Showing posts with label suicide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suicide. Show all posts

September 5, 2008

An Alarming Trend in the Military

Is it sexual harassment? Alcohol abuse? Hazing?

While all of these are still problems prevalent in the military, on of the most alarming issues is the rise of suicides...

From an article in the Washington Post entitled Solider's Suicide Rate On Pace to Set Record, Col Eddie Stephens of states that:

" The Army's suicide rate has increased from 12.4 per 100,000 in 2003, when the Iraq war started, to 18.1 per 100,000 last year. Suicide attempts by soldiers have also increased since 2003, Stephens said. This year the death rate is likely to exceed that of a demographically similar segment of the U.S. population -- 19.5 per 100,000, Stephens said."

So what's causing this alarming trend?

"Failed relationships, legal and financial troubles, and the high stress of wartime operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are the leading factors linked to the suicides, Army officials said."

Failed Relationships-- what relationship wouldn't be stressed after being stationed overseas for years at a a time? The war has been going on since 2003... That's five years of service, even if you do get a break every now and then to visit...

Legal and Financial troubles-- what American isn't suffering financial troubles right now with the state of the economy? And most soldiers only make in the 20's or 30's to start.. That's not a lot, especially when you have a family to support, or debts from prior to joining the service...

High stress of wartime operations in Iraq and Afghanistan-- War is stressful! No matter who a person is- and I've known plenty- they always come back changed from seeing and participating with the violent nature of war.

The military is taking steps to help those in need... But unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is contemplating suicide. And sometimes a person is determined to end their life and that there is no better way to deal with their concerns..

I think that after serving so long, and also the general attitude of the public towards the war, a soldier losses sight and motivation for what they are doing for our country. While I don't support the war, I will always support the current service members and the veterans who have contributed so much to our country...

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