America suffers an epidemic of suicides among traumatised army veterans
More American military veterans have been committing suicide than US soldiers have been dying in Iraq, it was claimed yesterday.
At least 6,256 US veterans took their lives in 2005, at an average of 17 a day, according to figures broadcast last night. Former servicemen are more than twice as likely than the rest of the population to commit suicide.
Such statistics compare to the total of 3,863 American military deaths in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 - an average of 2.4 a day, according to the website ICasualties.org.
The rate of suicides among veterans prompted claims that the US was suffering from a “mental health epidemic” – often linked to post-traumatic stress.
CBS News claimed that the figures represented the first attempt to conduct a nationwide count of veteran suicides. The tally was reached by collating suicide data from individual states for both veterans and the general population from 1995.
The suicide rate among Americans as a whole was 8.9 per 100,000, but the level among veterans was at least 18.7. That figure rose to a minimum of 22.9 among veterans aged 20 to 24 – almost four times the nonveteran average for people of the same age.
There are 25 million veterans in the United States, 1.6 million of whom served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Not everyone comes home from the war wounded, but the bottom line is nobody comes home unchanged,” said Paul Rieckhoff, a former Marine and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America.
CBS quoted the father of a 23-year-old soldier who shot himself in 2005 as suggesting that the military was covering up the scale of the problem. “Nobody wants to tally it up in the form of a government total,” Mike Bowman said. “They don’t want the true numbers of casualties to really be known.”
Mr Bowman’s son, Tim, was an army reservist who patrolled one of the most dangerous places in Baghdad, known as Airport Road. “His eyes when he came back were just dead. The light wasn’t there anymore,” said his mother, Kim Bowman. Eight months later, on Thanksgiving Day, Tim committed suicide.
A separate study published last week shows that US military veterans make up one in four homeless people in America, even though they represent just 11 per cent of the general adult population, and younger soldiers are already trickling into shelters and soup kitchens after completing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While it took roughly a decade for the lives of Vietnam veterans to unravel to the point that they started showing up among the homeless, at least 1,500 ex-servicemen from the present wars have already been identified.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness, based the findings of its report on numbers from Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau. Data from 2005 estimated that 194,254 homeless people on any given night were veterans.
Daniel Akaka, the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said: “For too many veterans, returning home from battle does not bring an end to conflict. There is no question that action is needed.”
The plight of US veterans is a matter of acute sensitivity for the Bush Administration which has set great store by standing up for – and support from – US troops. This year General Kevin Kiley, the US Army’s Surgeon General, was among senior military officials dismissed for his role in the mistreatment of wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Newspaper revelations about conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington became a lightning rod for criticism of the war in general. The outpatient clinic was described as squalid and rat-infested; a maze of red tape left many outpatients – often with severe brain injuries – wandering the corridors without help.
Uh.. Poor decisions by the US soldiers...
both on the field (they kill innocents most often)
and off the field(they kill themselves)..
That is a horrid statement. While I do not agree with what the Bush
administration is doing we must understand that there is a difference
between leaders and soldiers.
We cannot say that soldiers deserve to suffer while leaders give an order
for imperialistic interest. True there are many soldiers who make many
Iraqis suffer but we cannot put them all in that general area.
At any rate, hearing this as a human being ills me.
War is a very ugly thing.
Thankfully for the Iraqi people and those soldiers stationed there, the situation in Iraq has calmed considerably over the past few months. Hopefully this is a permanent trend and not a lull.
By Keltoi--"Oh please..."
Oh yes............. sorry for the upseting news you probably thought those soliders would come home victorious .You wish.
Wal 'aqibatu lil mutaqeen!!!!!!
By Keltoi-- "Thankfully for the Iraqi people and those soldiers stationed there, the situation in Iraq has calmed considerably over the past few months. Hopefully this is a permanent trend and not a lull. "
How?? by the murder of women and children by the so called peace-keeping force.They have done nothing to ease the situation but murder the Muslims.Laanahumullah.The mujahideen of Iraq are the ones who really ease the situation the people there love them for there bravery.They are indeed strong.unlike people.
The statistics are horrifying, as are most of the statistics from this deeply immoral and unnecessary war. From the military angle, US and UK armies are currently overstretched and failing to bring in enough new recruits, so they might struggle to defend us if there was actually a necessary war to be fought in the future. The war in Iraq has had a devastating effect on huge numbers of people, most notably the people of Iraq themselves.
Tell these victims the soldiers are innocent why don't you?
Remember, you are NOT a true believer until you love for your brothers/sisters what you love for yourself. Put your family in those victim's place and then tell me how much sympathy you have for these barbarians.
Last edited by islamirama; 11-20-2007 at 03:47 PM.
what do you think about the muslims who do the same things... do they also deserve this fate?
what about the argument that the war is unnecessary and everybody is just doing what they think they are supposed to... wouldn't it be better to look for a way to stop the fighting rather than for one side to obliterate the other at the cost of a generation?
que Dios te bendiga
The soldiers are doing what they are supposed to be doing..........following orders. Are the orders right.....HELL NO!!!! But that is their job. Are all of them good people, no. Are all of the muslims good people, no.
People being happy that others are committing suicide is wrong. If the tables were turned and someone posted that the Iraqis were committing suicide left and right there would be an uproar about it. This entire thread is disturbing.
I think the point you've continued to miss is that there's a difference between leaders and soldiers. The US army didn't want this war. The British army didn't want this war. The guys who babysit a (and I use this term in the strictest possible sense) retard in the white house did. They are the ones you should have an issue with.She's laughing cause these so called macho soldier boys can't handle the pressure and tension of the war and the barbaric war crimes they committed so they go back home and kill their own families and commit suicide. That is their sad state and one they deserve for being where they are not wanted and oppressing a nation of people in order to steal their oil.
i do not think following orders is ever an excuse for doing something immoral or ignoring the laws of God... especially when they are bad orders. but i see this on both sides of the conflict... everyone has their hands covered in blood... the idea that on both sides that they deserve vengeance only perpetuates the conflict and wishing hateful things toward each other only perpetuates the conflict. the only thing that seems to be winning the war is... the war.
the evil that brought it into being benefits from the destruction and loss of life, the war profiteers and weapons companies benefit from the money they recieve, mercenaries benefit from the money they recieve, bad people and cults of death benefit from the valuable experience and training they recieve from going to iraq and learning more efficient ways to kill people...
the war is winning very much...
que Dios te bendiga
As you stated in another thread, over 1 million iraqis dead. I see only one side being obliterated. Any harm incurred on the invader's army (be it on duty or at home) is good news, because you don't feel sorry for the enemies when they murder and oppress your brothers like abu ghairb and rape your sisters like the female prison. When you're on the enemy side, doesn't matter if you got good or bad among you or your president is pulling the strings. Death of you will mean peace of me, so in order to bring peace to my people, i'll pray for death for your people (army) so there is none of them left to come invade my lands, rape and murder my family. And i'm sure you would feel the same if your land was under occupation, over 1 million of your people dead and mass rape and torture going on of your people on your land by the invaders/occupiers. Heartless and evil will be the one who doesn't feel the pain of his people but rather sympathizes with the invaders/occupiers instead, and this is true any nation of people.
Last edited by islamirama; 11-20-2007 at 04:13 PM.
Jayda, I am sure you know what happens to soldiers who go against a commanding officers direct orders. Self preservation is always going to trump what is immoral.
The only thing that seems to be winning the war....is the war.
That is one of the truest statements I have read in a long time. Thank you sister!
Last edited by Jayda; 11-20-2007 at 04:38 PM.
As an American Muslim, i must say that some of what has been said in this thread horrifies me. I can completely understand hating this war....but to hate the american people and wish, and pray, for death to them?
One of my closest friends came back from Iraq in 2005 and killed himself less than a year later. He was shot and wounded trying to push a group of children inside a building when a skirmish broke out instead of taking cover himself to return fire.
Yes- there are american soldiers and civilians who are so far out of line in Iraq (blackwater comes to mind) But it appalls me to see these people generalized to encompass the entire american people. How do you feel when the uneducated american generalizes all muslims to be violent terrorists?
It saddens me to think that brothers and sisters are praying as I speak for the death of my people...