Monday, August 19, 2013

Mystery Of Military Suicides For Monday...!

This is NOT the regular type of Monday Mystery that we normally have, but it is a mystery that needs addressing!

The number of military personnel committing suicide is way too high, and somehow we need to find an answer soon! This is a very sad and serious situation, my friends!

Why Are So Many US Soldiers Committing Suicide?
By Mike Devlin on Sunday, August 18, 2013

In recent years, there has been a massive upswing in suicides among members of the American military. While it may seem obvious to blame the post traumatic stress of being deployed to overseas war zones, researchers have found that more than half of those who have killed themselves have never left American soil or seen combat. The cause is currently unknown, and a study is underway.

General Sherman said “War is hell,” and certainly the atrocities of war have inspired despair in soldiers for all of human history. The recent American campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq only serve to bolster the idea that war ravages the human psyche. According to the Associated Press, 349 members of the Army took their lives in 2012, more than the 295 who died in the line of combat in Afghanistan. Although all the branches of the military have been affected, the Army has seen the worst effects.

But researchers have discovered something even more curious in recent years: More than half of the soldiers who committed suicide had never even been deployed overseas. Of those who had, only a few had even seen action on the front lines. It might make sense if those who killed themselves had witnessed the horrors of the battlefield, but why would men stationed in domestic military bases (with steady jobs and many of the surface comforts of home), be driven so frequently to suicide?

Although theories have been advanced, no concrete answers have been set forth to address this disturbing, mysterious trend. A major part of the issue may be that mental illness bears a stigma of weakness, especially among men trained to be stoic in the face of mortal danger. Sleep deprivation and family tensions can plague soldiers, even those who have not known the rigors of combat. Some experts believe the trend is going to become even worse as American forces draw down their current battlefield numbers.

According to General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s second-in-command, only about half of service members who need help seek it out. The American military is currently conducting a $50 million study to help determine the causes at work, to be completed in 2014.

It always bothers me to no end to hear a story like this. I do hope that somehow our troops can be helped to find the peace they need to avoid suicidal thoughts and actions! I know you all share this concern!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'll let you look at the newborn kittens I found in the flowerbed! Thanks, Momma Kitty!


Chickenmom said...

This should be our top priority for our military. I just googled 'Military Suicides' an the list goes on for pages and pages. Will read them later and see what and why this is happening. Thanks for bringing to our attention.
I bet the new kittens are just adorable!

edifice rex said...

This issue upsets me to no end; I find it deeply disturbing and what's even more disturbing is the seemingly lack of concern or compassion from our government and the public. I know it's a subject that nobody likes to talk about but it needs to be addressed. Thank you for posting about it.

Sixbears said...

I think the military might know at least some of the answers, but they don't want to change.

Just the loss of freedom of being in the military would put me in a depression. I know that about myself so never signed up.

linda m said...

It is a very sad subject to hear about. I pray they can find out what is causing our young people to do such a thing. Nothing is so bad that you take your own life. Our military leaders really need to start addressing some of these issues instead of just sweeping things under the carpet. Can't wait to take a peek at your new kitties.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

It was hard enough to work for idiots in the corporate world, I can't imagine doing it in a military setting. Treated like an indentured servant and not be able to get another job. Stress and depression could easily snowball.

JO said...

This is a horrible find. I wonder if they study all American's in the same age bracket in non military and see if the rate is the same. I do hope they find something soon. Like someone mentioned above the way they are treated. I understand they need to learn to be hard but to treat them worse than a prisoner in not right.

More kittens? Yikes!

Rob said...

This is sad...

With 565k people in the Army I wonder how the percentage stacks up against the general population?

Maybe they are in a better position to see/hear what we have really accomplished in the 11 years we have been occupying Afghanistan....

Anonymous said...

A key indicator for risk of suicide is often the amount of powerlessness perceived in life. Even soldiers not in combat these days are made to feel like nothing more than pawns in a chess game that has nothing to do with what the public is TOLD the wars are about.

Even their lives on post in home country are controlled by greedy civilians who have been given the contracts to manage their quarters. Complaints of terrible living conditions are ignored...or punished by casting complaining families out of quarters. Also, young troops are so ill paid that rising costs impoverish more and more of them. They literally feel worth more dead than alive.

We are a military family...someone in service in every war since before the Revolution. All three of us here are veterans, and my youngest is in Afghanistan for his second time.