18 veteran suicides a day!

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The Crisis

About 18 veterans kill themselves each day. Thousands from the current wars have already done so. In fact, the number of U.S. soldiers who have died by their own hand is now estimated to be greater than the number (6,460) who have died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Eleven years of war in two operating theaters have taken a severe toll on America’s military. An estimated 2.3 million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and 800,000 of those service members have been deployed multiple times.

Read whole article here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/20/andrew-swofford-on-the-epidemic-of-military-suicides.html

harry ashburn
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

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This government does NOT represent we the PEOPLE!

How DARE THEY send our young people to fight ILLEGAL, UNJUST, UNNECESSARY WARS AND OCCUPATIONS!! This government ruled by "Raygun" Reagen, Bush 1 & UNELECTED Bush 2 and now Obama are WAR CRIMINALS and should be seized, forced to stand in a world court of law and when found GUILTY, locked up in some overcrowded, dirty, dangerous prison and forgotten or slowly exicuted just as they have used OUR TROOPS to murder innocent people.

Is it any wonder the terrible guilt these military people suffered when they realize they were USED by this UNJUST, CRIMINAL GOVERNMENT? The horrible nightmares haunting their nights over and over again as they relive their UNJUST military service?

How can we ever repay these people who we betrayed by sending them off to fight unjust,ILLEGAL wars and occupations?This is how we repaid them, homelessness, cuts in benifits and denial of benifits they earned.

Is it any wonder so many have chosen suicide?

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

sheilach2's picture
sheilach2
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Sep. 28, 2010 10:34 am

Thank you for the pre-Memorial Day weekend reminder, Harry.

That we continue to have 18 veterans' premature loss of life per day reveals the extent of our collective apathy and disregard for them and their service.

These losses make clear that problems "kicked down the road" due to political squabbling - cannot be done so in good conscience.

I will be continuing the work on the Remembrance Rug and expect to be adding the 7000th U.S. symbol sometime over the long week-end. Yet there are still 2000+ in the "to-be-added" binders.

Rodger97321's picture
Rodger97321
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Refreshed or Drowned - Given or Taken?

Quote sheilach2:

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Thomas Jefferson

But it should be up to the Patriot (not cowardly/greedy/incompetent/disingenuous office holders) to decide where and when it is shed.

Rodger97321's picture
Rodger97321
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

There is a parallel to the NFL suicides. NFL has concussions, from their sport warriors engaging in helmet to helmet contact, with multiple concussions even in the same game. Veterans getting concussions from ieds, culminating in the most TBIs [traumatic brain injuries] ever. Support is actually more than wearing a flag pin on your lapel, or a decal on your car. It also means denying election of the chicken hawks, and assorted war mongers. The current crowd has aspirations to launch a war on Iran, a ground war, with Syria soon to follow.

One end run, or flank attack, is to highlight the monetary cost in a prewar manner. I proposed to my senator a budgetary trigger [irony intended] mechanism where an automatic surtax, or wartax kicks in whenever the country pursues military adventures. The chicken hawks don't mind killing low paid constituents, but they balk at asking their high paid constituents to pay for the execution. Money is always more important than lives to that crowd. A spreadsheet shows the suicides as a cost saving because suicides remove unfunded liabilities. The pentagon may even have peasant insurance policies on enlisted men providing them a profit.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote sheilach2:

How DARE THEY send our young people to fight ILLEGAL, UNJUST, UNNECESSARY WARS AND OCCUPATIONS!!

How can we ever repay these people who we betrayed by sending them off to fight unjust,ILLEGAL wars and occupations?

You have forgotten one important factor Sheila. They all went because they wanted to go. They are all volunteers. They ALL joined the military because they wanted to serve. We were already at war before the huge majority joined. They do not share your opinion. The ones who signed up for a combat MOS did so because they want to kill the enemy. They were only sent because they wanted to be sent. The mission of the miltary is to kill people and break things. Nobody was drafted. Everybody knew it when they signed up.

rigel1's picture
rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

I've seen guys right out of high-school signing on — because they can't find a job.

This is no way to run a civilized nation in the sophisticated age of 2012.

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Karolina
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Nov. 3, 2011 6:45 pm
Quote Karolina:

I've seen guys right out of high-school signing on — because they can't find a job.

This is no way to run a civilized nation in the sophisticated age of 2012.

The two things that all new high school grads have to deal with immediately after graduation. Recuiters and Credit card pushers.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote rigel1:
Quote sheilach2:

How DARE THEY send our young people to fight ILLEGAL, UNJUST, UNNECESSARY WARS AND OCCUPATIONS!!

How can we ever repay these people who we betrayed by sending them off to fight unjust,ILLEGAL wars and occupations?

You have forgotten one important factor Sheila. They all went because they wanted to go. They are all volunteers. They ALL joined the military because they wanted to serve. We were already at war before the huge majority joined. They do not share your opinion. The ones who signed up for a combat MOS did so because they want to kill the enemy. They were only sent because they wanted to be sent. The mission of the miltary is to kill people and break things. Nobody was drafted. Everybody knew it when they signed up.

sheilach2, you're spot on in your questions. The answer starts with the investigation and prosecution of the architects of the ''ILLEGAL, UNJUST, UNNECESSARY WARS AND OCCUPATIONS!!''

I'm afraid that'll not happen. There are far too many people attached to their denial of the truth to satisfy their discomfort. They decieve themselvs out of self interest.

rigel1, "they do not share your opinion" This is a favorite tactic. Speaking for a large diverse population and stating as a fact how "they" think and feel. It's the result of fear, ignorance and promotion of their agenda. Myself and other combat vets I know would knock rigel1 out in the blink of an eye, in a face to face conversation if he let that garbage out of his mouth in our presence.

I'm with you sheilach2.

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bamboo
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Maybe the new consumer protection bureau will mandate the recruiters to explain that when they are permanently disabled they are on their own. PTSD is an affliction only in their head. TBIs are only in their head. DOD could recruit a former defense secretary, dickhead cheney, to go slap'em around like patton did. Then offer him a percentage of the costs saved from reduced claims.

btw, some say the recuiters have documents of the percentages of High School Grads that are fox viewers, or ripe for the picking.

Demographics of those recruited supports that notion. The parents of the fallen are also more likely to believe it was god's will.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Karolina:

I've seen guys right out of high-school signing on — because they can't find a job.

This is no way to run a civilized nation in the sophisticated age of 2012.

Maybe, but they did not join the infantry or Marines unless they wanted to kill the enemy.

rigel1's picture
rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am
Quote bamboo:
Quote rigel1:
Quote sheilach2:

How DARE THEY send our young people to fight ILLEGAL, UNJUST, UNNECESSARY WARS AND OCCUPATIONS!!

How can we ever repay these people who we betrayed by sending them off to fight unjust,ILLEGAL wars and occupations?

You have forgotten one important factor Sheila. They all went because they wanted to go. They are all volunteers. They ALL joined the military because they wanted to serve. We were already at war before the huge majority joined. They do not share your opinion. The ones who signed up for a combat MOS did so because they want to kill the enemy. They were only sent because they wanted to be sent. The mission of the miltary is to kill people and break things. Nobody was drafted. Everybody knew it when they signed up.

Myself and other combat vets I know would knock rigel1 out in the blink of an eye, in a face to face conversation if he let that garbage out of his mouth in our presence.

I'm with you sheilach2.

First: You are either a frustrated brat because you have no good answer to my post or you are a dangerous, violent maniac.

Second: Those who went to war went because they wanted to go. You cannot say they were betrayed. The knew the deal. I know this fact frustrates you. Too bad.

Third. Rigel doesn't go down easy. You might want to tread lightly. Anyone who attempts to knock out this Marine, may find himself asleep on the floor. You can take your threats of violence and stickem up your ass you freak.

rigel1's picture
rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

That's more than a little disingenuous Rigel. You must admit that a large portion of the military joined to better themselves either financially or educationally. Another large portion of the military are convinced that going into combat would be both heroic and exhilerating both before and while in training, only to find out that the truth of war is really very ugly.

I have 2 nieces and one nephew that are in the military right now and none of them have had to go to war yet. They didn't join wanting to go to war. They joined to better their lives. If called to war they will do so but they hope that they don't have to. I believe that the majority of the military think the same way.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

The safer military path would be Navy, or Air Force. There is also the Coast Guard. The Marines are the ones lied to and deployed. 46% of the country thought Iraq was to blame for 9/11. About the same percentage that believes in creationism.

The families do get the death benefit, I think about 10k.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

It was 58%

Forty-six percent of Americans believe that a deity created humans in their present form some time in the last 10,000 years, according to what respondents told pollsters. The percentage has changed little in the last 30 years, during which time the backlash against teaching evolution in public schools has continued, if not expanded, with great strength.

One-third of Americans said humans evolved with God’s guidance. Fifteen percent said humans evolved, but God had nothing to do with it.

A 58 percent majority of Republicans hold the creationist view of the origin of human life. Forty-one percent of Democrats agree, along with 39 percent of self-described Independents.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly. Follow him on Twitter: @areedkelly.

I guess 58% of red states believe in creationism, and still believe Iraq was 9/11. It helped in recruiting when the general claimed our god was bigger than theirs, so yes everyone that signed up were onward christian soldiers marching off to war. They will never know it was for w's '04 election.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Bush_Wacker:

That's more than a little disingenuous Rigel. You must admit that a large portion of the military joined to better themselves either financially or educationally. Another large portion of the military are convinced that going into combat would be both heroic and exhilerating both before and while in training, only to find out that the truth of war is really very ugly.

I have 2 nieces and one nephew that are in the military right now and none of them have had to go to war yet. They didn't join wanting to go to war. They joined to better their lives. If called to war they will do so but they hope that they don't have to. I believe that the majority of the military think the same way.

You are correct. Some people do join to improve their lives. But in doing so they all understand that that is not what the military is for. The military exists for only one reason. To kill the enemy. Not to provide an education or a paycheck. You can get these benefits from the military, but that is not why we have a military. The folks you join the Marines, Army infantry, Air force special ops or Navy Seals do so because they want to get into the fight. If you sign up to drive a truck you realize that you could find yourself on the business end of an I.E.D. There was no betrayal, no surprises. If you don't want to see combat, go into supply, communications, maintenance or the Navy or Air Force. Chances are you will avoid all significant danger. The people in the fight want to be in the fight.

B.T.W. Nothing I say is disingenuous. I say exactly what I believe. You should know this by now.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

So you think that everyone who joins the military other than the Air Force or the Navy wants to be a killer. They want to kill somebody. That is the definition of psychotic. I would love to hear from some of those in the marines or army that you claim are psychotic killers. I think that maybe you play too many video games.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:

So you think that everyone who joins the military other than the Air Force or the Navy wants to be a killer. They want to kill somebody. That is the definition of psychotic. I would love to hear from some of those in the marines or army that you claim are psychotic killers. I think that maybe you play too many video games.

Be careful about making assumptions my friend. I am a man. Men don't play video games. Guys play video games. I'm not a guy. So you whiffed on that charge. Secondly, could you please copy the qoute where I said anyone was psychotic. Again, a swing and a miss. I am a former Marine. People don't join the infantry because they want to avoid a fight. Sorry, this is just plain common sense. Suppose someone wants to join the military to learn electronics. They never see a day of combat, but they spend four years repairing missle guidance systems. They did not kill anyone directly, but they are responsible for helping kill the enemy. If you join the military your primary role is to kill the enemy or make it easier for others to kill. An inconvenient truth. But a truth none the less.

If you join the marines as a cook, your job is to feed the grunts so they can go out and kill the enemy. You are helping people kill people. Also every Marine is a trained rifleman. Even the admin clerks are expert shots and can be called into combat.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am

And all these years I thought people joined the military to defend their country. I did not know it was to kill the enemy. I didn't say that you said anything about being psychotic. That was MY definition of any human being who actually WANTS to kill somebody. There is also a distinct difference between wanting to kill somebody and wanting to avoid a fight. Please don't lecture me on the military. 2 Grandfathers, WWII---3 Uncles, Korean War---1 Uncle, Viet Nam---Many cousins, nieces and nephews, Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan.

Out of all of the friends and relatives who serve or have served in WARTIME, not one of them ever wanted to kill anybody. Killing was a duty and not an ambition. You are dead wrong and obviously have never served in wartime or a warzone.

I am a man and I'll challenge anyone to prove it wrong and I play video games from time to time.

ps. My 2 Grandfathers, and 4 Uncles were all infantry and everyone of them came back home mostly in one piece.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:

ps. My 2 Grandfathers, and 4 Uncles were all infantry and everyone of them came back home mostly in one piece.

Many of us come back mostly in one piece. But not necessarily at peace.

And this brings up my thoughts on the subject of this thread which I hope at least echoes the excellent and thought provoking essay by Anthony Swofford linked in the OP.

Arriving at internal peace is another matter. I try to take that into consideration whenever I hear what can sound like the justificatory ravings of a vet, which are perhaps related to a deep-seated need for justifying to themselves an act they may never completely come to grips with.

We who have entered militaries have boot camp as a rite of passage that strips us of one identity and takes us into the realms another, where we join the elite club that can commit what otherwise is considered murder of our fellow humans. This is a crucial problem that must be solved when individuals have deeply embedded senses of morality represented by commandments like: You shall not murder.

Then we are just set free back in society. No ritual transition back to a civilian identity that involves reclaiming our internalized morality that we've had to forgo for a period of time, maybe have had to violate in ways that shock even ourselves despite our new identity. We leave the confusions that can occur in minds of the veterans to the experts and their DSM manuals.

Many who enter the mental frame of that peculiar socially-defined group that not just allows but orders us to murder, creating potential for an immense conflict of choice, never become truly "virgin" civilians again. As a result, some can find themselves in a kind of perpetual limbo, a realm betwixt and between also called liminality, and maybe that's where these suicides will occur.

Rites of passage rituals have often helped people in all sorts of societies deal with the inherent contradictions that sometimes emerge with moving between socially defined identities. Our individualistically-focused society is extremely short sighted and thus cruel in developing methods acceptable practices of mutual support. Especially for people who've been through socially validated trauma like our veterans often have. So you can get some very extreme expressions of rationalization from those struggling to make sense of their lives and actions in a society that's telling them they are free and independent.

Chris Hedges writes about the cultural effects of some of these issues in War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:

And all these years I thought people joined the military to defend their country. I did not know it was to kill the enemy. I didn't say that you said anything about being psychotic. That was MY definition of any human being who actually WANTS to kill somebody. There is also a distinct difference between wanting to kill somebody and wanting to avoid a fight. Please don't lecture me on the military. 2 Grandfathers, WWII---3 Uncles, Korean War---1 Uncle, Viet Nam---Many cousins, nieces and nephews, Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan.

Out of all of the friends and relatives who serve or have served in WARTIME, not one of them ever wanted to kill anybody. Killing was a duty and not an ambition. You are dead wrong and obviously have never served in wartime or a warzone.

I am a man and I'll challenge anyone to prove it wrong and I play video games from time to time.

ps. My 2 Grandfathers, and 4 Uncles were all infantry and everyone of them came back home mostly in one piece.

rigel1's picture
rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 6:49 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:

And all these years I thought people joined the military to defend their country. I did not know it was to kill the enemy.

Out of all of the friends and relatives who serve or have served in WARTIME, not one of them ever wanted to kill anybody. .

Unfortunatly we defend the country by killing the enemy or through deterance (the threat to kill the enemy). As a Marine, I never wanted to kill anybody either. And through the grace of God, I did not have to. But I knew exactly what I was trained for. There is a reason that we were expected to hit a man sized target at 500 yards. Every Marine is taught hand to hand combat and marksmenship immediatly. Before he learns anything about his primary MOS. So there is no doubt why he is there. There are times when people DO want to kill. I would bet that most members of the military want every single member of al qaeda dead. I don't think that makes them psychotic. After Pearl Harbor many Americans wanted to kill the Japs. Again a nomal response to an attack. Now the Japansese are the best friends we ever had.

BTW, sounds like you come from a great family with a deep commitment to service and freedom. Excellent!

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rigel1
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