Skip to comments.Decompress
Posted on 08/03/2017 10:05:31 AM PDT by Sean_Anthony
What is the life of one soldier worth?: Why not give our troops 30 days before they return home an opportunity to decompress in a setting that is equipped with mental health professionals, programs designed to return soldiers to civilian life
An article by Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY highlights an issue our country is facing that needs attention and, as possible, correction. Too many people in our military are victims of suicide.
A small portion of what Mr. Zoroya wrote:
The number of suicides among troops was 145 in 2001 and began a steady increase until more than doubling to 321 in 2012, the worst year in recent history for service members killing themselves.
Until the wives and Soldiers start complaining.
why not end the deep state wars ?
“decompress” — I suspect that is a word I am going to start to loathe as much as “baby bump,” reaching out,” “the masses(stupid communist word!,) “dident, couldent, wouldent, shouldent (didn’t, couldn’t, etc.), “them” when they mean he or she, and “no worries.”
I think I hate above all in this horrible this modern age, aside from all the immoralities, violence, and political correctness, what is happening to our language.
Because when your deployment is up you don't want to sit around talking about your "feelings" with a bunch of coneheads in ANY setting - you WANT TO GO HOME to be with wife and kids.
If there's to be some time to do this sort of thing, let it be after homecoming.
"give our troops 30 days before they return home" - they sound so benevolent.
The morons who come up with this stuff have obviously never served.
It used to be the trip home with your unit was your time to readjust to not being in combat. You had people around you that you knew and who had gone through it with you if you wanted to talk.
When did we start bring back people one at a time rather then as a unit?
Not sure what the answer is but there is room for improvement.
I have no military experience so don’t know all the personal feelings of deployment and coming home and all that.
But I figure they could do these programs after the troops come home. Maybe when they are back home back at home base they could attend classes and meetings on these subjects?
If these programs help prevent mental health problems that’s great. But I bet the guys are eager to get home not spend another 30 days somewhere to prepare to come home.
That said, folks who have been in extremely stressful circumstances (I bet combat would be included there) cannot talk meaningfully about what has happened to them except with those who were there too.
I bet they do not want to try to explain to a person with no frame of reference what it was like.
In previous wars this function occurred on the troop ship home (or train or whatever) where they were traveling with their squad or company, people who shared the location and activity.
Those people understand what you mean without excess words or explanation. Getting it off your chest (even if not completely) relieves a lot of pressure.
Koombya and campfires are not what is required. Telling stories to peers is.
Weeks are not required. A couple of days with plenty of beer, food and mild diversions will do wonders.
Will it do everything; probably not but it would probably help some.
I am a vet who had adventures but no combat. USN '68-'72
I think that being in an intense firefight and then less than 24 later, you are home in your bed, might be nice for the family, but it has to play merry Hell with the mind
When our 2 of our 3 were in Iraq, they spent about 7-10 days in Kuwait on their way out, then couldn’t take leave for another 5 or 6 days, after returning to CA. It was long enough for them to adjust to sleeping without their weapons, at least.
Men alone should be fighting. Preferably single men. Then let them run loose in an area of ill repute. Just like it was during WW2. You know....when we WON wars.
But after having been on edge for 18 months you can not just come back home and sleep in your own bed without some sort of rest period. You have tuned yourself so tight for the sake of survival that you see danger everywhere. It is not paranoia, there was danger everywhere.
Now there isn't but it takes a while for that switch to flip (mostly) to the off position.
And if you are trying to do that around people that don't understand it is difficult.
When my son was with the 82nd ABN (MOS 18B = hunt, kill, eat, sleep, poop, repeat) they brought them inside the wire to Kandahar or such to cool off for 30 days prior to returning to the US. So where they are getting this 24 hour business I don’t know.
He is still in, but is now with the 1st SF Group.
In my observations it was the men that had set goals for when they came back that did well. They were also the ones that either were, or became, team leaders, etc. It was the ones that came back without goals and just hung around the barracks, went out drinking, etc that did not do well.
In the recent past, we had more people involved, slower methods of transporting folks to the war and back, and in many cases, they rotated home with their units. A greater percentage of the populace was involved too, so there was a sense of sharing of the load.
Most of that is gone: we have a very small portion of the people taking on the burden and they come to a world that barely knows that they exist, much less what combat means to them and their lives.
Combat is about killing people and seeing other people killed. Combat is about pervasive, consuming fear - the constant knowledge that your next moment might be your last. After combat is about the guilt that you are leaving your friends behind, the deeply imprinted memories, the nightmares that last for months, maybe years, and the sorrow that you made it when really good people didn't.
My generation had the benefit that it took a week or two to get home. We didn't have much "counseling" other than an experienced Staff NCO telling us to not tell anybody anything when we got back - that they wouldn't understand anything anyway.
I completely understand suicide; I came close enough myself a couple of times.
We get our best young people and plunge them into an environment that is unnatural and often horrific and will change them forever, then we expect them to put all those memories away and lock them up, out of sight. Didn't work for the men of WW II, didn't work for the guys returning from Korea and Vietnam - why should we expect leaving them to their own devices now would work this time?
Saw the same with my son’s unit, but it was longer before and after returning. Once they were back the men had to stay on base for two weeks if I remember correctly... no motorcycles, no automobiles, there might have been some restrictions on alcohol, too. After a month they got a block pass.
After each deployment he did have a hard time sleeping in a bed, but that is to be expected after you had spent the last 10 months sleeping outside in the flea infested sand :-)
I think the OP is about Canadian soldiers.
I had a string of SpecOps guys through our home all on R&R from the Sandbox. This was over the first ten years of this war. I agree, the ones that came back with some definite goals and things they wanted to accomplish did better both in the short term and the long term. We did everything we could to help them on their quest. Lost two out of about 75 - KIA and several wounded. That said I spent many a late night talking with many of them. These guy were mostly tier 1 and were buddies with my son. Several couldn’t wait to get back and get some; very mission driven and dedicated.
Good news is that all have left the Military and moved on in life. Gotten married and are having kids. Thankfully none have committed suicide. We consider ourselves to be very lucky to have enjoyed the company of these heroes and we remain close to a few to this day seven years later.
I believe part of it, not even necessarily a big part - but part, is the move out of a structured environment into one without structure that is causing some of the issues.
I’ve seen the same thing with a lot of retirees 1-2 years after leaving the workforce. They don’t know what to do with themselves and become despondent.
My own dad, disabled from MS and a heart attack, struggled for some time until he was able to establish a routine. Even now it gnaws on him not to have something to do that he thinks is worthwhile.
R and R?
R and R Uzbekistan?
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