What's Happening In Your World
We’ve grown accustomed to accepting the deaths of soldiers who lost their lives in combat, but few people are ready to face the grim truth that soldier suicides have now outpaced combat deaths. Data released by the Department of the Army shows that through November, there have been 303 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard soldiers committed suicide. As of Dec. 7,  Stars and Stripes reports  that 212 soldiers have died in combat-related deaths in Afghanistan, well below the number of suicides. This is a disturbing trend, not only for the families of those soldiers who took their own lives, but for military brass as well. CBS DC reports:   The Army set a grim new record of 177 potential active-duty cases with 2012 coming to a close on Tuesday – 64 of these cases remain under investigation, 113 have been confirmed. In June of this year, The Pentagon reported there had been at least 154 suicides among active-duty troops – a rate of nearly one each day. The number of suicides continues to increase despite numerous new training and awareness programs put into effect in the past few years. The Obama administration is ratcheting down combat operations, which are scheduled to end in 2014, but this doesn’t seem to be stemming the number of soldiers who are taking their own lives. “So we’re dealing with broader societal issues,” Panetta said in a June speech. “Substance abuse, financial distress and relationship problems — the risk factors for suicide — also reflect problems … that will endure beyond war.”          

Grim Milestone: Soldier Suicides Outnumber Combat Deaths in 2012

We’ve grown accustomed to accepting the deaths of soldiers who lost their lives in combat, but few people are ready to face the grim truth that soldier soldiersuicides have now outpaced combat deaths.

Data released by the Department of the Army shows that through November, there have been 303 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard soldiers committed suicide. As of Dec. 7, Stars and Stripes reports that 212 soldiers have died in combat-related deaths in Afghanistan, well below the number of suicides.

This is a disturbing trend, not only for the families of those soldiers who took their own lives, but for military brass as well.

CBS DC reports:

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4 comments

  1. Ever since the Vietnam War, which led voters to push, successfully, for Congress to end the military draft of all 18 year old males, we’ve had the “poverty draft,” where, for want of decent jobs, underemployed youth turn to the U.S. military for a career or at least a few years of steady work.
    But nothing can prepare a person for the horrors of combat, witnessing horrendous deaths a maimings of fellow soldiers and of locals by our own guns. Nothing is more shocking to the human body-heart-mind than to find oneself to have killed “enemy” human beings and to find oneself wanting to kill again.
    Most soldiers come back from combat with post-traumatic stress disorder, what used to be called combat fatigue. And the Veterans Administration is failing to honor its duty to most of our soldiers who needed intense individual and group therapy to heal the terrible wounds that come with being immersed in the terror and violence of battle.
    I recommend two books of great importance to the well-being of veterans:
    Aaron Glantz’s The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans (2009), which has a lot of valuable references and studies vets can make great use of to get what they have earned, and
    Winter Soldier, Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations
    A third book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, is also a book every public library should have, so civilians can know that most soldiers, just like most civilians, don’t ever want to kill another human being. He also goes into great detail about the kinds of things that lead to the suffering our grown kids come home with from having experienced the many horrors of combat. Books like these can help a great deal for those of us who’ve never gone to battle to better understand and support our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who have made that sacrifice for our county.

  2. This is a sad commentary and too often just accepted as " a natural" situation, but it is not. The men and women in the Armed forces give their lives unwillingly to help and protect this country and they should be treated for all their illness, and respected in death. Their families should know what caused their death without having to go through a bunch of rigmaroll, and they should also be treated with the respect and better finances in every situation.

  3. This is what happens when you sign your life over to the government and want out but can't get out without going AWOL. They took the only way out (suicide) without having an dishonorable discharge over their head and most likely would end up in federal prison due to AWOL. People signup for 5 years, after the 1st two years is up they realize the military is not what they thought it would be and they want OUT!

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