How Do We Stop The Trend Of Suicide In Veterans Returning From War in Iraq And Afghanistan?

     The stories become all too clear.  The obituary provides a snapshot into the persons life and little is said about the cause of death.  Most suicides are never mentioned in the summary of the persons life.  We see the flag icon which denotes that the deceased served in the armed forces of the United States.  There is the usual description of how the individual served their country in the Gulf War, War on Global Terror, Afghanistan, etc.  There are a few sentences listing the names of a grieving family, friends and fellow soldliers.  Services are conducted, usually with military honors and the deceased becomes just another statistic.  The question which remains unanswered is simply Why are our warriors killilng themselves in record numbers?  What are the warning signs and how is responsible for detecting that there is an eminant risk of suicide?  What can be so bad that the only way out is to take yourself out?  This author believes that one answer to all of the second guessing is to develop a better system of assessing new recruits, predeployment assessments, sending better prepared medical staff into combat zones.  The strategic move to mobilize medical units with combat patrols has decreased combat related deaths.  Seriously wounded troops receive "just in time" treatment.  So why is there an increase in suicides and is there any correlation between better combat medical care and depression related suicide? 

     The American Cancer Association provides a model indicating that early detection of most cancers result in higher remissions, quicker surgical interventions and improved five year survivior rates.  It makes sense that the way to head off possible suicides in soldiers is by a program aimed at the heart of suicide cause in post war veterans.  Assessment instruments can be used to determine the potential for post combat depression and counselors can help in early detection of a soldiers likllihood ot harming himself.  The challenge may rest in providing a better model of personality types not suited for the extreme conditions of combat.  Veterans for Common Sense ( report that The Trans Union TImes (Jan 30, and Feb. 06, 2009) "that in 2008, 143 soldiers killed themselves."  An increas of 25% over 2007.

     This forum is establilshed for the purpose of providing an avenue for individuals impacted by recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where suicide becomes an option, to link up with others who have faced the battle and faught the good fight. 

     The goal of this web page is to detur the climbing rate of suicide amoung our returning veterans who have put their lives on hold to prevent another 9-11 from taking place.  This format is available for reasers to share their insight and their stories.  Please feel free to leave me an email.

Best Wishes to all of those who wear the uniform of this great country!



Last modified: Thursday, 5 March 2009, 12:29 AM