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(Stars and Stripes)   There are now more soldier suicides than combat deaths   (stripes.com) divider line 231
    More: Sad, soldier suicides, Army Reserve, Department of the Army, combat deaths, soldiers, suicides  
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7524 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Dec 2012 at 5:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-28 08:03:53 AM

Tat'dGreaser: Why the hell would we yell at people so far at the top that they have no idea what's going on? Leadership is where it has to start. If you're an NCO and you do that to a soldier in need, then turn in your f*cking stripes


If they don't know what is going on they shouldn't be there.
 
2012-12-28 08:06:14 AM

namatad: 1-10 years after leaving, the taliban will be right back in place.


The Taliban never left, they are in place now. Who do you think has been maiming and disfiguring all those schoolgirls?
 
2012-12-28 08:07:38 AM

natas6.0: but hey, you voted in the guys who keep sending them
the blame is also on you.


Please to explain how the holy f*ck you know who I voted for.
 
2012-12-28 08:08:48 AM
BMFPitt If we used the "War on Terror" as an actual war and said they were in for the duration, it is likely that no one enlisted today would live long enough to complete their tour.

I'd say if there is no criteria for winning, no definitive conditions of winning, and no actual enemy force then there should be no men sent into combat. Lots of bombs dropped from lots of planes and an odd shaped cloud or two perhaps, hypothetically, depending on the situation, but I don't think a nation should waste soldiers if there are no actual parameters of war.

As it is, given the exponential increase of war deaths until the end of WWII, think of all the soldiers that didn't get the benefit of only a year in combat before a respite. A year in combat is a year no matter the technology. Our soldiers have it much, much better in that regard and yet they're still offing themselves. I really don't think the length combat tours are the source of the problem.

Soldiers kill themselves when they get home. The problem is the on/off button which the US military (or any military, ever) hasn't made standard issue.
 
2012-12-28 08:15:02 AM

Mugato: Actually, given our choices, we voted in the candidate who got us out of Iraq and is getting us out of Afghanistan and didn't invade Iran or Syria. There isn't a whole lot else as voters we could have done.


Well, we could hold our executives responsible for acts of war.  Drone strikes, etc, etc.

but that's not really the point of my reply.  My reply was to natas6.0, who is displaying his ignorance quite proudly.  For him (and people like him), everyone else is to blame.  In natas6.0's world, only he is right, and everybody else is an idiot and has done something wrong, regardless of their actions.

It's the type of hubris only found in extraordinarily stupid people.
 
2012-12-28 08:16:30 AM

namatad: StoPPeRmobile: I'd take their farking car away.

lol
without chemically or physically restraining a suicide, there is nothing which can be done to prevent them from doing it when they are ready to do it.
therapy and support can go a long way to reducing the numbers, but removal of the means?? LOL


Man, you guys sure get defensive when I mention taking away your drivable penis substitutes.

You don't have a right to your death mobiles.

Let's try preventing the slaughter of 30,000 - 50,000 lives a year on the roads.
 
2012-12-28 08:19:34 AM
Is this because we stopped putting the ten commandments on the rifle barrels?
 
2012-12-28 08:20:01 AM
Oh, and is someone tracking these "Drone Strike" pilots?
 
2012-12-28 08:22:04 AM

CarnySaur: When I see someone that's depressed, I sing "You're Only Human" by Billy Joel, and then they're happy again. I think this should be standard practice in the military as well.


That's good, but my solution to depression...puppy therapy.  Sit in the middle of a bunch of puppies jumping around and it's nearly impossible to be sad.
 
2012-12-28 08:24:46 AM

liquidpoo: Suicides have been pretty bad for some years now, both with the active troops and even the veterans after they get out. For some reason this issue get little attention, yet things like sexual assaults make headline news.


Yeah victims of violent rape have all the luck. If you were violently raped, you would be all, "this sucks," until your story hit the press, then you'd be all, "awesome, and best of all I'm stealing attention from suicides. Sweet!"
 
2012-12-28 08:26:39 AM

StoPPeRmobile: Let's try preventing the slaughter of 30,000 - 50,000 lives a year on the roads.


In 22 of the last 30 years, the rate of traffic fatalities has dropped.  We haven't had a lower rate of traffic fatalities since World War 1.  Hell, the sheer number of fatalities has dropped 25% even without factoring in population over the last 10 years.  There haven't been 50,000 traffic deaths in the US since 1980, for Christ's sake.

TL;DR:  What the hell are you talking about?

i.imgur.com
 
2012-12-28 08:29:20 AM

WhyteRaven74: Optimus Primate: "Veteran" has become some kind of lifetime honor tag to be milked at every opportunity,

In the case of combat vets, what there is is nowhere near enough. If some need to be provided for for the rest of their lives, so be it, if we want to keep making them, we can damn well pay for what they need after.


Absolutely. If you are an actual Combat Vet, god bless you - and may the benefits and honors flow like a river. During the Gulf War Years, 90 percent of all active duty servicemen did nothing but work a really sh*tty job in one of the most poorly-managed comapnies in the USA. I just never saw the big deal. I served honorably then got out and never really looked back.
 
2012-12-28 08:29:57 AM
Military suicide rates doubled between 2001 and 2006, and continued upwards since, going up 25% last year.

We have a problem. Related to the fact that, despite what Hollywood usually implies, going to war will...screw you up. Badly.
 
2012-12-28 08:30:00 AM

taurusowner: Dull Cow Eyes: or comes back batshiat crazy with guns.

Can't say I've ever heard of that, ever. And I'm leaving for my third deployment soon.


Thank you for your service.
Please come back in one piece and don't commit suicide. The irreverant geniuses and morans of Fark are here for you.
 
2012-12-28 08:31:00 AM

So sleepy: taurusowner: Dull Cow Eyes: or comes back batshiat crazy with guns.

Can't say I've ever heard of that, ever. And I'm leaving for my third deployment soon.

Thank you for your service.
Please come back in one piece and don't commit suicide. The irreverant geniuses and morans of Fark are here for you.


Also, buy a better car. For chrissakes, a Taurus? Come on, man.
 
2012-12-28 08:34:54 AM

gadian: I really don't think the length combat tours are the source of the problem.


If the cause was legit, if the defense of their homeland was critical, if the reason for the war wasn't profit for business, then maybe they would have a chance.

Land war, east Asia, etc.
 
2012-12-28 08:36:09 AM

namatad: LOL a true suicide will find a way. trivially.


Agreed. Most organizations know this as well. In the end the military is not much different than the corporate state run mental health systems like where I work.

To them its not truly about the prevention of suicides. Its about the prevention of lawsuits stemming from suicides. The higher up the chain, the more concern focuses on whether *proper procedures* were followed rather than any sort of real pride at perhaps helping someone finding life worth living to age 100. When our staff gets pulled in for a "root cause analysis" (i.e. a patient committed suicide x amount of days after being hospitalized for being suicidal), we are asked about what we documented, whether the procedures were correctly followed, was anything forgotten, was allergies and timelines considered with all medications.

What they never seem to get is the humiliation that patients feel to be dragged in against their will, to have to have 'collateral" to babysit them, often a family member likewise embarrassed that they have to do such a thing for their mentally ill son or daughter. Meetings with groups of professionals to ask to have guns removed and medications locked up. They treat the patients as if mentally disabled rather than mentally ill. So what happens? They fake their way to recovery, overburdened doctors under pressure to fill in 100 tickboxes on every patient every 2 hours missing the subtler signs (or insurance refusing to pay longer stay) and they get discharged. And so families get broken apart when the patient finds a different way to carry out their plan, then turn outward to see what the hospital could've/should've done.

/Mind you its the Administration/Corporate Dronies I have a problem with.
//The people who work directly with patients however: different story. The one in a bunch that we legitimately are able to save makes it all worth it, so we keep trying.
///We walk this terrible and beautiful world together.
////Psych Nurse
 
2012-12-28 08:36:38 AM
Suicide among the civilian population can be categorized in three major groups. Divorcees (children of divorce and fathers), the elderly and homosexuals. Since the divorce rate among military families is epedimic, it should be no wonder why so many are offing themselves.
 
2012-12-28 08:37:09 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: way south: Wars cause the rates for violence, crime, and abuse to increase. It wouldn't be surprising to see suicide and a number of other bad things on that list.
...But the military has to go to war, that is its primary purpose. Most wars are political, chosen by Congress.

Seems to me the politicians are on the hook for this one.
Soldiers need more support after the state is done chewing them up and spitting them out. Congress controls the purse strings.

I'm sorry, but no.

Enough is enough.

There is a myth in the USA that somehow US soldiers are not looked after. In a small number of cases, this is true--I wholehartedly support the notion that soldiers should get complete medical and psychological assistance needed to 'make them whole' to the extent possible after time spent in harm's way.

However, the general idea that in the USA soldiers are somehow 'forgotten' or underfunded is absolute and total nonsense. What we have forgotten is that soldiers are a diverse bunch, and like every diverse bunch there are bound to be all manner of situations and people. Enlisted personnel in particular often come from difficult circumstances and, frankly, low educational achievement coming in, and then we somehow expect that they're entitled to $80,000 middle management jobs when they come out. Bollocks.

it has been estimated that the total compensation of even the lowliest US soldier is now in excess of $100,00 per year equivalent when you consider

- modest pay
- housing benefits
- health benefits
- job training benefits
- mortgage preferences and benefits
- retirement / pension benefits
- job preference benefits, occasionally written into law
- subsidized "other stuff" benefits from the government (insurance, etc)
- subsidized benefits from non-government sources
- tax benefits

the idea that we need to "spend more money" on soldiers is laughable. our soliders in WW2 accomplished far more for far, far less. They also didn't expect a few enlisted years to mean that they are entitled to live on those laurels for the rest of their lives. want proof? have a look at the LIFETIME medical benefits now offered to some 18 year old who goes to afghanistan, serves for two years total, and never leaves the base (and, as one who has been to afghanistan, let me be the first to say that for a certain percentage of people, that is not that uncommon). Such a person may well end up consuming several million dollars of benefit over their lifetime, but if you dare point out this obvius staggering inefficiency, you Hate America and are Worse Than Hitler.

(be sure to ask me also about the sham that is the 9/11 compensation fund, especially "9/11 syndrome")

it's easy to blame congress and "anonymous suits." it's easy to demand "more money" as if the fact that we spend in inflation-adjusted terms far more now on individual soldiers than any other arms ever has in the history of the world. it's harder to look at what's really going on and make hard choices.

Before you flame me, have a viewing of the recent "Music of War" movie about soldiers in iraq. Look at them and you'll come to realize that these are very ordinary people who both as a matter of pragmatism (they needed a job) and patriotism (in some cases) answered the country's call. They serve honorably, but it's a bit much to expect them to come out of there in some idealized way that a lot of you expect them to.

Yes, suicides are a problem Access to physical and mental health resources is a must. But, those are already quite widespread--more than the knee jerk commenters here might suspect. But the answer is not just "let's just have another BS litmus test of Real Americannness (tm) based on whether you support throwing an unlimited number of resources towards a ridiculously overglorified and unrealistic caricature of the American soldier."


This jibes with my experiences. I know many people that signed up for the bennies.
 
2012-12-28 08:37:57 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Also, buy a better car. For chrissakes, a Taurus? Come on, man.


I think it depends on which Taurus he has.

This
i.imgur.com
NEQ:
i.imgur.com
 
2012-12-28 08:39:02 AM

Serious Black: Amos Quito: Antidepressants?

War on drugs.

You can't fight one.

You have to take a 6 month supply of any drugs you're taking with you, and you have to have a written plan for how to get the remaining supply when your initial one runs out. It is a huge hassle.


"War on drugs" or "war, on drugs"?
 
2012-12-28 08:39:18 AM

Babwa Wawa: Runs_With_Scissors_: One Bad Apple: Yeah, sadly this is actually the preferred norm.

True, but suicide numbers are way up.

TFA has no information on how the suicide rate in the military matches up with non-military suicide rates in the US for the same age groups.  Without that context, it's a useless statistic.


Someone mentioned that, within the age group, non-military suicide rates are higher. Got no kinky, tho'.
 
2012-12-28 08:40:14 AM
BabwaWhiner
please explain how you know who I voted for

I don't need to know whick rich politician you gave authority to,
you gave it to one of the same idiots you give it to everytime, pinky.
This is how it works
your uninformed arse chooses the most charismatic politician running for office
or, you just listen to what your friends do
those people are responsible for sending our soldiers (sailors etc) into harm's way
so you bear part of the responsibility
I know...it's hard for you to fathom
 
2012-12-28 08:40:16 AM
Read the book Black Hearts. Hugged my puppy.

(not a euphemism)
 
2012-12-28 08:41:45 AM

Tat'dGreaser: I've been in for over a decade but never deployed. It's the greatest regret I'll have for the rest of my life. You can keep your apple pie, I just like being a soldier


And what kind of POG are you?
 
2012-12-28 08:44:16 AM
Don't forget that the military is all volunteer at this point. Its probably not a stretch to imagine that many such people felt out of options to begin with with.
 
2012-12-28 08:44:16 AM
Total US Services people Active & Reserve - 3,000,000
Suicides for 2012 - 303, Roughly 1 per 10,000

US Population - 311,000,000
Suicides for 2010 - 38,000, Roughly 1 per 8,000
 
2012-12-28 08:45:54 AM

a_room_with_a_moose: Babwa Wawa: Runs_With_Scissors_: One Bad Apple: Yeah, sadly this is actually the preferred norm.

True, but suicide numbers are way up.

TFA has no information on how the suicide rate in the military matches up with non-military suicide rates in the US for the same age groups.  Without that context, it's a useless statistic.

Someone mentioned that, within the age group, non-military suicide rates are higher. Got no kinky, tho'.


Kinky=linky. Auto-correct pwnd.
 
2012-12-28 08:48:25 AM

Optimus Primate: WhyteRaven74: Optimus Primate: "Veteran" has become some kind of lifetime honor tag to be milked at every opportunity,

In the case of combat vets, what there is is nowhere near enough. If some need to be provided for for the rest of their lives, so be it, if we want to keep making them, we can damn well pay for what they need after.

Absolutely. If you are an actual Combat Vet, god bless you - and may the benefits and honors flow like a river. During the Gulf War Years, 90 percent of all active duty servicemen did nothing but work a really sh*tty job in one of the most poorly-managed comapnies in the USA. I just never saw the big deal. I served honorably then got out and never really looked back.


fark you!

Part of one of the largest air drops the world has ever seen.
 
2012-12-28 08:48:50 AM

Schroedinger's Glory Hole: And what kind of POG are you?


That's the worst f*cking part, I'm a 12B
 
2012-12-28 08:52:00 AM

missmez: Don't forget that the military is all volunteer at this point. Its probably not a stretch to imagine that many such people felt out of options to begin with with.


People are probably going to be offended by that, but thats a good point. Not to mention homesickness, cultural shock, and that whole witnessing war thing. I wouldn't be surprised if the suicide rate is naturally high to begin with.
 
2012-12-28 08:53:24 AM

Babwa Wawa: AverageAmericanGuy: Also, buy a better car. For chrissakes, a Taurus? Come on, man.

I think it depends on which Taurus he has.

This

NEQ:


How can you even post that kind of thing? Aren't suicide rates high enough??
 
2012-12-28 08:53:59 AM

Tat'dGreaser: Look, it's there. The resources are there, but if you have NCOs and officers treating someone who is suicidal as a leper than that's the wrong answer. Why the hell would we yell at people so far at the top that they have no idea what's going on? Leadership is where it has to start. If you're an NCO and you do that to a soldier in need, then turn in your f*cking stripes.


The NCOs are just following orders. NPR did a piece on this a few years ago. The policy (in the army anyway) is that PTSD does not exist, and if anyone claims to have it, start building a disciplinary case against them so you can discharge them without the Army being liable for any followup care. Psychiatric services are underfunded and not being made available. Picture the situation at Walter Reed, only with brains instead of bodies. The NPR story included the case of a serviceman who, unable to get a military shrink to see him, checked himself into a civilian mental hospital, where the staff agreed with his own self-assessment that he was seriously nuts and needed to be committed. The army send some guys to extract him from the hospital at gunpoint. The story also featured a NCO who spouted the official line about PTSD being something that flakey soldiers were making up, until he could no longer deny that he had it himself.

PTSD, under one name or another, has been known since at least WWI and acknowledged by the military since at least WWII. Things seem to have gone backwards.
 
2012-12-28 08:54:05 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: way south: Wars cause the rates for violence, crime, and abuse to increase. It wouldn't be surprising to see suicide and a number of other bad things on that list.
...But the military has to go to war, that is its primary purpose. Most wars are political, chosen by Congress.

Seems to me the politicians are on the hook for this one.
Soldiers need more support after the state is done chewing them up and spitting them out. Congress controls the purse strings.

I'm sorry, but no.

Enough is enough.

There is a myth in the USA that somehow US soldiers are not looked after. In a small number of cases, this is true--I wholehartedly support the notion that soldiers should get complete medical and psychological assistance needed to 'make them whole' to the extent possible after time spent in harm's way.

However, the general idea that in the USA soldiers are somehow 'forgotten' or underfunded is absolute and total nonsense. What we have forgotten is that soldiers are a diverse bunch, and like every diverse bunch there are bound to be all manner of situations and people. Enlisted personnel in particular often come from difficult circumstances and, frankly, low educational achievement coming in, and then we somehow expect that they're entitled to $80,000 middle management jobs when they come out. Bollocks.

it has been estimated that the total compensation of even the lowliest US soldier is now in excess of $100,00 per year equivalent when you consider

- modest pay
- housing benefits
- health benefits
- job training benefits
- mortgage preferences and benefits
- retirement / pension benefits
- job preference benefits, occasionally written into law
- subsidized "other stuff" benefits from the government (insurance, etc)
- subsidized benefits from non-government sources
- tax benefits

the idea that we need to "spend more money" on soldiers is laughable. our soliders in WW2 accomplished far more for far, far less. They also didn't expect a few enlisted years to mean tha ...


Interesting thoughts, because my gf's son is in the US Navy and when he talks about all the stuff he's getting for serving I often wonder if this guy the rare exception or have I just been fooled into believing that the enlisted men of our military are destitute.

And as far as this thread goes if the rate of suicide in the general population is higher than the military (as suggested by someone above) then there is no story here, right?
 
2012-12-28 08:55:01 AM

pciszek: The NCOs are just following orders. NPR did a piece on this a few years ago. The policy (in the army anyway) is that PTSD does not exist, and if anyone claims to have it, start building a disciplinary case against them so you can discharge them without the Army being liable for any followup care. Psychiatric services are underfunded and not being made available. Picture the situation at Walter Reed, only with brains instead of bodies. The NPR story included the case of a serviceman who, unable to get a military shrink to see him, checked himself into a civilian mental hospital, where the staff agreed with his own self-assessment that he was seriously nuts and needed to be committed. The army send some guys to extract him from the hospital at gunpoint. The story also featured a NCO who spouted the official line about PTSD being something that flakey soldiers were making up, until he could no longer deny that he had it himself.

PTSD, under one name or another, has been known since at least WWI and acknowledged by the military since at least WWII. Things seem to have gone backwards.


This is the biggest pile of sh*t I have ever read
 
2012-12-28 08:57:26 AM

Tat'dGreaser: WhyteRaven74: It's far bigger than that, it's an us problem. If we put our collective foot down and demanded people in need be taken care of, the Army would be doing it so fast the stars on a general's shoulders would start spinning.

Look, it's there. The resources are there, but if you have NCOs and officers treating someone who is suicidal as a leper than that's the wrong answer. Why the hell would we yell at people so far at the top that they have no idea what's going on? Leadership is where it has to start. If you're an NCO and you do that to a soldier in need, then turn in your f*cking stripes.


If you weren't favorited already, I'd favorite you for this.
 
2012-12-28 08:59:12 AM

durbnpoisn: Let me make two nifty points here. One for real, the other from a novel...


Now the point here is, what the bloody hell are we still doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?!


We're not in Iraq. We left there a year ago. And we're in Afghanistan training their soldiers and cops to keep the Taliban from coming back into power and ruining everyone's lives there while providing a safe haven for Al Qaeda. And we're leaving Afghanistan in 2014.

and we can't find enough money to prevent economic collapse at the end of this year.


There's plenty of money; government borrowing costs are at historic lows. The fiscal cliff wouldn't cause an economic collapse if it went into effect, it would just slow the rate of recovery and cause unnecessary pain both on the tax and spending side.
 
2012-12-28 08:59:24 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: way south: Wars cause the rates for violence, crime, and abuse to increase. It wouldn't be surprising to see suicide and a number of other bad things on that list.
...But the military has to go to war, that is its primary purpose. Most wars are political, chosen by Congress.

Seems to me the politicians are on the hook for this one.
Soldiers need more support after the state is done chewing them up and spitting them out. Congress controls the purse strings.

I'm sorry, but no.

Enough is enough.

There is a myth in the USA that somehow US soldiers are not looked after. In a small number of cases, this is true--I wholehartedly support the notion that soldiers should get complete medical and psychological assistance needed to 'make them whole' to the extent possible after time spent in harm's way.

However, the general idea that in the USA soldiers are somehow 'forgotten' or underfunded is absolute and total nonsense. What we have forgotten is that soldiers are a diverse bunch, and like every diverse bunch there are bound to be all manner of situations and people. Enlisted personnel in particular often come from difficult circumstances and, frankly, low educational achievement coming in, and then we somehow expect that they're entitled to $80,000 middle management jobs when they come out. Bollocks.

it has been estimated that the total compensation of even the lowliest US soldier is now in excess of $100,00 per year equivalent when you consider

- modest pay
- housing benefits
- health benefits
- job training benefits
- mortgage preferences and benefits
- retirement / pension benefits
- job preference benefits, occasionally written into law
- subsidized "other stuff" benefits from the government (insurance, etc)
- subsidized benefits from non-government sources
- tax benefits

the idea that we need to "spend more money" on soldiers is laughable. our soliders in WW2 accomplished far more for far, far less. They also didn't expect a few enlisted years to mean tha ...


Just wanted to say, as an active duty soldier for the past decade, so much THIS. Soldiers have a wealth of resources unavailable to the regular Joe, and while you can argue they earned it, there's no denying the fact that we have all kinds of (free) classes to enhance our non-Military employment. I love my bros/sisters-in-arms but at the end of the day, if you don't have marketable skills, you don't have marketable skills. I wish them all the best but people aren't likely to hire you just because you were in the armed forces.

That said, as a medic, it does break my heart to see the high number of suicides. Had one in my BN a month ago. It always seems so preventable in hindsight but, just, uuuugh. And to address the earlier posts--yes, there is almost always a SO of some sort involved. Not casting blame in their direction, a lot of sSoldiers make stupid decisions in the romance dept., just saying in ten years of AD it has been a common denominator.
 
2012-12-28 09:00:51 AM

PanicMan: If you weren't favorited already, I'd favorite you for this.


Sha-bam

You're welcome!
 
2012-12-28 09:02:23 AM

Tat'dGreaser: pciszek: The NCOs are just following orders. NPR did a piece on this a few years ago. The policy (in the army anyway) is that PTSD does not exist, and if anyone claims to have it, start building a disciplinary case against them so you can discharge them without the Army being liable for any followup care. Psychiatric services are underfunded and not being made available. Picture the situation at Walter Reed, only with brains instead of bodies. The NPR story included the case of a serviceman who, unable to get a military shrink to see him, checked himself into a civilian mental hospital, where the staff agreed with his own self-assessment that he was seriously nuts and needed to be committed. The army send some guys to extract him from the hospital at gunpoint. The story also featured a NCO who spouted the official line about PTSD being something that flakey soldiers were making up, until he could no longer deny that he had it himself.

PTSD, under one name or another, has been known since at least WWI and acknowledged by the military since at least WWII. Things seem to have gone backwards.

This is the biggest pile of sh*t I have ever read


As in untrue, or it is shiat that they are doing this?

Because it sounds exactly like the NPR story on traumatic brain injuries and the army denying that they were a real thing.
 
2012-12-28 09:02:47 AM
The solution is to place armed teachers inside every military base.
 
2012-12-28 09:04:27 AM

liam76: As in untrue, or it is shiat that they are doing this?

Because it sounds exactly like the NPR story on traumatic brain injuries and the army denying that they were a real thing.


As in complete fabrication bullsh*t
 
2012-12-28 09:05:08 AM

vygramul: It says something about how few combat deaths we have had.


Yeah. I'm not sure this entirely sad news
 
2012-12-28 09:05:58 AM

durbnpoisn: Now the point here is, what the bloody hell are we still doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?! The primary objectives (useless as they were), were accomplished. We should never have been there to start with.


Why shouldn't we have been in Afghanistan? The Taliban were harboring Al Qaeda... What else were we supposed to do?
 
2012-12-28 09:05:59 AM
Taliban: "yesssss, our master plan is working!"
 
2012-12-28 09:06:15 AM

The All-Powerful Atheismo: I'm indifferent to the method of their demise, but fark those guys.


I had my boss do himself in via the David Carradine method...

I didn't stop laughing for a week.
 
2012-12-28 09:09:57 AM

gadian: I find it amusing that today we find 12 month tours ridiculous when in not too distant history one went to war until the war was over or they were killed / nearly killed.

There are systems in place for suicidal soldiers, but soldiers are too ashamed to use the systems because it looks bad on their record, or to their superiors, or to their families, or to themselves. Fix the macho attitudes, fix the "mental health" stamp of death on military hospital documents and you'll start to fix your soldiers. However, one might suppose part of the problem lies in the fact that more soldiers are living from injuries that should have killed them, would have twenty years ago. Sure, you're keeping their brains active, but are you saving their lives?


Two things. First, those times when you would fight until the war is over has a different level of OPTEMPO. As a for instance, the average line company in WWII would serve 1 month in active combat, with another month or two for consolidation and reorganization off the line (some specific engagements notwithstanding). In addition, there was a helluva lot more down time. Going back even earlier to say, the Civil War, you'd have a engagement that lasted for at most, 3-4 days, then have down time. To say nothing of the fact that nighttime was down time for both sides. That's changed. As an example, the Army's 12 month deployment. You get at most, 2 weeks and maybe three days out of the combat environment. The rest of the time, it's game on. There are no lines, there is no respite. You are in a combat environment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That's including day missions, night missions (due to technology, we fight more at night compared to wars past). If you're lucky, you might get a day off every two weeks. The rest of that is combat operations. Hell, even Fobbits are at risk from suicide bombers and mortar and rocket fire. Couple that with the uncertainty of who the enemy is, and you have a recipe for higher baseline levels of stress.

This does a number on your autonomic nervous system. When you engage the sympathetic nervous system (aka fight or flight) on such a regular basis, it increases the allostatic load, decreasing the ability to recover from stressors. In short, the internal "thermostat" if you will, gets reset to operate at higher levels of adrenaline. This is without the addition of traumatic events (i.e. getting IED'd, firefights, etc.) Even still, when individuals were in prior wars, the effects of combat were still evident, we just didn't speak of them the way we do now. It was called "nostalgia" or "soldier's heart" or "shell shock" or "battle fatigue." The signs and symptoms were all there, it was just considered a moral failing, one that wasn't discussed in polite conversation. That's why every one has the story of the grandfather, father, or uncle that came back from war and started drinking heavily, or beating their kids, or cheating on spouses. It was a dirty family secret.

As for the services available, there is some improvement that can be made, as there always is. I will give credit to the military, the services available to returning service members since the beginnings of Iraq and Afghanistan have increased immeasurably. Granted, many of the briefings are of a more "check the block" affair, and the stigma within the military is still high. It's decreasing, but it's still there. The military culture of "suck it up and drive on" plays a big part. One thing people forget about this mentality is it's only useful when there is a definitive end in sight. Without that end, it's only a load of self-abuse. To fix this, there has to be a cultural shift. (As way of disclosure, I'm a Vet and also work as a counselor for veterans with PTSD and other readjustment difficulties. Take that as you will). One of the biggest ways I find making counseling more palatable is I refer to it as training. It's simple: we were trained before deployment, we were trained during deployment, and sometimes we need training to retune our skills to return home.
 
2012-12-28 09:10:26 AM

mbillips: durbnpoisn: Let me make two nifty points here. One for real, the other from a novel...


Now the point here is, what the bloody hell are we still doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?!

We're not in Iraq. We left there a year ago. And we're in Afghanistan training their soldiers and cops to keep the Taliban from coming back into power and ruining everyone's lives there while providing a safe haven for Al Qaeda. And we're leaving Afghanistan in 2014.

and we can't find enough money to prevent economic collapse at the end of this year.


There's plenty of money; government borrowing costs are at historic lows. The fiscal cliff wouldn't cause an economic collapse if it went into effect, it would just slow the rate of recovery and cause unnecessary pain both on the tax and spending side.



Okay, I'll give you that troup withdrawal is in full swing in Iraq. But we still spent WAY too much time there, and countless innocents dies in the meantime.
Afghanistan... Yeah, we are training the military and the police, and they are turning around and using that training against OUR troops. I'm sorry that the Taliban is so powerful there. I'm sorry that they are a bunch of fanatical nutcases. But we never gave a crap about that until we heard that they were hosting Bin Laden. Well, he's dead now. And it turns out that Pakistan, our supposed ally, was the one hosting him at that time. Why hasn't there been more of an uproar about that?!

At this point, we have no interest in Afghanistan. Our troops didn't upset or distabalize anything there. Yet we are STILL there, and there doesn't really seem to be any sort of resolution or exit plan in sight.
 
2012-12-28 09:14:49 AM
i.qkme.me
 
2012-12-28 09:15:04 AM

Tat'dGreaser: Schroedinger's Glory Hole: And what kind of POG are you?

That's the worst f*cking part, I'm a 12B


Engiqueer, I can respect that. At least you folk aren't the ones always saying, "But but but we're all on the same team."
 
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