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Army Suicides Rise to Record Levels in July
National Journal ^ | 8/13/11 | Yochi J. Dreazen

Posted on 08/13/2011 7:52:08 PM PDT by Mikey_1962

There were 32 Army suicides in July, the highest monthly toll ever recorded. The grim figure underscores the military’s continuing inability to find ways of preventing troubled soldiers from taking their own lives.

Military officials said 22 active-duty soldiers were thought to have taken their own lives last month, along with 10 reservists. The incidents are under investigation, and it'll be several weeks before the Army definitively rules on each case. If the numbers hold up, July will be the worst month for Army suicide in two years, since the Army first began releasing monthly suicide data. The previous record was June 2010, when 31 soldiers committed suicide.

Senior Army generals have devoted considerable resources towards suicide prevention in recent years, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop new military-wide training programs and to hire thousands of additional mental-health personnel. Top officials have also fought the stigma surrounding mental health in the military by encouraging soldiers to seek help, and stressing that psychological maladies like post-traumatic stress disorder should get the same respect as physical injuries like scars or lost limbs.

Still, the military’s suicide problem—fueled by the strains of repeat deployments to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—shows no signs of abating. In 2010, 301 active-duty, reserve, and National Guard soldiers committed suicide, up from 242 in 2009. In 2008, the military’s suicide rate exceeded that of the general population for the first time ever. All told, more than 1,000 military personnel have taken their own lives since the start of the two wars.

"Every suicide represents a tragic loss to our Army and the nation,” Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff, said in a written release. “While the high number of potential suicides in July is discouraging, we are having a positive impact.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nationaljournal.com ...


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: armysuicides; militarysuicides; psychology; ptsd; suicide; usarmy
Sad. Very sad.
1 posted on 08/13/2011 7:52:13 PM PDT by Mikey_1962
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To: Mikey_1962

Our military can only take so much. Ten years of war is very trying on anyone. It’s time to end this crap and bring them home. I don’t want to give Obama credit for doing this but put and end to it....NOW.


2 posted on 08/13/2011 7:57:04 PM PDT by RC2
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To: Mikey_1962
Luckily, they have a CINC who has their backs.

</sarcasm tag for the idiots who cannot recognize sarcasm>

3 posted on 08/13/2011 8:04:36 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Regulation is government control of capital, and government control of capital is socialism.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Great sarcasm. I wonder is any left a suicide note disgusted by POSOTUS or ROE.

Condolences to families and friends.


4 posted on 08/13/2011 8:11:00 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: Mikey_1962

During Casualty Notification Officer training, those of us who do that duty are told that informing a family of a suicide is the hardest kind of notification to make.

I had to make that kind of notification. I will never forget the look on the mother’s face.


5 posted on 08/13/2011 8:11:19 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Mikey_1962

Another aspect of the repeal of DADT...gay (homosexual and lesbian) suicide rates are higher than for straights. The repeal of DADT will import more suicides and health-related issues into the military. Nice job, Democrats and RINOs!


6 posted on 08/13/2011 8:12:07 PM PDT by CitizenUSA (Bad is easy. Anyone can do bad. Good, OTOH, is work. It takes discipline.)
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To: Mikey_1962

0bama will call it Bush’s fault???


7 posted on 08/13/2011 8:28:08 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( )))))
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To: exDemMom

Thank you for your service to this Republic. May the soul of each departed rest in peace.


8 posted on 08/13/2011 8:30:38 PM PDT by aposiopetic
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To: aposiopetic

Amen!


9 posted on 08/13/2011 8:34:57 PM PDT by johngrace (1 John 4)
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To: Mikey_1962

Related thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2762898/posts


10 posted on 08/13/2011 8:45:28 PM PDT by thouworm (.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

While Obama thinks his stress has been so great he requires repeated vacations to Martha’s Vineyard.


11 posted on 08/13/2011 8:51:23 PM PDT by caper gal 1 (Rubio/Ryan Ryan/Rubio 2012)
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To: CitizenUSA

This is just another example of 0bama destroying the country from within. He is trying to gut the military not just financially but psychologically.

Treason every day from this guy. It is sabotage. He executes his evil brilliantly. Rev Wright and Bill Ayers must be proud.


12 posted on 08/13/2011 9:07:17 PM PDT by ThurstonHowell3
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To: Mikey_1962

Can’t imagine the state of mind that leads to a serviceperson to take their own life. Nor can I think of anything more painful for their families and loved ones.

Prayers for all affected by this.


13 posted on 08/13/2011 9:08:04 PM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Those who love liberty love Sarah)
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To: CitizenUSA

I don’t think it is the gays coming in that caused the suicides to increase. They at most are in Basic Training right now. They just lifted it a minute ago. In fact, come to think of it, the ban is not lifted until September.


14 posted on 08/13/2011 10:43:36 PM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: Mikey_1962

I’d really like to see the stats on how many were taking the ‘stop smoking’ prescription drug Chantix (suicide and suicidal tendencies/thoughts is one of the side effects)and other psych drugs with the same side effects.


15 posted on 08/13/2011 11:52:10 PM PDT by libertarian27 (Agenda21: Dept. of Life, Dept. of Liberty and the Dept. of Happiness)
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To: Mikey_1962
Just a little math:

"In 2010, 301 active-duty, reserve, and National Guard soldiers committed suicide"

"As of 30 September 2010, 1,430,895 people were on active duty[15] in the military, with an additional 848,000 people in the seven reserve components.[3]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Armed_Forces

"National Guard: Size 467,587 end strength (FY2009) Part of National Guard Bureau"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Guard_of_the_United_States

Therefore, the Suicide Rate in the Army then is 301 Suicides for 1,430K Regular Army Active, 848K Reserve, and 467K National Guard. OR:

Suicides: 301
Personnel: 2,746,000

A suicide rate of about 0.011%, or 1 in every 9,122 troops.

Another fact: "Risk factors for suicide: As well as being male, several other risk factors for suicide have been identified. Age: suicide in men peaks in the 20s and again in the 60s and 70s."

Given a large bias in that community of young males, let's see what the suicide rate is among young males in the United States:

"21.9 per 100,000 people", or a rate of 0.022% among tthe general young male population in the U.S.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_sui_rat_you_mal-health-suicide-rate-young-males

Therefore, we can conclude that the annual rate of suicide among U.S. troops (0.011%) is roughly half that of their cohort (0.022%).

Reduce American Suicides: Join the Army!

16 posted on 08/14/2011 12:05:23 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Gore Lauds Romney on Climate Position; 0bamaCare was based on RomneyCare.)
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To: RC2; E. Pluribus Unum; PGalt; CitizenUSA; Two Kids' Dad; johngrace; thouworm; caper gal 1; ...
While any suicide is tragic, see above where within 5 minutes I proved that suicide in the Army is about half the rate in the civilian population.

Beware MSM Spin in Full Anti-American Mode!

17 posted on 08/14/2011 12:10:18 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Gore Lauds Romney on Climate Position; 0bamaCare was based on RomneyCare.)
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To: Uncle Miltie
Reduce American Suicides: Join the Army!
18 posted on 08/14/2011 12:16:56 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Gore Lauds Romney on Climate Position; 0bamaCare was based on RomneyCare.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

Lousy POS “Journalist.”


19 posted on 08/14/2011 12:20:00 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Gore Lauds Romney on Climate Position; 0bamaCare was based on RomneyCare.)
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To: Mikey_1962
Yes, it is sad but true.

We had a Guardsman take his life here in Vermont a few days ago.

Wife, 3 children, 18 years regular and 3 years in the Guards, numerous decorations and mulitiple tours in Iraq and Af-Gan.

Though we Nam Vets had more than our share of suicides, I'm thinking percentage-wise the rate is much higher now than we exerienced and confounding, considering the strives made about exposing and treating PTSD, which was not very well known or discussed back then, at least not until well afer the end of that little "conflict."

20 posted on 08/14/2011 2:53:06 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: Mikey_1962
Yes, it is sad but true.

We had a Guardsman take his life here in Vermont a few days ago.

Wife, 3 children, 18 years regular and 3 years in the Guards, numerous decorations and mulitiple tours in Iraq and Af-Gan.

Though we Nam Vets had more than our share of suicides, I'm thinking percentage-wise the rate is much higher now than we exerience and confounding, considering the strives made about exposing and treating PTSD, which was not very well known or discussed back then.

21 posted on 08/14/2011 2:54:10 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: napscoordinator

I’m not making the claim that the repeal of DADT has caused an increase in suicides (yet). However, the military really pushes physical fitness and suicide prevention these days. Unless you work around the military, you don’t understand. Being marginal at doing one’s job won’t normally get you kicked out, but heaven help you if you fail do to the requisite number of push ups or situps. As for suicide prevention, they are constantly briefing people to look out for each other to prevent it.

With that in mind, military leadership and our political overseers appear completely unconcerned about enlisting and commissioning open homosexuals, even though homosexuals and lesbians have a higher suicide rate than heterosexuals, and homosexuality is an inherently unhealthy lifestyle.

Even though some homosexuals served during DADT, the military did not welcome them, and I think many were discouraged from joining. In other words, homosexuality will probably be more prevalent in the military now that DADT is repealed. That means an increased likelihood of suicides, AIDS, and other mental and physical health issues. Of course, none of that matters if one is more concerned about a political agenda than military readiness.


22 posted on 08/14/2011 5:08:26 AM PDT by CitizenUSA (Bad is easy. Anyone can do bad. Good, OTOH, is work. It takes discipline.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

Thanks for the math breakout!

The MSM strikes again, they do this with glowball warming stats and unemployment numbers, we should not assume they are using the right calculator for any report....


23 posted on 08/14/2011 8:15:13 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Agenda21: Dept. of Life, Dept. of Liberty and the Dept. of Happiness)
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To: Uncle Miltie
While any suicide is tragic, see above where within 5 minutes I proved that suicide in the Army is about half the rate in the civilian population.

Good catch.

24 posted on 08/14/2011 8:27:21 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Regulation is government control of capital, and government control of capital is socialism.)
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To: CitizenUSA

I totally get what you are saying. Just retired in June after 24 years.....that is so true about the PT....lol.


25 posted on 08/14/2011 10:47:22 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Subject: Re: Basic Research Please
From: ydreazen@nationaljournal.com
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 03:12:11 -0400
To: (Uncle Miltie)

I have spent several years reporting on military suicide, and have lost several friends to it. Setting aside the churlish tenor of your email, it’s also inaccurate. In 2008, the Army’s suicide rate was 20.2 per 100,000 people, compared with a civilian rate of 19.5 per 100,000, the first time that the military rate exceeded the civilian one (The Centers for Disease Control say the overall civilian suicide rate was 11 per 100,000 for 2005 — the most recent year available — but the Army adjusts the figure to reflect the military’s younger and much more heavily male demographics.) The Army’s suicide rate was 12.7 per 100,000 in 2005, 15.3 in 2006 and 16.8 in 2007. In Congressional testimony and a multitude of internal reports, both the military and the CDC have regularly acknowledged that the military suicide rate is higher than the civilian one. You might want to do better homework next time.

Y


Yeah, we can continue this conversation over my uncle’s or brother’s graves, or in the suicide watch lockup where my daughter spent time twice.

I pointed to age and gender adjusted statistics. Your article did not.

Show me where in the statistics I pointed to (in 5 minutes of research) I got something wrong.

If you’re going to print an article, at least show that you’ve taken into account the standard adjustments for age and gender. If you have proof that military suicides are higher than civilian ones, you may wish to cite such evidence (you still have no citations anywhere so far) so that your article appears to be factually based and unbiased, rather than intellectually weak.

Your article reeks of anti-military bias unless you “show your work.” You wouldn’t have passed my Mrs. Anderson’s sixth grade class for math.

(Uncle Miltie)



26 posted on 08/14/2011 11:46:23 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Gore Lauds Romney on Climate Position; 0bamaCare was based on RomneyCare.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

To: ydreazen@nationaljournal.com

Okay, so having read your bio, you’re not the jerk that I expected from the Main Stream Media. I apologize for the tone of my communications. Thanks for doing the right thing and going with the troops.

Nonetheless, it seems my statistical criticism of your article stands until refuted with documentation. What shall we have as articles; mere sob stories into which any good student of college statistics can shoot holes? Or, with a couple of good citations and explanations of the adjusted statistics, a well supported article that accomplishes both editorial interest and the ability to withstand simple criticism?

Show me and your readers that on an age and gender adjusted basis that suicides in the Army are higher than their analagous cohort in the civilian population, and then you have a strong article. Otherwise, all you have is a sob story with no assuredness that it isn’t written by a leftist hack.

Which, apparently, you aren’t. So I’ll hereby retract my insinuations to the contrary, and stand by for your statistcally solid analysis.

(Uncle Miltie)

Yochi J. Dreazen
Senior National Security Correspondent
ydreazen@nationaljournal.com

Yochi Dreazen is a senior correspondent for National Journal Group covering military affairs and national security. Prior to joining National Journal, Dreazen reported for the Wall Street Journal, most recently as its military correspondent. During his 11 years at the Journal, Dreazen made more than 30 lengthy trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, spending a total of five years on the ground in the two countries, primarily doing frontline combat embeds and other reporting from the two war zones. He first arrived in Iraq with the Fourth Infantry Division in April 2003 and spent the next two-and-a-half years in Baghdad as the Journal’s main Iraq correspondent. Dreazen has reported from more than 40 countries, including Japan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia and China. A native of Chicago, Dreazen attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he edited the award-winning daily campus newspaper and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1999 with degrees in History and English. In 2010, he received the Military Reporters & Editors Association’s top award for domestic military reporting for a series of articles about military suicide and the psychological traumas impacting veterans of the two long wars. Dreazen lives in Washington with his wife Annie and their beloved Golden Retriever, Charlie.


27 posted on 08/14/2011 12:10:36 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Gore Lauds Romney on Climate Position; 0bamaCare was based on RomneyCare.)
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To: Uncle Miltie
Good stats. Thanks for the facts, Miltie.

On a semi-related note, I had a friend (late 40s) kill himself at the beginning of this year and it was painful to get the news, but I've come to the conclusion that he chose his terms and he weighed all his options and did what he thought was appropriate in his own unique circumstance. Didn't do a murder-suicide, didn't cause physical harm to any others, didn't go out in a blaze of glory in some dramatic public fashion. His friends and family will miss him dearly, but in a weird way I can respect his choice based on all the factors in his situation; factors I'm not willing to discuss publicly.

28 posted on 08/14/2011 12:42:45 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( )))))
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To: Two Kids' Dad

Oh, and he had no military connection at all. That’s why it was only semi-related.


29 posted on 08/14/2011 12:43:52 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( )))))
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