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Soldier Suicides at Record Level

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posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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www.washingtonpost.com

Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, a psychiatric outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who was waiting for the Army to decide whether to court-martial her for endangering another soldier and turning a gun on herself last year in Iraq, attempted to kill herself Monday evening. In so doing, the 25-year-old Army reservist joined a record number of soldiers who have committed or tried to commit suicide after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

\"I\'m very disappointed with the Army,\" Whiteside wrote in a note before swallowing dozens of antidepressants and other pills. \"Hopefully this will help other soldiers.\" She was taken to the emergency room early Tuesday. Whiteside, who is now in stable physical condition, learned yesterday that the charges against her had been dismissed.

Whiteside\'s personal tragedy is part of an alarming phenomenon in the Army\'s ranks: Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post. Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006.

At the same time, the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army has jumped sixfold since the Iraq war began. Last year, about 2,100 soldiers injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command Suicide Prevention Action Plan.
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 31-1-2008 by Silenceisall]




posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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This is a big tragedy getting bigger. Never mind the cost in dollars, let's look at the cost in sanity and lives.

www.washingtonpost.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 10:31 AM
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reply to post by Silenceisall
 


I have a son in special forces who is due to come back, finally, in April. I am concerned about how he is going to adjust after all that he has experienced and seen. He has lost close friends. He is now tough as nails...because he had to become that way...he has often said we live in a bubble here in the U.S. There is no doubt about that and he has been proud to help keep it that way for his younger brothers and sisters. For our soldiers and sailors, the politics doesn't and can't matter to them anymore on a daily basis...it has become about the guy standing next to you in combat and taking care of each other over there.

Does anyone have any suggestions of resources available to help us understand how better to help them "come home". Are there things we can do to support them through this transition? In closing, I haven't heard from him in days and have no idea where he is right now....he travels alot....it doesn't matter how old your children get...you always, always worry about them. Thanks for pointing this out...I will dig deeply to make sure his homecoming is as supportive as it needs to be.

Peace



posted on Jan, 31 2008 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by DancedWithWolves
Does anyone have any suggestions of resources available to help us understand how better to help them "come home".


Contact the Family Support Group from his base. They'd probably be a big help for you and give you ideas and groups to contact. Good Luck.



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