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Suicide Rates in Military Rising

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posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 04:32 PM
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Since the Iraq War began, suicide rates in the miltary (namely the Army and Marines) have shot up. There are many causes for this. I can think of one off the top of my head and it really pisses me off and concerns me.

During the Vietnam War military personnel were only made to do one tour of combat. Those who did two and three (or more) volunteered to do so. This time around, because of the shortages in troops and the now inability to meet recruitment quotas, our forces are being made to do two and three tours of duty in Iraq. Personally, I think that is asking too much of our men and women in uniform. Getting through one tour will make you see things like you never have before. For me, I felt damn lucky to have made it through the fire ONCE.

It's not right to ask anyone to do more than one tour. Unless they want to. I think some people kill themselves because they simply can't endure the thought of being away from loved ones and taking another dance with death. Once is enough for them. Bush's Pentagon should review this policy of forcing mulitiple tours before desertion and suicide rates climb even higher.

Here's an article on this from last year (thanks, Marg for the info.):



Iraq Troops Suicide Rate Spikes
WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2004


The Army's suicide rate in Iraq has been about a third higher than past rates for troops during peacetime, the Pentagon's top doctor said Wednesday.

Also, the military still has about 2,500 troops waiting for medical care after returning from overseas, said Dr. William Winkenwerder, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

The Pentagon is preparing for even more soldiers on "medical extension" after tens of thousands of troops are rotated home from Iraq this spring, Winkenwerder said.

The issue of suicides so worried the military that the Army sent an assessment team to Iraq late last year to see if anything more could be done to prevent troops from killing themselves. The Army also began offering more counseling to returning troops after several soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., killed their wives and themselves after returning home from the war.
www.cbsnews.com...




posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:00 PM
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Glad to bring this up ECK, one of the things make no sense is the way that the military is covering the suicide by changing the way they call them to "accidental death"

When you see accidental death you tend no to associate the death with a suicide.

Now is this done to covert up the fact that our troops are killing themselves, since the war in Iraq started?

I find it very disturbing.

Now the "friendly fire" is change to "indirect fire" I guess this a new way to play with the minds of the people to minimize the damage when it comes to our soldiers death.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:25 PM
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Do you have stats on the enlistment dates (are these vets or new recruits?)

My idea is that people went into the reserves due to 9/11 and are over their heads maybe?

Also, does the tour of duty neccessarily mean you see combat? I know in Vietnam if you didn't see combat they put you back in. People who saw battle and wanted out were given preference over people who didn't.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:33 PM
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I found this statistics but as you can see they are only from last year early in the year I wonder if has gotten worst or better.




Winkenwerder said the military has documented 21 suicides during 2003 among troops involved in the Iraq war. Eighteen of those were Army soldiers, he said.

That's a suicide rate for soldiers in Iraq of about 13.5 per 100,000, Winkenwerder said. In 2002, the Army reported an overall suicide rate of 11.1 per 100,000.

The overall suicide rate nationwide during 2001 was 10.7 per 100,000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By contrast, only two U.S. military personnel killed themselves during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, although that conflict only lasted about a month. The Army recorded 102 suicides during 1991 for a rate of about 13.5 per 100,000.



Another thing I also wonder if the down on quota for the branches of the military service is because people or families are more awared of what is going on that we may think.

www.notinourname.net...



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 09:31 PM
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The stop loss measures have been pulled now, correct?



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
The stop loss measures have been pulled now, correct?

Yup, it's been pulled for quit awhile now....actually it's been over for a long time, like way over 1 1/2 years.



Since the Iraq War began, suicide rates in the miltary (namely the Army and Marines) have shot up

The Marine Corps has always had the highest suicide rate of all the services....and yes you are correct.

Wash Post


The Marine Corps suffered a 29 percent spike in suicides last year, reaching the highest number in at least a decade

*snip* this part is interesting...look at the stats*

Thirty-one Marines committed suicide in 2004, all of them enlisted men, not commissioned officers. The majority were younger than 25 and took their lives with gunshot wounds, according to Marine statistics. Another 83 Marines attempted suicide. There were 24 suicides in 2003, and there have not been more than 29 in any year in the last 10.


I also think this part of the article is very relelvent (sp)


Although last year's suicide rate rose, it was still below the national average for a comparable civilian group, in keeping with an established pattern of suicide being lower in the U.S. military than in the civilian population.


The pike in suicide rates is sad but expected in the military during wartime. Just like in the civilian sector during a depression suicides are going to rise.

They do admit that Iraq is part of the reason, but not the only reason.


Marine commanders say the rise in suicides continues a worrisome three-year trend that is likely linked to stress from the sharply increased pace of war-zone rotations. At the same time, they said the increase in suicides is not directly related to service in Iraq or Afghanistan; since 2001 24 percent of the suicides have been committed by Marines who have been deployed there, the statistics show.


It is not only Iraq.....it is the "OP" tempo of the Marine Corps. Marines deploy more and have the highest tempo of all the services in war and even out of wartime.


It is "not only Iraq, it's just the ops tempo [operational tempo] in general, that's what I think," Gen. Michael W. Hagee, the Marine Corps commandant


The biggest reason is relationships. Marines have the highest divorce rate of all the services. This is due to workload demand and deployments that are NOT iraq related. I don't know what it is about Marines, but they feel that must get married to that high-school sweety right after they join...big mistake. Not enough Pay, always gone, and just too damn young IMO.


Indeed, about 70 percent of Marine suicides over the past four years have been caused by problems in personal relationships, which can be exacerbated by heavy workloads

*snip*

With a force that is the youngest in the military services and predominantly male, the Marine Corps has generally experienced the highest suicide rate among the military branches because its demographics mirror a high-risk group in the general population. More than 60 percent of Marines are younger than 25, and 16 percent are teenagers.


There are many practices put into place in the Marine Corps to help prevent suicides. Annually ALL Marines must attend suicide awareness and prevention training, this alone has probably helped out alot especially during the war.

Ofcourse the military will always downplay suicide rates during wartiime, especially Iraq. But there are many other reasons out there, not just Iraq.











[edit on 11/6/2005 by SportyMB]



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 01:49 AM
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Quote: More than 60 percent of Marines are younger than 25, and 16 percent are teenagers.


We send our children out to fight the wars.
It's a no brainer that these impressionable young people would get screwed up by the horrors of war and take there own lives.

Maybe the military needs to be a bit more selective when recruiting.
(I think they take any kid they can right now due to shortages)

Edit to add: I have seen a number of stories in the media about soldiers returning home only to kill their wives shortly after. This is another byproduct of the horror of war. They are trained to kill and desensitised to death and then we are all shocked when they return from the battlefield and continue to kill.



[edit on 11-6-2005 by anxietydisorder]



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder
Quote: More than 60 percent of Marines are younger than 25, and 16 percent are teenagers.


Yeah - war is sad and has certain consistencies - such as the burden on the young - that tear wounds in our soul. I have never seen a movie that has more really deep statements about the feeling a citizen can have concerning a war they want to stay out of than Shenandoah. If you've never seen this, please do - it's a great pic about a widowed man (Jimmy Stewart plays Charlie Anderson) just trying to raise his kids and take care of his farm and stay out of the raging civil war going on around him.

This one is most appropriate to your post. Charlie Anderson is at his wife's gravesite and says the following:


I don't even know what to say to you any more, Martha. There's not much I can tell you about this war. It's like all wars, I guess. The undertakers are winning. And the politicians who talk about the glory of it. And the old men who talk about the need of it. And the soldiers, well, they just wanna go home.


But here are some other great ones:



Charlie Anderson: Can you give me one good reason why I should let my sons march down that road like a bunch of damn fools?

Lt. Johnson: Virginia needs all her sons Mr. Anderson.

Charlie Anderson: They don't belong to the state they belong to ME! When they were babies I never saw the state comin' around here with a spare tit!




Charlie Anderson: I'm glad you're here, Johnson. I've been meaning to have a word with your people about those cannons of yours. The chickens have stopped laying, the cows have dried up. Who do I send the bill to?




Jacob Anderson: They come closer every day, Pa.

Charlie Anderson: They on our land?

Jacob Anderson: No, sir.

Charlie Anderson: Then it doesn't concern us. Does it?




Lieutenant Johnson: When are you going to take this war seriously, Anderson?

Charlie Anderson: Now let me tell you something Johnson, before you get on my wrong side. My corn I take seriously, because it's mine. And my potatoes and tomatoes and my fence I take note of because they're mine. But this war is not mine and I don't take note of it.


Sad part is - he eventually had to take note of it. Because just like in the real world, war is insidious, demanding and encroaching. War just flat sucks.

[edit on 6-11-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder
Maybe the military needs to be a bit more selective when recruiting.
(I think they take any kid they can right now due to shortages)


Unfortunately, right now selectivity is not an issue due to the Army and Marines' inability to meet quotas. They're really struggling to pull kids in these days. And THAT is a direct result of perceptions of the Iraq war more than anything.

To add to something Sporty said.. I would say, based on my own experiences, that it is the PERSONAL side of the house that screws people up most, especially during war. I have my own horror stories related to going to war and long distance relationships. Fortunately for me, in the midst of a terrible relationship meltdown I got called to war. Hate to say this, but considering the WRETCHED state I was in at the time, going to war was the best thing that could have happened to me. Let's say it was good to focus on something WAY bigger than the heartwrenching dissolution of my personal future.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 03:46 PM
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I have to also add, though, things people are made to see and do in war definitely contribute to suicides. No one comes home from war the same. EVER. I don't care how light your duty is. Health problems related to war also contribute. And then, there is also the alcholism and drug abuse so many of us wind up having to deal with. We reach for those percieved remedies of escape and wind up paying the cost for that as well.

What I'd like to know is how many of our troops have come home, gotten out and THEN taken their lives once they've separated.
They are NEVER counted. And yet, they SHOULD be!



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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Unfortunately, right now selectivity is not an issue due to the Army and Marines' inability to meet quotas.

Even before Iraq it's been that way. And I don't think it's gonna change anytime soon.....look at the stats...that's 16%. That's almost 28 thousand in the corps.


More than 60 percent of Marines are younger than 25, and 16 percent are teenagers.


Also you have to look at the otherside of things. If we do not allow people to enlist at 18 we will have a huge problem on our hands. Let's admit it....many 18ers who enlist are not exactly 3.5 GPA students (I didnt say material)......so what are they gonna do....sit at home and watch TV with mom and dad...if there is a mom and dad. Joining at 18 gives many teens a headstart on life....it did for me.

Im all for bumping the age minimum up a couple years, but we must consider all the other areas that will need work on aswell. Colleges, jobs in the civilian sector, unqualified people floating around the streets etc...etc...

[edit on 11/6/2005 by SportyMB]



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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The reality is the 18 year-old crowd is EXACTLY what the military (all branches) want. They are green, maliable and make perfect soldiers b/c of it. They don't question what they don't know. And they are physically able to do incredible things. This is the cold, hard fact about young recruits. It is age-old and not specific, I think, to any nation in particular.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 04:11 PM
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This is the cold, hard fact about young recruits. It is age-old and not specific, I think, to any nation in particular.

Yeah I agree


But there will still be more problems created than destroyed by not allowing 18+ to enlist. Many of these men enlist because they might have no other good options left in life. Some are gang-bangers, some are complete Dumb-arses...and the military (at least in the Corps) bring more out of them. Yeah ofcourse the military has thier own agenda for targeting 18ers....but that still does not eliminate the FACT it is a volunteer military and many of them need it as a start in life just as much as it needs them.
...sounds kinda commie....but it's true.

[edit on 11/6/2005 by SportyMB]



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 04:26 PM
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Believe it or not, I have always been a big supporter of the myriad benefits of service for those young people who, for whatever reason, do not pursue the academic path.

I'm a prime example. Although I went to college on two scholarships, I was not ready for that. Hell, through my first semester as a dopey 18 year-old athlete, I dint even know what a major was.


I wasn't into school back then. So the Army was a much better fit. I just thank God I had a good ride.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 04:50 PM
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Have anybody you seen the new incentive?

40 thousand dollar bonuses.

My husband bonus was only of 2 thousand dollars for re-enlistment back in the 80's and he made it to 22 years, we never saw anymore money after that.

It just make me mad.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Have anybody you seen the new incentive?

40 thousand dollar bonuses.


They're getting more and more desperate. I hear some former drug users are getting through because of it. Under Clinton that was a definite NO NO.

The ironies abound....

[edit on 6/11/05 by EastCoastKid]



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 04:59 PM
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My husband bonus was only of 2 thousand dollars for re-enlistment back in the 80's and he made it to 22 years, we never saw anymore money after that.

good point.


In the Marine Corps the Max you can get is 30...I think it is 40 in the other branches. Anyways, BIG bonuses are only offered to first-termers. Once you have re-enlisted you are considered a career marine when it comes to matters like that.

They figure that if they can get you to re-enlist with a big bonus that by the time you finish that second term it would have been 8 years and you will probably re-enlist again and go for that 20 year mark so you can retire.

I was a sucker for a big bonus when I reenlisted......but Im getting out in 3 more years, Im not a lifer. No way, no maam, not me



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 05:02 PM
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So you are in the marines?

Once a marine always a marine he,he.

My husband served 22 years and love the military so much he still works in the military base,



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 05:02 PM
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Originally posted by SportyMB


I was a sucker for a big bonus when I reenlisted......but Im getting out in 3 more years, Im not a lifer. No way, no maam, not me


I walked away from the possibility of a PHAT re-enlistment bonus myself. I just covered my ears and yelled at the top of my lungs.




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