Thursday, May 23, 2013

Major General Dana Pittard leaving after 3 officers committed suicide

Major General Dana Pittard leaving after 3 officers committed suicide
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
May 23, 2013

Darren Hunt of KCIA News reported on Monday, All three suicides at Fort Bliss this year were officers
"The Pentagon says nearly 350 U.S. Military service members committed suicide last year.

Among those were five Army soldiers at Fort Bliss.

This year, three more suicides, all with something in common -- they were non-commissioned officers.

Sunday night on ABC-7 Xtra, Fort Bliss' outgoing commanding general confirmed the latest suicide happened just last week.
Anthony Fusco last Monday at his Northeast El Paso home -- a day after buying a gun at the PX -- has Pittard talking about refocusing the program.
Maj. Gen. Pittard was leaving Ft. Bliss I made me happy. While he was patted on the back for the low suicide numbers at Fort Bliss, even to the point of a Presidential visit, the truth is much different than he wants people to remember. As Pittard struggled in the interview to talk about suicides, it was clear he still didn't "get it" right.
“I think that’s the hardest part…that the people wounded will be people that we know…as our fellow soldiers, as our friends, as people that we’ve known for years, where most American people don’t know, but we do.”

We know from great reporters that Fort Caron has been kicking out soldiers instead of treating them. How many committed suicides afterwards? Less on the books for Fort Carson. Did the same thing happen at Fort Bliss? We don't know. In the article from KCIA it mentioned this fact. "Each unit submits a monthly list of soldiers with known emotional, financial or drug problems." but didn't seem to think it was important to mention what came afterwards. Drug problems can end up with "other than honorable" discharges. So can financial problems. So how many were discharged from Fort Bliss instead of being valued and treated?

A year ago to my horror Yochi J. Dreazen National Journal reported that Major General Dana Pittard blamed soldiers for suicides.

“I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act. “I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us.”

Few can forget what he said about military suicides being "selfish" just a year ago. If it was a "selfish act" then why do so many commit suicide after they signed up to risk their lives for someone else? Why do so many refuse to allow themselves to feel the pain until their units are back home and out of danger? Why is it the first thing they want to do is help others afterwards? These men and women were not selfish but men like Pittard don't understand heroes like MOH Dakota Meyer. Thankfully his attempted suicide failed. He wrote about it in his book and how he didn't want to be a burden to his family.

In 2011 I was still complaining about the "resilience" programming/brainwashing they were doing.

Fort Bliss sending wrong message on "mental toughness" training If they had to come up with a program to help them "learn to be mentally tough" then they are telling PTSD veterans they were weak. When will they understand this is a huge part of the problem?

It is not just the Army. A couple of years ago, I held a young Marine in my arms, in public at the VA because he was crying. Why was he crying? Because he had PTSD topped off with the message he got from the Marines that he was supposed to be "tough" making him believe it was all his fault. He apologized for crying because Marines are not supposed to cry. I asked him if anyone told him he was not supposed to still be human.

These so called "programs" may have a lot of good points and intentions but the numbers show they are not working. The military has yet to understand what causes PTSD in the first place so they keep messing up on helping these soldiers recover when PTSD is mild. Telling them they can get "mentally tough" is killing them. They already were or they couldn't have endured their deployments or combat. Common sense has been forgotten about and the human factor has been removed.

The DOD pushes the "resilience" programming as if anyone with half a brain thought this was a good idea. The numbers prove how bad it is since they went up every year since they started it.

The frightening thing is, I am an average person and the people in charge are not smart enough to figure this out. That aught to scare the crap out of anyone paying attention. You can know what they won't tell you by subscribing to Wounded Times and reading THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR. If we are ever going to see our troops and veterans treated properly, everyone has to know how it got this bad and then hold people accountable for what they did.