August 30, 2013
This is what was known in 1978
For approximately 500,000 veterans (Wilson 1978) of the combat in Southeast Asia, this problematic outlook has become a chronic lifestyle (referring to the obsessive connection with combat experiences) affecting not only the veterans but countless millions of persons who are in contact with these veterans. The symptoms described below are experienced by all Vietnam combat veterans to varying degrees. However, for some with the most extensive combat histories and other variables which have yet to be enumerated, Vietnam related problems have persisted in disrupting all areas of life experience.My husband is one of them. His nephew was too but he committed suicide. You need to be reminded that for every Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD, they also had families. Every time I post on a suicide, I remember how close my husband came to being one of the statistics.
According to Wilson (1978) the number of veterans experiencing these symptoms will climb until 1985 based on his belief of Erickson's psychosocial developmental stages and how far along in these stages most combat veterans will be by 1985. Furthermore, without any intervention, what was once a reaction to a traumatic episode may for many become almost unchangeable personality characteristic.
This is what was known in 2005
PTSD TWICE THE DEATH RATE OF OTHER VETERANS
FROM NY ACADEMY OF MEDICINE
After Military Service, Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Die at Twice the Rate of Veterans Free of PTSD
Study by Senior Scientist at The New York Academy of Medicine Presents Striking Findings
NEW YORK CITY, September 7, 2005—A ground-breaking study conducted by Dr. Joseph Boscarino, a Senior Scientist at The New York Academy of Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, found that U.S. Army Vietnam veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had twice the rate of post-service deaths 30 years after military service, when compared to other veterans.
Dr. Boscarino’s study, published in the August 2005 issue of Annals of Epidemiology (Elsevier, New York, NY) is the first to confirm that PTSD can be deadly. Previous research indicated that veterans with PTSD—incurred during combat or other major life-threatening experiences—not only had more psychological problems, but also more physical disabilities, health problems, and medical conditions, such as heart disease.
“This is the first study to confirm that PTSD is associated with a higher risk of death from multiple causes, particularly from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and from external causes, such as suicide or accidents,” Dr. Boscarino stated. He added, “The reasons are unclear, but may be related to biological, psychological, or behavioral factors associated with PTSD. We expected more deaths from cardiovascular disease, based on our past research, but the higher cancer mortality was a surprise. Clearly, further investigation is needed.”
So why did this happen in 2006?
Douglas A. Barber, a 35-year-old truck driver, shot and killed himself on Jan. 16 2006 with a shotgun as Lee County sheriff's deputies and two friends on the phone tried to talk him out of it.
It isn't as if this was anything new even though the DOD didn't have to count Barber. After all, he became a VA problem and not their problem anymore. They do that a lot. They excuse suicides and their lack of care for the troops, say most had not been deployed but apparently forgot to find an excuse that all of these deaths have gone up after they spent billions on "preventing" suicides. Just seems reasonable to usher in Suicide Prevention Month with an honest discussion. Doesn't it?
A really interesting thing happened in 2006 in the UK showing how troops suffering from what we now call PTSD was treated during WWI.
Harry Farr, who was shot for cowardice during the first world war, is to be given pardon. Photograph: PA
All 306 British first world war soldiers executed for desertion or cowardice are to be pardoned, Des Browne, the defence secretary, will announce today.
For 90 years, families, friends and campaigners for the young soldiers have argued that their deaths were a stain on the reputation of Britain and the army.
In many cases, soldiers were clearly suffering from shellshock but officers showed no compassion for fear that their comrades would have disobeyed orders and refused to go "over the top".
It isn't as if PTSD, suicides and the crisis they go through back home is anything new. This has hundreds of their stories that shouldn't have happened. Death Because They Served but then again considering all the "efforts" made to prevent suicides over the last 8 years or so has produced an increase in them, none of this should be that shocking.
It would really be nice if the good reporters doing the hard work of trying to tell the truth received the attention they deserved and then maybe, just maybe, the troops and veterans would as well. After all, if we really want to prevent suicides, we need to prevent people getting away with letting them die.
In 2008 there were another 148,000 added to the number of Vietnam veterans seeking help for the first time.
Those numbers gave advocates a false hope that the stigma was dying instead of them.
We need to be brutally honest right now. When it comes to preventing suicides, we are not even close especially when you consider how many years this has all been going on.
In the Suicide Event Report for 2008 there were a total of
268 Service Member suicides in CY 2008 (Army = 140; Air Force = 45; Navy = 41; Marine Corps = 42). This includes 12 Reservists and 21 National Guard members on Active Duty (Army = 24; Air Force = 6; Navy = 1; Marine Corps = 2). The total of 268 cases includes cases that are pending final determination by the AFMES but are strongly suspected to be suicides by the DoD’s Suicide Prevention and Risk Reduction Committee (SPARRC).
In CY 2008 there were a total of 239 DoDSERs submitted for suicides (Army = 121; Air Force = 35; Navy = 41; Marine Corps = 42).
Of the 268 confirmed suicides, 35 (13%) occurred in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and 7 (3%) in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Thirteen percent of Service Members who died by suicide had a history of multiple deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
It went on to list the findings for attempted suicides as well. These are just from the Army.
"2008 Reported Suicide Events
A total of 2104 Army DoDSERs were submitted for CY 2008. Of these, 121 (6%) were submitted for Suicides, 570 (27%) for Suicide Attempts, 410 (20%) for Self-harm Without Intent to Die, and 1003 (48%) for Suicidal Ideation only."
One hundred sixteen suicide attempts (12%) were reported to have occurred in OIF-OEF
We don't know how many attempted suicides in the military last year because the Suicide Event Report has not been released yet. We do know that last year was the highest on record for successful suicides. This is not including these suicides that happened after they were discharged. This is how 2013 began on suicide reports.
Eric Lewis Harm survived combat in Afghanistan, but he couldn’t survive coming home. The decorated Army combat veteran was found dead Dec. 28 2012, an apparent suicide in Manistee County, four months after he left the military. Harm, 24, was a 2007 graduate of Benzie Central schools and grew up in Almira Township.
Navy SEAL Robert Guzzo returned from Iraq, he feared seeking treatment for PTSD would endanger his career. The Fold devotes today’s show to telling his story. After Veterans Day, he went to "be with the angels" after he committed suicide.
Dr. Peter Linnerooth committed suicide on Jan. 2, at the age of 42 in Mankato. Linnerooth was awarded a Bronze Star after an honorable discharge in 2008 and became critical of the military's limited work on providing mental health care to soldiers, especially to those with PTSD, in the pages of Time magazine and the New York Times. Capt. Linnerooth will be buried with full military honors at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
U.S. Marine Corps, John Lutz survived combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq while earning 13 service commendations and the respect of his buddies. "He was a Marine to the fullest," said fellow Marine Kevin Ullman. "He was someone who could lighten any situation with witty sarcasm." Ultimately, however, Lutz could not escape the demons he carried back home to Davie after his discharge 18 months ago.
Chris Bourque seemed fine when he returned from a mental health leave several months ago. They knew Bourque was suffering from the effects of his military service in Bosnia and Afghanistan, but the Saskatoon correctional worker seemed "back to his old self," Mark Friesen said. He was dependable and hardworking, and never missed a chance to add a sarcastic comment or bit of wry humor. "He never talked about (Afghanistan), and we didn't want to pry," Friesen said. That's why Friesen was shocked by the phone call he received in late November informing him of Bourque's death.
28-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran Edward S. Passetto stood before the flagpole at Berkshire Community College to speak about the importance of the American flag and raise it in awareness of Student Veterans Week at the college. Passetto never showed. His body was found around 10 a.m. on the Monument Mountain Reservation in Great Barrington, the victim of an apparent suicide.
Staff Sgt. Josh Berry, was wounded when the shooter opened fire inside a crowded medical building at the sprawling Army post in Texas. Feb. 13, 2013, a result of years of post-traumatic stress caused by the Fort Hood shooting, according to his father.
Neil Landsberg, a former Combat Controller in the United States Air Force, was an active Region 3 team member. Neil took his own life last week. He leaves behind many friends at Team Rubicon who will carry on his name and spirit through service
May 22, Sergeant Brad Farmer lost his battle with the psychological wounds of war when he took his own life. He was 30 years old.
U.S. Army Spc. Christian Estrada. The former soldier, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, died June 5 in his apartment in Killeen, Texas, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, his family said. Christian Estrada to rest on a day as sunny as the grin that the 24-year-old Iraq War veteran flashed in family photos. "He had a smile from ear to ear," childhood friend Daniel McCann said Wednesday at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, where Estrada is being interred. "His laugh was amazing," said Trisha Ryder, of Dennis, who knew Estrada as far back as their days at Ezra H. Baker Elementary School. She turned and wept. A diagnosis of service-related post-traumatic stress disorder chipped away at Estrada's natural cheer. Honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 2010, Estrada died June 5 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while in his apartment in Killeen, Texas.
On June 10, 2013, Daniel Somers wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.
On the day after Mother's Day 2013, Sean Cassedy drove himself to the VA hospital in Louisville and shot himself in the head.
Jon Hyatt shot himself June 28, but his mother, Lisa McLaughlin, said he had been tormented by things he had seen and done in Iraq.
On July 13 Fort Campbell reported 2 murders, 7 suicides in only 31 days
Private First Class Erik Jorgensen Idaho Army National Guard member committed suicide at the National Guard's Orchard Combat Training Center
Matthew Marc Melanson, who served in the Connecticut and Massachusetts National Guards and served in Afghanistan from 2011-12 and suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, later committed suicide.
Specialist Cody Baker, an Iraq War veteran, took his life earlier this month. His family says he suffered for years from post traumatic stress disorder and now they're hoping to change the way military members are treated.Those are just some of the tragic stories happening all over this country while the DOD claims their programs are working. When they tell you that, think of the ones they don't have to count anymore on top of the ones they report on. Then ask yourself something they have failed to ask. "If any of these "programs" worked then why are so many dying?"
Why are they still suffering and still not seeking help? Why are so many they claim were not deployed committing suicide? What about all the test they give to recruits? Are they saying their tests don't work or are they saying their programs don't because if they kill themselves before facing death in combat, there is a much larger problem going on.
So people like me read one report after another happening in another part of the country and thinking about what life was like when no one was talking about PTSD or suicides, getting sick to our stomachs that it is all getting worse with so much being done.