate to such behavior as well as you. I served in Nam and there are issues from that war as well.

286. Rick Biesada - January 24, 2016

Dear Mr. Mark,
I basically agree with your statement regarding the Palin behavior being blamed on PTSD.
As a former Vietnam Combat Marine with service connected disabilities, I find it hard to comprehend why so many of our service members are diagnosed with PTSD.
I certainly would not take Senator Blumentahals word that 22 veterans per day are committing suicide. Senator Blumenthal pleaded guilty to false valor as he lied about his service in the Marines during the Vietnam war, and his figures on suicide related deaths out number the number of casualties during the war.
Politicians shouldn’t justify behavior on service related injuries, instead they need to train our troops in the art of war, not the art of political correctness.
Thank you for your observation and support of our troops.

287. Lara - January 24, 2016

Well said Chris!!! Thank you for your service and for continuing to stand up for what is right!

288. Diana M. - January 24, 2016

People who are talking about why people are jealous of Sarah Palin, why Chris is Republican, who sent who off to war are completely missing the point of this letter. Sarah Palin’s son DID NOT see combat, Chris Mark and his comrades did. Sarah Palin is almost making light of PTSD because her son got in trouble with the law and has violent tendencies. She should have nipped that in the bud some years ago instead of celebrating it.

289. Owen Marcus - January 24, 2016

Thank for standing up to the hype about being a man and the manipulation of the importance of PTSD. For too long this country has down played PTSD’s impact. Way too many men and women who served us are punished for the effect of their service. Using PTSD for selfish reason serves no one.

290. Jeff T - January 24, 2016

Glad to see that most of the comments support your POV, Mark. There’s hope yet. Republican or Democrat does not matter. Everyone should read the Preamble to the Declaration and realize that it is time to throw everyone out and start over. There is now a political class in America, not a political republic as was originally conceived (For the People, By the People) http://users.wfu.edu/zulick/340/Declaration.html

291. Sergio - January 24, 2016

Mr. Mark, how dare you try to serve yourself up as somebody of worth by stating you are a former Marine and Navy Offucer with a Comba Action “Ribbon” and service connected disability? To a layman that may sound like you were a grunt and possibly wounded in combat, to the rest of us that means you were merely present when gunfire was exchanged and is your disability “Combat Related”? Don’t try to play yourself up so you can bash someone you obviously have disdain for, because that is not honorable! Be a fucking MAN and say I dislike this lady and don’t appreciate what she says, unless that is if you are suffering from COMBAT RELATED PTSD, then yes, you can sound off like you did. Otherwise, don’t act like you know anything about this lady or her family other than what you have read in the Liberal Media! You disrespect The Corps, The Navy, and all Military Members by trying to paint yourself as something you are not to validate you fucking opinion!

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

Once again I have to remind some simpleton to use “the Google”. Since you are unaware, the Navy and Marine Corps identifies those in ‘direct combat’ with what is known as a CAR (Combat Action Ribbon) It is a “by name award” and requires more than merely “being present”. I never said I was ‘combat wounded’. This would have said something like: “I have a Purple Heart” or “I was combat wounded”. See the difference? If you had spent 5 minutes doing research instead of pounding inane comments out on your keyboard like a caffeinated monkey you may have masked your ignorance. So..if my PTSD is ‘combat related’ then my opinion is validated? Next time, before you comment, do just a bit of research so you don’t look so foolish.

292. Dorothy - January 24, 2016

21. Chris, very well said but unfortunately on deaf ears. Mrs. Palin couldn’t possibly understand nor accept that her life and that of her family’s mirrors a typical TV drama which fortunately for the stars can go home to sanity. It may be best if you created a comic book that she could look at to understand her brainless actions.

293. Brandy Lozano - January 25, 2016

I am a Marine Mom….. and as they say once a Marine always a Marine. That is my son he has served in Iraq and beyond. Never knowing where he was at times or his well being as a mother I worried daily. I AM THANKFUL my son came Home. He brought a buddy back with him full time. Many know him his name is PTSD. I will say as a mother yes I tell my kids to stand strong and have each others back but never to the point of DV (domestic violence ). I raise my sons (6) to never lay a hand on a woman. Thank you everyone for your sevice. I pray for all our service ppl to come home safe and God protect and heal all with PTSD.

294. Kathleen - January 25, 2016

You sir are greatly appreciated and are very respected to what you have said to Sarah Palin she’s a nuisance to society and you my dear have just put her in her place where she belongs. She needs to realize she can’t keep making up lame excuses for her family.Own up to it and get out and go away already.

295. Cec matlock - January 25, 2016

Thank you Chris for sharing your heart. I am from Alaska. I was hoping she would let Track be a man and deal with the consequences and take full responsibility for his actions. I am a mom too and my boys will take responsibility for any coward acts like beating up a woman. The other responders are idiots and trying to politicize this. This is about letting a man be responsible.

296. Kathleen - January 25, 2016

You sir are greatly appreciated and are very respected to what you have said to Sarah Palin she’s a nuisance to society and you my dear have just put her in her place where she belongs. She needs to realize she can’t keep making up lame excuses for her family.Own up to it and get out and go away already.Nobody wants to hear anything she even has to say and she looks like a fool.She needs to see that her family is not normal and they have issues.

297. Cindy B. - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your service to our country, sir, even though it means defending the ignorant people like Sarah Palin.

298. Rachel - January 25, 2016

I’d like to thank you Mr. Mark for your service and all the enlisted men & women and all the veterans old and young for protecting and fighting for our freedom as Americans and so that others may have an opportunity to have freedom as we do.

I’m am not a veteran but I too suffer from P.T.S.D. and I have found that unless you experience it, you really don’t understand. Many don’t understand what P.T.S.D. sufferers go thru on a day to day bases. The nightmares, the reliving of the traumatic event , playing like a movie or clips from a movie in your mind on a endless loop that you can’t turn off . And how some look at you and think your making it all up.

I read your letter and many of the replies that followed and I’d like to share my take on all of it.
And Again this is just my take on what I read.

Why do some of you want to make this into a political thing? Because Ms. Palin is public figure? If Ms. Palin wants to use P.T.S.D. ,whether it’s right or wrong , as to why her son behaved as he did, shouldn’t she want to be knowledgeable about this disorder and educate people on it. Bring more awareness that this is a REAL disorder that people suffer from?

What does it matter if your a Republican, Democrat, or Independent?

As Americans shouldn’t we all want the best American who is best for the job? An American with morality to distinguish between right and wrong, with mutual respect given to and received from each of us? No matter what party they belong to, or what race or color, male or female, young or old, rich or poor?

We all need to quit putting people into groups and we all need to stop putting labels on everything.

We should all strive to be HUMANS first

and AMERICANS second.

299. Taya - January 25, 2016

Sarah is fool she has no place to speak. About anything important, wish she and her family would go away. Thank you Chris for your service to our country.

300. Amber - January 25, 2016

Thank you Chris and all of those who have answered the call to protect our country…I hope that one day there will be resources and a support system for our veterans when they return home from combat and can no longer actively serve our country. Hopefully the billions or trillions of dollars spent on wars can be changed to being spent on abolishing homeless veterans, creating recovery centers for our vets those who suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses . As for Sarah Palin, I have no words.

301. D.H.Bolthausen - January 25, 2016

An awesome letter with revered forethought. I suppose many of us readers will hope dearly that Mrs. Palin reads your letter and hope that she does not respond as ‘usual’. It would please me if others read your letter and realize that ‘critical thinking’ can be so much more powerful then listening and running with a celebrity social comment that has no merit. I hope others read this and read about PTSD and grow their understanding. Well done.

Paty Thrond....proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary - January 25, 2016

Very well said…thank you so much for your service to our great Nation Chris~~

302. Autumn - January 25, 2016

Thank you Chris. Thank you for your service, thank you for being one of the reasons that I sleep sound at night, thank you for not only defending our nation but our soldiers as well. Thank you for your honesty and for being strong enough to stand up and speak the truth. I am greatful that there are still good people in the world such as you. Thank you for writing this letter, and for sharing it with the country.

303. annette - January 25, 2016

very well said . I hope she reads this letter and remembers every word. I too said the same thing when she blamed her sons actions on PTSD because my son also has PTSD and he doesn’t act out like Track Palin did – as a matter of fact – I sought help for him instead of blaming the president or the war.

304. Gary Kaney - January 25, 2016

Well said Mr. Mark. I am a republican, but she needs to go away.

305. David - January 25, 2016

Excellent, we’ll written letter. And in her defense, she’s always been an idiot. Its a shame that (by some) she’s been put on a pedistal.

306. Lissa Roy - January 25, 2016

It would be wonderful if she had read this, but sometimes I wonder if she can read!

Jim I. - January 25, 2016

If you recall during McCain’s presidential run Palin was asked what she liked to read and she could not mention anything that she reads, newspapers books etc she couldn’t even think of one just a make up so she would have an answer she was simply stumped. So yes good luck on her ability to read this post or any other.

Jack Mc - January 25, 2016

Yes, this is true and she tried to blame her lack of a good response on the media(Katie Coric)—she said they tricked her!

307. Rich - January 25, 2016

Right on. Thanks for sharing this info and putting that idiot where she belongs. Shows us what idiots are in politics and the level they will go for their own gain. Thank you for your service and making this statement.

308. Diana - January 25, 2016

Beautifully and thoughtfully written! Thank you for this response and for not just burying your resentment. Your voice is powerful!

309. Miles standish - January 25, 2016

This would be a good argicle if the author hadnt politicised it himself. I am also a vet and i think both dont truly understand ptsd and should leave diagnosis to doctors

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

The article was not about PTSD it was about Sarah Palin’s politicization of the issue and use of the issue to excuse her son’s domestic violence.

John Civello - January 25, 2016

Mark, I disagree with one aspect of your letter, when you state ‘your significant influence’. Sarah Palin is a certifiable airhead, with zero influence.

Johnny - January 25, 2016

Chris, you really are no better than her airing your political feelings about someone on public media…..doesn’t matter who it is, you and her both are using PTSD as an excuse to get attention and make excuses….soldiers aren’t the only ones who suffer from PTSD. Police and Correction officers also experience this unfortunate side effects from their job duties. Only one in about one hundred men can actually be a true warrior…..the other 99 will suffer mentally for reasons and weaknesses beyond their control…sorry that’s just the way it really is!

310. Christine Baker - January 25, 2016

Very thought provoking open letter Chris…

First, I want to thank you from my heart for your service in defense of our country, It is a sad but true reality that the majority of people here in America truly have no concept of the sacrifices our fighting men and women make on a day to day basis. Secondly, I commend you for voicing what all Americans need to know about PTSD. As concerned Americans, we need to be educated and understand what is truly happening to our veterans when they come home from combat duty.
This is a true epidemic, and certainly not a new concept, as I am living with a Persian Gulf War Veteran who shows tattered remains of this syndrome himself. But in all frankness, how can you be certain that Track Palin does not suffer from PTSD? In that light, it is really is irrelevant who his mother is, no matter how much of a lightning rod she may be. All of his signs and symptoms, including apparent alcohol abuse, are a red flag to what a large number of veterans exhibit when returning home from their tour(s) of duty. Now, in defense of Sarah, she does operate in a political environment, but let’s not forget the important issue here, and that is Track. We as mothers only want the very best for our children, no matter how old they may be. Denial is bliss! Educate, Educate, Educate!

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

Thank your the thoughtful response!

Christine Baker - January 25, 2016

Thanks Chris! I know this is a very critical subject. With war comes unspeakable damage to the men and women who have to shoulder the brunt of it. Thanks again for your service and bringing this issue to light.
Christine Baker

Martha Graham - January 25, 2016

Thank you Christine. Very well said🇺🇸👏🏻👌🏻

Christine Baker - January 25, 2016

Thank you Martha!

Tina B Spangler - January 25, 2016

Christine, you made some good points. No one can know at this point whether or not Track has PTSD, so unless he was officially diagnosed his mother ought not to be making such a pronouncement – that is not only unfair to Track it is also unfair to millions who have been diagnoses. Excusing bad behavior is not the answer either. To boot, Track had a history of similar behavior before he ever enlisted. Many people with PTSD do not behave as he did so making that an excuse is also a disservice. It has been said that Track did not even see combat (I think it is more than just a rumor) and that he enlisted because it was either that or go to jail and then his mother used his enlisting in 2008 as a political selling point. His mother has a history of exploiting and excusing her children — that is the crime here, in my opinion.

Christine Baker - January 25, 2016

Tina, I have to agree with you on the excusing bad behavior. You are absolutely right if Track has had a history of violence prior to his enlisting in the military. We recently just relocated from the Matanuska-Susitna Valley (Palmer) after living there five-plus years, but were never really in tune with Wasilla’s goings-on. As far as Track seeing combat or not, I do know that my husband, son, and son in-law have served a combined twelve tours between them in that region, starting with the onset of the Persian Gulf War way back in 1990. No matter the longevity of the tour or the degree of combat exposure, they each have had to deal with a magnitude of stressors when returning home, alcohol abuse included. I’d be interested in knowing the true number of veterans that are having these same types of issues upon returning home…
Now as far as the former Alaskan governor is concerned, I’m no Palin apologist. And by no means am I trying to single any one person out, we are all guilty of doing this at one time or another. It just seems to me, that it is extremely easy for all of us to sit behind our computers and armchair quarterback the motivations behind her perceived excuses. There is no question she is easily one of the most polarizing and divisive political figures in the public arena today. But no matter what we think, how we feel, or what our political affiliations and moral sensitivities are, you have to concede she is, at the very least, gutsy enough to put herself out there and engage on the issues while we the public, denigrate, ridicule, and criticize her every word from within the relative safety of our anonymous bubbles. It really has become too easy to attack any political figure (conservative or liberal) from behind our firewalls; what we need is more people to step up and put themselves out there like she is doing, instead of whining and pontificating the why’s of what she is saying or not saying. Otherwise, how can we expect any change in direction for our country.

Kim - January 25, 2016

I would agree with you…I was thinking the same thing as I read it.

Nancy - January 25, 2016

Christine Baker….very well said. PTSD is different for each person who suffers from it. No one can say for certain how anyone will behave or react to a situation when PTSD is an issue. Mrs. Palin, will do what loving mothers do. Love her children unconditionaly. No one knows what their children will do. She is not responsible for her sons actions. He is an adult. If he is suffering from PTSD, I hope he gets help and learns from his mistake.

Walter Snickumsquable - January 25, 2016

I like the article. My thoughts about the politics. I think she should get her son on the track of some help for his violence. I had two friends who commited suicide after their tours. and 4 years in a POW camp. She needs to spend some of her energy getting him some help. They were working and when we were together having a beer and a burger Fishing together, They kept saying they were so tired. It was an unbearable load after time. Then signs of the condition are elusive to a Layman. They has erosive family conditions due to being gone so long And being called baby killers when they arrived on a plane after R&R on the Phillipine islands did not help. Mrs Paline needs to re-access her direction and think more about getting her son some needed positive SKILLED attention.

Christine Baker - January 25, 2016

Walter I am so sorry for you loss and I agree with the sentiment of getting Track the help he needs. Did you serve also? If so, thank you for your service! Every military member, past or present, are our countries finest! I, from the bottom of my heart, appreciate all of the sacrifices our service members make in defense of our country.

Christine Baker

311. Jewell Contorchick - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your service and thank you for this letter that I also hope she reads .

312. Connie Wolfe - January 25, 2016

Excellent letter! Thank you. If you listen to her for over 2 minutes, it’s apparent she misuses words, makes up her own, and rambles like someone using mind altering substances. She doesn’t have a moral compass, and clearly isn’t helping her son by blaming his actions and behavior on PTSD. He clearly needs help, and hopefully he will get it, but as long as his mother enables him and covers up his behavior with excuses and blaming others, he won’t get better. It’s a shame. She’s not a positive role model for anyone. She is a media hogging egotistical idiot.
I tried to listen to her speech but her murderous use of the English language was more than I could handle.
God bless every Veteran in this country and shame on you Sarah!

313. Joe Johnson - January 25, 2016

Chris, I also thank you for your service to our country and wish to share your thoughts with my friends around the world. Hopefully Mrs. Palin will actually get to read your post and take some positive actions. I wish you well in the future.

314. Trudy Berthelson - January 25, 2016

Thanks so much for your service and for your continued support of the United States through your work with veterans. Thanks also for this letter and I do hope it has the effect that you intended. Thanks also for having the courage to write this.tb

315. Laurie - January 25, 2016

Chris thank you for this letter and thank you for your service. It is a sad state in our country when Americans are so disillusioned with the political system that Trump and Palin are the fore runners in this primary. My wish would be abolishment of all political parties and let candidates run on their merits not on their party lines. This would take awhile, but in 20 years I hope we would end up with better fish in the pond. Maybe I am naive but my aspirations would be a blending of our system/society goals together like the melting pot American actually is. What can I say, I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s.

316. Liz - January 25, 2016

Thank you Chris and all our military. My son-in-law suffers from PTSD but has seeked help with it and is doing much better! For those calling Mrs. Palin an idiot I feel that she is not an idiot so much as she is ignorant. We have a lot of ignorant people in the US and they prefer it that way. They do not take the time to read and study facts. It’s just easier for them to scream lies and half truths and get people riled up.

317. Emily B. - January 25, 2016

Dear Mr. Mark,
I can’t thank you enough for your articulate and well-reasoned response to Ms Palin’s harmful,almost delusional comments.

As a staunch liberal, I know that we likely disagree on many issues. Nonetheless, I hope that people like you, if not you yourself, might consider a run for political office. I’ve been watching in dismay as the Republican party has unravelled and know that this only jeopardizes the common good – meaning a strong economy, a safe and healthy environment, a well-educated public.

People with your capacity should be our leaders and not the buffoons who seem to rise to the top, for whatever reason. As my father says, ‘If the good people wont put themselves forward, what you get is what you got.”

To be sure, you’ve already served this country more than most and to ask you to do more is really unfair, if not outrageous. At the same time, we desperately need people who are balanced, sane, thoughtful, articulate, and willing to speak out. On both sides.

With great respect and gratitude for your service,

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

Thank you for the kind words! I think we are all better served if we can simply have polite, reasoned discourse and debate instead of the divisive rhetoric that has pervaded our nation’s politics. Thanks again!

Emily B. - February 15, 2016

Here’s a soldier addressing his PTSD in an amazing way – creating a military magazine for veterans. He’s doing a kickstarter campaign and could use a few bucks. He’s only got 36 hours left…

stitchhappy56 - January 25, 2016

Bravo Miss Emily B… we do need bright and insightful people to run for public service. I stand with you to nominate Chris!

318. Sharon Ferguson - January 25, 2016

What a thoughtful, well-reasoned case you make for the acknowledgement, understanding and support we all owe American veterans who are so deeply injured while keeping the rest of us safe. Thank you for the reminder and for the rightful chastisement of anyone who uses their honor and suffering for selfish political ends.

The important issue is not Sarah Palin but her son, and in fact her family. If Track Palin has PTSD (although since he had a noncombat role it seems unlikely to me that this would be the case) or if he is “simply” a violent alcoholic, he should not be living in a house with multiple family members and where access to firearms is easy. Sarah Palin’s denial of responsibility and her absence at a crucial and dangerous time seems to leave all of her family, and particularly Track, in a tenuous situation.

Since his parents don’t seem interested, I hope that other family members or a veterans’ organization steps in and gets Track help in a secure environment where he cannot hurt himself or others as he recovers. We owe that kind of support to all of our vets, and I thank you again for calling us all out on that issue.

319. Sarah Charles - January 25, 2016

well said.

The woman whom Track has beaten may now suffer from PTSD as well. Our challenge is to take trauma and turn it into growth: Post-Traumatic Growth.

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

Very good point!

320. Will - January 25, 2016

Poignant on several levels…

321. Donna m Sears - January 25, 2016

Thank You Chris, & All who,protect us & I can only hope that she, reads your beautifully PUT, letter, God Bless, to all our Men & Woman in military, & who suffer from PTSD 🙏🙏⭕️❌

322. M Van Dyke - January 25, 2016

Beautifully put.
Thank you.

323. John Kiernan - January 25, 2016

Thank you Chris for your service, I am also a combat Marine from the Viet Nam era who lived through the ups and downs of PTSD. It is sad to think someone would use that as a defense for his bad behavior. Thanks again and God Bless, Semper Fi .

324. Diane C. Witherspoon - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your service and the MANY others who gave so much. My brother was so weakened after his time of service and is no longer with us. My prayers will be for your letter to be read and understood by many – especially Ms. Palin. My prayers will be with you.

325. jeansmith1015 - January 25, 2016

Thank you so much for your letter. My father and my uncle were both combat survivors of Vietnam, unfortunately, although my uncle survived the war, he did not survive ptsd. He committed suicide in 1979. My father, who is still alive, has suffered for decades but will not seek help due to the stigma. I get so angry hearing Ms. Palin talk about ptsd and then in the same breath, suggest we should be sending more of our young men to war. I grew up in a military family and I have nothing but respect and admiration for our men and women who protect our freedom, but I believe in using their lives for that reason sparingly and as a last resort. Polititions who are so quick to respond to everthing with the lives of our soldiers should be standing on the front line of combat. Let them learn the horrors of war from the line and perhaps they will learn that diplomacy should be our first response.

326. John Kumjian - January 25, 2016

Thank you, Chris for attempting to set this foolish and ignorant woman straight…and thank you and ALL those in the military for your service.

327. An Open Letter to Sarah Palin - LiberalVoiceLiberalVoice — Your source for everything about liberals and progressives! — News and tweets about everything liberals and progressives - January 25, 2016

[…] This post originally appeared on GlobalRiskInfo.com. […]

328. Michael Conroy (@mgconroy54) - January 25, 2016

While this is an articulate and heartfelt response to Palin’s statement, I find it a bit disingenuous, perhaps because the author is, as he states, a Republican. In reality, Palin’s comments had nothing to do with PTSD. PTSD is merely the most recent cudgel with which she has bashed her favorite target: the man who resigned her forever to the also-ran status that she so richly deserves.

329. An Open up Letter to Sarah Palin - Feeling Sick - January 25, 2016

[…] This put up initially appeared on GlobalRiskInfo.com. […]

330. Joe - January 25, 2016

PTSD should never be used as an excuse for poor behavior by anyone. In spite of the difficulties one faces, he/she is still responsible for their actions. This includes Sarah Palins children. That being said, it has brought PTSD to the forefront of discussion and to the political spectrum. It has highlighted something that needs to be addressed in the politics of today and may help bring help to those who need it. Rather than lambast her for mentioning it, she did bring it to the table.

One other thing. Adult children are responsible for their own behavior. No one else needs to accept responsibility for them. Whether it is her kids or mine, honey make choices that may be radically different from what they were taught or what was expected.

Lastly, she is a mother first, a politician second. Her family is held to a standard and the media in ways which most of us will never have to face. A mother defending her child, no matter the situation, is what mothers do. I wish our potus could do that for our nation.

331. P. M. Z. - January 25, 2016

Thanks for your service! As a Combat Veteran with a Purple Heart, that fights my demons on a daily basis I find this letter to be written by someone that is uninformed. Contrary to popular belief, PTSD is not just a Combat Veteran problem. Unless I missed something in the letter that is purportedly written based on first hand knowledge of PTSD its quite possible that her son could have PTSD from a traumatic event in his life.

332. Lulu Sliker - January 25, 2016

Right on Chris. Thank you. 22 every day hurts my heart. I lost my dad to PTSD. He never really did come all the way home from Vietnam. I am forever thankful that we found a place in our relationship to talk about the ghosts that haunted him but even so he got stuck in the bottle and could not find his way out. It is very real and not to be thrown around in the way Pailin is doing. She really pisses me off. Much respect to you.

333. Boake - January 25, 2016

You all have it wrong..It’s O’Bama’s fault, that’s what she said..Funny thing is, Track was in the Military when Bush was President..

Warren Boyer - January 25, 2016

Sorry, Your wrong. Check again.

334. Carlos - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your courageous statement. I am a Democrat and this doesn’t keep me from recognizing the plight of so many veterans affected with this condition.
Thank you for your service to this great nation that allows and encourages all of us, with different political beliefs, to express our ideas and feelings. You and every service person make me proud to be a naturalized U.S. citizen.

335. Keith Bryant - January 25, 2016

Thanks to the Marine for his service. Track is her kid and this guy should probably just STFU. Last I checked she is a private citizen just expressing her opinion, not an elected official.

cat - January 25, 2016

She thinks she is going to be Trumps running mate.

Azdude - January 25, 2016

Keith, really? She said it on a very public forum. She was endorsing a Presidential Candidate publicly. She may be a private citizen, but when she makes foolish comments publicly, she deserves to be criticized.

Taking your point further, basically you think people can say whatever they want publicly but cannot be held accountable because they are not elected?? wow. That is some serious “exception” clause.

336. Jean - January 25, 2016

Well bloody well said Chris mark
For speaking up & thank you for your service !!!!

337. Diana - January 25, 2016

Beautiful letter but one omission. She blamed Barack Obama in that how he acts toward returning veterans—what would you expect, she said?

338. http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your service to our country and for your thoughtful response to the woman who has yet to realize her many limitations in the area of human relationships. The fact that she would choose to sanction Trump attests to her lack of intelligence and hatred for other people. We could say, “Leave her to Heaven,” but I don’t think it wants to deal with her either.

339. Greg Curry - January 25, 2016


340. Gavin Jonson - January 25, 2016

Not too difficult, in this age of offense, to find some wrong headed veteran who gets butt-hurt over Sarah Palin’s comments. What is increasingly difficult is finding MSM outlets who are bringing more light to the horrors of PTSD.

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

Sorry you think I am ‘wrong headed’. I think her comments were uninformed and dangerous.

341. Sharon - January 25, 2016

One can only hope that this letter makes it to that “nut case’s” attention. This woman gives a bad name to good, honest women out there struggling to get into public office. She is a certified nut case and if her son truly is suffering from PTSD (which I doubt) then I hope he gets help. What she should be making speeches about is how hard it is for our war vets to get the kind of help they certainly deserve. As for her son he showed a violent side before any service he may have given to this country . As for you Chris Mark, thank you for your service to our country….as the grand-mother of a Marine who heads to California soon for more training at 29 Palms and off to fight (he hopes) where ever he is needed. We all fear for his safety as well as for the safety of many men and women on the front lines for this country. When politicians abuse their status in the way that Sarah Palin and others have they need to be put in their place, thank you for doing so!!

342. Doug - January 25, 2016

I am not a fan of Palin either but mentioning PTSD as a cause of domestic disturbance is not a falsehood. Mayo clinic definition of PTSD includes anger and aggressive behavior. So dislike her for a number of reasons but you missed the mark here in my mind. I have donated thousands to help veterans and one was to make it possible for therapy instead of jail for domestic disturbance violations. It is slow going but working. Thanks for your service.

343. Ann Brenneman - January 25, 2016

Chris: Thank you for your dedicated service and committed support of your fellow veterans. As for your comments regarding Sarah Palin, you stated so succinctly what so many of us feel about her and her family. They need to seriously review their behavior before telling the rest of us how we should behave. Thank you for the courage you’ve shown in writing this letter. I sincerely hope that you have a long and fulfilling life!!

344. kate coury - January 25, 2016

I had read recently that Track never saw combat by someone who served with him. And, that it was his mother’s idea to say that he did serve in a combat role, not his. If she used her own son to enhance her political views, shame on her. A wonderful letter from you and a big thank you for not letting her get away with this ignorant and hurtful and dangerous rhetoric.

345. Carol Huffman - January 25, 2016

PTSD should not be politicized, but given the medical treatment so needed for so many veterans. Taking care of our returning soldiers is an ethical and deserved benefit for all who serve our country. My gratitude goes out to you, Chris, and all our soldiers who keep our citizens safe.

346. An Open Letter to Sarah Palin « CauseHub - January 25, 2016

[…] This post originally appeared on GlobalRiskInfo.com. […]

347. Nicole - January 25, 2016

Chris, thank you for your service to our Country. I’m not sure if you are aware that Track never seen any combat. So PTSD…. From what? Its sad his mother is so ignorant to what PTSD actually is.
I will continue to pray for you and all military personnel and veterans, without all of your bravory we would not have all the liberties due to us as Americans.
Many blessings to you

348. Dobri Stojsic - January 25, 2016

Brilliant. Thank you for your service and your elegant letter. You are a real example of why the US military is so brave and so good. I wish your Government would see that and do more for you.

349. Ralph Cummins - January 25, 2016

Thank you Chris Mark for your service, compassion and honesty…the political class seems particularly low on the latter.

350. SS - January 25, 2016

She always makes me just shake my head in disbelieve and think what the hell was McCain thinking!

351. Sally A Smith - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your service. And thank you for taking the time to make a statement. A much needed statement. PTSD is just one of the many sad consequences of war. It is reprehensible that anyone, but especially someone with the responsibility of “celebrity” status would use this term so flippantly. PTSD is a fairly “new” term, but those of us whose fathers fought in WWII, Korea or Vietnam are not strangers to the stories of men and women who were forever changed by the things they experienced. Like “Emily B” above, I hope that you and those like you would consider seeking public office. We need the clear thinking and communication skills that you have obviously honed. I know of no one who has had to make decisions – life changing ones – under more pressure than a veteran.
Every freedom I cherish is available to me because of you. Thank you. Please keep talking.

352. Issy b. - January 25, 2016

Thank you Mr. Mark,

That was a well said letter and thank you for all your services protecting this country, as you can see our sorry government don’t care or take the time to recognize our fallen Heros. Shame on our government. And God bless all our men and women who serve or served our country as well as for their families.

353. pappadave - January 25, 2016

I am a Vietnam Vet and PTSD has been USED as an excuse for bad behavior ‘way too many times. I can attest that the condition is real, BUT, it’s NOT an excuse for either suicide or violence towards others.

Dean Reynolds - January 25, 2016

I agree, but I think PTSD is also used as an excuse to collect an income for life when there is really nothing wrong with them , and them could be as high as 30%.

Marna Randall - January 25, 2016

My soon to be ex-daughter-in-law has done this.

Shame of PPL like you - January 25, 2016

Dean Reynolds, until you understand PTSD and any other mental illness and brain trauma, please do not speak about it. I am certain that you personally do not know anyone closely related that suffers such illness/trauma. Our service personnel give their ultimate gift so you can express your narrow minded view here. If you or a loved one served, you would know better. Those veterans that succumb to suicide are not thinking about the “income,” they receive, all they want is to end their suffering. So much for that INCOME!!

Regina - January 25, 2016

PTSD as we all agree is a phenomenon which causes the sufferer to experience the traumatic event as if is occurring in the here and now. Suicide as a result of this cannot be judged by anyone who has not lived in that veteran’s boots. Knowing how difficult it is to get assistance from the VA or whether there are available resources close by are factors that have to be considered. Support of family? Friends? Spiritual? Whatever the reason someone decides to commit suicide is because the pain is so unbearable, that each moment is an eternity and you only see the black pitch that surrounds you. For you there is no hope, no help, only unending, excruciating pain. Take that into consideration when you think of judging someone for making another painful choice to leave this earth, feeling that every one will be better without you. Not being able to feel how much you are truly loved and will be missed. I wish them and you all peace and light.

Patty - January 25, 2016

Regina this was very well said!

354. terry donakowski - January 25, 2016

A certified generals driver has ptsd, lmfao someone need apiss test

Island MoM - January 25, 2016

I told my husband the same thing about being a general’s driver down range as not in combat. My husband is neither Republican or Democrat but and is a military officer. He corrected me and said that when you are driving the general around you have to be tough and ready to fight as there is no telling what you are going to come across on the way to the destination. And yes, he said they are on constant guard and must be ready to shoot to protect the general. My husband was in one of those missions a while back and he was riding with a higher ranking officer when the car was ridden with bullets. The older officer was killed, my husband got spared, thank God.

355. john marsh - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your thoughtful statements and insights into the subject of PTSD. As a Vietnam veteran I have grown sick of politicizing of this painful subject,done all too frequently by those who sent our comrades into battle.

356. Paul D. Bagley - January 25, 2016

Chris, you speak for more veterans than you know. Your remarks are articulate and right on target; just what we’d expect from a Marine. As a veteran, a former medic, and a former law enforcement officer, l can state that both PTSD and domestic violence are more complex than people know, and using one as cause for the other has no relevance. Both require professional attention, and in the case of the latter court action and possibly incarceration. Any politician who relates the actions of a domestic abuser exclusively with suffering from PTSD is an absolute fool. That fool is making a punchline out of the genuine human suffering of our veterans, and that severely taints any other political argument they might make.
Braco, Chris!

357. Ansu - January 25, 2016

Beautifully written letter. Maybe, Mrs. Palin will apologize to all those service members impacted. What a shame. Again, thank you Chris.

Jordu - January 25, 2016


358. Jason H - January 25, 2016

I am a former Marine with service connected PTSD that has taken my life , my career and my family. Two failed suicide attempts and 8 years of fear, anxiety, doom and terror. Thanks for politicizing this issue even more. If this wasn’t meant to throw the political football for a touchdown then explain to me why you had to share this letter to the world? So far all you’ve done is throw more fuel to the political fire for both sides democrat and republican. All disabled veterans especially those who suffer from TBI and PTSD do not need to be thrown in any type of political shit storm because now your letter it’s all over social media. You are no different than Palin in this matter. If you want to make your voice heard I would suggest looking into how treatment for PTSD and TBI can be improved especially through the VA and keep politics out of such a debilitating injury.

Earl - January 25, 2016

So your rationale is that whenever a celebrity or politician makes an ignorant comment that harms people and the perception of people they should not be corrected publicly? There surely won’t be a private correction since celebrities are often surrounded by people who don’t correct them, and someone such as Chris would have been unlikely to get his letter into her hands and even if he had, it would be easily dismissed by her since her closest advisors will say it is an isolated complaint because there is no public outrage.

I think (which you will no doubt deny) that you simply support Trump and Palin and don’t like articulate and rational discourse that opposes them in any way.

359. Pamela - January 25, 2016

Thank you so much for articulating what I felt as a 100% disabled veteran with a tracheotomy you where my voice. Thank you for your service and the service you continue to give.

360. myowncritic - January 25, 2016

Reblogged this on MyOwnCritic’s Blog and commented:
For the consideration of truth.

361. soldier19985blog - January 25, 2016

Reblogged this on soldier19985blog and commented:
From a 100% disable veteran with a tracheotomy…My Voice

362. Chuck - January 25, 2016

Very thoughtful letter. I am afraid Sarah will not understand it as she is an idiot.

363. Mona Ives - January 25, 2016

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. I have often been upset at how PTSD is portrayed in the media. My son is a victim although not due to combat, due to another form of trauma. However, I have to say thank you for your duty to our country.

In addition, I agree this is a despicable politization of the issue. And you’re right Pailin probably egged her own son on – which is so typical with DV. But in any case, let me just say that if you are going to make it political – let’s talk about the war itself and the fact that our leaders sent our soldiers in to find WMDs that just weren’t there, and that was not fair to our soldiers or their families. And PTSD is just another physical and emotional toll that they are paying for politicians’ stupidity and hunger for war.

pappadave - January 25, 2016

Actually wrong. Our troops found over 4,000 WMD’s in Iraq during and after the resumption of hostilities in 2003. Read up on it, but you won’t find the truth on HuffPo.

364. Rita - January 25, 2016

Jason..I read Chis letter and I in No way considered anything he said as Political.. I’m sorry but maybe your PTSD and TBI is in some way interfering with your ability to appreciate how profound Chris letter had on a normal everyday citizen…it truly impacted my emotions and my understanding about how this very serious condition is being used as an excuse for bad behaviors by a political figure.. Also that I agree all the politicans should step up to the plate and support all our Vets especially if during a time of elections they are going to bring the issue up…simply “do it for the right reasons or shut up”!!

365. Michael J. Curtiss - January 25, 2016

Eloquently stated, sir.

The reality is this: the world we live in is vastly different from what it was only a few years ago in terms of how we deal with issues like people being impaired and inappropriate, and the impact their behavior has on those around them.

How we react to it is also indicative of the world we’re going to pass on to our own children, and even though I don’t have any kids I like to think that one of the greatest lessons we can teach them is to balance a zero-strike mentality against inappropriate behavior with a sense of understanding and compassion.

I want our kids to know that they can have a measure of sympathy for those who act out due to addiction or external influences like PTSD but that they should never, ever tolerate any kind of inappropriate behavior that puts them at risk, no matter what form it takes.

We understand that PTSD and TBI are serious issues, but far too often they’re used as convenient labels for people to hide behind, or used as a free pass to continue the behavior, as the Palins think they can do freely and without consequence.

No. You don’t get to do that. You don’t get to act irresponsibly or in an impaired manner, and you don’t get to use PTSD or TBI to minimize your behavior or explain it away, and you don’t get to not get called out for doing that or not be made to stand up and face the consequences of your choices.

Not when scores of men and women grapple with these very real conditions daily and do so in an honorable manner.

We can understand if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, and we can sympathize to an extent and even offer help, but you don’t get to get away with the behavior that accompanies your problem and expect to pass it off as PTSD or TBI as a convenient way of getting out of being accountable.

This is what the Palins have done, and it’s beyond offensive. It’s an obscenity. And it will not stand.

366. Gary - January 25, 2016

Agree with Jason H and Chris. Excellent points…..lets work on solutions. I can’t criticize a mom and her son, especially if I don’t know the exact real details. With that said, better plan is to get Sarah to champion with you guys time, effort and money behind PTSD solutions. Thank you so much for your service.

367. Bobby - January 25, 2016

Very eloquent letter that speaks of your own character.

Thank you for your service and valiant effort to try and have Mrs. Palin’s efforts put to better use. Unfortunately her continued ignorance will certainly continue to serve her own causes rather than try to do the right things.

With sincere thanks for all you have given and may God be with you and your family.

368. Paul Pabst - January 25, 2016

I’m not sure we’re the Republican part is but you are so correct. You would probably make a better candidate than any of the Republican clowns.
I hate to believe that the 2nd Amendment is going to be the deciding reason on who is going to be president.
Anyway God bless you brother.

369. Amanda - January 25, 2016

Beautifully written. Sarah Palin should and needs to keep her mouth shut. She is ridiculous. I was absolutely ashamed of her for that comment. (really, anything that comes out of her mouth) Thank you for putting this out there and Thank you Chris and all who serve and are still serving.

Amanda F.

370. Sharron - January 25, 2016

Bravo Chris, you are correct.

371. Brigitte Amodeo - January 25, 2016

It ll comes ou t in the wash eventually. Most of the time after someone has died and was well respected at the time of their liv in g days….

But no one should use any war disability as a political football. There is a fine line in making statements. that could be very painful….

372. Carol - January 25, 2016

Our grandson suffers from PTSD. Thank you for speaking up.

373. lois debello - January 25, 2016

I really don’t know you, but I’m so proud of you. I hope your letter is read by all

374. Deborah - January 25, 2016

Chris Mark, thank you for your service. Thank you for your post. You articulated what many of us readers felt and most importantly, your personal experience validates your opinion. PTSD should not employed as political fodder.

375. Jose Gonzalez - January 25, 2016

My partner is a veteran. She is an insult to humanity. She is a pendejo at best.

376. tunsch - January 25, 2016

I’m with Amanda. What a silly woman Palin’s become: she’s now all about herself. Thank you for your service, your wise and tempered words, and links to organizations that help. Americans very much want to step up and serve our heroes out of thanks for their sacrifice. Sometimes we just don’t know where or how to start.

377. Diana Campell - January 25, 2016

Thank you Mr. Mark for serving. Well said

378. Jim Hodes - January 25, 2016

Will someone tell that moron her 1 minutes are up and please sit down preferably somewhere very far away like another planet!

379. Charlene Witman - January 25, 2016

Thank you mark for your wise and educated words. I heard her “speech” on my way to work and fumed for the 45 minutes it took me to get. At that time I spewed in an email to the radio station I was listening to. The DJ’s read my email on the air.
In short I wrote about my son who is in the USMC. He did his stint in Afghanistan and shortly after he returned he was diagnosed with PTSD. He was planning on making a career in the military; but because of his diagnosis there is a possibility that he would have to change his MOS to stay. That is not an option for him.
For her to use this disorder as an excuse for poor child rearing is disgusting. I hope she reads your letter and preferably disappear; at the least shut her mouth about things she knows nothing about. Which is just about everything!
Thank you for your letter on behalf of all military who suffer from this horrible disorder. And thank you for you dedication and service.

380. Frank Roberto - January 25, 2016

An Open Letter to Sarah Palin,
re: Chris Mark, he does not speak for this Marine.

Sarah Palin,
I’m a combat Marine ( 91 ) served in Iraq, that has PTSD.
And I want to apologize for any veteran saying anything against you or your family , or what you & Track are going through.
There’s been a lot of falsehoods said about Track, his status as a Combat Veteran, and PTSD diagnosis, all of which are personal,
my real name is Frank Roberto, and I met you in Florida in 08 when you were running with Sen McCain.

All I have to say is , we know you love the troops, and your personal family life is personal;and the Media lloves to take pot shots at you and my misinformed Veteran brothers and sisters need to take a reality check and a dose of humbleness,

Once again.
My Apologies for any Veteran who has a bad word for you and yours.

You Rock, and Chris Mark does not speak for all or any Marines but himself,

Frank Roberto
89-92 USMC, CPL of Marines,
Combat Veteran of Iraq

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

I think I was very clear when I said I dot speak for all Marines. On that note, why do you propose to “apologize” for any veteran who speaks out against Sarah Palin? Do you propose to speak for anyone but yourself? I am quite certain that I am not ‘misinformed’ unless by ‘misinformed’ you mean I am not someone who blindly follows an ideology without any willingness to criticize. On that note: “What you and TRACK are going through”. Track (if you believe the reports) punched a woman in the face. Your silence on this point is deafening. Blindly following is a fool’s game and the path of the intellectually lazy.

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

I think I was very clear when I said I dot speak for all Marines. On that note, why do you propose to “apologize” for any veteran who speaks out against Sarah Palin? Do you propose to speak for anyone but yourself? I am quite certain that I am not ‘misinformed’ unless by ‘misinformed’ you mean I am not someone who blindly follows an ideology without any willingness to criticize. On that note: “What you and TRACK are going through”. Track (if you believe the reports) punched a woman in the face. Your silence on this point is deafening. You are a no doubt a proud Palin myrmidon.

Skeet Hatfield - January 25, 2016

Frank Roberto , How in the hell could you have been in combat in Iraq in 89 because we did not go to Iraq till 02 we went to Kuwait in 91. Korea 50 till 53.Pilot 55 Fighter Wing S.A.C.

Ansu - January 25, 2016

So unfortunate Mrs. palin used the disfunction in her family as an excuse to blamed the President and PTSD. She quit the governorship to spend time with her family, but from the look of things, the family is running butt wild in Wasala, Alaska. I feel very sad for Todd Palin. Poor man. I am still waiting for her to blame the President for her daughter two kids out of wedlock. Family value at it’s best!

381. Connie - January 25, 2016

Dear Chris , please consider running for office. I am terrified these bafoons will actually make it into office. Connie

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

I am as well!. I was wondering if we could have a term with ‘no’ president?😉

382. Jeff - January 25, 2016

Good letter, I am not an American citizen but worry that US politicians see themselves as rulers of the free world and not leaders of it. I have travelled many times to the States ( I am the son of a WW2 GI) and whenever I have been in company and politics enters the conversation I keep quite over there because I don’t want to offend anyone, As a foreigner I have found that Bill Clinton got bashed because of his exploits but how many of you realise how we hold him in esteem as a peacemaker which I think is more important. I somehow don’t see Mr Trump in this light, or Mrs Palin who may appeal to some jingoistic voters but not great international leaders. Have you heard of Help the Heros here in the UK and do you have anything similar. Just recently a TV show host from a DIY programme got a lot of volunteers together and converted a whole city street with unused houses into homes for homeless Veterans with medical and community centre, the people who live in the street are very pleased that the houses are being utilised and the new neighbours make the area safer.

383. Linda Wallace - January 25, 2016

I agree with every word you wrote! I am not a veteran but i have ptsd due to abuse when i was a child and i have friends who have ptsd too. Ptsd is not an excuse to use when you beat your significant other! I chose to seek treatment and am better on most days! I also wish Sara Palin would fade away! My hope is that ALL people with PTSD get treatment! Thank you for your service!

384. Mike C - January 25, 2016

Palin’s brat has no CIB, Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Therefore he never saw combat. He’s just poor white trash like the rest of his family. Tired of people like her politicizing us veterans for their gain.

pappadave - January 25, 2016

There are other military jobs besides infantryman that are involved in combat, Mike. Tankers can’t wear a CIB either–nor can artillerymen, those who work in the motor pool or those in MI or who service and fly helicopters, but ALL of them can be involved in combat from time to time–some more often than others.

385. Martha - January 25, 2016

The Endeavor Fund in the U.K. is one I would donate to.
How sad that Henry Worsley collapsed 30 miles before he reached the end of his journey! He had begun his solo journey 71 days before. The 55 year old army officer was doing this as a fund raiser which had already grossed over 100,000 pounds for the Endeavour Fund which supports injured service men and women.


386. Jann dappen - January 25, 2016

Very well said. I have a daughter with PTSD and I couldn’t have said this better. Healing to all.

387. Chris Mark on CNN (Video) | Global Security, Privacy, & Risk Management - January 25, 2016

[…] was fortunate to have Brooke Baldwin and CNN contact me about the Open Letter to Sarah Palin I wrote.  Click here for the Interview. While it was a short interview I was able to convey some […]

388. Glenda Holden - January 25, 2016

Thsnk you Chris for your dedicated service!

389. Bruce Dickey - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your insight and knowledge on military personnel who suffer from PTSD! I dislike those who use violence and excuses on others without directing help and aid for those who suffer from PTSD!

390. Nona Green - January 25, 2016

What a well composed, truthful, and thought filled letter! I agree 100%! Mrs. Palin continually shows only ignorance every time she opens her mouth.
God Bless you Mr. Mark and thank you for your service!
Nona Green, RN
Proud VA Psychiatric Nurse

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your service!

391. Ralph Bryant - January 25, 2016

With so much more gratitude than can be expressed in mere words here, Thank You Sir!

392. Kenna L. O'Melveny - January 25, 2016

We lost my brother to PTSD in 2011. If Sarah Palin wants to use
PTSD as an excuse for her son’s deplorable behavior, this must mean that she is somewhat aware of the magnitude our Vets are suffering. She should be challenged publicly, via social media, to raise as much money as she could possibly raise for our Vets,for her all to casual explanation.

393. Anne Chandler - January 25, 2016

Well said, sir!!

394. James Odom - January 25, 2016

Well written Chris.

395. Jimmy Knight - January 25, 2016

Thank you Chris for your comments on PTSD. Sadly our vets need help and no one is listening to them. I’m from the Vietnam era and a lot of my friends had it. Sadly a lot of them committed suicide. This was a great enlightening story for all to read. I hope it gets the attention of someone in the government that cares enough to help. God bless you and all our vets with this trauma. Your right about the no violence part for sure, most just fade into a recluse state and then they commit suicide. A dark mark on the VA for sure. When will they wake up and realize these people need help

396. Annette Wykes - January 25, 2016

Kudos Chris. Beautiful piece.

397. Rob - January 25, 2016

Track Palin? Any mother calling their son that gets everything they deserve!

398. Regina - January 25, 2016

PTSD as we all agree is a phenomenon which causes the sufferer to experience the traumatic event as if is occurring in the here and now. Suicide as a result of this cannot be judged by anyone who has not lived in that veteran’s boots. Knowing how difficult it is to get assistance from the VA or whether there are available resources close by are factors that have to be considered. Support of family? Friends? Spiritual? Whatever the reason someone decides to commit suicide is because the pain is so unbearable, that each moment is an eternity and you only see the black pitch that surrounds you. For you there is no hope, no help, only unending, excruciating pain. Take that into consideration when you think of judging someone for making another painful choice to leave this earth, feeling that every one will be better without you. Not being able to feel how much you are truly loved and will be missed. I wish them and you all peace and light.

Regina - January 25, 2016

Another thought. The military indoctrinates its enlisted personnel for combat but does not deprogram them upon return home. Why not?

399. Rebecca Dauphinee - January 25, 2016

Bravo! A well-reasoned, calm, and impressive rebuttal to a shrill shill.

400. Celeste long - January 25, 2016

I just want to say Thank you very much for what you said. I have always lived by the truth. Why tell lies like she did for excuse. I wish a lot of people would do what you do is be honest and have a backbone to do what is right. Not stand in a crowd and agree.You went to the source. You are wonderful man.

401. Karen Long - January 25, 2016

I just want to say Thank you for being honest. It does take a true man with a backbone to say the truth. That is how I live my life. For using PTSD was so wrong. I know that this world is round and it will come back to her. But she never took the time to stop and learn about PTSD. Thank you again for having the backbone to speak out. You are one wonderful man.

402. M.A. - January 25, 2016

There is absolutely NO room for her in our government. I was sick when I watched her previously and repulsed again when she took whatever chance some nut gave her to get back in the limelight. Can you imagine her with her crude behavior and horrible vocabulary in front of Putin? She single-handedly lost the election for Sen. McCain and to this day I don’t believe he could have been in favor of her as his running mate. Please don’t be offended by her PTSD remarks. Knowing her past should explain to you why she used those comments. God bless you for posting this and thank you all for your service to our great country. Please be safe and remember you are always in our prayers.

403. robert - January 25, 2016

Semper Fi sorry you left the mens department!

Chris Mark - January 25, 2016

OK…for those who don’t get the reference..let me explain. Old joke. The Marine Corps technically falls under the Dept. of Navy. So..we are a ‘department of the navy’. Marines like to say “The Mens’ Department”.

John Baker - January 25, 2016

Even the women marines?

Lee McNamara - January 26, 2016

Glad you explained Men’s dept. I thought it was an insult. I have very high respect for the Marines

Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

It is an old joke between Marines and Sailors. Quite frankly, even though there is rivalry, the USN/USMC team is the strongest in the military. A lot of respect. Many people are unaware that the USMC does NOT have their own medical personnel. Every Infantry squad has a “Doc” that is a Navy Corpsman. They may have longer hair and put their hands in their pockets but they are Marine through and through.

404. Maureen - January 25, 2016

Exceptional letter.
Thank you

405. Paula - January 25, 2016

Chris, thank you for your response to Sara Palin. It’s really too bad that people open their mouths before the brain kicks in. A lot of people have commented on this, but we must only hope that common sense will prevail at election time. When we only prey on the fears of people, we can’t accomplish much. Perhaps if our loudmouth politicians spent some time at the V A clinics, they would understand what our troops have endured. This country was founded on freedom of religion and speech and we are very lucky to have these freedoms. I wish to thank you again for your service and sacrifice for this great country of ours.

Robert - January 25, 2016

Sarah Palin needs to have a brain in order to use it. Her and her family are a disgrace. How can that family stand for family values when they are nothing but thugs and a daughter with 2 kids with different fathers out of wedlock. They are an embarrassment and a disgrace.

406. Vickie Joseph - January 25, 2016

So sad that she even talked about this and then blaming Obama for it. Then to find out that he doesn’t suffer from PTSD and never even was in a combat zone is just deplorable. My dad was a WWII Veteran who was diagnosed with PTSD about 2 years prior to his death in April 2016. He fought in the battle of Tarawa in the Pacific. The VA finally diagnosed him when he went to their psychologist. I am a frequent donor to Wounded Warrior Foundation to help all those that came back injured and many with PTSD. Thank you for your service and patriotism. God Bless America!

Earle Warner - January 25, 2016

Vickie, did your dad or one of his buddies write a book about their experience on Tarawa? I read a book called ‘Tarawa’ written by a soldier who fought there. I forgot the name of the author.

407. Maura McCann - January 25, 2016

Mr. Mark,
Please accept my sincere gratitude for your service to our country. Your words in this blog remind us that we need to thank and support our troops, both active and retired, without placing them in the center of our own agenda.

Thank you Sir.

408. Tom Mayer - January 25, 2016

Don’t you also have hatred for Obama who seems to put the blame on someone or something for things he is responsible for.And Hilary Clinton for blaming the Benghazi attack on a film someone made instead of protecting 4 Americans from death. Yes so many idiots need to stay out of politics.

Kevin - January 25, 2016

You idiot! There were more attacks & lives lost from terrorism under Reagan & Bush…your hatred for Obama stems from your hatred of blacks period!

Steve Clark - January 26, 2016

Well stated Kevin, I do not get these right wing attacks on the President for not supporting our troops.

Ron - January 26, 2016

Kevin, your the idiot. You defend a LIAR with charges of Racism. That is because you can’t defend his actions. Obama is guilty as charged. While the criticism of Palin may be warranted, Palin is much more popular among Marines than Hillary or Obama will ever be. I am a Vietnam Vet. There was no PTSD treatment for us. While this Marine has the Right to express his political views and that is truly what they are, Sarah Palin has not sent 1 Marine into combat. She does not have any power over the rules of engagement that cost thousands of our Military soldiers their lives. PTSD is an excuse. Yes, war has a mental impact, but in the end we are still responsible for our actions. Palin was wrong in using PTSD as an excuse for her Son’s actions. Is there an age where a parent is no longer responsible for their child’s actions? Her Son is an adult. His parents should not be held accountable for his actions, He is accountable. This “Open Letter ” is PURELY POLITICAL. There are no FACTS on PTSD. There are just opinions. Medical science has not discovered how the human brain works. Veterans of WWII and Vietnam survived before PTSD was even a thought. In todays Liberal world no one is Responsible for one’s actions. My reply to this Marine is to suck it up. Sarah Palin is not the cause, nor does she have the power. She holds no Office.

Rock Knutne - January 26, 2016

The 1st intelligent post in this thread.
Thanks for your service and your clarity explaining the actual situation involving Sarah Palin.

ehsfb2001 - January 26, 2016

When you get all your news from FOX, you’re going to look stupid. Try reading The Economist.
During Bush Administration
– 13 embassy attacks
– 66 Deaths
– 3 American diplomats killed
– 22 Embassy emplyees killed
– Number of investigations 0
During Reagan Administration
– 10 embassy attacks
– 318 Deaths
– 1 American Ambassador killed
– 18 CIA officers
– 254 Marines killed
– Number of investigations 1
During Obama Administration
– 2 embassy attacks
– 4 Deaths
– =Number of investigations 13
Cost to taxpayers for partisan witchhunt
14 million

Valerie cox - January 28, 2016

Wow this is interesting..never seen these facts laid out!

Manny - February 1, 2016

I would venture to think this is incomplete and incorrect data here, No Clinton info and only 4 deaths due to terrorism ( or what) under the current admin? The math appears to be lacking.

409. Eve - January 25, 2016

I’m soory the Palin Family are educated. They ALL should know better. In my opinion, its an embarrassment to all that follow their shenanigans.

Carol Kunde - January 26, 2016

Agree. The Palins may have gone to school — but it takes more than attendance to be ‘educated’. With them, ‘school didn’t take’. Mama Bear has strong opinions–as the unfortunate public has learned through the ever-present media.

410. sarahlearichards - January 25, 2016
411. Ed Cox - January 25, 2016

Thank you for your cogent response. Palin is a publicity hound, and took another opportunity at the expense of many good people. Well said.
Ed Cox

412. Patricia carpenter - January 25, 2016

Dear Chris. Thank you for this open letter to data palin. She is not just a Republican, but an extreme tea party Republican, ( if that is a true Republican), which, personally, I really font think do, but, having said that, I want to truly thank you for you so many words of wisdom. I am a psychiatrist and fully understand the plight of those who ate unfortunate to have PTSD. It comes in all colors and forms. It is very unfortunate for Sara palin to use the domestic abuse as PTSD
But, at the same time, the woman’s foreign policy with Russia was being able to see the country on a clear day. And, when running for vice president, she could tell ms. Kurig, what newspapers or magazines she read. So, she doesn’t really know anything, she wasn’t vetted, before she was put on the docket, she doesn’t know much of anything. She lost the election for McCain. As others have said, she is crude, had no sense of decency and, there are many other things I could day about her, but enough time had already been wasted on her.

Rock Knutne - January 26, 2016

You’re a psychiatrist?

“I really font think do”. It’s really sad for those who “ate unfortunate” enough to have you treat them.

It’s even more unfortunate that you confuse a lame comedy script for someone’s actual quote.

She wasn’t vetted but president stompy feet was… “I could see by the crease in his pants that he was going to be a great President” – David Brooks

Now THAT’S some vetting!

I know there’s lots more that you “can day” about her but I’m sure your Jeniosity as a Psychiatrist is much in need as we speak so…

ps. Maybe you can give us your expert opinion on our NEXT President. Donald J. Trump.

Mark Allen - January 26, 2016

Yur thuh won wif lots uv jeniosity.

413. Jerry Robertson - January 25, 2016

Chris, rather than a scathing indictment of Mrs. Palin, perhaps a more instructive tenor in your message would avoid what seems as a combative hateful message tenor which instead compromises the sincerity I surmise you originally intended.

ann - January 25, 2016

Careful of your “tenor”!

414. Jim Puder - January 25, 2016

Mr. Mark, thank you for the well thought out, informed letter and post. You clearly understand the perils and pains of a Veteran who must deal with this horrific affliction. I, for one, am ashamed at the way we as a nation treat our most valuable asset, and that is humans. As men and women who voluntarily place themselves in harm’s way, you and all the other members of our Armed Services deserve to be treated with respect and decency, and all too often, that is not the case. Thank you also for your service, which we so often forget to say, but should say every day. You seem, from your letter, to be a good man. I wish you all the best, and I hope that you can find peace.

415. Maria Petronzio - January 25, 2016

I actually thought Chris’ letter was VERY polite and not the LEAST bit scathing———now if I were to write her a letter—that would be a different story…………..what a joke she and her family are. And VERY hypocritical. She must be stoned and/or drunk to think that the public wants to actually hear anything that comes out of her mouth. MAKE IT GO AWAY!!!! And God Bless our veterans and our country!!!

416. Mandi Long - January 25, 2016

Thank you, thank you! So sad that so many cannot see through her and her deplorable example of ignorance. Jerry Robertson, what kind of ‘instructive tenor’ would you suggest? Chris just stated the honest truth and not a combative hateful message. She should educate herself on PTSD before making such comments, and herself look silly.

417. Grace Quirk - January 25, 2016

Dear Chris,
My brother drank myself to death because he was depressed and he also services as a Marine. He went to Vietnam and when he came home he was never the same after that.If he had been treated for PTSD he might be alive today. I want to thank you for your letter to Mrs. Palin. She owes you an apologize for her remarks on the subject of the PTSD.

Lois - January 25, 2016

Thank you, It is unfortunate that the “person” under discussion will not read this.

418. D.L. - January 25, 2016

Sir, appreciate your letter. I think it is spot on. As an Alaskan, I find the entire Palin family to be an embarrassment and Ms. Palin herself to be the biggest of hypocrites. So, no fan here, but I would just like to add that it bothers me that people in various forums are attacking Track for having PTS without having been in combat (and I have no knowledge of the veracity of those claims, they probably don’t either).

For those people, I would say, please keep in mind that you don’t have to be a combat veteran, or even a veteran at all to have PTS. ANYONE can suffer from PTS and many people who’ve never been in the military suffer from PTS. If more people understood the causes of PTS (i.e. that is it not a personal weakness), and that it doesn’t cause people to become raving ax-murderers, it wouldn’t have to be stigmatized.

All the best.

419. Barbara Cullen - January 25, 2016

Thank you, Officer Mark. I appreciate your response to Palin’s ignorant and down right thoughtless reaction to her son’s inexcusable behavior.

PTSD is a terrible difficult condition to overcome and nothing to be used as camouflage or as an excuse for very poor parenting.

Best Regards, B Cullen

420. Roberta - January 25, 2016

Well said soldier. Thanks for your service.

421. Amy Strand - January 25, 2016

It makes me so angry that she just made her son the poster child of stereotypical PTSD! For a woman who says she loves guns and the military, she just supported an argument for those who want to take assault rifles away. The mental instability reason. I remember when my husband was first seeking out help for his PTSD, every single VA doctor asked me if he had ever hit me (in front of him too!) and I responded the same way each time, they stopped asking after a while. PTSD and Domestic abuse are not necessarily completely connected. Track had problems before the military. He cut brake lines on a school bus at 16…what kid does that?

Thank you for your letter!

422. Patricia Blackstone - January 25, 2016

I just want to say that some of you are under the impression that only people who were in combat can have PTSD. This is not true. There are different types of PTSD caused by different events happening in a persons life. I personally have been previously diagnosed years ago by more than one doctor and psychiatrists as having PTSD from living for many years with a loud mouth, physically and mentally abusive, lying, cheating, controlling husband who I very often feared. I don’t want to comment on Mrs. Palin or her son I just want people to understand that PTSD does NOT only happened to people who were in combat.

423. noel murphy - January 25, 2016

Dear Chris,
Mrs Palin’s lack of understanding on most issues is of no surprise. She continues to be a figure of ridicule and disbelief here in the UK. Is there anyone left that she has not insulted with her stupidity. Yours is a complex problem and deserves better treatment than you are currently getting.

424. Tom Fincher - January 25, 2016

Sarah Palin is a disgrace. She’s in with Donald Trump who said he liked guys “who didn’t get captured.” A slap at John McCain who spent over 6 tortuous years in the “Hanoi Hilton.” It was McCain who brought this ding bat to prominence years ago. Woman, have you no honor?

425. Michael carter - January 25, 2016

I wish that this would go so public that that insane bitch would have to respond to it. I would love to hear her excuses now

426. Florencia - January 25, 2016

Dear Chris,
With astounding grace and compassion, you have composed the most pointed, informative, sensitive, fair-minded, open letter to this loud-mouthed, ignorant woman. Thank you for a compilation of what many wish they could state with such honesty. Few could have so succinctly stated what we may only hope Sarah Palin understands. Given her outrageous, hurtful, untruthful statement in defense of the indefensible, I can only send praise and love to you and your colleagues for the sacrifices made in the name of freedom for all. Always remember that you are loved and a spirit with a higher purpose.

427. Sharon Cooper - January 25, 2016

Shame on you, Sarah. My husband carried PTSD on his shoulders for 60 years and so did we, as his family. He fought it every day of his life.

428. Combat Veteran Blasts Sarah Palin In Scathing Open Letter - Video - January 26, 2016

[…] made her remarks last Wednesday and a day later Mark posted an open letter to her on his website, Global Risk Info, which normally discusses “various security and risk […]

429. Michael Pritchard - January 26, 2016

You are a good Officer and fine example ! Thank You!

430. Nan weaver - January 26, 2016

I hope people don’t think the majority of Alaskan are like her were not and she a embarrassment to our great state.

431. rokshox - January 26, 2016

Fuck You. Traitor.

Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

No doubt your mastery of prose is only matched by your intelligence and education. If you didn’t get my point..I am making fun of you for being an ignorant buffoon. Go get your pillows now…

432. lc - January 26, 2016

Well written, thank you for your service.

433. Ann Gandy - January 26, 2016

Well said. Sara Palin is a disgrace to this country. So is Donald Trump. Hopefully her endorsement of Trump will derail the both of them.

434. CMSgt Danes - January 26, 2016

Well said. You hit the nail on the head. Using an illness for political means is despicable and only someone short of a full deck would even consider doing this.
Thank you for your service and God Bless.

435. george - January 26, 2016

“Chris” I’m also a veteran and often have dreams about being back across the pond in the bad places. I’ve seen alot of things that i don’t care to ever see again so i just deal with it. Brother , i feel you spoke from the heart & you spoke the truth. I at one time thought she would have been good for our country ! I don’t now. She has to stop dragging our veterans into her family issues. We have a many veteran who today need some help dealing with issues and i thank each one for their services.

436. Jordan - January 26, 2016

Well said!!!!

437. GSF - January 26, 2016

Such a powerful and timely message! Thank you for your service to our country and your continued service with educating all of us on the important issue of PTSD. America needs a complete over haul of thinking when it comes to mental illness and how it is stigmatized. The brain is a vital organ just like the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. I have shared your letter in hopes that others will take the opportunity to become more aware of this important issue and help in anyway possible. Again, many thanks and blessings to you!

438. Maria R - January 26, 2016

The statements you made in this article have weighed heavy on my mind. I don’t know if its that you would say a public figure had no longer anything of value to offer because of their adult children’s behavior, knowing that criteria has never really been extended to male public figures…. or that she is a liar and that would disqualify her from participating in politics, reminds me of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign lie claiming she landed under enemy fire in Sarajevo as first lady. Or your assault a fellow soldier’s character for two incidents which alcohol definitely played a part. One which was protecting his sister after being physically assaulted. The other involved two people and he was threatening harm to himself. But more so, that you would say that PTSD can only be the result of combat situations, which will surprising to victims of rape and other violent crimes. I thought motto was “no soldier left behind”. You should rethink this one.

Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

I would invite you to re-read the article. What you are suggesting was never said. My comment was directed at Sarah Palin and not Track Palin. I never said PTSD could “only be the result of combat…” Your statement regarding his “protecting his sister” is an opinion and is not supported. Btw…I was a Marine..not a Soldier.

439. Felix P Collazo - January 26, 2016

Thank you

440. Ashley Young - January 26, 2016

What a professional and well written response. I so appreciate your reference of sourced facts and suggestions of more productive steps to take – so many online rebuttals are driven by blind emotion and pure opinion. You managed to express the emotion in an intelligent and well articulate way. Thank you.

441. Mike Stewart - January 26, 2016

Chris Mark, well done~


Dong Ap Bia
May 1969
Ne Desit Vertus

442. CL - January 26, 2016

Chris – thank you. Your letter hits home for me and many, many other American families. While some people might disagree claiming “Palin never sent anyone into war…” they clearly aren’t paying attention to her continued claims that she would if she had the chance. Ignore the nay-sayers. Best wishes to you and thank you for all that you do.

443. ann seta - January 26, 2016

This is so well put coming from a vet that everyone should read it. I could not agree with you more. Palin loves the limelight but I wish she’d get out of it.
Thank you for your service to our country and thank you for speaking out.

444. Carl Adams - January 26, 2016

I am a Vietnam vet and there is a lot of difference in Republican and Democrats. How many blames Sarah and how many don’t. There is a lot of VA problems that shouldn’t be put on Veteran’s that is coming back. The VA should have a program that put ever soldier coming back to have a year long class just for PTSD which I didn’t have when I got out. I had so many jobs when I got out and even went to the VA hospital for being an alcoholic in 70’s and was turned away. I lost a lot of very good jobs, I drank a lot and didn’t care if I went to work. All I can say is the Government should be made to see the importance of our soldiers having treatment for PTSD when coming back. All of the veterans that came back that committed suicide from Nam didn’t have a chance back then. My uncle was shell shocked, lived alone and never got married and I felt so sorry for him never got treatment back from WWII. What I am saying is the soldiers that come back should have a program for this PTSD. They all should go through this Program. I have a Nephew that was a Warrant Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan and still go over their and works on choppers and when he got out he came and ask me How Did I Forget What I Went Through While I was in Nam for a little more then 14 month, I said to him that you never forget, its always their in your mind and like me you will have nightmares and spells where you think you are still back there from all kind of noises. I hope he never does these thing and so far I really can’t say for sure but I hope not. I hope you all get the point I am making as far back as I know of the PTSD has been around we just didn’t know how to lessen it for our soldiers. I hope that this will make more people get the VA to set up more classes. I can’t say Sarah was wrong or right, I just know that all soldiers need help from PTSD. God Bless all our military soildiers and God Bless America.

445. Marieanne Mercier - January 26, 2016

Someone should copy, print and send these comments to that stupid, pugilistic NINCKOMPOOOP, Sara Palin. Alas, with her deficient intellect, she would only find a way to smile, boldly lie and turn it into another 0pportunity for publicity!!! I hope she continues to ring the bell and endorse Donald Trump…. In the enthusiastic way he greeted, hugged and thanked her for the endorsement, he has certainly revealed, better than anyone else could….his lack of good judgment, crudity, and total unfitness for the highest office of this land!!!!

446. Donna Lunn - January 26, 2016

Thank you Chris. Unfortunate that your wonderful country is becoming such a joke among the rest of developed countries due to comments from Sarah Palin and her “postcard” family, and now to Donald Trump’s comments. WE thank you for your professionalism, your courage, your intelligence.

447. Sharon - January 26, 2016

Well said! Thank you for responding to her And Thank You for your service!

448. Claude from Québec - January 26, 2016

I am a french Canadian who is working in fédéral penitentiary as a correctional officer. I am also in the syndicate for Return to Work Program. I have to support many times colleagues, former Canadian soldiers who suffer from PTSD and I can understand your frustrations, I respect and support you all.

449. Michele - January 26, 2016

Bravo. Thank you for identifying her ignorance. The Palin family are nothing but Alaskan Rednecks. She is a media mongrel. Jumping on the Trump Train was another avenue for her to get her psychotic points of view out there. She clearly is off her much needed medication.

Arlene Buxton - January 26, 2016

She is NOT Alaskan, wasn’t born here in Alaska, nor does she portray a true Alaskan image! She IS a Redneck, that I agree with. She high-tailed out of Alaskan Governorship followed by high-tailing out of Alaska soon as she saw more camera lenses dangling dollar signs in front of her.
Genuine Alaskans do NOT miss her nor do they consider her being from, or an actual Alaskan, even though she did own a house here! Alaskans reference those who do not live in Alaska or represent a true Alaskan portrayal as “OUTSIDERS” and places not in Alaska as “OUTSIDE”. Well Palin is definitely a genuine “OUTSIDER” and Alaska should keep its door shut and leave her “OUTSIDE”! She is a true detriment to Alaska’s pristine environment as she is an invasive species!

450. Willard Weadon - January 26, 2016

Way to go mark

451. Ginger Combs - January 26, 2016

Chris, as a wife and a sister to Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD, I want to thank you for your letter to Sarah Palin. I groaned when she popped up again and got a headache when she blamed Track Palin’s activities on PTSD. Thanks for trying to make her and others more aware of the truth about PTSD. It’s time for people to stop circulating it as a meme on Facebook to explain violence against others. One of the biggest issues facing veterans with PTSD is their own depression, not violence towards others, hence the suicide rate. I’d give anything to have my husband back (not a suicide) including his PTSD and I try to help my brother on a regular basis by listening when he needs to talk and prying him out of his house occasionally for a change of scenery and some fresh air. People need to stop being afraid of PTSD and recognize it for what it is. We as a nation do not hesitate to send our young people into harm’s way and we as a nation need to step up and take care of them upon their return to the US, regardless of political affiliation or ideology. It is the right and moral thing to do, instead of quibbling about every last dime. Thanks and best wishes.

452. Jo - January 26, 2016

Right on!!!!!:-)

453. Jan Madson - January 26, 2016

And let us not forget how Track “got” to enlist to begin with…..he and his thug buddies set fire to the school bus barn and destroyed 9 school busses! The judge did not give him a lot of choices in the decision to “join”. He is a thug and will always be a thug!

Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

I have probably heard this 20 times in these posts. I was unaware. wow…

Sherri - January 27, 2016

Thank you for your service

Cindy Mello - January 26, 2016

I am friends with someone who served with Track Palin. He says the guy was a douche. He also stated that they were never anywhere near ANY kind of combat. I don’t think PTSD is his problem. I think his mom is just making excuses for a poorly raised child. He may have it…I don’t know. But I certainly don’t believe Sarah Palin.

454. katknit - January 26, 2016

Well said. Let’s hope this is brought to Ms Palin’s attention, though I wonder if she has the intelligence to understand it.

Lyn - January 26, 2016

I take it that you are intelligent??
Make your point and leave the insults out..

Seawolf 31 - January 27, 2016

katnit may or may not be intelligent but I’ll bet he doesn’t beat up girls.

forest sprague - January 28, 2016

Take your own advise….your comments are insulting to many of us. And people who are so stupid as to support Sarah are also insulting….

455. Deb Carlson - January 26, 2016

Thank you for your response and accurate portrayal of a political ploy which has little to do with the reality of PTSD. Shame on her for using such a serious disorder to excuse another Palin family blunder.

456. Karen - January 26, 2016

Thank you for your service.

457. Teresa Duran - January 26, 2016

Indeed – if you are voicing nonsense in a cheerleader voice, it is still nonsense!!

458. Cristeen J. McLarney - January 26, 2016

Well said.

459. John W Luce MD - January 26, 2016

PTSD is also associated with other entities besides combat encounters. One major cause is childhood abuse.

Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

Thank you Doctor for your point! People need to understand that PTSD is NOT solely the domain of Veterans. Certainly, those in emergency services, police officers, and those who have been abused can suffer.

Bill Paczkowski - January 26, 2016

Thank you, Chris.
I have been an EMT for 25 years and am on a CISM (critical incident stress management) team which helps EMT’s, Firemen and Police cope with their emotions after stressful calls , especially fatalities severe injuries and those involving children.
PTSD is not unusual among those of us in a first responder role….somewhat like being on a “frontline” in battle. Most of us have “flashbacks” that take us back to the traumatic incident just as the soldier can be haunted by what he or she has experienced.
Some people think that EMT’s, Firemen and police “get used to “seeing and going to serious accidents and fires .
One of my instructors told us: If you ever get to the point where you say “seeing horrific trauma and death doesn’t bother me “, it is time to leave the service .
If you are a soldier in combat, you do not have that choice.

thespedcafe - January 26, 2016

The Doctor’s point may be true, and l don’t question that, but l wonder why the good Doctor didn’t offer his opinion to which “DOMAIN” (as you referenced it).Tracks might include.

Absent of that opinion, one might consider the Doctors comments as a “slick” attempt to give an excuse to Palin son. Clearly you and the good doctor would be intelligent enough to read a well written letter and make the correct application. This article is about Sarah Palin attempt to associate PTSD, with her son’so violent behavoir.

until you and the good doctor have the testicular fortitude to stick to the topic please let’s not make any more comments.you’re intellectually disingenuous comments are not appreciated

Kathrine - January 26, 2016

Thank you for stating that. We to have our own battle scars and wounds that never really heal.

460. L Conway - January 26, 2016

Sarah Palin is a fraud and only concerned about her own political career, not that she even qualifies or is intelligent enough to hold public office. Chris Mark and others who raise their voice in opposition to her are doing a great service by calling Palin out for what she is — a fear-monger who cares about no one but her own pathetic self.

Harry Houghtaling - January 26, 2016

Thanks, L. Conway for clearly describing the way Madame Palin (and other fringe Republicans ) try to change the entire event to pin it on the president. It seems that the Republican party has completed the changeover to fear, lies, dissemination of misinformation in place of the portrayal of the actual events. It’s a shame that the Republican party believes that the only way to reach their constituents is to use CIA core tools of the trade to overthrow a government.

pappadave - January 27, 2016

Those trying to “overthrow the government” are all Democrats and only an unreconstructed knucklehead fails to see that. Of course, there are several in Congress who CALL themselves Republicans, but who are actually Democrats. It’s the “PROGRESSIVE” movement that’s intent on destroying what the Founders designed for us…and it’s ALL to our ultimate detriment.

Ron Robertson - January 27, 2016

Just because you say something, doesn’t make it true. Democrats are not the ones overthrowing our government. Republicans (in congress) are the ones who don’t even believe in government at all, except as a means to line their pockets. Democrat congressmen are not blameless, but they are far from being the danger the republicans are and have been for quite some time. I’m going to hazard a guess that you think democrats are “overthrowing” the government because they support gay rights, equality before the law, and therefore don’t allow the religious to force their beliefs on others. That’s been the case every time so far when I hear a republican saying democrats are going against the constitution. At any rate, your claim doesn’t have any support, and you sure haven’t provided anything but assertions.

Sherri - January 27, 2016

I agree.

461. Daniel Carretero - January 26, 2016

Thanks a lot Sir !!!!
You made it very clear and simple

462. Lola White - January 26, 2016

Thank you for that excellent letter to Sarah Palin. I’m a 73-year-old, female Democrat with PTSD from childhood abuse and other traumas.
It would be useless for me–or for any other Democrat–to Call Ms. Palin out on her shameless attempt to divert attention from the criminal behavior of her son. We needed an honest, Republican veteran–you–to do it, and you did it admirably.

Carol Kunde - January 26, 2016

I agree, completely. Democrats are the spawn of the devil in Palin’s mind.

Chris Mark - January 27, 2016

Lola…thank you for your honest and open response. It is important for people to realize that PTSD is NOT the sole domain of veterans. I came from a household with domestic violence. We have to many divisive, abusive people on both sides of the aisle. Honest, passionate debate has given way to insults and name calling. We do not have to agree on all issues to respect the other’s opinion. Our country is failing to recognize this point. Thanks again for responding!

463. smokingtree - January 26, 2016

“While I do not propose to speak for all veterans, I am clearly not alone in my views regarding your unfortunate statements.  They were unfortunate for the many veterans who face further disdain and discrimination based upon your inaccurate and ignorant portrayal of those who suffer with PTSD as well as the causes of the condition.”
Knocked it outta the park with that statement. Thank you Mr. Mark for writing this letter.
The Palin family should be blacklisted from the fourth estate.

464. Rhonda Waller - January 26, 2016

I really appreciate your well-composed letter…and your service. Thank you Chris.

465. Wendell Skinner - January 26, 2016

Good letter. She is not the sharpest knife in box.
I am an Army Vet with Chronic PTSD, trapped under Huey on night extraction off SOG UNIT. Pinned 5 hours, I call it it dancing with demons.
She needs to go back to Alaska and go fishing, she has made her money.

Lynn - January 27, 2016

Thanks for your service Wendell…I hope your “dance with the demons” lessens through the years..

466. Magnolia - January 26, 2016

While I can’t stand Palin, I am dubious as to the authenticity of this letter. It’s Naval Officer, not Navy Officer. Anyone truly in the navy would know that.

Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

Seriously? That makes you dubious? WOW…do a search on my blog for DD214..read it…look at what I did..I was “Truly in the Navy”…

Badcat - January 27, 2016

Oh, he said he is a “former marine” and we all know that a “true” Marine would never say that either, right? Stop being a tool bag, Magnolia. The man has put his heart and soul into helping his fellow brothers and sisters. This latest article raises a valid point to which people need to be aware; PTSD isn’t an excuse for abhorrent behaviors and by using it in such a manner, it stereotypes assholes like Track Palin with good men with true issues.

467. Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

Ummm…shut up?

468. Gleannfia - January 26, 2016

This woman and her family need to go on the Jerry Springer show.

Donna S. - January 26, 2016

BAHAHAHAHA !! THAT was Funny !

469. A. Baca - January 26, 2016

Sarah Palin would not know a ill raised child even when it is her own brat. She is a disgrace and highlights the need for education. The only volunteering she should do is to be the poster child for why STEM is so important.

470. John Kaylor - January 26, 2016


471. No Sarah; Our Wounded Warriors don't need Trump, they need Medical Cannabis, MDMA, and Meditation - The Leaf Online - January 27, 2016

[…] comments have sparked many veterans to weight in on the debate, with open letters and op-eds being written. Nate Bethea is a veteran who wants “politicians and public figures to […]

472. VERY WELL SAID..by a REPUBLICAN MARINE…Open Letter to Sarah Palin | Defining Ways - January 27, 2016

[…] Source: An Open Letter to Sarah Palin […]

473. mariacatalinaegan - January 27, 2016

Thank you for your service. Your mental clarity whilst addressing this issue and your tremendous courage in so doing. REBLOGGED

474. Linda - January 27, 2016

I posted the link to this letter on Palin’s Twitter page, just to make double, triply, quadruply sure that she sees it.

Chris Mark - January 27, 2016

I like your style😉

475. Craig - January 27, 2016

I wonder how many of these suicide attempts are related to indoctrination, the breaking down and “rebuilding” of our young servicemen which may lead them to future decision-making actions that weigh heavy on the soul.

476. Frederick Olsson - January 27, 2016

I believe the majority of Track’s problems
are cent r red in a bottle !!

477. Cindy McLaughlin - January 27, 2016

Dear Chris
First let me say thank you for everything you give to the country every day. Your time in the service will be ‘re-lived the rest of your life. For all the men and women that have allowed me to worship, work and play anyway I want, thank you. I don’t like horror films because I don’t want those images in my brain. You all volunteered to do just that. My heart and my prayers go out to you. Ignorant people like the Sara P.’s of the world will always be with us. When she excused her son’s action’s she insults all of you, I’m sorry for that. Ignorance will always be with us. That will not tarnish the real suffers. I wish more men and women would come forward for help. I would love to try and help in any way I can.
Much love and thanks

478. Cheryl Haff - January 27, 2016

Great letter Chris,Thank You for your service, we need to win the war on PTSD! Sara Palin needs to stop talking about what she is not educated on…domestic violence is a serious issue also…What help is he getting today so it doesn’t. Repeat it self….on another victim, she now will have issues over this attack, a form of P T S D. ….thank you again, a fan!

479. Kitty Williams Wineberg - January 27, 2016

Thank you, Chris. This needed to be said and you said it in an elegant manner.

480. joni metolius - January 27, 2016

Thanks Chris for your comments about PTSD.

I became a mental health professional in the 1970’s because of my own PTSD and the lack of services for those of us struggling with the after effects of traumas. So many of us self-medicated. So many of us who self-medicate end up in the criminal justice system.

We’re beginning to address the tip of the iceberg acknowledging that our health system does not provide adequate services for the long term healing process. Let’s find candidates who support increasing mental health funds, treat the causes of domestic violence, address the epidemic of substance abuse.


481. Donna - January 27, 2016

Dear Chris,
It saddens me to read these comments. My heart breaks for many vets that have suffered seen and unseen disabilities’ as well as for many others who have suffered significant seen and unseen injuries’ and disabilities at the expense of others. Sarah Palin and many other politicians run for office for their own self centered agenda…you degraded yourself when you lowered your own standards to address her character with name calling. The Dr. did same by categorizing PTSD narrowly. Sadder…the ignorance in today’s society is much more profound than any sufferer of any and all seen and unseen mental health issues, cancers, diseases, abuses, etc…

482. Richard M. Thomas - January 27, 2016

These comments say it all. We came home from SEA to a very hostle nation that added to our unknown and unrecognized problems. Thanks to our democratic ideals, now some of the people who spit on us then are not our leaders. I may have PTSD but I have lots of true warriors with me. I will stand with them forever.

483. Sheri - January 27, 2016

Knowing how republicans have consistently voted against all veterans bills put before them, including bills that would help veterans with PTSD, I can’t figure out how you are republican. Thank you for your service, but stop voting against the very issues you claim to support.

Chris Mark - January 28, 2016

That is a facile and simplistic argument

484. B. Kaiser - January 27, 2016

Well said by a voice of wisdom that comes from experience, not the pursuit of personal gain.

485. P - January 27, 2016

She is an idiot and an embarrassment. She has no understanding of PTSD or mental illness and should keep her Alaskabilly self with her ignorant and uneducated kids.

486. Jaffa - January 27, 2016


487. Joe Morgan - January 28, 2016

Chris – as a lifelong Democrat and Vietnam Veteran, but more importantly as an American, thank you for your letter. It was sorely needed. Proud of my country, proud of my service, and proud of you.

488. Robin Ross - January 28, 2016

Once again Sarah Palin has incorrrectly identified PTSD to use as an excuse for her son Track’s inexcusable, abohorrent, and violent behavior which would not suprise me if it were there before he ever left for his military duty. She says she is proud, her heart soars over the “defense of her family” (if that is what you can call a drunken brawl with the abuse of women!!!) Her pride is misplaced and her lack of accurate understanding is once again evident!! Her perceptions are way off–I know lots of people who got help for whatever she woud be diagnosed with–DNA is a funny thing—
I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Marks and I thank him for telling it
“like it is” to a woman who’s Buffoonery is quite evident in her comments and whatever else she says she has to offer–

489. Steph - January 29, 2016

Thank you for taking the time to write about this. My husband lost his battle to the demons caused by PTSD in March. He left behind our devastated 9 year old daughter. The sad thing is, I believe our daughter knows and understands PSTD better then this grown woman who so carelessly uses it as an excuse for poor behavior.

Chris Mark - January 29, 2016

I am so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. My thoughts are with your family.

490. Sid Michaels - January 30, 2016

Chris, I couldn’t agree with you more. My husband suffers from PTSD as a result of his service as a photo recon F4 driver. He served in Vietnam, flying 600 feet off the ground through the Ashau Valley, taking photographs before and after bomb strikes. For those who are unaware, a photo recon pilot flies with no ordnance and no way to shoot back at the enemy. The Vietcong knew he was coming, and he still fights the memories and nightmares of being shot at during 223 missions in those conditions. In spite of the demons he faces every day and every night, he has never shown a shred of violent behavior. He gets wonderful care at the VA hospital here in Phoenix. His counselors and psychiatrists are outstanding.

491. James E. Mahone, Seneca, South Carolina - February 1, 2016

Dear Sgt. Mark,

Thank you for your eloquent statement, and your dignity and poise in responding to some of the less fortunate comments posted on this webpage. You bring more honor to those who do and have served honorably in our country’s armed forces (including my deceased parents, both WWII veterans). You also have distinguished yourself as a true man of letters, a man well worth hearing in the Internet age. All the best to you and yours.

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

Thank you for the response and kind words.

492. Robert Stewart - February 1, 2016

I guess all that is bad mouthing Sara needs to write obama and ask him to take his pen and declare Sara has no right to free speach! What a bunch of commie idiots!

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

She absolutely has a right to free speech
. .I have a right to comment on her free speech…does that make me a “commie”? Maybe you should do so.e homework on your definitions young man…ml

493. Jim Faris - February 1, 2016

Another Judgie McJudgerson heard from. You don’t know what is in her or her son’s heart. Being a soldier doesn’t make you right.

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

Marine….proper noun….capitalized…I never said I was “right”. What I posted was an “open letter” calling her out for using PTST as an excuse for her son’s abuse of his girlfriend….please tell me how “what is in his heart” makes punching his girlfriend in the face OK!……waiting….try Again kid..

494. Ginny Kinser - February 1, 2016

Truthfully since my husband is a Veteran he would have written to Sarah Palin and not posted the letter. Did doing this make you feel better? I hate when men belittle women and to me that is just what you did. Do you know the circumstances of her son and what condition he came back in? Did you go and meet with the family ? This women and her family has been so insulted because of Obama and his minions. Here is my kind word to you Thank you for your service. Too bad you showed me that you have no honor in posting this so called letter.

Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

Wow…that is all…wow..;)

495. Chris Mark - February 1, 2016

But……your husband did not post and respond…did he? Did he call her? No…you have been weighed…measured…and found wanting….go home…

496. Laura Dean - February 2, 2016

Good article, we always consider the source when it comes to Sarah Palin, she is an embarrassment. I have PTSD and have not had symptoms for years. I was told the diagnosis is for life and you can’t get life insurance because of public perception of the disease. Her careless, wrong comment adds to this misconception, Thanks Sarah!

497. Matthew - February 2, 2016

Don’t ever try to talk to your fellow vets and quote that POS stolen valor Blumenthal.

Chris Mark - February 2, 2016

I was unaware of Blumenthal’s claims until you pointed them out. Why not try a little more tact the next time you attempt to communicate online? Not too difficult..

498. cri2010 - February 2, 2016

Well written Marine. In 30 years I’ve seen more horror than most. I am a survivor of brutal attacks, the most serious of a knife attack by two Afghan nationals which I flat lined on the operating table. I have been waging war against PTSD for decades and assisting my brothers and sisters find hope and peace and the beckoning light at the end of the tunnel. No one can truly understand PTSD other than the victim.

The number one cancer in our society is ignorance. Lack of knowledge, reason, rationale, understanding and empathy. So, there are people who have expanded their knowledge while others stay dormant to the knowledge around them.
God’s Judgment on a depraved society. Sadly I do love the United States but I must say the governments insistence on perverting the rest of the world with its corrupt ideologies is cancerous.
This country once a great nation founded in great principles, sure the founding fathers were far from perfect but they knew of a higher plane, a place with laws of esteem, they had a vision of greatness based solidly on strong noble qualities. Today most have no clue what noble even is.

Integrity is reserved for those who have it tattooed on their heart and have the fortitude to do what’s right even when no one is watching.

This world is full of corruption driven by the political train fueled by greed. It is menaced by violence, greed, hate, blame, assumptions, lies and depravity. Terrorism has reached an all time high & honor has no place in such chaos where trust and the concept of leadership are sunken ships.

What we have created as of late for our fellow man and enemy is a toxic snowball has accumulated too much momentum to be halted other than its monstrous explosion when it hits rock bottom & it will bottom out. Degenerative nations like this always have.

It’s all to sad, to watch people once united eat away at a once God fearing nation, to the whoring, bribery infested political leaders,& blood sucking religious leaders, they’ve all sold out to Satan. Morality and our constitution is rift with strife.

I have walked through the corridors of hell and back most like other Veterans. You acquire PTSD when you arrive home. It’s the adjustment that slowly eats away at you finding yourself isolated and at time catatonic. You are not to blame. Our country has failed our Veterans. Our country has failed its flock.

God Bless Devil Dog and God Bless America

Semper Fi, Scott Bernstein

499. Robert Ramsey - February 2, 2016

I think that indeed it is a remarkable thing what our military personnel do. For them protecting our freedoms and keeping us safe, they are paid pittance and then are not taken care of when they come home. We worry more about politicians (as seen by salaries) that WE THE PEOPLE ALLOW TO HAPPEN. When I did a report back decades ago in college postal workers made more than the average non-commissioned military man or woman…not sure if that holds true now, but if it does – dang there is something wrong with that.

However with all of that said I do believe that conservatives are the ones that have the backs of the military. I do not see socialist and left progressives fitting military into their “kumbaya package”. It would be nice to live in a world of peace but that is in no government’s best interest to do so. There is no much money and power to be had with war, power comes from those that wield the biggest stick.

Our country is the best option to hold that power but that is quickly changing. Our military for the most part are honorable people, at least the guys on the ground are. The problem is the more ranks you acquire the more political you become (as a general rule).

Some American’s say I don’t care about politics…that is the worst statement I have ever heard an American spout and I hear it all the time. Politics touches every part of our lives…EVERY part. Right or wrong politics is in everything from how much you spend on eggs to who goes to jail and who doesn’t. We are no longer a nation of laws we are a nation of men and that is the biggest problem with this country and it must be corrected.

I think that if American’s understood politics there would be some changes but ignorance rules the electorate and our hope for a brighter future is in peril.

So anyway, I agree that Palin politicized PTSD but isn’t politicizing everything the way of the world? Trump pulled the 911 card when Cruz started talking crap about NYers. I could go on and on but in truth politics hits every part of our lives because of us being a nation of men and not of laws. If the same standards held true for every American regardless of who they are or who they know politics would mean very little because you wouldn’t get a head in the world just because of who is in your cell phone’s contact list. That’s the way I see it but its just my humble opinion.

500. Susan - February 2, 2016

Well said. She is ignorant and continually shows the world the extreme depth and breadth of her stupidity. My husband is a navy veteran and we know many who have served their country willingly and come back with PTSD. She politicized this awful illness and continually tries to make excuses for her children’s bad behavior. I don’t see her changing, but I am glad you wrote an open letter to her.

501. Kenneth Mayer - February 20, 2016

Very well said Brother &welcome home ……thank you for your service Nam Vet…….68′-69′

502. Sarah Palin Found Guilty Of Abuse Of Power | Aoksokunkanha - June 13, 2016

[…] An Open Letter to Sarah Palin | Global Security, Privacy … – An Open Letter to Sarah Palin January 21, 2016 Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized. Tags: Bristol, charity, Palin, PTSD, Recon, Sarah, sniper, Track, USMC, VA […]

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