Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Un-remembered Story of Veteran Suicides

We Did Not Think And It Was Not This Bad
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 16, 2016

All the talk about raising awareness is a bunch of bullshit.  Plain and simple.  

That is the biggest problem of all.  Folks are doing a lot of talking using whatever is simple to them and we have seen the deadly results.

When the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that an average of 22 veterans were committing suicide everyday lazy reporters jumped on the headline without reading the report and it seemed as if none of it was happening before. Now the number is put at 20. Does that mean they change their "easy to remember number" or do they actually think about how they did not make a difference at all?

Wrong on all counts, the number was pushed and suddenly folks were running around the country claiming they were going to do something about it.  They did. When you think about "numbers" they can get them wrong because for the number they find, there are many more they do not find.  When they use percentages, then they are basing their findings on the ones they do find.

They managed to make it all worse and the truth is not just in the numbers but in the percentages.

This is from the Department of Veterans Affairs research on veterans committing suicide.

According to the US Census of 2000 there were 26.4 million veterans in the US.  In 2013 it was down to 19.6 million veterans.

So how did we end up with the same numbers on suicides but almost 7 million less veterans and over a decade of "awareness" and prevention?

Sixty five percent of the veterans are over the age of 50.  That has not changed but you wouldn't know that because most of the folks running around avoid even mentioning them. They are not even aware of the simple fact the majority of veterans in this country have struggled longer, suffered longer and waited longer for the help they fought for.
"Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared to a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000." reported by News 21 August 24, 2013

They did not get training in prevention the way the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were presented with programs to help them recover from combat.  

That is one more thing no one is talking about. It does not work.

The number of OEF and OIF veterans committing suicide are lower than older veterans but when researchers compare the them to civilians in their age group, yet again, the percentages prove the training is more bullshit.

"The suicide rate among young male veterans continues to soar: ex-servicemen 24 and younger are now three times more likely than civilian males to take their lives, according to a federal study" reported by NBC News January 10, 2014

The Department of Defense keeps saying that non-deployed service members are committing suicide but never once mention the fact they were trained in prevention by them.  Ok, then if it did not even work on members who never set foot in a combat zone, how did they expect it to work for those who went? Top that off with those with multiple deployments they knew would be at greater risk way back in 2006?

And after a decade of training friends of Darrell Almond had to bury him at the age of 33.  He survived Iraq and Afghanistan but could not survived being back home. "Some of Almond's friends did not realize the magnitude of his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  "I know he struggled with it, but we didn't think it was this bad." said Joseph Hadley who served with him.

"We are either determined to repeat history or pretend just enough to let us go to sleep at night feeling as if we did something today.

The question is, how does it feel to read another article about another veteran repeating the history we left for them?" Kathie Costos Wounded Times

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