Battleland

Captains Courageous

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The two soldiers couldn’t have been more different. One was young and handsome enough to be known as “Captain Brad Pitt,” a 2007 West Point graduate trained to deliver ordnance from the Army’s most terrifying flying machine, an AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship. The other was a decade older, a bomb-squad grunt who high school friends had dubbed “Buzzard” because of his pronounced Adam’s apple. In mid-career he shifted gears to become an officer and graduate from the Pentagon’s medical school, where he trained to deliver babies.

While they never met, they had some things in common. Both were Army captains, engaged in important work for the nation, their costly educations paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Ian Morrison, 26, returned to Fort Hood, Texas, last December after nine months flying 70 combat missions over Iraq. Dr. Michael McCaddon, 37, was an ob-gyn resident at Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. The pilot and the doctor shared one other thing: they found themselves in a darkening, soul-sucking funnel that has trapped some 2,500 military personnel since 9/11. Like them, each died, at his own hand, on March 21, nearly 4,000 miles apart.

Nancy Gibbs and I tell their stories in TIME this week through the eyes of their widows, Leslie McCaddon and Rebecca Morrison. Although the pair of Army captains ended up at the same place, they got there in different ways. Morrison‘s depression rose like a sudden squall after he came back from Iraq, and, in the three days before he died, vainly sought help six times from the Army. McCaddon‘s gloom had been growing for seven years, but he tried to hide it for fear it would ruin his career. His wife asked for help from an Army that told her that his depression was homegrown and not really its problem.

(MORE: Military Suicides: Help for Families Worried About Their Service Member)

These are always tough stories to report and write, which may explain why they are so rare.

The Army declined to discuss the two cases. The Pentagon said this week, once again, that there are no easy answers. “Unfortunately, there are not well established and clearly effective interventions to prevent suicides – in general or specifically in a military population during wartime,” Tuesday’s report says. “The findings should be and are deeply concerning to military, medical, and political leaders at the highest levels of the U.S. government.”

We make clear in the story that the military, especially the Army, is striving mightily to try to stop suicide’s surging tide. But the efforts are proving largely ineffective. Too often, over-stretched military mental-health professionals can’t give suicidal patients the time and attention they need.

(MORE: Soldier Suicides: The Stigma of Seeking Help)

Retired general Peter Chiarelli, who until January was the Army’s No. 2 officer and top suicide fighter, remains frustrated. “We have a crisis in the military” caused by a lack of money and personnel to deal with the mental-health challenges created by a decade at war, he tells Time. “Those instances ought to be looked into,” he says of the McCaddon and Morrison suicides.

Such tragedies are inevitable when money is tight and the science of suicide – and how to prevent it – so inexact. “If you have the resource issues that we’ve got in providing behavioral-health help, you are going to have cases like this,” Chiarelli says. “The system is overwhelmed.”

72 comments
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Old_Navy_Vet
Old_Navy_Vet

As a second generation vet, I wanted to read and save the article. I think this is an important issue for people to know about. I'm more than a little upset that TIME is not allowing online access to the complete story unless you are a subscriber.

 I work fifty hours a week at a hospital and have a huge stack of unread books and magazines. Is there a way for me to subscribe and read stories online, instead of getting more printed material that I may not get to until next year?

BecciA
BecciA

Finally, the

horrific shame of military suicide has graced the cover of Time magazine for

all to see. Naturally, this is not the first time this subject has drawn the

focus of the media. Plenty of pundits, bloggers, columnists, editorialists,

etc., have commented on the escalating number of suicides among our troops.

None, however, with the reach, gravitas and influence, perhaps, of Time.

 

As one of

several hundred volunteers with The Soldiers Project, I’m grateful that Time

has brought this vital issue to the forefront. On a daily basis, Soldiers

Project therapists see Iraq

and Afghanistan

vets who suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. These vets are trying to

leave the battlefield behind and “come all the way home.” The mental health

therapy is free and confidential and is offered with no strings attached as

long as the military man or woman requires it.

 

One comment in

Mark Thompson’s article resonated with me – Army Capt. Ian Morrison’s last text

to his wife saying that he was still on hold 45 minutes after placing a call to

a military suicide hotline. As I was preparing an article for The Soldiers

Project in Sacramento, Calif.,

one Iraq

vet told me he’d called a suicide prevention line and been put on hold for five

minutes, which for many vets would be five minutes too long. “Some people don’t

have five minutes to wait on hold,” he said.

 

This man – and

several others I’ve talked to -- went on to tell me that with the intervention

of a Soldiers Project therapist and the skills he learned from that therapist,

he was able to deal with his PTSD and put thoughts of suicide behind him.

 

The Soldiers

Project (www.thesoldiersproject.org)

is a non-profit organization with offices nationwide. For more information call

1-877-576-5343.

 

 

CivilianObserver
CivilianObserver

Doc - A suggestion - contact the veterans at ACVOW (American Combat Veterans of War)  http://www.acvow.org/.   You may be able to get some good advice in terms of mentoring guidelines.  A buddy of mine brought these guys in to do debriefings with his Marines when they returned from the desert.  A Grateful Civilian

Juanita Horn
Juanita Horn

the government never does the right thing . these people have given all they can and what does our government do ,,shut the door in thier faces,,i pray for all the people who are fighting this  and thier families

Chuck Balogh
Chuck Balogh

The old saying goes something like some gave all and all gave some stands true. As a Gulf 1 vet with mild PTSD, RA, Anxiety and Tremors I completely understand how a combat vet feels.  The sad thing in this case and in all cases similar to this is the lack of support/help from the government.  Counseling and support is not in place.  Hell it is taken me two years just to find out I will have another one possible before they will even be able to tell me what my disabiilty rating is.  Over this time VA and government has not even offered to help with medication, counseling.  The country as a whole does not really understand or care about this topic until something bad occurs.  Military spouses are the ones who pay the price along with the children.  

Please America and the government get together and aid in the support and counseling of American Veterans.

Patricia Elliott
Patricia Elliott

Being a RN in the Veterans Hospital on the psch ward I deal with suicide attemtps related with the PTSD diagnosis. So I know, or thought I knew how the system worked untill my son came back from Iraq a changed man. He went through his chain of command looking for help with his depression and anger problems. What he got was a detail to clean on his hands and knees where he worked while two of his sergents discussed different ways to kill yourself. He continued to have problems but was sent to Afganistan 9 months after he got back from Iraq. The Army diagnosed him with nightmare syndrome, anxiety and depression but made no mention of a PTSD diagnosis. .My son was honorable discharged and never recieved a article while he was in, incase some of you might think he was a trouble maked. He just asked for help. Now he makes weekly trips to the VA hospital after a year of taking pain medications they  were giving him for his blown disc. Now he is in a program to get him off the meds and hopefully will go to the PTSD program at the end of this month.

O_No
O_No

I am an Army officer. I have been profoundly depressed for quite some time now. I *wish* I could link it to combat so I could at least have a good reason, but it's not (it's due to things I cannot talk about). I went to therapy once or twice, then realized that I was practically flushing my career down the toilet. It is hard to get anything accomplished in therapy if you feel ambivalent about it, if you feel like you have no privacy, *and* if you feel like you could lose your job and your security clearance over (just look at the guy who had his flight status pulled). So I will continue to avoid therapy. Because no matter how many "Real Warriors" posters I see, I know that the only acceptable way to be broken is to have PTSD from combat. If it is from some other source you are gambling with your career. Take it from someone who knows.

Leslie McCaddon
Leslie McCaddon

 I am Mike McCaddon's widow. this post breaks my heart. PLEASE, seek help outside the military system. Pay out of pocket if you must. Or go to Giveanhour.org. Whatever your reason for your depression you are worthy of help and wholeness. It does not have to ruin your career. And even if it did--YOU are MORE than your career and your life is worth so much more than any career ever can be. As Mike's widow, I can say with absolute certainty I would rather have him unemployed and ALIVE than buried in the cemetery 2 miles from my home. Warts and all--we all want him alive. Please reach out. There is help for you...even if you are more comfortable seeking it in unconventional places.

O_No
O_No

Ma'am-

I am very sorry for your loss, and thank you for reaching out. Though I have looked into giveanhour.org, I would still have to report that counseling on my security clearance questionnaire (or I would be breaking the law). I am in a field where such things matter. I just can't risk it.

kungfufelon
kungfufelon

I think the wording in the regulation is where the problem starts.  Mental counseling is not "IN AND OF ITSELF" a reason to deny clearance.  This means that a minor detail in another area which may have been overlooked could be magnified to be used as a justification for revocation in addition to the mental health issue.  I totally understand you brother.  I was an officer in the Army as well (until a few months ago) and it is definitely looked down upon to be seen as "weak" in front of subordinates and peers.  I understand too the issues regarding career progression and how it is simultaneously straightforward according to the regulation and ambiguous according to the subjectivity of promotion boards.  Take care of yourself, rely on your battle buddy, and know that there is a life outside the military that highly values the skills you gained during your service in the military.  

O_No
O_No

Regarding the comments below. I've read the regulations extensively. The

military's response is that "mental health counseling, is not, in and

of itself, a reason to deny clearance." Therefore, I do believe that

*eventually* I would get my clearance. However, it is not worth it to me to have my clearance held up while it is being adjudicated. It is not worth it to me to have my chain of command invade my privacy on a very private issue. It is not worth it to have my chain of command look at me in a different way because they know I am in counseling. No matter what the party line it, there are subtle ways to kill a career if a command loses confidence in your ability to lead. Things that are not appealable. And in the community I am in, these things are death sentences for a career. As my family's sole breadwinner, in this economy, I can't take any black marks (visible or invisible). Even though I may not lose my clearance outright, the subtle discrimination that occurs when mental health issues are involved as just as deadly.

Leslie McCaddon
Leslie McCaddon

I understand. These things matter. But, YOU matter more. Wrap yourself up in that statement. YOU. You matter.

kungfufelon
kungfufelon

You might also be able to talk to JAG or your security officer if medical conditions can be used as basis for revoking security clearance.  From my understanding, there is a stigma and an assumption (not entirely unfounded) that seeking medical assistance for mental health can damage one's career progression, but even those that make that determination are not entirely sure.  Seek medical help, but if you're career is a priority seek legal help as well to see if there are any regulations that protect you from being held back due to medical conditions.  

DontTreadOnMe12345
DontTreadOnMe12345

I had a teacher at my school commit suicide because of PTSD. He was back for less than a year before he took his life away. These soldiers who are so dedicated to our country, deserve the medical attention they seek. If the U.S Military can send troops away for their services to our country, they should be held responsible for their lives, their safety, and more importantly their health. 

"Salute the ones who died, the ones that give their lives. So we don't have to sacrifice all the things we love." 

God Bless America.

DontTreadOnMe12345
DontTreadOnMe12345

I had a teacher at my school commit suicide because of PTSD. He was back for less than a year before he took his life away. These soldiers who are so dedicated to our country, deserve the medical attention they seek. If the U.S Military can send troops away for their services to our country, they should be held responsible for their lives, their safety, and more importantly their health. 

"Salute the ones who died, the ones that give their lives. So we don't have to sacrifice all the things we love." 

God Bless America.

K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors

That is not acceptable, our troops and veterans deserve the best we have to offer.  We need to do a better job educating our troops and veterans there is hope and recovery from post-traumatic stress, we see it everyday at K9s For Warriors.  Service dogs are an amazing recovery tool and help our troops and veterans return to civilian life with independence and dignity.

K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors

Most of the troops amp; veterans who come to K9s For Warriors are an astounding amountof prescribed drugs.  It is very gratifying that after they receive their service dog many are able to eliminate or severely reduce the number of medications they are on.

K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors

Sadly too true, there is recovery from PTSD and want people to know there is hope!

K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors

There is hope!  Please help us spread the word, there is recovery from post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.  At K9s For Warriors we are seeing amazing recovery through the use of service dogs.  Please visit our website www.K9sforwarriors.org and learn more about our program.  Our services are provided at NO COST to our troops amp; veterans, we receive no government funding and rely on corporate sponsors and donations.

Marsha Fields
Marsha Fields

I have been denied healthcare by the Army for Diabetes.  I am a registered nurse and a Army Reservist. I came to Hawaii in 2008 to work as a case manager caring for wounded warriors.  During 2010/2011 my doctors discovered that I had diabetes but did not provide any type care.  No medications, no nutrition, or diabetes classes.  November 2011, I was removed from active duty with diabetes raging out of control within my body.  I have sought help with my reserve unit and have contacted the physician who deemed me fit to return to duty without providing care.  I am being met with the refusal to return me to active duty to provided the medical care to gain control of my diabetes and then either return me to my reserve unit fit or process me through a medical board.

I am aware that suicides among Soldiers is high and nobody seems to know why, well my situation has caused me to wonder if suicide would be an option.  Uncontrolled diabetes has devastating affects on the body including loss of limbs and blindness. 

To me, there is no big mysteries surrounding Soldier suicides.  Officials always act as if it is a big surprise and totally unexpected whenever a Soldier takes their life and that simply is not true.

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

There are MANY issues that a career-minded soldier will not bring up if he has ANY hopes of a long career in the military. Anything that would (or even MIGHT) create a negative annotation in your record is to be avoided.

The line between what will (or won't) be placed in your record is VERY murky. Many just simply don't want to take the chance and get help.  And they don't... until it's too late.

kungfufelon
kungfufelon

Agreed.  This isn't just a leadership problem, or a culture problem, or a government problem or even an individual problem.  It's all of those at the same time.  Many people like to call for quick solutions and blame the command structure for not addressing it.  But the reality is they try to address it, but it persist because it is a tough and complex problem.  

Neal99
Neal99

Has it ever come to the attention of the Army brass that repeated tours to a combat zone could be the cause.  How much is a man or woman supposed to take serving numerous tours in a combat zone?  Why is it necessary to send a man to fight more than once?  Our leaders started this war.  our leaders made no plans for a protracted war and decided to just keep rotating men and women into a combat zone.  These 'leaders' sit behind desks miles from the action and go home to their families every night.  Either introduce the draft or bring the troops home.  Of course it will never happen because a human life is cheaper than paying a man to serve.

kungfufelon
kungfufelon

The Army brass knows that repeated tours to a combat zone could be the cause.  Unfortunately, as you said, our leaders determine when to go to war and how long.  Until they get everything figured out, the military will do what it's suppose to do: fight the war, by all means necessary.  

Joanna Mazzotta
Joanna Mazzotta

THE SCIENCE OF SUICIDE????" I can't believe I just read that line in this article about a subject that needs a platform so badly it is becoming a disorder. People don't want to die; they want to stop the pain. That statement is becoming a cliche. There are an estimated 6 million suicide survivors in the world today. Nothing justifies suicide, but I can tell you this; it doesn't discriminate between soldiers, rich, poor, children, successful women, men, preachers or any other group. With millions of neurons in our brains connecting or not connecting, and magic pills to correct that problem failing us, suicide is a symptom of a problem that resonates in all of us, anger turned inward. Suicide is murder in the 180th degree. The sentence is served by the defendant and the punishment is death. But hear me, suicide takes more than one life. It takes some life from everyone connected to the deceased. The old worn out stigma is not working anymore. Because of the Internet, Media and books being written, the subject is on the table and that is the first step toward helping people stop using suicide as a cure. The book Why Whisper not only addresses suicide, it addresses he brand of grief it creates, and because the grievers are alive, that is where we have to start. www.whywhisper.net

Joanna Mazzotta
Joanna Mazzotta

"THE SCIENCE OF SUICIDE????" I can't believe I just read that line in this article about a subject that needs a platform so badly it is becoming a disorder. People don't want to die; they want to stop the pain. That statement is becoming a cliche. There are an estimated 6 million suicide survivors in the world today. Nothing justifies suicide, but I can tell you this; it doesn't discriminate between soldiers, rich, poor, children, successful women, men, preachers or any other group. With millions of neurons in our brains connecting or not connecting, and magic pills to correct that problem failing us, suicide is a symptom of a problem that resonates in all of us, anger turned inward. Suicide is murder in the 180th degree.  The sentence is served by the defendant and the punishment is death.  But hear me, suicide takes more than one life. It takes some life from everyone connected to the deceased.  The old worn out stigma is not working anymore. Because of the Internet, Media and books being written, the subject is on the table and that is the first step toward helping people stop using suicide as a cure. The book Why Whisper not only addresses suicide, it addresses the brand of grief it creates, and because the grievers are alive, that is where we have to start. www.whywhisper.net

dbhwt
dbhwt

Most poeple here in states don't have clue what young people are sacrificing over there....you leave a part of yourself over there..and bring a part of that place back w/you..trust me..after four deployments, it never got better

Guest
Guest

The economy is less than ideal right now,  that is a contributing factor. Plain, old economics.

Plus the thought of unending deployments.......

mrscontreras_1
mrscontreras_1

It saddens me to think that their is still barely any help for our service member's. I to know what these ladies are going through, My late husband was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and less then 3 months later committed suicide..He was one who sought help and was turned down by the military, I know suicide in the military is a BIG problem, and i just wish they would also address suicide with veterans. Suicide overall is a HUGE issues we are dealing with!!!  It is not due to the military or the VA that i am able to get through my days and raise my daughter, it is because of wonderful organization called TAPS, and the friends that i have made through them. 

TracyLF
TracyLF

When our service men came back from Vietnam, they came back to a country that didn't care for them.  The war was not their fault.  Most had been drafted.  In this case, ALL of these soldiers  Volunteered and our people have been supporting them (if not the government that sent them) all the way!  It is now our own Military amp; Government that are dropping the ball...   and have been for years.  Our leadership is corrupt and these young people will never be the same.

cheryls50
cheryls50

As the mother of an army officer I too worry about the high rate of suicide in the military. My son and I have discussed this issue multiple times and it is his considered opinion that the military is actively involved in assisting soldiers who demonstrate suicidal tendencies. Albeit, my son is not one to live life with blinders on I believe he is being somewhat naive to think that soldiers would seek care because of the stigma and concern that information regarding depression would curtail their careers. Somehow, the military has to get past thinking that a bout of depression renders a soldier unpromotable so the troops will seek the care they need.

themanwhoyoudontwantaround
themanwhoyoudontwantaround

End the war; bring the troops home. Why are these young men subjected to hell when all they are trying to do is gratify themselves with by exuding intrinsic patriotism for the country that is letting them down? And now their suffering, along with the circumjacent life that he has lived prior to this subjection when the constitution was broken since the country did NOT vote to go to war. 

jonlz
jonlz

I know how it feels; I went to the VA 5 times trying to get "HELP"... The last time flat out asking "I need help, I want to see a Doctor" but no, same old BS with some screener and red tape as they somehow need to justify their civilian jobs!... I as a VET didn't get any help that I need!!! The "VA Pacific Islands Health Care System" is a far cry from a Health Care provider!

Lucky for me my Job provides Medical Insurance that I was able to use to get some help, and I work, so I make a few bucks to pay for my Medical care that should be provided by the VA. Going to COMABT was tough enough, but dealing with PTSD is even harder, doing it alone creates a high failure rate, our system as failed us as Soliders, Vets, and Spouses, etc… I myself would be ashamed!

TakinItInStride
TakinItInStride

One of these sad facets of society is, say what you will about the "skilled" and "professional" and "volunteer" military but most of the members of the Services today (and I am a Army National Guard vet and former civilian employee of the Army) mostly those who serve really don't have a choice about it.  Some people who join up come from the bottom of society and plenty of people join up to get money for college.  Not these guys (the two Captains).  But service is also very stressful and it doesn't take many stupid decisions by a servicemember to find themselves ensnared in the web of internal military politics (i am talking like the soldier version of office politics.)  Add to that the grueling hours and lack of sleep and exposure to danger at every turn and time spent away from loved ones, plus the ready availability of all manner of leathal weapons and well, it's easy to see why sometimes people do it.    Besides, there is so much death by powerpoint and death by training and dont-put-one -toe-out-of-line and very random and capricious enforcement of regulations on the part of superiors, or at least sometimes people can perceive that it's that way, well, let's just say you have to be mentally strong, physically fit, and morally straight to serve and some folks just cant bear up under the pressure.  I feel sad for those who feel they have to end their lives and I also feel sad for the buddies and family and loved ones of those who choose to take their own lives.

kungfufelon
kungfufelon

This is an asinine conflation of the "dredges of society" and "death by powerpoint" arguments with suicide.  Obviously the vast majority (if not all) of military personnel are subjected to constant deployments, long hours, hard work and no sleep.  Only a few succumb to suicide.  The problem must be understood in its own terms and not just blamed on shallow, stereotypical understanding of an entire system/culture.  

taylorbur
taylorbur

of course, they just need more money don't you military engines of death

askjghaiosuuf
askjghaiosuuf

The military's reaction to PTSD is roughly the same as its reaction to sexual abuse...virtually non-existent. At least this time, it's getting attention. There were hundreds or thousands of vietnam vets who committed suicide or suffered with PTSD for decades. The same with WWII and WWI vets. Many of them turn to drink or drugs, and then its easy for the military to brush them off rather than admit that they should have been providing treatment all along. 

taylorbur
taylorbur

o of course, they just need more money don't you military engines

themilitarysuicidereport
themilitarysuicidereport

It only takes one instance of a service member being maltreated by their leaders after stepping forward for help to reinforce the stigma. So many refuse to seek help because the stigma cannot be overcome within the stubborn military culture. Maltreatment still occurs in the military, just look at the case of Ricky Elder at Fort Bragg recently. Stigma is only reduced at a rate equal to the rate of military leaders who actually experience a mental health problem themselves. The only real immediate solution to effective prevention would seem to be holding senior leaders accountable for suicide prevention results. In other words, it matters not what leaders say about suicide prevention, but what they actually do about it.

themilitarysuicidereport
themilitarysuicidereport

It only takes one instance of a service member being maltreated by their leaders after stepping forward for help to reinforce the stigma. So many refuse to seek help because the stigma cannot be overcome within the stubborn military culture. Maltreatment still occurs in the military, just look at the case of Ricky Elder at Fort Bragg recently. Stigma is only reduced at a rate equal to the rate of military leaders who actually experience a mental health problem themselves. The only real immediate solution to effective prevention would seem to be holding senior leaders accountable for suicide prevention results. In other words, it matters not what leaders say about suicide prevention, but what they actually do about it.

outraged_parents
outraged_parents

As a military suicide widow, I know first hand how these ladies feel. I know the first hand the backlash from the military and how the blame is deflected from the military to the family of the soldier at any cost. This is still a taboo topic and is usually swept under the carpet or stuck in the bottom of the closet. The reports we get back from the military are jokes with everything blacked out except what we tell officials. And from my experience, being a "seasoned widow" from the beginning of the war knowing quite a few suicide widows the FAMILY is always to blame according to the military. Not one report from any of my fellow widows have stated that the war or the military's lack of treatment is to blame. I applaud you Mark Thompson for shining a light on such a topic. 

Divameister
Divameister

My advice to anyone who cares about someone who is suicidal---be with him. Don't talk, don't cajole him to think things will be wonderful, don't harass him, don't do anything but BE WITH HIM. Sit vigil. If you can't get mental health to see him right away, don't let him be alone. He is in so much pain that there is nothing you can say or do that will take away that pain. Only time and confession (with a spiritual advisor or a medical priest (what I term psychologists or psychiatrists) will help. Sometimes meds will help. But you have to get past the acute stage and that means committing to being his compansion on this painful journey. I know. I have been there. Don't give up.

Jakes_momma
Jakes_momma

I'm sorry for your loss and the added paid that having these reports reflect back on you and/or your family have caused.

Lisa Sadler
Lisa Sadler

There are multiple reasons more soldiers are suffering from PTSD.  One of the biggest reasons for the increase in  suicides is because of  the psychotropic drugs being prescribed for depression.   Watch "The Marketing of Madness." 

Ileana Canetti
Ileana Canetti

I do receive Time's e-page everyday and read it in the mornings.  This article by Thompson is so well written and so touching.  I congratulate the journalist for that.

Ileana Canetti
Ileana Canetti

I receive the e-page from Time everyday and read it in the morning.  This article by Thompson is well written and so touching. I congratulate the journalist for that.

joedoakes202
joedoakes202

Suicide is a long term solution to a short term problem.  The US military must set up no consequences units that exist solely for any member of the service to discuss what ever matter they face without fear.  Maybe they have done this already, who knows, but having had a friend check out all I can say is it hurts and I would not wish that on any one.

kungfufelon
kungfufelon

I don't think segregating them into separate units would necessarily make it easier to deal with the problem and it only exacerbates the stigma associated with dealing with mental issues.  This is an easy civilian solution to a more complex problem.  

superlogi
superlogi

Serving your country in military uniform can be very stressful and doing it during a war make the stress much, much worse.  Perhaps better psychological treatment could bring the number of suicides down? But, get use to the idea they will always be higher than the civilian population.

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

During Vietnam, it was usually "one tour and you're done".  Even then, the effect on the participants was noteworthy.

I don't even want to think about the effect on someone, trying to raise a family, who has had to endure multiple deployments, living with violence and death for a large part of their adult lives.

I have always wanted to get my hands on the Pentagon spokesman who, when questioned about "Stop Loss", said that the members should have "checked the fine print" on their contracts... as though the legality of the action over-rode any moral considerations for the practice.

You can't "train" a person to be immune to the effects on family life of 10 years of constant war.  And, for too many of the rest of America, the warfare is little more than a video game that they can turn off if they get bored.

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