To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Suicide Prevention Month
The suicide rate among military personnel has risen, and continues to rise at an alarming rate. In recognition of the rising suicide rate the Army expanded National Suicide Prevention Week, September 12th through the 18th to National Suicide Prevention Month. The website for Department Of Defense Health System posted a variety of resources for Commanding Officers, Friends, Family, along with the Suicide Hotline for those who need immediate help.
The United States has been at War for 10 years, our longest War to date. This translates into multiple deployments, increasing stress. With large volumes of artillery and IED's being used in Iraq and Afghanistan Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD numbers are increasing. These are all major stress factors that can lead to suicide.
It is my personal opinion that military suicides due to the stress of War, should be considered a casualty of war. After all, it was the experiences and stress of War that pushed the individual to suicide. I look at it like this, if a person who dies due to an IED they are considered a casualty of war, whether they die on foreign soil or US soil. Why then wouldn't someone who is injured with Traumatic Brain Injury or PTSD also be considered a casualty of war? The lack of means to recognize, diagnose, or understand a condition doesn't make it any less a reality. (I would like to note, I am by no means condoning suicide.)