Thursday, September 27, 2012

Military Suicides

Via Corrente, where DCBlogger points us to Military Times:

The Army’s biggest failure: Losing the war on suicides

Facing an enemy it can’t seem to defeat, the Army continues to lose more soldiers to suicide than to combat in Afghanistan.

So far this year, the Army has reported 212 suspected suicides — 132 active-duty soldiers and 80 National Guard or Army Reserve soldiers who were not on active duty when they died.

During the same time period, January through August, the Army lost 171 soldiers in Afghanistan. In FY2011 there were more than 1,000 known suicide attempts.

Army leaders don’t know why the service is seeing a spike in 2012, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told Army Times.

DCBlogger sadly observes, "Clearly they are being asked to do things that they cannot live with. We need to end the war now."

Note that the numbers above do not address suicides in the other services. 

I'm one of those people who think that "where there's life, there's hope," and I can say this with the experience of having been to some very dark places in my life.  But obviously the epidemic rates of suicide among the Army family is indicative of some very dark places indeed.

The double whammy is not just the victim is gone...forever after, the person's family and friends will always carry the burden that somehow they failed, they didn't do enough, they missed something that would have somehow made a difference.  

And that's a terrible legacy.


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