Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fort Campbell Suicides affect entire community

Suicides affect entire community
By MARK HICKS • The Leaf-Chronicle • May 29, 2009

Because the military community is so ingrained in Montgomery County, what affects Fort Campbell also affects surrounding neighborhoods, businesses and the people, who historically have been strong supporters of soldiers and their families.

"I think it's really sad, sad for the families," said Angela Greenfield, owner of the Front Page Deli, of recent soldier suicides. "I think being a soldier is one of the most honorable things a person can do. People seem to take them for granted, not as much as before, but I think some people just don't realize the sacrifices they make and the sacrifices their families make."

On Thursday, several people suggested that a greater show of appreciation for the troops from the community would make a meaningful difference, but Ward 2 City Councilwoman Deanna McLaughlin to a degree disagreed.

While acknowledging thank-yous go a long way, she thinks dealing with an Army double standard would do more to help soldiers and families deal with the more frequent and longer deployments of recent years.

"Until they make psychological counseling mandatory after a deployment, the Army is always going to face this problem," she said.

As a military spouse for 17 years and Family Readiness Group leader for five years and two deployments, McLaughlin has seen first-hand and experienced her own stresses of military life.
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