Saturday, December 8, 2012

Military Suicides...and Ultrarunning

Via Skippy, here (on 1 Dec), I got rerouted to McClatchy, where I read that 20% of all military deaths last year were from suicide (301 known self-inflicted deaths). 

That's a staggering fact.

That item was an incidental statistic in the article, whose main discussion centered on whether service members who fail in a suicide attempt should then be prosecuted for bringing discredit to the service.

From the article:

Active-duty members of the military who succeed in killing themselves are treated as having died honorably. Active-duty members who try and fail may be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if the suicide attempt is deemed conduct that causes “prejudice to good order and discipline” or has a “tendency to bring the service into disrepute.”

Yes, that's the answer: throw the book at somebody who is so desperate that they attempt suicide.  That'll stop the problem.

I am just thankful that my family has never faced this issue personally.  I am thankful that my circumstances and personality are such that suicide never occurred to me as a solution to anything.  And perhaps this is a stretch--but I really think it's not--I credit Ultrarunning for helping keep me grounded and away from the abyss.


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