…from the Military Times

[ Editor’s Note: This is a continuing strange story for a number of reasons. Yes, in the past there have been statistics of people going into the military more prone to ‘excessive lifestyles’, meaning hard drinking and drugs, both precursors for future suicides.

As for the combat stress contribution, the type of fighting our troops were exposed to during the last major wars, like huge frontal assault charges over no mans land in WWI, under huge barrages of artillery fire, and aerial bombing as in WWII, is hardly comparable as evidence to these suicide deaths. It is something else.

In general, contemporary adversaries do not have B-52s, combat drones and ballistic missiles that can snuff you out while you sleep.

Vietnam was a special situation with its Agent Orange, long denied by a ruthless government in a sordid betrayal, for which no one spent a day in prison, never mind facing a firing squad.

As for the Marines, Gordon has often written about how during his time patrolling the Da Nang perimeter, one of the 5000 to 6000 Marine grunts protecting 250k to 350k troops behind the lines, that were kept on constant patrol against the VC and NVA, with the highest death rate for a year’s tour at 40%, far exceeding WWII Marine combat fatality rates.

This led to a surge of fragging incidents against noncoms and officers, who almost never set foot outside the perimeter wire. Most of these deaths were covered up by claims of mortar fire KIAs. These patrolling Marines were not allowed to stay inside the base perimeter overnight when returning to re supply, due to their being considered ‘too dangerous’.

And then there are all the fake medals given out to officers. During an end of tour clerical stint, because he could type as a college boy, he completed three silver star and nine bronze star awards that were pre filled out form commendations, all the same, where he just had to type the names in.

No journalists were ever interested in digging out such stories, and it took decades for the  ‘earlier than necessary’ one million deaths of Vietnam vets due to agent orange exposure, where my Ranger Colonel brother was among them in 2003, at 58, to be officially admitted to, and no one was ever punished for the mass killings.

This brings us to the most classic line ever written about war, “Truth is always the first casualty of war”. And despite all of the analysis of information of the modern era, that truism stands unchallengedJim W. Dean ]

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First published … June 22, 2021

The suicide rate among active-duty troops and veterans has outpaced the also-rising rate in the general population in recent years, but with so many risk factors inherent to military life, it’s difficult to pin down why.

There’s no one reason for it, according to a study released Monday by the Costs of War Project, and the way the Defense Department and VA track suicides might mean even their growing numbers are incomplete.

“The report notes that the increasing rates of suicide for both veterans and active duty personnel are outpacing those of the general population ― an alarming shift, as suicide rates among service members have historically been lower than suicide rates among the general population,” according to a news release.

Per researchers’ estimates, 30,177 Global War on Terror veterans have died by suicide, compared to 7,057 who have died while deployed in support of the Global War on Terror.

There are myriad stressors endemic not only to combat deployments, but also to military service, that may contribute to the rising suicide rate.

“There are clear contributors to suicidal ideation like high exposure to trauma — mental, physical, moral, and sexual — stress and burnout, the influence of the military’s hegemonic masculine culture, continued access to guns, and the difficulty of reintegrating into civilian life,” according to the report.

“In addition to these factors, it is imperative we also consider the impact of the military’s reliance on guiding principles which overburden individual service members with moral responsibility, or blameworthiness for actions or consequences, over which they have little control.”

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Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. Read Full Complete Bio >>>

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9 COMMENTS

  1. @ Jim, I do not wish any consternation, but is there a way to support homeless veterans; where the monies benefit them. If VT stood up. Local support could follow. Been their done that with other projects. SZ

    • There would be tons of orgs, and some of them grifters, so backgrounds have to be carefully researched. The squeaky clean people we know are the LA VA vets who have been protesting there for ages. But do now lose focus that the main problem with vet homelessness is lifestyle path… ie., drugs. Any money they get their hands on there is where it most probably go. I personally would never donate to a vet directly, but only to a program that has a proven track record of getting these guys off scourge, otherwise you are just paying for their habit.

  2. So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and bloodguiltiness be on you.

    Deuteronomy 19:10

    Their feet run to evil,
    And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
    Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
    Devastation and destruction are in their highways.

    Isaiah 59:7

    … We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely…

    Surah al-Ma’idah 5:32 – The Quran, Saheeh International translation

  3. This is divine justice against the hundreds and thousands of innocent blood you have spilled throughout the world!

  4. It has been a long held belief that when taking an antidepressant medication for severe depression there is a chance that the depressed person will gain the energy to commit suicide if not watched closely and kept safe. Sorry for the sentence length; very unbecoming of me. When soldiers figure out what and why it can’t be good. Soldiers are the first to figure out the big lies, hence the need for VT.

  5. From the point of view of a relatively “normal” person, the whole activity, the whole business, the whole rational and outcome (death and destruction) of “war” is complete insanity.
    I mean put yourself in the position of any German survivor waking up on the morning of the end of World war two, and being told; it’s over, as he’s listening to the sounds of silence. I’ve got an idea he’s thinking “what the hell was that all about?!?!”

  6. Time is a swirl of changing flavors and the time for ruthless war is over. The human being, no longer wants it, finds no reason for it, and why it doesn’t stop, is a question left unanswered in the minds of people. Having a solid plan for multiple generations into the future, is impossible without stopping aggressive war. Half the world hates us for it, and the human being can feel that. Reduce the military budget by 80%. We will not regret it. Think of the global relief.

    • Nobody under 30 and arguably nobody under 66 and there was only a ten year break before that, …nobody in the US,..or humanity…knows what it is like to NOT be at war.

      And somehow when the vets and actives show this through this type of horror, it is a mystery????.
      That my friend is fing nuts. We want a life without war. We are the land of the free to blow you up. We are the home of the brave when in the pentagon bunker. The entire thing sucks really really BAD. Stop it.

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