Skip to comments.Military Suicides 'Out of Control'
Posted on 11/20/2012 8:34:10 AM PST by kristinn
CALLAWAY Libby Busbee pounded on the window of her sons 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 sons attention. Look at me.
He wouldnt look.
He stared out the front windshield, distant, Busbee said, relating the story from an apartment complex in Callaway.
I kept yelling, Dont you do this. Dont do it. He wouldnt 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 Busbees 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 wouldnt 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 wouldnt 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.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 907-12 November 15, 2012
Army Releases October Suicide Data
The Army released suicide data today for the month of October. During October, among active-duty soldiers, there were 20 potential suicides: five have been confirmed as suicides, and 15 remain under investigation. For September, the Army reported 15 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers: four have been confirmed as suicides, and 11 remain under investigation. For 2012, there have been 166 potential active-duty suicides: 105 have been confirmed as suicides, and 61 remain under investigation. Active-duty suicide number for 2011: 165 confirmed as suicides, and no cases under investigation.
During October, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 13 potential suicides (nine Army National Guard and four Army Reserve): three have been confirmed as suicides, and 10 remain under investigation. For September, among that same group, the Army reported 16 potential suicides. Since the release of that report one case was added for a total of 17 cases (13 Army National Guard and 4 Army Reserve); five have been confirmed as suicides, and 12 remain under investigation. For 2012, there have been 114 potential not on active-duty suicides (75 Army National Guard and 39 Army Reserve): 83 have been confirmed as suicides, and 31 remain under investigation. Not on active-duty suicide numbers for 2011: 118 (82 Army National Guard and 36 Army Reserve) confirmed as suicides, and no cases under investigation.
Suicide is preventable, and its prevention is a shared responsibility among all members of the Army family, said Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command. Rodriguez said that everyone is empowered to intervene and save lives, effective intervention requires leadership involvement and support, an environment that promotes help-seeking for hidden wounds like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress and prior knowledge of available local and national resources. We all must take the time to do a self-inventory to assess the presence and impact of stressors in our lives. Of equal importance is the awareness of the needs of others around us. There are no bystanders in our Army family.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .
Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf .
The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil .
Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20 (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).
Information about Military OneSource is located at http://www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.
Information about the Armys Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf/ .
The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil .
The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is http://www.afsp.org/ and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at http://www.sprc.org/index.asp .
Once they have seen the horrors of war, maybe it is too much.
Democrats are happy when soldiers commit suicide...means one less Republican vote, plus it feeds into their long-ago fantasies that our troops are a bunch of homicidal psychos.
I wonder what the rate was for Vietnam, Korea and WWII vets.
Unending war for inchoate purposes at the behest of an amoral system will sap morale.
“When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.
Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.
Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.”
- Sun Tzu
I’d sure be curious to hear from veteran FReepers about what might be causing these tragedies and what might be done to prevent them.
I’m not sure the rest of us are qualified to speculate since we can’t know what it’s like to have been in combat.
How are these horrors any different than those experienced by the men in WWI or WWII? Vietnam? I have several uncles still alive who served in Nam. While two of them are relatively normal and well-adjusted, the other suffers from horrible PTSD and, as he puts it, “hasn’t had a full night of sleep in 40 years,” but he’s alive.
A very close friend of mine returned from Iraq in 2010 after 6 tours. He was a shell of the person I remember in college. He told me that they give these boys all sorts of shots and tests before they go into the field, but he was convinced to his dying day that they gave them anti-depressants and Ritalin to keep them sharp. He took his own life just 6 weeks after returning home.
I’m worried about my son. He’s 18 and has enlisted in the USMC. He’s wanted to do this since he was eight. It’s been his sole motivation all the way through grammar, middle, and high school, the only thing that made him keep his grades up and keep working. He’ll be going to Parris Island after Christmas.
But he thinks war is a video game. He has very little maturity, little grasp of how horrible it can be. He thinks that because he has no difficulty field-dressing and butchering a deer that he won’t be affected by the nightmares with which he’ll be confronted. I hope he can survive psychologically as well as physically. Constant prayer going on here.
They DRUG them with cocktails with only G-d knows what in them.
Soldiers ill-equipped for life after war isn't new. Many of the outlaws of the Old West were disaffected Civil War vets. Hell's Angels was started by world War II vets who couldn't stand the idea of living a restricted life after what they had seen in combat.
Still, I blame Democrats for much of this, because they want our soldiers to fight clean, pretty wars against a dirty, savage, ugly enemy and will pronounce them "war criminals" every time given the chance. Also, their pronouncements during the Iraq War were purposely geared to encourage our enemy and demoralize our military (Harry Reid, I'm looking at your sorry-assed self...personally, I'd grab you by your magic underwear and give you a wedgie).
let su not forget how rapes on men has jumped immensly since don;t ask was done away with last year.
19.000 rapes on reported rapes on men in the military in one year.
Maybe it is time for the left to admit their social changes have made the military worse, their changes have brought in PC and now we et a lesser person serving because Generals , officers and other NCO’s are being promoted based on color, homosexuality etc
It is not the horrors of war. When Obama took office, the suicide rate in the military was half of the general population of the same age group in general society. It now exceeds the general population.
With the rules of engagement changing under Obama and the frustration of not being able to protect themselves or the men under them that they are responsible for, they are feeling hopeless. I hear their stories.
I’ve talked to quite a few soldiers who tell me of their men being court martialed for returning fire when shot at by snipers. Of inept commanders pulling the perimeter guards and allowing truck bombs to enter their field bases. I hear the horror stories. Of being put in tents to sleep within range of insurgent fire, who open fire on them at night and then drop their guns. The soldiers are told they cannot shoot back unless the insurgent has a gun in hand and firing.
I hate to say it, but these men are turning their anger and frustration inward rather than at the administration that is creating this mess. It is only a matter of time until this explodes in a different direction. These men are angry!
The reason that Gen Ham was replaced was because he did not hold back on rescuing fellow soldiers in peril. It’s time the military realizes who their real enemy is!
The list, Ping
Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list
((In 2009 there were 239 suicides within the Army, including the Reserves, 160 active duty suicides, 146 active duty deaths from drug overdoses and high-risk behavior, and 1,713 suicide attempts, says the Armys suicide report released in July.
More troops are dying from their own hands than in combat, says the Army report, titled Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Suicide Prevention. Thirty-six percent of the suicides were among troops who were never deployed.
Also astonishing is the psychoactive prescription drug rate among active duty-aged troops, aged 18 to 34, which is up 85 percent since 2003, according to the military health plan, Tricare. Including family prescriptions, since 2001, 73,103 prescriptions for Zoloft have been dispensed, 38,199 for Prozac, 17,830 for Paxil, and 12,047 for Cymbalta. All of the drugs carry a suicide-warning label.
In addition to the spike in SSRI antidepressant prescriptions, prescriptions for the anticonvulsants Topamax and Neurontin rose 56 percent in the same group since 2005, says Navy Times. The FDA warned last year that taking these drugs doubles suicidal thinking.
In fact, 4,994 troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., are on antidepressants right now, says the Fayetteville Observer. Six hundred and sixty-four are on an antipsychotic and many soldiers take more than one type of medication.
Troops may also be taking Chantix, an antismoking drug so linked to violence and self-harm that Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake was forced to defend its use before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs in 2008 even in drug trials.))
Haven’t met a Dem or Lib who supported our troops. BTW, that Dem traitor Kerry is up for SecDef??? It’d be the biggest slap in the face to all military who served in Vietnam, or anyone who served. That man along with Hanoi Jane are despicable people.
It is not just that. Once a guy leaves the service things change. It is like leaving a family. Every vet I know misses the deep friendships only found in the brotherhood of service. My father and I both served. He has been out for over 15 years and I have been out for 12. The thing that we both miss is the bonds we had with men like ourselves.
In the civilian world, friendships are shallow in comparison. You may have friends but the deep bond is not there. What is happening now, is men are leaving the service and returning home with the weight of what they saw and did. Once away from the service they do not have someone to understand and relate with on a daily bases. This leads to the depression and for too many suicide.
I, of course, can not specifically address the case of your acquaintances, but I would venture to guess that in past generations, the typical servicemember was much more likely to have been raised within some type of structured religion. While there have always been those who could not handle the horrors of war, there have also been those who could not handle the far more mundane stresses of day-to-day living.
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.
here is my take.
First the poeple joining are good people but some are not suited and should nto be in the military,
PC is killing the military.
Also rapes on men , there has bene a huge jumpon men last year which coincides with letting homosexuals , cross dressers serve openly., 19,000 reported rapes on men in one year and th eleft will say that is just a coincidence, B/S
I know a neighbors kid joined, , why? Bec ause he wanted the benefits, nothing to do with the country he admitted.
There in lies the problem, people today , well many of them join because they want their benefits, free school etc.
I had nightmares, still do sometimes, went through a rough patch but my wife and I got through it.
What we have today is not the world war two guy, the manly guy, no sir what we have is many yong men joining for freebies, and the tests ot get in are pathetic.
Marines now is two pulls ups
women is one pull up
That is it, to graduate is 3 pulls for men and two for women, the running tests is done in sneakers.
Perfect examples, Manning who gave secrets away because he was a homosexual and did to like the law back then.
Hasan , who killed for allah at FT Hood
There should be a better screening for mental and physical, get rid of PC, stop promoting officers based on if they;re black or homosexual or hispanic.