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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. 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.

2. Jo - January 26, 2016

Right on!!!!! 🙂

3. 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.

4. 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….

5. 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.

6. Karen - January 26, 2016

Thank you for your service.

7. Teresa Duran - January 26, 2016

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

8. Cristeen J. McLarney - January 26, 2016

Well said.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Daniel Carretero - January 26, 2016

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

12. 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!

13. 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.

14. Rhonda Waller - January 26, 2016

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

15. 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..

16. 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.

17. Chris Mark - January 26, 2016

Ummm…shut up?

18. 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 !

19. 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.

20. John Kaylor - January 26, 2016


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23. mariacatalinaegan - January 27, 2016

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

24. 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 😉

25. 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.

26. Frederick Olsson - January 27, 2016

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

27. 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

28. 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!

29. Kitty Williams Wineberg - January 27, 2016

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

30. 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.


31. 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…

32. 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.

33. 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

34. B. Kaiser - January 27, 2016

Well said by a voice of wisdom that comes from experience, not the pursuit of personal gain.

35. 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.

36. Jaffa - January 27, 2016


37. 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.

38. 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–

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

42. 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

43. 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..

44. 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..;)

45. 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…

46. 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!

47. 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..

48. 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

49. 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.

50. 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.

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