Saturday, January 5, 2013

Who is responsible for military suicides now?

Who is responsible for military suicides now?
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
January 5, 2012

If no one is held accountable for military suicides what do you think will happen?

A year ago today this was the headline
Marine Corps suicides plunge
2010 drop is first in four years; but reported attempts continue to climb
Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
9:46 a.m., Jan. 5, 2011

The number of suicides among active-duty Marines dropped last year for the first time since 2006, plunging 29 percent below 2009's record high, according to preliminary figures released by the Marine Corps.

In 2010, 37 Marines committed suicide, compared to 52 in 2009. The latest numbers include nine suspected suicides yet to be confirmed by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.

The number of attempted suicides, however, continued to climb, with 173 attempts in 2010 compared to 164 the previous year. That is the highest number since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

Rigorous new reporting requirements for attempted suicides may be partly responsible for the higher numbers of documented attempts in recent years, said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew L. Martin, a clinical psychologist who took over in September as manager of the Marine Corps Suicide Prevention Program.

This was released before the December figures came out for 2012
Big news the earth is not round and too many suicides
Of that total, the Army accounted for 168, surpassing its high last year of 165
53 sailors took their own lives, one more than last year.
The Air Force and Marine Corps are only a few deaths from record numbers. Fifty-six airmen had committed suicide as of Nov. 11, short of the 60 in 2010.
There have been 46 suicides among Marines, whose worst year was 2009 with 52.
Yet this was the headline yesterday for the Army.

Majority of Army casualties in 2012 likely suicides
January 4, 2013

The number of active-duty Army service members who died by their own hands in 2012 potentially has surpassed the number killed in action, according to data from the Pentagon. And as the number of Americans killed in Afghanistan declined in 2012 from the previous year, the number of suspected suicides has risen.

Preliminary information released by the Army in December showed that, as of November, there have been 177 suspected active-duty suicides: 113 have been confirmed as suicides, while 64 remained under investigation. Among not-on-active-duty service members (Army National Guard and Army Reserve) there have been 126 suspected suicides: 97 have been confirmed as suicides and 29 were under investigation.

In contrast, the Department of Defense said 295 Americans were killed in Afghanistan in 2012, out of a total 394 ISAF forces killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

U.S. Army officials have been worried about the suicide rate despite the military's efforts to increase outreach and programs aimed at recognizing troubled service members.
read more here

I tried to leave a comment on CBS about how much they were missing in the report but it didn't go through. Imagine that! Anyway, my comment was about the fact that when they point out the "non-deployed" troops they never seem to mention the fact that when you take a kid out of high school, put them through training, that in itself is traumatic for some of them. They are not prepared for it but they can't just say, "I quit" and go back home as if they quit a job pumping gas. They train to use their weapons, facing the fact they are training to kill someone at the same time they are discovering bullets are the least of the things they need to be afraid of. The IED attacks killing many and wounding more is an initiation they didn't expect. Still that is not the only problem they face with training. They are trained to also be "resilient" so they can become mentally tough enough and prevent PTSD. That tells them they are weak minded and as for sharing their fears it is hell no! I've been saying this since 2008 and now there is proof I was right. Read this part.

Almost three-quarters of troops who commit suicide do not inform others they are thinking about harming themselves, according to the latest Department of Defense Suicide Event Report. In light of that, the military trains troops to be vigilant for signs of suicidal tendencies among comrades. North County Times

Yet congress has held no one accountable for any of this. The DOD admitted they did not spend all the money they received for PTSD and suicide prevention, then add in all the funding for research that was done and redone over the last 40 years topping off with the fact the suicide prevention hotline states they have rescued 30,000 and the cherry on top of that is we still have all these deaths all this time later.

Wonder what the headline will be next year?