by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
March 5, 2013
It is fascinating to witness the web "reporters" and bloggers going nuts to get the big story out there before others. What is even more fascinating is they never seem to follow up those stories.
When the headline was "military suicides reached record high" they settled for repeating the number that did not include National Guards and Reservists in the total. They also seem to have not noticed that last month revised numbers were added to the figure they released in January.
Army Releases January 2013 Suicide Information
The Army released suicide data today for the month of January 2013. During January, among active-duty soldiers, there were 19 potential suicides: two have been confirmed as suicides and 17 remain under investigation.
For December 2012, the Army reported seven potential suicides among active-duty soldiers; however, subsequent to the report, another case was added bringing December’s total to eight: five have been confirmed as suicides and three are under investigation.
During January, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 14 potential suicides (six Army National Guard and eight Army Reserve): One has been confirmed and 13 are still under investigation. For December 2012, among that same group, the Army reported 15 potential suicides; since the release of that report, one case has been added for a total of 16 (11 Army National Guard and five Army Reserve): nine have been confirmed and seven cases remain under investigation.
CBS did a great job telling the story of Marine Clay Hunt who committed suicide in 2011. The report tells the story of what he did to try to heal. He did everything advocates say they should do. His family talks about how they blame themselves and interviewed his buddies also feeling as if they should have done more. Byron Pitts didn't seem to know very much about the questions he should have asked but keep in mind when reporters go out to interview they don't do enough homework before they go. Even at that, he did a good job.
Because of the exposure of this blog, I've been contacted more by family members and friends than veterans. While veterans do contact me and I thank God they found me before it was too late, most of them have already attempted suicide and were on the verge of doing it again. There are too many Clay Hunts but there are also too many Jake Woods still with the wrong idea of what PTSD is and dealing with their lack of knowledge of what this does.
The transcript of the segment is actually more informative than watching it was. When you remove the personal expressions of the heartache involved, you can focus more on what they said.
Talking about Clay having PTSD told a lot more about what they still believe PTSD is. It also shows that the talk about the military making it ok to get help is a load of BS.
"Jake Wood: It marked him. And I think he saw it as marking him as weak. Not being able to handle it.""It's what we do" said a lot right there. Wood still doesn't understand what PTSD is or how one is hit by it while others seem fine.
Byron Pitts: Did guys treat him differently once they knew?
Jake Wood: No. I don't think so. I don't think so. He-- but he felt like they did.
Byron Pitts: I mean, there's no shame in that, right?
Jake Wood: Depends on who you ask and when. You know, ask a Marine rifleman if there's shame in having PTSD just coming back from a chest-thumping deployment to Iraq and he'll tell you, "You shouldn't have PTSD that's what we do."
Jake Wood: The rest of us refused to look at the larger picture of the war that we were fighting in Afghanistan. And Clay refused to allow himself not to look at it. He saw our friends continuing to die and get maimed. And, you know, we would go out on these missions, and we'd get in firefights where we'd kill people. And he had to justify that. And when those doubts start to creep in your mind, that's when you-- that's when you start to lose your mind. And that's what started to happen with Clay.Wood seems to think that is the reason, but it isn't.
Clay's Mom is blaming herself.
Stacy Hunt: I blame myself, you know, for not, you know, seeing the deadly mixture of his depression and his PTSD and for not reacting strongly enough.
If you can't understand why all of this happened, then you've been assuming the military has a clue but they don't. They are not doing what they claim to be doing. After all these years, after all the reports of millions and millions of dollars being invested in "research" behind these deadly results it should be clear to everyone the claims don't add up while the numbers of successful suicides do.
The only way to defeat Combat PTSD is to know what it is and why it is different than the PTSD other people end up with. Combat PTSD is different and has to be treated differently than other causes. While the only way to be hit by PTSD is with a traumatic event, all events are not created equally and they cannot be treated as equals.
Combat PTSD is a double wound. The first one hits by the event and the other part hits with being a part of it as a participant not once, not twice, but many times topped off with the threat of more times to come.
It is a wound to the soul but the "moral injury" aspect of it was left out of the questions asked even though Wood touched on it when he said that Clay was questioning why they were there.
Last night during the leaders conference call on Skype with Point Man Ministries we were talking about the fact this program was lacking what all of this is and what should be done. If they continue to not treat the spirit/soul of the war fighter, they will continue to see the rise in suicides. I spoke about how I warned back in 2009 that if the DOD continued to push their "resilience training" they would see a rise in suicides. They did and more families like Clay Hunt's have to cope with blaming themselves because they keep reading excuses by the DOD claiming to be doing everything possible when in fact it isn't happening.