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More U.S. Soldiers Taking Their Lives Than in Previous 12 Years, U.S. Army Says

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posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 03:32 AM
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The toll of war is taking its impact on U.S. Army soldiers. From the U.S. Army's own investigations, around 210 soldiers have committed suicide since 2003. This number is staggering compared to 90 self-related deaths in 1993. The Army has tried to incorporate mental health workers among the medical staff to aid the stressful situation that members of the military go through in the Middle East. The key reasons for soldiers taking their lives during the current conflict overseas have been marital and legal problems.

 



news.y ahoo.com

WASHINGTON - The number of U.S. Army soldiers who took their own lives increased last year to the highest total since 1993, despite a growing effort by the Army to detect and prevent suicides.

In 2005, a total of 83 soldiers committed suicide, compared with 67 in 2004, and 60 in 2003 — the year U.S.-led forces invaded
Iraq. Four other deaths in 2005 are being investigated as possible suicides but have not yet been confirmed. The totals include active duty Army soldiers and deployed National Guard and Reserve troops.

"Although we are not alarmed by the slight increase, we do take suicide prevention very seriously," said Army spokesman Col. Joseph Curtin.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The relevancy lies in the humanistic concerns of the military. With the added stress attributed to war, soldiers are killing themselves at an alarming rate because there is not enough psychological services to aid them while in combat. Since money is being spent on this war at an unprecedented amount, is it not fair to have some of that money directed to help soldiers in trouble?

The worst part of this news is for the ones returning to civilian life, they will have to deal with the memories of what happened during their tour in the Middle East. These members of the military will have to pick up from where they left off. Some type of mental health service must intercede on their behalf before there is another population of homeless vets at the end of this conflict.

The statistics also tell me that perhaps morale is not as high in the U.S. Army as portrayed in the media.

What do you think?





[edit on 22-4-2006 by UM_Gazz]

[edit on 22-4-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]

[edit on 23-4-2006 by ceci2006]




posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 10:20 AM
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I think it's sad but you've found a marvelous subject.
I was watching the show the unit, That might be a little eye opening if you have never watched it.

I don't think the way to solve this problem is to try and tag a shrink on these guys. The problems start well they're on tour. Do something about the things that really bother these guys and they won't need to have professional help when they get back



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:09 AM
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I wonder if there is a breakdown into reserves/National Guard and regular. The Guard signs up many young people with tempting offers of money for giving up weekends and a couple weeks a year. Instead, they're sent for months away from home, to war, with bills mounting up back home and concerns of spouses and family. All this plus any horrors/idiocies of war.

Also, any adjustment/decompression time is almost nil, unlike WW2 and prior with returning home taking weeks. VietNam vets felt this impact, one day in a land of war, home by jet in hours. No time to sort out thoughts, etc. to make the transition easier.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:31 AM
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How sad.
:shk:

I dont have anything
else to say.




posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 12:55 PM
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It broke my heart to read this story. For having people I know already there, I fear not only for their safety, but for their well-being.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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This is indeed sad news.

Personally, I don't think they have a handle on why this is really happening, and I don't think it's as simple as the ususal suspected factors because that doesn't really explain the increase, at least not in my book.

Highest total since 1993? Wonder what the numbers were like during Vietnam?

[edit on 4/22/2006 by Relentless]



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 01:22 PM
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While this article is a couple of years old, I'm sure the numbers have not moved very much:




...Frontline battle troops earn less than $16,000 a year...which puts them at about the level of theater ushers and Wal-Mart clerks. Even second lieutenants, at a starting salary of $26,000 a year, earn less than pest control workers and shoe repairers.

...According to his 2005 budget, the extra pay our soldiers receive for serving in combat zones -- about $150 a month -- will no longer count against their food stamp eligibility....

...Military families on food stamps? It's not an urban myth. About 25,000 families of servicemen and women are eligible, and this may be an underestimate, since the most recent Defense Department report on the financial condition of the armed forces -- from 1999 -- found that 40 percent of lower-ranking soldiers face "substantial financial difficulties..."

Source.



Get the picture?



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 01:29 PM
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It can't help these soldiers to see that people back home are divided or even antagonistic to them being in Iraq. Imagine being called a murder on top of what you have to face everyday trying to stay alive.

Makes you wonder about the misery of past wars and conflicts inflicted upon people.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 01:51 PM
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Originally posted by loam
Get the picture?

Umm, so according to you and based upon your linked article, loam, servicemen that commit suicide do it because of "substantial financial difficulties..."?

You know, if the numbers were 10-fold or higher, your presenting and saying what you did might have some validity. According, it does not. There are multitudes of reasons that those servicemen, as with people in general, commit suicide, but you simply spot-lighted that which best served your outlook on the cause of servicemen commiting suicide?





seekerof

[edit on 22-4-2006 by Seekerof]



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 01:58 PM
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Financial woes has always been an issue for the military families, even when I was a military wife working for family services we had plenty of complains and problems handle out to the navy relief that had to do with financial woes.

Things get more aggravated when the service man or woman that is the only bringing the income has to go over sea, paper work, problems if the wife move out of military facilities or if the service man do not qualified for quarters due to rank all add up to financial problems.

I have a very close Friend that her daughter became a widow with a new born child when her marine husband took his life away because of financial problems and mental problems.

I will not said that is more or less in the military than in civilian life but when you are in close military environment it does seems to happen a lot.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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Soldiers ought to be paid more than street-sweeps, that should be obvious. Defending the nation ought to pay more than soppin' up puke with sawdust at the bar.


The suicide rate is NOT insane currently, one is too many, but this is not an epidemic.

What is an epidemic, is the rise of domestic abuse and assault/rape taking place on military bases. Something needs to be done to make an impression on these soldiers.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 02:20 PM
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When in the Army, I was selected to gaurd some one all night because they had "LOS-loss of sanity". Had to watch them go to the rest room, sleep, eat, you name it. Not allowed to let them out of sight, literally.

That was around 2002, and none of us had even seen combat. Hell, in the second week of basic of 2001, there was an idiot who beat himself in the knee cap with a broom stick. Just to get out and go home, week two!


So, in my opinion, some people are just not suitable for the military lifestyle. Whether in a hostile enviornment or not, most people just can't take stress.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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WyrdeOne:

Precisely...

Seekerof: Did I say one caused the other? No. But as WyrdeOne was able to deduce, it is a significant factor in the psychological stress these people are placed under... Moreover, I think it another indication where the chattel mentality puts some over the edge....


[edit on 22-4-2006 by loam]



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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Advisor, I know exactly what you are talking about, you can not believe the things the soldiers do to avoid going over sea or to war.

My husband used to tell me all kind of stories, also during his military career it was a few hangings in the barracks, self induce poison and shootings.

It is hard for some, but I wonder why do they sign for military to begin with when they can not handle the pressure.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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How about Honor (or dishonor, depending how you look at it) as a cause for this increase? Having seen the death and destruction and realizing this is not such a good thing, are they beginning to realize the dishonorable nature of this war? Knowing their leadership and duty to country brought them to this?

OP article:


Four other deaths in 2005 are being investigated as possible suicides but have not yet been confirmed.


The article doesn't state by what means these suicides are happening. It makes me wonder about the number of increased motorcycle deaths that I'd heard about a year or so ago.

Don't most insurance policies deny coverage to suicides? These kids may have found a way around that?





Many GI Deaths From Motorcycles


Military commanders in North Carolina say the deaths are largely the result of boredom, bonus pay, and adrenalin to burn off after troops return from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nearly 350 troops have died on motorcycles since the 2001 terrorist attacks. That's compared to 259 killed while serving in Afghanistan.

The Army has not been immune to off-duty motorcycle deaths, with more than 40 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.



"...boredom, bonus pay, and adrenalin to burn". Could some be suicides?



Twelve years in the military and only suicide I knew of was due to a love triangle. Dude shot himself with his service revolver when his wife found out about his girlfriend.



[edit on 22-4-2006 by psyopswatcher]



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 10:34 PM
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I also agree with WyrdeOne about rapes/domestic violence that happens on military bases. I have heard stories about the women soldiers afraid not to use the bathroom in Iraq because a male soldier would harass them, if not rape them. The other part of this story is that some of the women in the military would die of dehydration so they wouldn't have to face the indignity and violence of rape.

I would certainly hope that the top brass would recognize this and put a stop to it.

Has anyone else heard about this?

UPDATE: Hey, guys, I found some news about the situation of women soldiers in Iraq. This is from truthout.org:


In a startling revelation, the former commander of Abu Ghraib prison testified that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former senior US military commander in Iraq, gave orders to cover up the cause of death for some female American soldiers serving in Iraq. Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.

The latrine for female soldiers at Camp Victory wasn't located near their barracks, so they had to go outside if they needed to use the bathroom. "There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were doubly easy targets in the dark of the night," Karpinski told retired US Army Col. David Hackworth in a September 2004 interview. It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said.

Karpinski testified that a surgeon for the coalition's joint task force said in a briefing that "women in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the port-a-lets or the latrines were not drinking liquids after 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and in 120 degree heat or warmer, because there was no air-conditioning at most of the facilities, they were dying from dehydration in their sleep."


And sadly, I found a report about the treatment of female detainees by U.S. soldiers acting as guards (which adds more proof about WyrdeOne's post). This comes from the Guardian Unlimited. This is a story from 2004:


The scandal at Abu Ghraib prison was first exposed not by a digital photograph but by a letter. In December 2003, a woman prisoner inside the jail west of Baghdad managed to smuggle out a note. Its contents were so shocking that, at first, Amal Kadham Swadi and the other Iraqi women lawyers who had been trying to gain access to the US jail found them hard to believe.

The note claimed that US guards had been raping women detainees, who were, and are, in a small minority at Abu Ghraib. Several of the women were now pregnant, it added. The women had been forced to strip naked in front of men, it said. The note urged the Iraqi resistance to bomb the jail to spare the women further shame.


These stories are also important in describing the situation from Iraq. But it still doesn't take away from the consistency of suicides of members from the military in the Middle East. These items are merely there for more information if people are interested.

For the soldiers who are committing suicides, it is still sad all the way around. It has nothing to do with whether the war was right or wrong, in my eyes. But, we should care about our soldiers and hope that they get the best help they can during times of high stress.






[edit on 22-4-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 01:03 AM
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It is such a sad thing to happen, and for the last few years I have been thinking that it is something the government, and the army do not want heavily discussed in the mainstream media, if at all.

In the last few days, an Australian officer 'accidentally' shot himself while cleaning his gun. I didn't think too much of it, but one of the statements from a defence-force rep was something like.. "it was accidental.. and nothing else". It's the 'nothing else' that got me thinking, I was taking their absolute word for it until he said that.

It would be VERY easy to make a suicide look like an accident of this sort if it occured in the right location. As far as I know this has been the only case of self-injury in the Australian Army/Defence force while in Iraq that has led to death.

Of course, this is purely speculative and just something that crossed my mind when i heard the reports on tv. 200+ in the US Armed Forces is VERY high. Does anyone have the latest 'official' reports of US Casualities in Iraq? I know it was around 2,000 some time ago but im sure it has increased. That would be 10% though. Not good, at all.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 01:38 AM
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Well I'm a base brat personally in canada, I was actually thinking of joining eventually. Which is apparently not that uncommon. Anyway, I know the canadian forces pay rates chart is pretty good for the air force.

It's a pay chart for monthly pay, And the more years in the more money you make.It goes for all three categories of navy, air , army.


PDF file of the air force pay scale


Ah shucks I'm sorry for editing but why don't you just read the whole site i'd say the military has a pretty god idea of what they're doing here.


[edit on 23-4-2006 by Magickesists]



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 08:12 AM
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From ceci's article which she quoted on women not using the latrines after dark:


So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said.


Our women at war don't have guns to protect themselves? Not even pepper spray? They never heard of a chamberpot?

Even frontier women of old knew enough not to put themselves in this kind of danger... wild animals, Injuns, and such being out there after dark. Others just didn't want to go out into the cold (including men), so they relieved themselved in a bucket or pot and dumped it in the morning.

It makes no sense that even a general (and other O's who are supposed to be doing the thinking) couldn't figure out a solution to this. Something as simple as posting a guard even? Puleease....



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 06:16 PM
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I wonder the same thing. I find it deplorable that our women soldiers cannot take care of their simple needs without the threat of rape. I don't know if this is getting off the topic or not, but I wonder if their deaths from dehyrdation are also being included in the body count?

Or does the top brass care what is happening to our women soldiers as much as they do the male soldiers who commit suicide?



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