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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.


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: yldstrk

It is seeing the horrors of war and then coming home to a government that ties your hands. I would imagine that WWII vets who saw the horror of war, could at least take comfort in the fact that the good guys won, and it only took 5 years to win. These poor guys today, see the horror of war and they must ask themselves, “what was the point”. Now, there probably is a good point for their being in combat; some good has probably come from their sacrifice. Good luck finding someone who will actually report on that good.

81 posted on 11/20/2012 10:10:04 AM PST by Windy City Conservative
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To: Gaffer

My 90 year old dad was in Battle of the Bulge - he STILL has nightmares. He has had several panic attacks while hunting out in the woods when there is snow on the ground. He still won’t talk much about the war, but says that during The Bulge he didn’t have any idea where the enemy was, he couldn’t even trust men he didn’t know after seeing one of his buddies killed by an infiltrator in a U.S. uniform.

82 posted on 11/20/2012 10:12:54 AM PST by conservaterian (NOW can we have a conservative candidate?????)
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To: Windy City Conservative

I just separated from the Army and I spent 11 years on both active duty and reserve status. I’ve been deployed to Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I think a problem stems from the long continuous deployments. Some soldiers like it, but a majority of the senior career soldiera despiae it as they have families and lives to attain to. Another large problem are the DoD contractors that make $200,000 a year doing jobs that soldiers used to fill or could fill. Intermingling civilians into the Army has caused a problem with moral that no one speaks of because of the high business costs that these large influential corporations have. My last tour was a mox of 5-6 civilians and 6 soldiers in my shop. When soldiers are disciplined and made to sjave and adher to basic rules they wonder why they are doing their job when they can get out and be a civilian and make loads of cash. The.other issue is that less than 1% of the population serves and when a service member returns home he cannot relate to the rest of society.

83 posted on 11/20/2012 10:20:06 AM PST by Equidistantmiddle
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To: libertarian27

The drugs, which are a Huge part of this equation, are garbage. Everyone in the industry knows it, and lies about it or issues a “No Comment”. 70% driving impaired
suicide, mania
John Breeding on youtube
Breeding Letter
Antidepressants do more harm than good
tardive dysphoria/chronic ssri use
rebound effect
check his blogroll
Brain Damage neuroleptics
Peter Breggin

Brain damage, dementia and persistent cognitive dysfunction associated with neuroleptics (1990)
“Brain damage, dementia and persistent cognitive dysfunction associated with neuroleptics: Evidence, Etiology, Implications.” Journal of Mind Behavior 11:425-464, 1990.

84 posted on 11/20/2012 10:20:49 AM PST by To-Whose-Benefit? (It is Error alone which needs the support of Government. The Truth can stand by itself.)
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To: rarestia

“... returned from Iraq in 2010 after 6 tours”

How did he accomplish that? Iraq tours were 14 - 16 months for Army, shorter for other services. He’d have to have done a string of lateral transfers or been on a rather unique assignment.

Do you know where in Iraq he served (base names)?

I blame General Order One for accumlating stress.

Work hard play hard was virtually non-existant in Iraq. It was just work hard 7 days a week, isolation, repetitive duties and frequent stressful situations (attacks and travel).

85 posted on 11/20/2012 10:36:49 AM PST by Justa
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To: Windy City Conservative

Let me apologize in advanced for my grammar, I’m typing this from my cell phone.

86 posted on 11/20/2012 10:38:38 AM PST by Equidistantmiddle
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To: chrisser
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.

The reports are on the money. I'm surprised it took this long for the MSM to pick up this story.

The USAF shut down in January because the suicide rate had exceeded the entire previous year.

A lot of the suicides are troops who were never deployed. The usual cases heard about is wife cheats/hubby kills himself. These are some examples. NCO in Korea got local GF pregnant, did not want to face wife back home so he hung himself. NCO in Korea did not want to leave local GF so took bath with iron or radio. NCO caught stealing, facing 20+ years in Leavenworth ate a bullet.

There is also a spike in DOD civilian suicides. Most DOD civilians volunteer to go into the sandbox so I don't think deploying is the issue.

87 posted on 11/20/2012 10:41:29 AM PST by USAF80
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To: Justa

He was a Marine and deployed shortly after he graduated from Officer Training in 2002. He was only stateside once in those 8 years.

He was a SSgt, as I recall.

The only places I know he was for certain was Fallujah during the big battles there, and he spent the rest of his time there in Baghdad and on the border with Syria.

He didn’t talk much about specifics, but I could ask his brother for more information if it’s something you need to know.

88 posted on 11/20/2012 10:45:44 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: ConservativeInPA

U got that right!

89 posted on 11/20/2012 10:47:20 AM PST by rusureitflies? (A person becomes a lost fool when they reject the Holy Spirit.)
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To: Equidistantmiddle

The reason you have contractors is because the active force was gutted under Gramm-Rudman. The Army used to be over 1 million men and the AF was up to 850,000. Now both are a shell and have to do the same mission.

Entire bases are being run by civvies.

90 posted on 11/20/2012 10:56:57 AM PST by USAF80
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To: kristinn

A reporter in 1941 wondered aloud if American men were strong enough to bridge the comforts of civilian life to the rigors of war. It’s still a good question.

91 posted on 11/20/2012 11:04:42 AM PST by Spok
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To: kristinn
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.

Not sure where the VA got those numbers. There are more than 38,000 suicides in the US each year. If US service members commit suicide at a rate of 1 per day (from the article) that represents about 1% of the suicides per year not 20%.

The rate of suicide for Americans aged 15-54 is about 15/100,000. The rate of suicides for service members is 13/100,000. Each one of these deaths is a tragedy but it would be hard to say that suicides among service members is "out of control" when they are at a rate lower than that of the general population.

92 posted on 11/20/2012 11:27:43 AM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: kristinn; SkyDancer; chrisser; rarestia; Joe 6-pack; manc; muawiyah

An experiential chasm now separates veterans from the general citizenry. During the Second World War, 11 out of every 100 served, making unavoidable continuous associations with veterans and their families. Currently only 1 in 200 serve their country, and only 7 out of every 1,000 have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Our civilians pursue mundane, quiet lives among unfathomable luxuries compared to other countries. Too often they regard with indifference, and/or bewilderment, and/or loathing those choosing honor, duty, and sacrifice with the attendant consequences. If loathing seems excessive consider Homeland Security withdrew its profile of domestic terrorists, because veterans were stereotyped as potential Timothy McVeighs.

Next consider the perplexity of PTSD. People too often perceive as disorders the adaptive skills veterans learn through training and experience to overcome the extremes of combat and non-combat situations. For example, high situational awareness finding clues signaling threats can be labeled “hypervigilance”. Detailed mission rehearsal enhanced by instantaneous recall of violent encounters becomes “flashbacks” at home.

You cannot restart the human being like a computer, so the transition can take years. The many skills that were imperative to military success must be dialed back at home.

However, at home veterans do not encounter the all encompassing love and understanding their grandparents’ generation found, when most had experienced the war in one way or another.

We should first view the warrior as dealing with PTS. First reserve the “D” for the mental disorder of civilians who can’t or won’t interact positively with veterans.

I invite people contact Dr. Charles W. Hoge at , or read his book titled Once a Warrior – Always a Warrior: Navigating the Transition from Combat to Home. Another source would be his article in Disabled American Veteran titled “The Paradox of PTSD” at

93 posted on 11/20/2012 12:18:07 PM PST by Retain Mike
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To: tired&retired; cindy-true-supporter; EDINVA; ExTexasRedhead
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!

I agree with your assessment. Bears repeating.

94 posted on 11/20/2012 12:21:05 PM PST by Albion Wilde ("Not only no, but HELL NO we will NOT moderate our stance."-- Jim Robinson)
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To: rarestia

My uncle served in the Marines for WW II...doing island to island combat. He had various points where he had malaria, dysentery, and a couple of minor wounds. For them, it was were stuck in the Marines until you wrapped up the war, and then you could come home....end of the story. No second deployment. No third deployment. No fourth deployment.

I think sixty percent of this entire issue is the continued deployment right back into the zone. You continued to get dose after dose. The Army and Marines never had a real grasp about the mental side to their guys.

In my uncle’s case....he came back and was a alcoholic the rest of his life. He wrapped up the bachelor’s degree...complements of the GI Bill, and became a teacher. Eventually, he became a school principal. He did well for his entire life...the only one in the family to finish up college for that generation. But he was an absolute hard drinker for fifty years of his life after returning. He never talked over the war years.

A quarter of the teachers that I had in high school....were WW II vets. They never discussed their war years in public.

I will add this...a great deal of our mentality today in the military is about building friendships. Probably more so than the WW II years. So I think it bothers us to a significant degree when we have close friends killed in the line of fire...over and over.

95 posted on 11/20/2012 12:25:30 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: kristinn
This is a problem. A real problem. And from what I witness, it is because of two reasons.

Numer One: No one has their back. Thanks to this WH's and DOD's ridiculous ROEs, their neglect of their military and their obvious disdain and repulsion towards the very men and women they ask so very much from, these people have no one on their side. Even as they continue to give and fight and sacrifice, their benefits are getting stripped away as those who contribute nothing to society are rewarded and seemingly coveted. The media trashes them, their fellow soldiers et. all betray them, their leaders abandon them.

Number Two: Thanks to our nanny state and the whiny crybaby society we now live in, they have sissified our military. I mean no disrespect to our fighting forces, but due to the desperate need for all things to be PC, our drill instructors and those in training positions are no longer allowed to toughen these kids up. You cannot train people to kill and try to teach them to be PC at the same time. You cannot treat them like porcelain figurines and expect to turn out warriors. It isn't rational. It isn't possible. And these horrifying statistics are a direct result of these ridiculous attempts.

96 posted on 11/20/2012 12:32:53 PM PST by USMCWife6869
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To: SkyDancer; MuttTheHoople; xzins
The problem with finding data for previous wars is that many coroners entered the cause of death as natural causes or misadventure so that the family could collect insurance or simply so that the veteran would not have “suicide” on the death certificate.

The problem is that the military is trying to treat symptoms and not the problem. Which is poor leadership. Commanders should be held accountable for the numbers of suicides from their combat commands.

Guerra's (sp?) “On Combat” and “On Killing” offer “a way” to reduce combat suicides. But the lawyers would freak out if we tried it.

97 posted on 11/20/2012 12:37:45 PM PST by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
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To: MestaMachine
They DRUG them with cocktails with only G-d knows what in them.


98 posted on 11/20/2012 12:37:53 PM PST by Forgotten Amendments (I remember when a President having an "enemies list" was a scandal. Now, they have a kill list.)
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To: tired&retired
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!

It would not surprise me that there is talk and chatter among the good generals and so on that are left on the current state of affairs of our country, hint-hint.
99 posted on 11/20/2012 12:43:21 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: Retain Mike

Great points all, Mike. My uncle Tom suffers from PTSD, and he’s convinced it’s due to the treatment he received when he returned home from the war. My other two uncles were stationed at Pearl Harbor for the rest of their service and considered that paradise. My uncle Tom was greeted by protestors in San Diego and was spit on and even turned away for service at a bar when he showed up in his uniform fresh off the boat. He says the constant feeling of rejection coupled with the will to continue to fight even though his conscience says “It’s over, just let it go,” is the reason for his regular night terrors and need to drown himself in gin.

100 posted on 11/20/2012 12:44:06 PM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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