COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Both military and veteran groups are protesting a well-known televangelist's appearance at a prayer breakfast on Fort Jackson this week.
The prayer breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 1.
Copeland - a member of President Donald Trump's faith advisory board - and longtime television preacher whose headquarters is in Fort Worth, TX, has made a number of claims in the past stating that the Bible says soldiers should not suffer or claim to suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Any of you suffering from PTSD I want you to listen to me right now," Copeland said in 2013. "You get rid of that right now. You don't take drugs to get rid of it, it doesn't take psychology - that promise right there [points to Bible] will get rid of it."
"If you trivialize PTSD, you trivialize the members of the military that have this very serious disease. Is he going to claim next that you can't have [a] traumatic brain injury? Is he going to say at Fort Jackson that PTSD doesn't exist?"
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 3.6 percent of U.S. adults had PTSD in from 2016 to 2017. People who battle PTSD are not just veterans and soldiers - PTSD can occur when a person survives any traumatic event, such as a physical assault, car accident, or natural disaster.
A Fort Jackson spokesperson issued this statement when asked about the event and Copeland's involvement:
The spokesperson also provided a statement from Copeland's organization about their approach to PTSD:
On Wednesday, MRFF's president issued one final letter to Fort Jackson's commander, pleading to rescind Copeland's invitation: