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Ear to the Ground

Army Suicide Rate at Quarter-Century High

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Posted on Aug 16, 2007

According to the U.S. military, 99 active-duty soldiers committed suicide in 2006, a number that may rise after ongoing investigations into other cases conclude, making last year’s suicide rate the highest in 26 years. 


AP via Yahoo! News:

“Iraq was the most common deployment location for both (suicides) and attempts,” the report said.

The 99 suicides included 28 soldiers deployed to the two wars and 71 who weren’t. About twice as many women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan committed suicide as did women not sent to war, the report said.

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By Megan, August 18, 2007 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would have liked to know more before making snap judgements.  This site is about “drilling beneath the headlines”, after all.  While blaming ‘the government’ is always easy, I would prefer to be more informed first.  Not everything is someone else’s fault.

Questions:
- How long had they served
- Ages
- What rank they held
- What their position was
- Married, unmarried, family, no family

Things to consider:
- Emotional state before entering military
- Family support
- Loss of loved one
- Marrital problems/divorce of spouse
- Why they joined military

People commit suicide for many reasons. You have to question why the majority of soldiers don’t commit suicide, and why these do.  It’s hard to predict someone’s constitution.  Most of our soldiers today know nothing of the horror those in Vietnam and earlier wars experienced, so one has to wonder, and always ask…why?

Keep on drilling!
Megan

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By mackTN, August 17, 2007 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

And when you turn on your television news—CNN, MSNBC—you’ll hear a story like this read in about 30 seconds.  You’ll never get any followup. 

But how much time did those stations devote to Paris Hilton in jail?

Unfortunately the only news show that qualifies as alternative media is in the comedy genre—Jon Stewart.  Or Lou Dobbs.

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By Greg Bacon, August 17, 2007 at 2:54 am Link to this comment

In Haig’s presence, Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as “dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy.

Woodward and Bernstein, The Final Days, chapter 14

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger

Considering the fact that Kissinger is a regular visitor to see HRM King George and is giving the King advice, it’s not surprising that the WH is oblivious to the troops needs, both here at home and abroad.

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By muysuave, August 17, 2007 at 12:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Although everyone know’s we should be skeptical of the information from this Administration’s government, yet we still see media outlets providing cover for Bush & Co.  Take a look at the title of this story, “Army Suicide Rate at Quarter-Century High.”  Quarter Century High?  Come on.  That is a code word for Vietnam.  Why not just say, “Army Suicide Rate Highest Since Vietnam ERA.”  Because media outlets are still turning a blind eye to anything that might embarrass the Bush Republicans.

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By mackTN, August 16, 2007 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

We rushed these soldiers into action, many of them with little training (and proper equipment—complaints about which Rumsfield belittled as whining)for such a prolonged conflict in an area so hostile to them on all fronts.

And Bush has refused to give them relief, while sympathizing with the Iraqui parliament who insisted on taking a month off.

I hope Congress questions Petraeus about this next month, although I’m sure it won’t be in the status report that the White House has decided to writefor him.

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By hazmaq, August 16, 2007 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Olbermann tonight added another stunning fact:
there were an additional 900 attempted suicides.

C-span also today aired a panel of military ‘leaders’  discussing the report.

Another Bush crony named Colonel Elsbeth Ritchie (a definate candidate for the next medal of dishonor),M.D.,  Director of one of the Pentagon mental health programs, offered these jewels of wisdom:

“It’s hard to stop suicides without taking their guns away…”

“..If you’re watching this and are thinking about suicide, get some help”...

Just not from you or the Pentagon, right Doc?

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By Leefeller, August 16, 2007 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

Now all we have to do is get the troops home and decrease their suicide rates any way we can.  Maybe we can find out how to increase the suicide rates of politicians, this may be the best way politicians can serve their county plus they have accomplished something positive at the same time.

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By farmertx, August 16, 2007 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

Left unsaid was how many were Regular Army and how many National Guard. Also, no mention of how long they had been in the Army nor their ages.
While those facts would help shed some light on the problem, just the fact that there is a problem is most troubling.
I’m told be a friend who served 27 years in Army Infantry that the one thing that you don’t do is seek counseling if you plan on staying in the Army.
It stands to reason that a good soldier is macho. And macho guys don’t need that kind of help. There are rare exceptions. But, like they say, that just proves the rule.
Just one more unintended consequence of Shrubs’ ‘ego war’.
Just like the Marine Sgt., hit by IED and suffering from severe brain injury.
A vital young man reduced to being mute, with little motor control; who will require special care for the rest of his life, such as it is.
If Shrub was even aware of that soldier, he’d say, So?, and get a good nights sleep.

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