Escalating Suicides Shut Down Routine Duties at Base
Posted on May 28, 2009
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.