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Rod Powers

Military Suicides Increasing

By November 27, 2012

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"They wouldn't let me talk to him," she said, referring to the day her son shot himself. "I know if he was able to see me he wouldn't have done it," claimed the mother of a Veteran in an Air Force Times article.

According to a Veterans Affairs report this spring, a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 suicides have occurred since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. For every service member who dies in battle, 25 veterans die by their own hands.

Comments
December 5, 2012 at 12:35 am
(1) Jak says:

I wonder what makes them want to kill themselves?

December 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm
(2) DNelson says:

Until we walk those shoes, we will; never know or understand. Anyone who “understand” is misleading and confused. Only God knows “WHY”

December 6, 2012 at 12:07 am
(3) Cboy says:

Most probably because of pressure of not being able to do anything about a particular, situation.

December 8, 2012 at 9:50 am
(4) Bruce Doner says:

Could it be that ,every 80 minutes ,we are being asked in a non-argumentive manner, to consider major changes in our present way of bringing….” The Peace that makes us free” ???

B.D.

December 11, 2012 at 9:48 am
(5) Brad says:

The inability to deal with stress is an individual issue that is impacted by prior events and personal strength. It is also most affected by the manner in which the governing authority one lives under shows its support for the effort that creates the initial stress. It appears to me that the US military is doing a far better job now than ever before in preparing for combat and debriefing prior to return to civilian life. And yet the problem increases.
Without additional data it is impossible to address the matter. Is it jsut the statistics due to increased numbers involved; the close proximity to noncombatants; a specific branch of the services; during service or after dismissal from service; adjustment to civilian life; or some other issue?

December 11, 2012 at 11:56 am
(6) vance meyer says:

The answer to this question is far more complicated than this venue allows. I spent a year training and deploying to KAF, Afghanistan. The stigma of need is obvious. I would like to speak to the author of this article. Email me.

VR,

Vance

December 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm
(7) vance meyer says:

Mr. Powers, contact me at my email address.

VR,

Vance

December 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm
(8) William D. De Nomie says:

This comment has nothing to do with suicides, but what men had to put up with day after day. I was stationed in Germany in 66/67. One day, the Lifer’s showed us a re-up film can you believe that! During the film. one man who I didn’t know jumped up and started to scream and run around, the medics were called. The story goes he was taken to the Hospital in Frankfurt, shipped back to the States and discharged. If only I had the guts.

That place where I was stationed was a real dump! found out that I would have been stationed there until I left the Army in Jun 1970, this was 1966. The only other way out of there, besides going crazy was to volunteer for Vietnam. Glad I put in my 1049 others who tried, were refused just got out in the nick of time.
Arrived in “Country” November 1967/68 served with the 9th Infantry Div. down in the Mekong Delta, spent time in the hospitals in Japan and California. Returned to Vietnam 1969/70 went to the Central Highlands.

Outside of the Lifer’s, I served with the bravest group of men, I’ll ever see again in my lifetime. When I was seperated in 1970 it was sign here, money owed, plane ticket home not even a thank you or handshake, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, but I made it after 46 of my 48 month enlistment made sergeant and proved that I was an experienced and capable soldier.

Song of the day: “Back on the Street Again”, Sunshine Company. Play it and you’l know what I mean. Best thing I ever did, to save my own sanity was getting out of the US Army and create a better life for myself… Don’t tell me what its all about, because I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m out…

December 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm
(9) Mcihael PEterson says:

read the book, “On Killing” for some insights into this psy damage of our military. Not an anti Military book.,

December 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm
(10) Chris says:

The things those military members see, do and push through, only to never be able to really talk about it after the fact is probably what stews inside their minds. Doing things they may not want to because it is their mission, even knowing it maybe for the greater good can still eat a person inside. I have a relative that was drafted into the Navy during the Vietnam War; he will NEVER ever talk about it. I have also had a friend mention something when discussing this article with him. He has said, “there are numerous people who have killed, murdered, and hurt someone who is in prison for doing such an unforgiveable act. Why not take those, especially the sociopaths, who have no empathy for killing and have them used for the military instead of taking these young men who are 18 years of age with no criminal background and generally okay in society forcing them to kill and carry that burden throughout their lives.” I know that idea can stir several debates, I mentioned for instance the possibly of no respect for authority, and just killing to be killing, but I understand what he means in his general point by taking individuals who care for people and psychologically causing unnecessary damage if there is a way to avoid it.

Whatever it is, the cause needs to be discovered and a solution needs to be provided to those who served and protect our country. They have provided us with so much, it is one of the least things we can do is to help them maintain a healthy, happy, lifestyle.

December 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm
(11) Chris says:

There was a documentary on PBS a long time ago I saw regarding military and service members. It was talking about the Gulf War and said that under the Clinton administration when they were signing for military members to receive the anthrax vaccine, it also entitled military members (since they were/are considered property of the government) to be used as test subjects for medications. Now, how true that is I don’t know.

But if we look through history over the years in the medical field something that maybe great at one point in time is later realized to not be so great since it causes medical problems, usually resulting in cancer. External and environmental factors are the leading causes of cancer. Perfect example is asbestos, used everywhere in the Navy and know is shown to cause cancer. (others, smoking, tobacco, chemicals such as arsenic, micotine) What about the MRE’s? Are those really safe, or will time only tell us later they may be dangerous. Things that we consumed for food on a daily basis could be dangerous. Look at tapioca pudding, if prepared the wrong way is deadly. There are many foods such as coffee, aspartame, fruits and vegetables sprayed with chemicals, or possibly contaminated by bugs of other animals. There seems to be new reports and medical experiments every day that has conflicting reports where one day something is good for you and then later it is bad for you. I am happy we are testing for these things, but maybe our military service men and women are picking up diseases or infections that affect the mind. The mind and body for everyone is different.

Whatever it is, the cause needs to be discovered and a solution needs to be provided to those who served and protect our country. They have provided us with so much, it is one of the least things we can do is to help them maintain a healthy, happy, lifestyle.

December 25, 2012 at 10:33 am
(12) Dan says:

Since Vietnam, we’ve sent our troops into combat all over the world. They spend years, sometimes much of their adult lives, working long hours in dangerous and unpleasant environments, all the while watching their friends get injured or killed. Then, in almost every case, there is a political decision to just pack up and go home, because doing so will get some hack elected.

In Vietnam we packed up and went just at the point when the war was effectively won. We then had to endure years of the likes of John Kerry proclaiming that those who served there were war criminals….”reminiscent of Genghis Khan”. Those who attacked and demeaned the veterans were (and still are) rewarded with political power, while the troops themselves were routinely denied promised help and benefits.

We’ve spent a dozen years in Afghanistan, defeating the Taliban early in the conflict, and originally being treated as liberators by the locals. Then the politicians started with the “how soon can we leave” debate, and the war begins anew to see who will control the place once we’re gone. Ditto in Iraq. Did we just immediately go home, after we’ve guaranteed that the war will go on and can no longer be won? Of course not, we continue to this day pouring money and lives into a now lost cause.

Knowing that we’re leaving, troops still serve back-to-back-to-back deployments, watching friends die on every one. Perhaps having our own President then announce that the Taliban should have a seat at the table enters into this equation? Veterans see that their lives, sacrifice, and suffering, and that of their friends, is not simply unappreciated, but once again, thrown away and rendered pointless by their own government.

Is it really surprising that some might become suicidal?

Just wondering…….

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