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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Soldier Suicides in Iraq

For months, E&P has been highlighting the shocking number of suicides among U.S. troops in Iraq -- and veterans back home. Now there is another apparently added to the toll. You can comment here on my article about the latest case, or another current E&P story on Tom Ricks' sober view of the "turnaround" in Iraq.... http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003677275

17 comments:

W2JIG said...

Hi Greg! Congrats on your blog and your forthcoming book.

I've been criticizing the reporting on suicide at my blog; be interested in your thoughts.

Sensationalizing Suicide II

Army Mom said...

Gimme a break. The guys who commit suicide would probably do the same in any type of tough situation, whether it be war or bad times at home. This is a volunteer ARMY. If you're not willing or able to fight and serve overseas, don't join the army.
People are just looking for any reason to blast America's military forces.

aviationsucks said...

Yeah the only person to blame is his wife.I cant believe she lies to the reporters face.I hope she feels really bad right now.I am a friend of Spc Henley.This is my third tour to iraq.Nothing has changed me.Suicide is a weak way out.And on the other hand alot of us are very upset.I also note hope alot of people read this.His Ncos failed him.A bunch of worthless leaders in the army nowadays.

Greg Mitchell said...

Aviation, drop me a line at the listed email address (epic1934@aol.com) if you want to talk more about Spc. Henley, thanks. Greg Mitchell

Bud said...

Greg, dark side or not, I'm happy you're doing this because I need a reminder to get over and read you. This will do fine. I loved the scorcese film so I won't bother with the Haynes flick. You picked out my favorite lines, by the way.

chris in sacto said...

As a registered nurse who was active duty for 4 years in the Air Force, some of the comments on this blog are shocking to me.

army mom: It is not true that "guys who commit suicide would probably do the same in any type of tough situation." The Iraq War is unique. Tours have never been extended like they are with this conflict, in essence, it is a backdoor draft and not voluntary. There's no down time; it's a fishbowl, their barracks and chow hall are subject to bombs. In other conflicts, troops could withdraw behind friendly lines. Returning troops are not getting the medical/psychological services they need.

aviationsucks: "Suicide is a weak way out" how terribly sad for you to feel that way. Blaming his wife is a psychological phenomenon called "displacement." I hope you receive whatever help you need.

In the county I live in last month, there was an active duty Marine who started shooting highway signs and graduated to several animals in pastures. He killed a bull and shot several sheep, killed two and killed a family dog who was 2 yrs old. If he hadn't been arrested, it was just a matter of time before he shot and killed a human being. This is not someone who's weak, isn't tough, or not willing or able to fight overseas. If you want him in your neighborhood, let me know.

Bud said...

I seem to have commented on the wrong one. I too am shocked by some of the reaction we still get from people regarding this conflict. The fact that people are so displaced from reality may be the bigger tragedy of this war.

Andrew said...

Displacement from reality apparently affects the families of soldiers who risk so much for Freedom, but as Bushies themselves know only lies as dogma worth dying for. There are far too many variables, and WAY too many suicides still to come to put even one single suicide off to simple weakness. That's just horseshit.

Jenny said...

Hi Greg, I found your blog by following a link from expectingrain.com about Dylan, but I'm interested in your investigation of the rise in suicides in the military. I emailed CBS Investigates last week about their own story on the subject, asking them to look into whether there might be a link between this rise and the date that the VA and the rest of the military began medicating their members with the new breed of psychotropic anti-depressants. Have you thought of this angle? Due to a tragic personal event in my own life, I became aware of the devastating toll these drugs have been and are taking upon the general population worldwide. These drugs, such as wellbutrin, paxil, etc. cause not only suicide but also homicidal attacks upon one's own loved ones. During my family's own crisis, I happened to read that the military is promoting the use of these drugs by men and women in combat in Iraq. I don't have the wherewithal to investigate that statement for its truth but perhaps you do? Admittedly, I am now completely biased against the huge international pharmacy corporations, but I feel from the bottom of my heart that this is what is causing this huge increase in suicides amongst our fighting men and women. These drugs adversely affect about two to five percent of the total of those taking them. The effect is suicide, homicide, heartbreaking stories of people killing their family members and then "coming to" (so to speak) whilst in jail. Two to five percent doesn't sound like much, but when the total prescribed is some number in the millions just in the U.S. alone the figure is astounding and frightening. These soldiers don't deserve this. I'm sure it is not their fault that they are killing themselves in these numbers. I'm sure of it. Thanks. Jenny Rapuzzi

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