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Military Suicides 'Out of Control'
The Northwest Florida Daily News Herald ^ | Monday, November 19, 2012 | Randal Yakey

Posted on 11/20/2012 8:34:10 AM PST by kristinn

CALLAWAY — Libby Busbee pounded on the window of her son’s maroon Dodge Charger as he sat in the driveway of their home earlier this year. Locked inside his car, U.S. Army Spc. William Busbee sat with a .45-caliber gun pointed to the side of his head.

“Look at me,” his mother cried out as she tried to get her son’s attention. “Look at me.”

He wouldn’t look.

He stared out the front windshield, distant, Busbee said, relating the story from an apartment complex in Callaway.

“I kept yelling, ‘Don’t you do this. Don’t do it.’ He wouldn’t turn his head to look at me,” she said, looking down at the burning cigarette in her hand.

A 911 call was made. The police pulled her away from the car.

William, Libby Busbee’s 23-year-old son, was talking with a police officer when he fired a shot through the front windshield of his car, according to the police report.

The police recoiled. William rapped on the window in apparent frustration, the report indicated.

Then the second shot was heard.

“I knew that was the one,” said Libby Busbee.

William Busbee took his life in March with his mother and sisters looking on.

Casualty of war?

William Busbee was no casualty of the war in Afghanistan. He was a casualty of his own mind, his mother said.

Libby Busbee bowed her head, talking as she sat next to a bird-of-paradise on the front porch of her apartment. She could no longer live in the home on 12th Street.

“They wouldn’t let me talk to him,” she said, referring to the day her son shot himself. “I know if he was able to see me he wouldn’t have done it.”

According to a Veterans Affairs report this spring, a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 suicides have occurred since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. For every service member who dies in battle, 25 veterans die by their own hands.

According to a Pentagon report, more American active service members have killed themselves in the first six months of 2012 than in the first six months of any of the previous 11 years, The Associated Press reported.

The report reveals 154 service members killed themselves in the first 155 days of 2012 alone. The number of deaths by suicide is 50 percent higher than combat deaths in Afghanistan during the same period and an 18 percent increase over active service member suicides in the first six months of 2011.

And, while only 1 percent of Americans have served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, veterans of these conflicts represent 20 percent of all suicides in the United States, the VA reported.

SNIP


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: crapmanderinchief; democratsdemoralize; military; oefveterans; oifveterans; ptsd; suicide; suicides; wot
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To: manc
My oldest wants marine recon or navy seal, and I;ve told him there is no way in hell he will join whilst these PC policies are in place and obama is President especially after Libya and how oabma dealt with that

I had a coworker where he told me that when he wanted to join the service, his father, a Vietnam Vet told him that if he ever did, he's beat him to a pulp and disown him.
101 posted on 11/20/2012 12:46:12 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: ruesrose
I'm an amateur radio operator and I remember a lot of us talked to one ham who was a Navy vet from WWII. We liked the stories he told about his experiences, he just talked about the general life on ship like his job as an electrician's mate, how they had to shut the lights off to avoid detection from the Jap ships and subs in the pacific and so on. He had to walk in the dark using a flashlight with a slip on it. My father went to Korea (a few years after the war) and remembers how dark it was out over the Pacific and he could see the Milky Way as being very bright. Our WWII vet remembers the same. However, he told us a story that really pained him, he was resistant but he told us how ho ship got torpedoed and 256 of his shipmates were killed and the aftermath he experienced.

I also talked to another WWII vet who was on Tinian when both the Enola Gay and Bocks Car were loaded with the A-Bombs. He watched them do it first with the Enola Gay but did not know at the time. After Tibbits got back, he served him his drink at the officer's club and remembers Tibbets saying over and over again how powerful the bomb was and "What have we done?" My friend also remember fighting two Japanese soldiers at the same time, he shot one, bayonetted the other. he still had nightmares about it until he passed away this year at the age of 90.
102 posted on 11/20/2012 12:55:08 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: dfwgator

BTW, I think thee is a term that predates “shell shock,” during the Civil War and after, it was called “Soldier’s Heart.”


103 posted on 11/20/2012 12:59:08 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: Theoria

Not to be insensitive, one suicide is one too many, but this does not look like an epidemic. Data should be reported in #/100,000 on active duty in order to compare.


104 posted on 11/20/2012 1:21:35 PM PST by muskah
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To: fireforeffect

I’m not sure it’s reasonable with most suicides to hold commanders responsible. You can’t catch every signal, and you can’t watch everyone 24/7. There are some where signs and symptoms were so pronounced, and the command response so ignoring of what was taking place that you should hold a psych autopsy and then send letters to commander/nco files. I think that’s the exception rather than the rule, though.

I am interested in Guerra’s(sp) ideas, so if you find a link to them, please let me know. Once upon a time, I taught suicide prevention on a regional basis for the Army, but it was prior to Iraq/Afghanistan. I had a few months after 9/11 before I retired. (My posting from that time on FR probably can still be accessed.)

In any case, I’m coming down on the side of deployment tempo as a major culprit until I read something contrary. I think those periods of time when troops go from mind-blowing danger, back to near total safety, back to danger, back to safety mess with people’s heads and both lead them to think of death to much and of their own death and chance of buying it.

Then there are the other losses associated with year-long absences — broken marriages, relationships, financial opportunities,etc. Also, there are the images of horrifying deaths and wounds that accumulate in troops’ memories, and you have significant obstacles that they must deal with.

Couple that with the danger/safety cycle, and you have people whose heads have really been screwed with.

The last war we fought correctly was WWII. People were brought into service for the duration. It’s actually far more merciful to have the troops on active duty until the war is finished than to bring them in, take them out, bring them in, take them out.

Additionally, it forces the nation to either fight the war of get out.


105 posted on 11/20/2012 1:32:30 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: fireforeffect

I’m not sure it’s reasonable with most suicides to hold commanders responsible. You can’t catch every signal, and you can’t watch everyone 24/7. There are some where signs and symptoms were so pronounced, and the command response so ignoring of what was taking place that you should hold a psych autopsy and then send letters to commander/nco files. I think that’s the exception rather than the rule, though.

I am interested in Guerra’s(sp) ideas, so if you find a link to them, please let me know. Once upon a time, I taught suicide prevention on a regional basis for the Army, but it was prior to Iraq/Afghanistan. I had a few months after 9/11 before I retired. (My posting from that time on FR probably can still be accessed.)

In any case, I’m coming down on the side of deployment tempo as a major culprit until I read something contrary. I think those periods of time when troops go from mind-blowing danger, back to near total safety, back to danger, back to safety mess with people’s heads and both lead them to think of death to much and of their own death and chance of buying it.

Then there are the other losses associated with year-long absences — broken marriages, relationships, financial opportunities,etc. Also, there are the images of horrifying deaths and wounds that accumulate in troops’ memories, and you have significant obstacles that they must deal with.

Couple that with the danger/safety cycle, and you have people whose heads have really been screwed with.

The last war we fought correctly was WWII. People were brought into service for the duration. It’s actually far more merciful to have the troops on active duty until the war is finished than to bring them in, take them out, bring them in, take them out.

Additionally, it forces the nation to either fight the war or get out.


106 posted on 11/20/2012 1:33:08 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Those grounded in a strong faith tradition are generally speaking, better equipped emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to deal with extreme events.

The modern military is a reflection of the society and its members reflect the increasingly secularized population from which they are drawn.

 

Excellent points. And there are studies out there that confirm that soldiers from traditional families adjust better than those broken homes. And why should that surprise anyone? If children from broken homes are less likely to be educated and less likely to suceed in life; then if those same young people enter into the horrors of war coupled with an inept military?

It's a wonder the suicide rate is as low as it is.

107 posted on 11/20/2012 1:40:17 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: chrisser
maybe it's the heavy duty drugs they hand out easily
to the solders ... major sideffects of the drugs are
suicidal thoughts
108 posted on 11/20/2012 1:45:21 PM PST by freedommom
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To: chrisser
maybe it's the heavy duty drugs they hand out easily
to the solders ... major sideffects of the drugs are
suicidal thoughts
109 posted on 11/20/2012 1:45:28 PM PST by freedommom
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To: Nowhere Man

hint-hint... If such things are going on, I desire not to know. Lowering ourselves to the level of an evil opponent will only create more turmoil for us. We must always take the high road, even though the other is often tempting.

My comments were general, based upon observations, not specific statements by individuals. However, it is not hard to see and understand the bigger picture.


110 posted on 11/20/2012 1:49:19 PM PST by tired&retired
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To: MuttTheHoople

The military gets volunteers who are patriotic American-Americans, heterosexual and have a Western moral and ethical world view.

The military under a leftist regime, is the opposite of that and is hostile to American-Americans.

It’s probably terrible to end up risking your life for leaders who are your opposite and who don’t mind you dying in preference for the Muslims you are supposed to be fighting in a war. This “war” has been misrepresented to soldiers. They are being treated like social workers in service to the gross and hateful mentality of the Taliban/Muslim Brotherhood. Their politically correct leaders are amoral, delusional idiots.

Then, when they get home, they are harassed by ignorant leftist pigs who name their normal recovery and reintegration period, mental illness, and name them dangerous to society. This is worse than the way soldiers were treated after Nam. At least then the amoral leftist pigs were on the outside of society and you had some normal people to deal with when you got home. Now the leftists run society and they hate Americans - especially soldiers.


111 posted on 11/20/2012 1:49:19 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Straight Vermonter

The suicide rate for military had been half of that for the same age group civilian. It is now approaching equal numbers.


112 posted on 11/20/2012 2:01:33 PM PST by tired&retired
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To: chrisser

I had two back to back tours in Iraq and am now 100% disabled from PTSD and nerve injuries to my back which requires leg braces to walk. I have to confess that the thought of suicide did cross my mind as a release from horrible memories and the pain of physical disabilities. Being exposed to the blood and guts of combat was bad enough but I still have nightmares at the sight of a woman holding her baby, both shot in the head with the infant having a pacifier in his mouth. This was in one of the mass graves South of Baghdad where tens of thousands of people were massacred. The two factors that kept me from taking my life was the love of my family and my belief in God.


113 posted on 11/20/2012 2:08:17 PM PST by jesseam (eliev)
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To: xzins

I stood in a hospital room with several special forces guys and one of their own that was shot up pretty bad, including a couple of bullets to the face. The base commander walked over to the wounded soldier, pointed his finger in this young man’s face and said, “I got you covered.” “I got your backside.” Shortly thereafter, this same commander started dishonorable discharge papers against this young man.

Betrayed like this and you wonder why they want to commit suicide. The commander was following his orders from above or he would have lost his job. How can these people sleep at night?


114 posted on 11/20/2012 2:22:04 PM PST by tired&retired
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To: jesseam

Thank you for serving and for sharing.


115 posted on 11/20/2012 2:23:27 PM PST by tired&retired
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To: libertarian27
It may not even be the obvious drugs. I took Bextra for a whole three days. After that I wanted to end it.

Everything was fine. Marriage good, finances good, work going very well, feeling good with God, nothing haunting me, but I wanted to end it. Thank God I thought about everything and questioned "Why?, everything is really good!"

Then I realized the only thing different was the meds. I stopped taking them and was back on an even keel two days later.

It sure surprised me.

I'd rather hurt a little than be in that frame of mind, any day.

Consider, too, I really did not have any problems--which to me only emphasizes the danger of an unforseen side effect.

116 posted on 11/20/2012 2:37:57 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: tired&retired

There is no doubt that the military has its share of jerks in positions of authority. They don’t help the situation, that’s for sure.


117 posted on 11/20/2012 3:37:28 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: manc

Citation, please?


118 posted on 11/20/2012 4:01:04 PM PST by ace2u_in_MD (You missed something...)
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To: manc
Maybe it is time for the left to admit their social changes have made the military worse

The Left admit they did something wrong?

119 posted on 11/20/2012 4:07:56 PM PST by itsahoot (Any enemy, that is allowed to have a King's X line, is undefeatable. (USS Taluga AO-62))
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To: Joe 6-pack; rarestia
"How are these horrors any different than those experienced by the men in WWI or WWII? Vietnam?

Well for one thing they didn't have a JAG tagging along on every mission. We are putting fighting men in jail for acts that would have got them decorated in the past.

120 posted on 11/20/2012 4:19:14 PM PST by itsahoot (Any enemy, that is allowed to have a King's X line, is undefeatable. (USS Taluga AO-62))
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To: kristinn

Where are all the sanctimonious FReepers crowing about how cowardly people are who commit suicide?


121 posted on 11/20/2012 4:24:20 PM PST by Nachoman (I HOPE we CHANGE presidents.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

“I took Bextra for a whole three days. After that I wanted to end it.”

Good thing you were clear headed enough to think through the thoughts. Many people in your situation find the drugs overwhelm them and they follow through. It’s why so many drugs come with clear instructions that any thoughts to harm yourself must be reported to your doctor immediately.

I had a guy I worked with take drugs for a mental condition and one day took several extra. He didn’t know why. He couldn’t rationalize it. He just did. The thought of sleeping forever was comforting at the time so he just did it in a near sleep state. He cored several times before they got him stable. He actually loves life. It sucks sometimes but he has a great sense of humor and loves being alive, yet, the drugs caused him to desire something totally out of character. He has a great wife and watches for those things in him now.


122 posted on 11/20/2012 4:44:51 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: hattend

Bump for later


123 posted on 11/20/2012 5:24:26 PM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: tired&retired
hint-hint... If such things are going on, I desire not to know. Lowering ourselves to the level of an evil opponent will only create more turmoil for us. We must always take the high road, even though the other is often tempting.

My comments were general, based upon observations, not specific statements by individuals. However, it is not hard to see and understand the bigger picture.


Sometimes I be to differ, there are times you got to fight as dirty as your opponent. Most of the time in battle, the enemy determines the rules and if you do not follow, you lose.
124 posted on 11/20/2012 7:34:37 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: Angry_White_Man_Syndrome

I served too, but was never in any danger, just here in the states doing paperwork. When I came off active duty I was in the Reserves for 8 more years, when I stopped that, I missed those people like crazy and still they are some of the people I like the best. There is nothing like the camaraderie of the service.


125 posted on 11/20/2012 8:00:09 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: CodeToad
I was immensely fortunate.

Suppose I had been in a different situation? What if I had had financial problems, had lost my job, had trouble with my spouse (or a combination, as so often seems to happen)?

In other words, if I had had a 'reason', would I have been able to think it through?

God was looking out for me.

How many others have been in worse situations, with real reasons to be depressed, who have attributed their mental state not to the drugs but to seemingly overwhelming problems?

Fortunately, at the time, I did not have any troubles, and life has taught me that even the most depressing situations are generally temporary.

But that is a skill which comes with experience, and thinking past today takes practice. Sadly, some don't give themselves that chance, and it seems like the younger you are, the more prone you are to give in.

126 posted on 11/21/2012 12:10:15 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Last of the Mohicans

No, it is not.


127 posted on 11/21/2012 4:19:42 AM PST by PghBaldy (Pete Hoekstra RE: Petraeus scandal - "There's more here than meets the eye.")
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To: kristinn

Much of today’s U.S. society does not respect the military and those that disrespect our military men and women are increasing in numbers.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier disrespect not tolerated
Examiner.com ^ | Nov 20, 2012 | Scott Paulson

Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 9:03:42 AM by KeyLargo

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier disrespect not tolerated

November 20, 2012 By: Scott Paulson

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2961825/posts


128 posted on 11/21/2012 7:14:40 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: rarestia

Thank you.


129 posted on 11/21/2012 9:27:19 AM PST by Retain Mike
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To: xzins
My bad, not Guerra, Grossman. Both G's, right? Guerra wrote an excellent little book on counterinsurgency. It was the basis for COIN. For some reason I always mix the two up.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Killing-Psychological-Learning-Society/dp/0316040932/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353521317&sr=8-1&keywords=on+killing+by+dave+grossman

Days in combat is a factor of PTSD, as Grossman covers in his books.

Watching the troops 24/7 is part of the problem. The troops feel that they are watched because they did something wrong. The current system of “suicide prevention” reinforces the “you have been a bad boy” mental state of the soldiers. Depressing the troops with endless and repeated suicide prevention training is part of the problem too.

BTW: We need to separate the non-combat related suicides from the combat related. Including people who have made poor life choices (cheating on their spouse, stealing, etc) with those who are honorably injured in the war zone is just wrong.

You really need to read Grossman, he basically agrees with your theory. Where he, and I (if I remember the book correctly), disagree with you is on the danger/safety cycle. It is duration in combat (or stress) that hurts. Time away from stress can lower, but not empty, your stress tank.

One thing Grossman does not address is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which is beginning to appear to be a major factor in PTSD.

BTW2: On Killing is basically a revised version of On Combat. On Combat was written with the law enforcement community as an audience. On Killing was written for the military.

130 posted on 11/21/2012 10:56:49 AM PST by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
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To: Future Snake Eater

bfl


131 posted on 11/21/2012 12:58:17 PM PST by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: fireforeffect

Just remembered that one of our old WWII Navy vets stood up at church on Vet’s Day and spoke of his time in service from 41-46. One story he told was of a sailor who couldn’t stand it and killed himself.

That would be one way to get some idea of the incidence of suicide, but it would have to be done immediately given the quickly deceasing members of our WWII era.

One could simply poll them about numbers of suicides they knew of, and at the same time do that for all Korea, Vietnam, etc. Polling the question in today’s force and simultaneously having the actual number of suicides would provide some kind of baseline for comparison.


132 posted on 11/21/2012 1:03:59 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: ace2u_in_MD

http://www.bing.com/search?q=19%2c000%20sexual%20assaults%20in%20military&FORM=NP06LB&PC=NP06&QS=n.

sorry 10,000 sexuAL ASsaults and 9,000 men , other articles play it differently though a freeper has a thread about this wiht more stats than being given off the MSM.


133 posted on 11/21/2012 3:58:42 PM PST by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

Yes it is best to have another vet to talk to. All psych therapies will work if you trust the person you are talking to and none will work if you do not have that empathetic bond. They have started a mentor program and I truly believe every veteran should be kept in touch with.

Veterans, do you think mandatory 1-2 years in reserves would help?


134 posted on 11/21/2012 5:45:09 PM PST by huldah1776
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To: CodeToad

That’s what happens when everybody gets a trophy for “playing” the game instead of “winning” the game. We all have to be able to face the fact that we might lose, but we will never, never give up the fight.

The Marines I know will never give up. They love each other and would die and kill for each other. That is for each other. I’ll say it again, that is for each other. When they are no longer together, they see the real world socialists who are so immature, they see a Commander-In-Chief bowing, they see their generals issue orders to NOT shoot the enemy, they see other generals getting caught sending 10’s of thousands of emails while they have to patrol through IED infested roads and watch the natives crap in public, while they talk to the people they really love once a week at best for 10 - 15 minutes, they eat MRE’s and sleep on the ground in the winter and 120* summers, they see their best friends shot and die when the medical helo’s can’t get in because they are targets and are not armed, they see their enemy smirk at them because of the Rules of Engagement set up so that their movements are communicated by cell phone by the farmer who meets with the commanders, they see their buddy lose his legs or burned and you have the gall to say they are cry babies? I pray to God that you have ONE bloody nightmare of all that they experience and we will see who wakes up crying and sweating and pissing his pants.


135 posted on 11/21/2012 7:59:46 PM PST by huldah1776
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To: chrisser

We have failed our war- weary brothers and sisters in arms. Once you are in the military, you do not feel like you fit in anywhere, it’s like another world. Something as simple as zero structure in civilian life to bearing witness to your fallen brothers and sisters to being unable to save them. I know I have failed them. I now pledge to find a way to be proactive.


136 posted on 11/23/2012 3:46:05 AM PST by momincombatboots (Back to West by G-d Virginia.)
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To: kristinn

This story just posted on the Army Times site.

My experience (and unfortunately, I have some), these service members all had something else going on (legal charges on one for sexual impropriety, 3rd DUI on another, shoplifting arrest on another). Two of the four I’ve dealt with never served overseas. One had just returned from basic/AIT.

Regarding the subject of the article, he is referred to as a 23-year old Specialist (E4). His mother says he was Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces. The class-A uniform in the picture show Staff Sergeant rank on the sleeves, metal SSG rank on the shirt collar (Specialist is the last rank you do that), and green leader tabs on the epaulets (since when does a SSG in SF wear that?). His Regimental Affiliation insignia is not placed right. His collar insignia is infantry rifles (not properly placed), but if he had earned that beret and tab he’s wearing, he would have SF insignia.

His ribbons show what looks like multiple awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, multiple Bronze Stars, three purple hearts, and too many Good Conduct Medals to be believable for his age.

There’s more, but it paints a pretty questionable picture.

I’m sorry for his mother and sisters.


137 posted on 11/26/2012 10:36:09 AM PST by AbnSarge
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To: manc

Wow, it’s a late reply..but, I just saw your post. 2 pull ups, I’m shocked and disappointed in what they have done to not prepare our soldiers better.

http://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/how-to-prepare


138 posted on 02/22/2013 7:10:09 AM PST by HollyB
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