One Mission, Many Faces: U.S. Army Sgt. Tasia Blair, Behavioral Health Technician, 327th Medical Detachment (Combat Operational Stress Control)

By Sgt. 1st Class Gary Witte | 207th Regional Support Group | July 29, 2020

AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq —

"My grandpa was in the Army. Before he passed away he had some really bad dementia and started thinking the family was the enemy and started being really combative with the family. It was hard to watch. I thought about Soldiers who are younger who aren't near death who are coming home with those same issues. Just being presented with them to their family. I just really wanted to help and I thought this was the best way to do that. On the civilian side I pretty much do the same thing. I went to college for psychology. Got my degree in it. ...

"It's really cool here in these types of settings, because you can actually see yourself helping people. You'll have people come back and they're like, OK, that actually helped. What you told me did work. They're feeling better or they're sleeping. Sleep is a huge issue, right? We teach a lot of stuff on sleep hygiene. A lot of people come in for that. And it's cool to be able to give people tips and some insight. And just talk to them. They realize the things they can change to help themselves...

"We're getting better, but I think some people still have that standoffish approach towards behavioral health. Just because of the stigmas of it and things like that. So It's nice to see when people are like, 'I was nervous to come, but it's working for me. It is helpful.' And then they tell their friends and we get more people from that. I think that part of it is definitely awesome -- just getting to see the progress that people are making. ...

"You can do this job for the Army without being in the Army. But I think that is one of the things I thought about when I decided to join and enlist, because it's just those basic things civilians don't quite understand, right? If someone comes to me with work pressures. and they're like, 'My first sergeant X, Y and Z,' I know what that means. I get the weight of that."

-- U.S. Army Sgt. Tasia Blair, Behavioral Health Technician, 327th Medical Detachment (Combat Operational Stress Control)

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