US Military Suicides Outnumber Soldiers Killed By Enemy Fire For 2009 (Video)
2009 12 18

From: YouTube.com

Ed Comment: The horrifying reality of military suicides should not be obscured by the issue of condolence letters. That the numbers are as high as they are evidence that the 'wars without end' cannot maintain.


Video from: YouTube.com


Army Record Suicide Rate Continues, and Will Continue for Some Time

By John Soltz | HuffingtonPost.com

In what is quickly becoming a year-end tradition, the Army reported that suicides are yet again at an all time high. Reports the Washington Post:

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli on Tuesday called the Army's record suicide rate this year "horrible" and said the problem of soldiers taking their own lives is the toughest he has faced in his 37 years in service.

As of Nov. 16, 140 soldiers on active duty and 71 soldiers not on active duty were suspected to have committed suicide.

The suicide rate has broken its own record every year since 2006. Now, Chiarelli noted, and the Army must be credited with doing more to counsel soldiers to recognize when they need help, and seek help before it's too late. Indeed, the Post reports 40 percent of suicide victims this year did seek out mental counseling. Yet, it wasn't enough.

Additionally, Chiarelli told a real whopper at the press conference to announce the sobering news. "Chiarelli voiced frustration that the Army has not yet been able to identify any causal links among the suicide cases, except that soldiers are more likely to kill themselves when they are away from their stations, where help is available," the Post story states.

No causal links? Really? Then what about this, from coverage of the Army's own report back in 2007?

Failed personal relationships, legal and financial problems and work stress were motivating factors, the report said. It also found a significant link between suicide attempts and the number of days deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan or nearby countries where troops participate in the war effort.


Now, this isn't to say every soldier deployed frequently and for long periods will kill him or herself. But there's a "significant link" for many of those who do. There's also a significant link that by this time in late 2006, we had been engaged in two wars for three years, and many of our soldiers had involuntarily extended deployments (Stop Loss), saw longer deployments to begin with, and Dwell Time (the time between deployments) had been reduced.

That's why it is so disturbing that the military and Obama administration seems so blasé about not increasing Dwell Time for members of our Army. As my colleague Richard Smith reported last week at VetVoice.com, Admiral Mike Mullen, pressed by Congress on Dwell Time for our Army said:

"The Marine Corps next year will actually get out to a two-to-one [years] dwell time/deployment time ratio. The Army will not, still. The Army -- it'll take a couple more years to do that."


That's great for Marines, but not what our soldiers deserve as their suicide rate increases to record levels for the fourth year in a row. Not when the Army itself says there's a "significant link" between length of deployments and suicides. Even if the Obama administration doesn't use Stop Loss or increase deployments lengths to make their Afghanistan deployment schedule work, it's clear our soldiers need more of a break between time away.

The members of our military will go to war when called. That's their duty, and they take it seriously. No matter how much the Army counsels our soldiers, there will always stand the notion in the back of soldiers' minds that saying their heads can't take another deployment is a sign of weakness. Most of them won't admit when they need more time at home before they're fit to go back.

That's why it's up to the Pentagon and administration to give all of our troops -- especially our soldiers -- much needed rest. Unfortunately, as the administration's plans for Afghanistan stand right now, those soldiers won't get more time. Not for two years, at least, maybe more.

And that's why we're likely to continue this year-end tradition for 2010, 2011, and possibly beyond.

Article from: HuffingtonPost.com



Related Articles
Army suicide numbers break another yearly record
US Military Suicides at Record High; Report Finds Most Deaths at Single Colorado Base Were Preventable
US soldier commits suicide in Indiana movie theater during 'Zombieland'
Army official: Suicides in January 'terrifying'
“They’re Wasted”: The Price of Pushing Our Troops Too Far
After Combat, Victims of an Inner War


Latest News from our Front Page

Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
2014-12-20 2:17
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack. Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job. Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
2014-12-20 2:13
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled. Via The Hollywood Reporter: After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move. “The ...
The Bankster International
2014-12-20 1:55
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
Another banker dies under suspicious circumstances
2014-12-20 1:09
52-year-old Belgian Geert Tack – a private banker for ING who managed portfolios for wealthy individuals – was described as ‘impeccable’, ‘sporty’, ‘cared-for’, and ‘successful’ and so as Vermist reports, after disappearing a month ago, the appearance of his body off the coast of Ostend is surrounded by riddles… Impeccable. Sporty. Cared for. Successful. Just some qualifications that are attributed to ...
NATO increases military presence on Russia’s borders
2014-12-20 1:14
The Pentagon has confirmed the military buildup along Russia’s borders to ensure long-term “peace and stability” in the region. Earlier Moscow accused NATO of a sharp increase in air activity and intelligence flights in the border zone. Replying to RIA Novosti’s query on the increased number of NATO flights around Russia’s borders, a Pentagon representative told the news agency that the military ...
More News »