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Soldier Suicide: An Army of One

By TLS | August 16, 2007

I’m probably going to sound like a bleeding heart liberal in this post, but what can I say? This is ridiculous. The Kansas City Star reported today that suicides by soldiers reached it’s highest rate in 26 years. Ninety nine soldiers deaths were officially ruled suicides in 2006. The news story said:

“The report found depression and hopelessness drove troops to commit suicide.”

It also pointed out that:

“A soldier was more likely to attempt suicide if he or she had served more than one tour in a war zone, but it did not measure how much that risk increased with each deployment.”

I’m sorry, but I’m sure the war is getting old to our troops. My military friends tell me it’s frustrating, because they feel like their hands are tied and they can’t do their job to the best of their abilities due to all the rules, oversight, political correctness, and media all over the place. That plus the fact that there appears to be major lack of leadership from the top.

Amazingly, News Limited, citing the same report, states that:

“Among soldiers who killed themselves in 2006, 27 were in Iraq and three were in Afghanistan.”

Plus, it said that:

“The army also recorded 948 serious suicide attempts which required hospitalisation or evacuation as well as two deaths with unclear causes still under investigation.”

The suicide rate is well above the rate of suicides for the general population. It appears to me that this is a major problem. There is obviously more stress and pressure and other factors associated with military (especially active combat) service than what most people deal with day to day, so I suppose this kind of thing can be expected to a point.

However, when the rate is at its highest in 26 years, something needs to be done. I suspect that it may help alleviate the depression and hopelessness if the troops were to feel like they had a workable plan and an inspiring leader.

I hope the next Administration can better the situation.

Topics: Politics |

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