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Even in suicide, soldiers' families deserve condolences from president? ** Update **

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posted on May, 31 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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Two years ago, my son, Army Spc. Chancellor Keesling, died by suicide in Iraq. He was 25 and on his second deployment.

Shortly after his death, my wife, Jannett, and I learned of a long-standing policy in which presidential letters of condolence are withheld from families of American service members who die by suicide.



more


We learned in late 2009 that the White House would be reviewing the policy, when then-White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told then-CNN reporter Elaine Quijano that the White House had inherited this policy and was reviewing it. Yet as of this writing, we and the hundreds of other families whose children have died by suicide while at war wait for a result.

I wonder: What is the White House reviewing and why it is taking so long?


CNN Article


I found this very interesting. I wasn't aware that these soldiers families didn't receive letters from the President. To be honest, I just never thought about it.

I think the families should receive a letter or some type of recognition from the White House if not the President himself. These soldiers signed up and served. Something happened during their service to cause them to .....well, I don't even want to say it. Something happened.

War is terrible and I do hate it. That being said I may not support the decisions of my countries leaders, but I will support each and every Man and Woman serving in our armed forces.

I hope this thread doesn't turn into a war is wrong or why or why not we're at war, but stay to the point, should the "fallen" soldiers receive letters or recognition from the President or White House ?


edit on 6-7-2011 by elevatedone because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 31 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by elevatedone
 


Interesting topic!

What I am wondering is if you deliberately commit suicide, such as the Kamikaze's did or jumping on a land-mine, if they see it as a difference? I say this because I don't, either way they have sacrificed themselves for their country.

I am looking now. . . . . .
edit on 5/31/2011 by AnteBellum because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by AnteBellum
reply to post by elevatedone
 


Interesting topic!

What I am wondering is if you deliberately commit suicide, such as the Kamikaze's did or jumping on a land-mine, if they see it as a difference?

I am looking now. . . . . .


In the army at least, as I can only speak from personal experience, there is a very big difference between the two scenarios. Jumping on a grenade or otherwise putting your own life at risk is silver star or medal of honor territory whereas the grunt that offs himself on his own time for his own reasons falls under what the OP described. I personally think that these soldiers should be given the same consideration as any other soldier who dies in a combat zone. The mental duress that you're constantly under coupled with our militaries continual failure to address even the most basic mental health needs leads you into very dark areas of the psyche and most don't come back. It goes way beyond PTSD



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 12:49 PM
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I personally don't consider "jumping on a landmine or such" as committing suicide. That is an act of heroism in my eyes.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by elevatedone
 


So, if I jump on a land mine to save a couple of people near by is considered different then fighting day by day watching my friends die and blown up. Then becoming f'd up by the images burned into my brain that won't go away to the point that I take my life, all for the sake of every citizen in our country.

I'm sorry the situation may be different but I still see them as casualties of war who died protecting our country.
I never liked the idea that certain soldiers get medals for dying a certain way when many, many thousand others die and get no recognition. In war does it matter if I die running into battle cut down by machine gun fire to draw attention away or jump on a land mine to save a good friend.
I just can't see the difference, it is still self sacrifice for the total cause.
edit on 5/31/2011 by AnteBellum because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by elevatedone
 


Star for you! I totally agree
I also think they don't get paid enough but that is for another topic

S+F



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 01:05 PM
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Wow, I never knew this sort of things matter when your kid dies.. Kinkos must be making a fortune printing out those "Presidential Letters" seeing all the puppies in body bags.

I think that there shouldn't be an exception although I guess the reason this is still the case is cause some folks would value their "Presidential letter" a little less if they know suicides also get one......

What envy can do to people, anyways I'm sure most kill themselves right after they realize they were killing without reason as puppets.... so in a way they are victims of war which is sad. Although I condemn suicide when a person is "healthy" of body I am not against sick people killing themselves. I feel these young men were really lost lives very sad indeed.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 02:23 PM
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18 veterans commit suicide daily in the USA:

www.ahrp.org...

but on Memorial Day, Obama lays a wreath in the morning then runs off to play golf for the rest of the day:

______beforeitsnews/story/676/499/Barack_Obamas_decision_to_play_golf_on_Memorial_Day_was_disrespectful_and_hardly_presidential.html



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by FriendlyGopher
 


I think families would appreciate it as it would or may help with the healing process, some form of closure.

I dunno.... whats sad is that we're even having to discuss it. I wish all the troops were home.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 02:59 PM
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This is a very sticky subject. I feel this is more an issue for those left behind rather than those that take their own life.

While some may say suicide is weakness and should never be applauded/recognized/honored etc., I would agree except in this case.

What if a perfectly normal, non- suicidal person had a side effect from taking anti-depressants and subsequently killed himself? That is hardly a "typical" suicide. By typical, I mean the guy that shoots himself because he amassed too much debt, had an affair, etc.

In this case, if the soldier's suicide is a "side effect" of war, then the families will most likely feel that if not for war or enlistment, this soldier would not have killed himself, and therefore became a casuality of war, and deserves recognition for his service.

I will say though that a suicide should not be honored in the same way or to the same degree as a soldier killed in battle, etc. But I do think receiving condolence from the President would go a long way towards helping those left behind. A mother whose son goes to war, and kills himself, is still a son that died because of war. At least that's what I would imagine the mother thinks or feels. Tricky subject.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by lpowell0627
 


Have you ever heard of Gulf War Syndrome? Have you ever heard of PTSD ?

Sure you don't want to re-word your post???



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 03:36 PM
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This topic is very near and dear to me. My friend of over 20 years commited suicide in April. She was a specialist and had been deployed to Afghanstan twice. In all my heart I know she was a casualty of war. When she came back from her first tour she was changed. The bubbly, smiley person I had grew up was replaced by a sad distant and often apathetic woman that she was before she died. It also didn't help that she was a lesbian who had to keep it a secret.I miss her so much. I love and hate her for what she did to us. Leaving a hole in her friends and families lives with questions that can never be answered. She died because of what was done to her and what she had to do to others. If the military would recognize what they are doing to people maybe this wouldn't happen, maybe it still would. She died serving her country and deserve the respect that comes with it.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by bluemirage5
reply to post by lpowell0627
 


Have you ever heard of Gulf War Syndrome? Have you ever heard of PTSD ?

Sure you don't want to re-word your post???


Quite sure.

If you have a particular portion you are referring to, I would be happy to discuss. Perhaps the meaning of my post is apparent to me, but not others?

Saying, yes they deserve to be recognized, for the reasons I mentioned, is my point.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by stinavamp
 


There is, and always has been, a high suicide rate amongst certain professions.

It's seen as a stigma somehow, but I disagree - a persons contribution is no less and no more, just because a person takes their own life.

We have been conditioned by christianity to believe that suicide is a mortal sin, whereas other cultures venerate it as a form of sacrifice, and not being a burden etc.

I think the bottom line is that the armed forces prepare people as best they can, but they don't really have much of an "after" programme.

With the right care and counselling, many more would survive and have a good life - sadly, too many are htrown on the scrapheap and have to rely on charities.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 07:56 PM
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Lots of soldiers die on the battlefield. While some fall immediately, others take longer, sometimes until they have returned home. Sometimes years later.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 08:46 PM
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a letter from the president would be an admission of guilt. you brainwash kids into dying for the red, white and blue.

then you send them over to iraq to kill for oil. and then you leave no way out. i think if someone volunteers to join the army, then they should have the right to volunteer to quit.

just like any job. you don't like it, or change your mind, you quit. because that's what a professional army is. a job.

this isn't the 16th century. where your options are the army, or your head on a chopping block.

we killed off those types of people a long time ago.
edit on 31-5-2011 by randomname because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by budski
We have been conditioned by christianity to believe that suicide is a mortal sin, whereas other cultures venerate it as a form of sacrifice, and not being a burden etc.


Right, it's not like suicide is considered a serious sin in Judaism, Islam (yes, Islam) or Hinduism. Just Christianity because they're so evil right?


Back on topic: I do feel that the parents and loved ones of a suicide deserve closure. I personally see suicide as an easy way out, I've tried it (and failed obviously) as has many people in my family. At least one of them succeeded. But a letter that states that the Armed Forces greatly appreciated the serviceman's service should be a given. Doesn't matter if they've killed themselves or not, they've stilled put a lot on the line when signing their names.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 09:11 PM
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I think its a shame they dont acknowledge that the war cost those people their lives, even if it was the psychological damage that the war caused that was the more direct cause.

The president should acknowledge that those parents lost their child to war the same as any parent whose child dies from physical injury.

We also need to undo the ridiculous ban on the psychiatric use of MDMA for PSTD so we can actually give these kids the chance they deserve at recovering.



psychcentral.com...


Of the participants who had MDMA-augmented psychotherapy, their PTSD symptoms were significantly reduced compared to those who had psychotherapy alone, as measured by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. 10 of 12 (83 percent) patients in the MDMA group had a reduction in symptoms, compared to 2 of 8 (25 percent). Seven of the eight patients who initially received the placebo decided to try the MDMA treatment and all reported improvement.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 09:38 PM
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Yes, they absolutely should receive acknowledgment from the White House for their loved ones service and the loss of them. Who can know the pain of another? Who has the right to judge these souls? Certainly not I. Their service and sacrifice should be recognized and appreciated. Wounds don't always show.



posted on May, 31 2011 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by elevatedone
 


To offer condolences I believe would admit, to some fault in part.
But I would imagine alot of those boys would have never taken their lives had they not had to do or see the things they did.




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