Army Suicides Soar Past 2008's Pace

The day after the shooting at a combat stress clinic in Iraq, new data released to Salon shows soldiers committing suicide at a record-setting pace. Is combat stress the reason?

The Army is on a pace this year to shatter the record suicide rate set among soldiers in 2008, according to data released by the Army to Salon. And the numbers, obtained a day after a patient at a combat stress clinic in Iraq killed five, suggest that combat stress may be contributing to the spike in suicides.

Who Is Really To Blame


Exhaused and stressed troops are our responsibility. Trying to cheat them out of benefits or push them out into homelessness and unemployment after we have "used them up" is immoral, unpatriotic and wrong. It has to be stopped.

'This Is Mental Health, Military-Style'

But long-time observers of the U.S. military say the shooting shows all the signs of a soldier pushed to the brink of insanity by repeated and consistent exposure to war. The 44-year-old Russell had spent many years of his life at war when he allegedly opened fire and killed five of his fellow soldiers. Russell was drawing to the end of his third tour in Iraq and had also served deployments in Bosnia and Kosovo.

"It was tragic, but unfortunately it doesn't surprise me given the way we're recycling them in and out of war zones," said Shad Meshad, head of the National Veterans Foundation, which runs a toll free hotline for soldiers having difficulty adjusting to civilian life.

"We are not doing a good job of treating these people as they serve two, three, or four tours in a combat zone," he added.

Some may find these books very helpful, others should find to be useful in the educational quality of understanding and research, and not only for combat veterans but civilian suffers of:

I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even In My Sleep: A Journey Into PTSD

Veterans's PTSD Handbook: How to File and Collect on Claims for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans

Vets Under Siege: How America Deceives and Dishonors Those Who Fight Our Battles

After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families

Life After Deployment: Military families share reunion stories and advice

Moving A Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America's Returning Troops

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and bumped post. :) The internet is bumpy today OR Roxy is still tweaking stuff. lol

There is disconnection between everything human and what has to be done in combat. Imagine being in an unimaginable situation and having to do the unthinkable. How can this be done? A detachment between everything human and having to do the inconceivable resounds in combat.

- PTSD: A Soldier's Perspective

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

It seems to me that soldiers who crack up and become senselessly violent not only suffer from PTSD but from the uncaring violence rampant in society today. For example the treatment of so-called enemy combattants (not only that they are tortured but that they are incarcerated without recourse to a fair hearing to determine whether they are guilty of any crime); for example the treatment of average Americans who are becoming increasingly impoverished with no real recourse as the financial system staggers along on welfare.)


'The good news: Obama understands what's wrong in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The bad news: He can't fix it.'


For most of the 1960s, Vietnam was a textbook guerrilla war. The Vietcong-battle-hardened by their long struggle with the French, just as the Taliban's antecedents fought and defeated the Soviets-never attacked their US or South Vietnamese opponents in force............


Can lessons on Vietnam help Iraq's veterans?


Shortly after speaking with Rep. Harry Mitchell about casualties of the Iraq war that may not occur until long after the fighting ends, I received an e-mail from Cindy Leach, whose father was a recent casualty of the Vietnam War.


In 2007, Leach's dad, James Hunt, developed cancer related to his exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange in Vietnam 35 years ago. He died one year ago this month.


"He was a dedicated Navy man for over 20 years and he loved 'his Navy,' " Leach wrote.


Thing is, as we've seen, The lessons of Vietnam not only weren't Learned, all were ignored, The Real Lessons!!


"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Well, what did we expect? Look at all of the problems that the Vietnam vets had with just one tour of duty. How could we expect anything less from current troops who are being forced to do three, four, and five tours of duty?

But we've just seen the tip of the iceberg--just wait until they come home--the murder rate is going to go through the roof. I never thougt I'd hear myself say it, but we're going to have to reinstitute the draft. That's the only thing that's going to make the American people think before running off to war.

You see, we don't care about going to war as long as it's someone else's child dying. We've got to level out the nation's sacrifice in war. We've got to give people like Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld something to lose. 

Eric L. Wattree

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everybody who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.