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Ear to the Ground

Escalating Suicides Shut Down Routine Duties at Base

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Posted on May 28, 2009
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Fort Campbell, a military base in Kentucky that had the most suicides of any Army base this year, has halted routine duties for three days in order to seek out and aid distressed soldiers who may be thinking of taking their own lives. In January through March alone, the base saw an average of one suicide per week.

AP via the Kentucky New Era:

“But last week we had two. Two in a week,”  [Brig. Gen. Stephen] Townsend said. “This is not a place where Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division want to be. We don’t want to lead the Army in this statistic.”

[...] Army leaders are developing new guidance for commanders to help installations like Fort Campbell deal with rising suicide rates. Across the Army, suicides from January through March rose to a reported 56 - 22 confirmed and 34 still being investigated and pending confirmation.

Frequent deployments by the division since 2001 have contributed to the stress soldiers feel at Fort Campbell, said Col. Ken Brown, the head of chaplains for the base.

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By KDelphi, May 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Cathy—-from some friends of mine..

Do you know, are any permanently affected? Like tardive dyskinesia, etc.

I will check out the site.

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By Cathy, May 29, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

There are a few members of the military that post fairly regularly on PaxilProgress.org as they battle the emotional damage from their war experience mixed with the anti-depressant and other psychotropic drugs they were given, as opposed to the real care they needed.  I know I’ve been reading articles about the practice of giving SSRIs to the troops to keep them on the front lines since 2004. 

These drugs are causing more chaos than helping for thousands in the population at large.  How much is this being studied in this smaller population on the bases? 

I do not know how many members of military “lurk” on PaxilProgress to get some insight into what has happened to them beyond the emotional wounds of battle.  We get over 3 million hits a month. 

If you know someone who is suffering in the military and is on these drugs please check out this site.  You could potentially save a life if you know what to look for.  I am only alive today because of this site.  The people here in cyberspace were the only thing that stood between me and strong suicidal urgings when Paxil backfired on me while still on it and during withdrawal.  I can’t imagine combining these horrible drugs with the horrors of Iraq and then the stigma that the Army puts on soldiers who do come out mentally damaged.

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By ~GRUMP~, May 29, 2009 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Karma is a biatch, the treasonous military personel will get exactly what they dished out, whether it’s by their own hands or the hands of their masters that they served!

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By photoshock, May 29, 2009 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

In the world of the military, suicide is tantamount to taking something from the government.  You as a soldier, are G.I., Government Issue, and you cannot take something from the government that is theirs.
Hawkeye, these so-called military leaders are not a necessary evil, the way of peace and harmony is the better of the two. Instead of waging war, we need a culture shift, wherein anyone who is talking ‘trash’ about the U.S. is helped to understand that we are not the imperialistic, war mongering people that are portrayed in the media.  The general populace is not the, moneyed elite that always gain from war.
It is high time that there is a revolt in this country, a people’s revolt that will change the culture of our nation from the imperialistic and war mongering nation that we are today, to one of peace.
Wage PEACE not war! Peace OUT!

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By godistwaddle, May 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

As a former soldier who luckily escaped Viet Nam by being posted to Alaska, i can say that had I performed in Nam what I was trained to do, I would now be dead by suicide.  Being introspective about what a Fire Direction Control does in the field artillery would have destroyed me.

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By 101patchonmypecker, May 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its true..They could give a damn..I was with that outfit three years too long.. All they want is your life..

Young people: stop signing on for endless war. Do anything else with your life besides feeding the war machine..

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By espaz, May 28, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

now HERE’S a real issue!  man this whole FN thing stinks from end to end !  instead of using our tax money for health care…our government is using it for illigal wars that creat MORE F’d up people who are GONNA need the health care .....which they’re NOT GETTING!!  how F’d up is that?

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By Alice, May 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This has to stop.  No more deployments, period.

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By KDelphi, May 28, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, I’ve seen a bit of the military’s idea of ‘suicide prevention”—-it would make you wish to die, even more, but not allow you to do it.

If they werent getting so much publicity about it, the brass wouldnt give a rat’s a*s.

“Get rid of dead wood” is ther order of the day. If they wanted to help with brain injuries or stress disorders, they would stop using the “limbo ” diagnosis of “personality disorder” , so that they dont have to pay disability claims..

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By mike112769, May 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Maybe he should have said “frequent deployments in an unjust cause”?

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By jonr, May 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bring back the draft, and maybe we’ll again start tackling the question of what is and what is not worth ALL of our children sacrificing their lives for.  Our volunteer services aren’t asked to deploy and risk everything but, in today’s modern military, are TOLD to deploy again.  And again.  And again…

Coming home to families who no longer know them and jobs that may no longer exist.

Where is the shared sacrifice?

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By greystone, May 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

sometimes I think my generation willed be damned for all we left undone and turned a blind eye to and just went about our day to day affairs untouched and unwilling. like we have some sort of malaise. some lack of spine.

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By David, May 28, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Support the Troops! Send ‘em to Iraq!

Perpetual war=perpetual profit.

Believe me, our Corporate Masters will not let a little thing like mass military sucides curtail the biggest profit machine in the history of the world.  USA! USA! USA!

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