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This is a diary written by a former U.S. GI and American expat living in Germany, who is writing about US military and veteran suicide.

Did you know "The Army of One" used to be a recruiting slogan?
This is a sober diary about the state of these United States in the year 2014, where yet once again active duty military personnel are threatening through sobering statistics.........wherein more service members have committed suicide than were killed in combat and that more or less in America everyday about 22 veterans commit suicide. That is nearly one an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a posture where death takes no holiday. Death never goes on strike. It simply soldier's on, taking our brothers and sisters. If we are human still, if we can shed a tear,(through stone cold eyes) if American society as yet has not filled you with a callous disregard for the value of human life, in where we regularly are socialized (as a final act of craven betrayal) to perfidiously step over homeless Americans, many of whom have served the nation honorably! Let me ask the hearts and unfeeling cold eyes made of stone, in the stillness of our own minds, why doesn't selfless sell in America?

 

Let us please understand this is historically a global problem, but nowhere in any other major industrialized country in the world is the problem as acute as it is in these United States, because we in America are the only major industrialized country on earth that doesn't have a universal medical access system as a human right that would care for everyone, veterans included.



                              THE RESCUE OF " AN ARMY OF ONE"!!
Watch an Amazing Timelapse Transformation of a Homeless Vet by the name of   ..............................Jim Wolf United States Army Veteran.

  Instead what we have is a grossly underfunded Veteran Administration's hospital system wherein too many veterans fall through the cracks. Concurrently we must also know that even large numbers of our active duty personnel find themselves ill served, wherein annually regularly more service members fall victim to suicide than are killed in combat. To that end, I invite you to watch the video below produced by the Dept of Defense which does not air on commercial television. Therefore it is unlikely you have ever seen this ad or others like in on this diary.

PLEASE NOTE: VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!


(Suicide prevention ad from the American Armed Forces Network)

(This commercial is unavailable on commercial American network television, it is made for broadcast on the Armed Forces television network AFN) Please remember by selflessly saving others, the life you save may be your own.

AMERICA WHERE OH WHERE DID YOU LOSE YOUR WAY!
One day I woke up in America and found my boyhood home that I'd been raised in, that I'd played baseball in, (with the boys of summer) and heard the crack of the bat, (smelt the hotdogs in the air), gone! It had just disappeared.It turned into a plutocracy with a callous disregard for human life.When I finally discovered I couldn't even go back to that great American boyhood pastime which is the county fair,(as the fairgrounds on occasion had been turned into an open air makeshift dental treatment center for the medically and dental indigent with medieval overtones reminiscent of a third world nation). I was faced with the stark reality that the America I had been raised in was gone! Ergo I took the decision to return to my ancestral home in Europe,(which like the rest of the E.U. humanely has universal medical access) because it became too painful to stay and watch what had happened to the country in which I love and was raised in. Where did it go, how did we get here? Don't we know that America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't offer its citizens universal access to medicine as a human right. Don't we know what happens to people when they can't get access to mental health care, particularly in a vastly under-funded Veteran's Administration healthcare system. Of course we know, we all know, everyone of us know and we're all too well mannered to talk about it, instead we allow too many of our brothers and sisters simply to slip away quietly as gentlemen and ladies in the night through suicide, because after all we are such a polite society, killing people with our craven kindness.

The thing about suicide is of course that it is a completely 100% preventable cause of death, and the best way to prevent it is to care enough about the victims to at least remember or record their names,(they aren't just numbers, who can be allowed to disappear into nothing, as if they never existed). We should erect a permanent memorial today in the nation's capital and around the country, with their names inscribed on it to memorialize them as we owe them a debt of grateful remembrance for their service to the nation, and let their families know they are not invisible, that we note with great sadness their passing, and that we are part of them, and they are part of us. That we are all together as one, part of the same whole in this place called America, which I had always thought was the last, best hope for the rights of humankind, while I grew up there.  

In that the nation all of us care enough to speak out and more importantly listen, when people ask for help to reach out to people and their families in crisis, and to never, ever again allow our nation to be lied in to another Iraq style war that is going to drag us into the bushes, where we are fighting people who had nothing at all to do with 9/11 simply because the American government for the most part has been bought by the rich chicken hawk Wall Street war profiteers and their lobbyist and associates with private capital, primarily financial capital in a depoliticized America, that is increasingly becoming a completely atomized society. Nowhere is this problem worse than in the GOP and in the morally bankrupt so called Christian right, all whom are traitors of the American working class dream, along with some prominent collaborators from the Democratic party.
________________

What can we as the public do about this issue?

(When asked if he had any suggestions on dealing with this issue,  Hal Donahue who is a veteran and blogger at the Huffington Post said on his Facebook page, quote: "one case at a time and keep the publicity on the issue...is all I can suggest" (end of quote)

He is absolutely right, we need to keep the attention on this issue. So to that end, I would like to please ENLIST your help in keeping the attention on this issue to with exigence share this article and ones like it on social media just as often as your time may permit, even to the point of cramping your fingers, so we can continue to draw the attention of the public to this important (lifesaving) issue, and keep it there permanently!!!

(THE CURRENT MILITARY AND VETERAN SUICIDE RATE COMBINED AMOUNTS TO A TOTAL OF 23 MILITARY SUICIDES EVERYDAY IN AMERICA)


We are able to put a man on the moon, but we're not able to prevent military and veteran suicide in America in the year 2014? Simply put I don't buy it and neither should you because it's a damn lie. There are so many different studies out there that purport so many different things, that is why this diary relies on none of them, because their purpose is to create such a whirlwind of intentional statistical sophistry and confusion, so that the responsible parties are never fired, never disciplined, never held to account, and never miss a big bonus check. Everybody knows that until you start holding people and administrators accountable nothing changes. We have to have accountability. Harry Truman said the buck stops here! Are you listening President Obama, because if you are Sir please we need your help today. If you agree with this, then please call or write the White House today and ask President Obama to help us stop the absolutely 100% preventable tragedy of military and veteran suicide. Thank you.

Did you know that sexual assault in the US military has been identified as a factor in military suicide?
Huffington Post article "50 Facts About Sexual Assault in the US Military" (Nov. 15th 2013) "Military victims of violent assault or rape are 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than service members and veterans who have not experienced sexual assault and rape." Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...


The video below provides our readers with important information as to the stressors relating to suicide for military reservists, wherein finances were correctly identified as being a contributor of stress to military families. Perhaps if Congress would finally raise military pay to the point where food stores on military bases would no longer have to accept food stamps. This would take substantial stressors possibly leading to suicide, and pressure off military families.  

(Please note: The Army Reserve and National Guard units have called up hundreds of thousands of Reservists to obviate the need for a draft from being instituted, because we know from our history of the Vietnam War instituting a draft will create vociferous, national protests that will shut down the war, whereas mobilizing Reserve and National Guard service members (from all branches) hasn't ever historically had the same effect. (Repeat deployments are a problem, that help well heeled traitors to the American cause avoid the responsibility of service). Of course the active duty force is also substantially over stressed with repeat deployments. May I please ask doesn't this lead to the perception that while the American military is at war, well heeled America is at the mall. Isn't it strangely unfair that we ask the very Americans who have the least to do the most for the country. As such hasn't this become a descriptor of the very craven darkness that has started to surround the very soul of American well heeled society, who literally stridently step over the veterans with callous disregard, in what must be seen as a perfidious, final indeed craven act of betrayal by the well heeled traitors to the working class cause of all Americans.



Here's a Youtube video link of a report from Gordon Duff (senior editor of Veterans Today) that veteran suicide statistics are vastly under-reported in America today: http://www.youtube.com/...
Now, how big of a problem is military suicide in America, really? Well the truth is really nobody knows for sure. As is demonstrated in the Reuters piece this diary linked to earlier, the status of military suicide as reported on death certificates is only published in 21 STATES. What this means is that government statistics on this issue are incomplete and therefore most likely have to be viewed as a clear attempt to whitewash the government's failure in its management of military and veteran suicide in America which must be seen as a failure to hold senior administrators reasonably accountable. Therefore, please do not be misled by statistics which sole intent is to confuse with inconclusive sophistry, and downplay this completely preventable American tragedy. What we do know for sure from the statistics we have is that we have about 23 combined military and veteran suicides in every 24 hour period. Doubtlessly that is too much. If the other 29 States reported military and veteran suicide statistics, that number would only get bigger, as if this preventable tragedy wasn't big enough already.  


The civilians in our society must be educated to understand that it isn't just those who are in combat but the stressors of non-combat military life in general are such that it must be identified plainly as an additional driver of military suicide. The simple truth is that most of these people would be alive today if it weren't for their military service.

 

Reuters February 1st 2013

"The VA did not provide raw data and acknowledged its national figures were still estimates. The new study was based on data collected from 21 states in which military status is reported on the death certificate. It said more data from more states were being processed." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Here is a link to a suicide prevention lifeline for anyone military, vet or just a plain good old American civilian. Please help anyone who you see may need help.
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Remember by selflessly saving others, the life you save may be your own.  Please remember you are never alone! There is always hope  :-) Can you imagine the indescribable pain and the deep, hollow, heartfelt sadness felt by a parent who has raised a child from a little baby and who has lost that child be it in combat or through military suicide. If we do not stand in solidarity with the families of our fallen brothers and sisters, it will diminish us all, in this place called America as the last, best hope for humankind will be gone!(To future historians this diary is about the struggle for survival in America in the year 2014. The purpose of this diary is to afflict the well heeled and comfortable, and to comfort the afflicted, because that's the only way America's needless tragedy will ever change, for both civilian and military/veteran suicides).   So you see this is about more than just the death of an army of one!....... Let me end on this positive note, if we will stand together we will win!! Military suicide is an enemy we must all face together! Please join us in spreading the word on all social media! (End of diary).


WHY ANYONE WOULD TROLL A SUICIDE PREVENTION DIARY BEGGARS BELIEF!
 
Please support and share this suicide prevention diary and ones like it on all social media to help us curtail the totally preventable tragic suicide rate in America, both for civilian and military suicides. Finally please don't listen to Internet trolls. We cannot be allowed to reduce suicide victims in America and their bereaving families to mere statistics, so as rob them of their humanity, in a clear attempt to whitewash this completely preventable human tragedy.  

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Please feel invited to follow me on Twitter or the Daily Kos.

Daily Kos: Democrats Ramshield
http://www.dailykos.com/...

My email address: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by IGTNT Advisory Group, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, DK VA Hospital Service Project, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Global Expats, The Rebel Alliance, Mental Health Awareness, and DKos Military Veterans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (130+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, WakeUpNeo, Tinfoil Hat, here4tehbeer, Egalitare, Calamity Jean, blueoasis, rat racer, Pluto, Hammerhand, vicki, Habitat Vic, triplepoint, Defiler, Sedro, tinhut, doornob, Lib Dem FoP, Dood Abides, ProgressiveBubba, JeffW, Ishmaelbychoice, bobswern, Susipsych, maryabein, JVolvo, Emerson, richardvjohnson, Liberal Mole, marleycat, Texknight, SteelerGrrl, leeleedee, Jazzenterprises, MufsMom, angelajean, Buckeye Nut Schell, wader, deltadoc, Friend of the court, mslat27, GreyHawk, Mary Mike, Hal Donahue, Smoh, Constantly Amazed, a2nite, Norm in Chicago, RFK Lives, cybrestrike, TracieLynn, Oh Mary Oh, gulfgal98, ask, Catskill Julie, JayRaye, LaFeminista, dmhlt 66, zerelda, rebel ga, GreenMother, Shockwave, tommyfocus2003, 88kathy, jfromga, Debs2, poligirl, markdd, cville townie, TheDuckManCometh, Oye Sancho, FloridaSNMOM, bfitzinAR, greengemini, Betty Pinson, JusticeSeeker68, Maximilien Robespierre, maggiejean, AJayne, LOrion, CatJab, ColoTim, annieli, Lefty Coaster, YucatanMan, basquebob, Brian82, AR2, thomask, Themistoclea, Polly Syllabic, psychodrew, fToRrEeEsSt, Bonsai66, Bad Cog, sturunner, slowbutsure, goodpractice, kenwards, DerAmi, roses, Santa Susanna Kid, thanatokephaloides, Lily O Lady, Puddytat, NewRomeIsBurning, LaEscapee, owlbear1, rapala, fcvaguy, amyzex, kfunk937, cwsmoke, Bronx59, flowerfarmer, SilentBrook, amoginesq, noweasels, zootscoot, LamontCranston, tofumagoo, Vetwife, SherrieLudwig, Prickly Pam, occupystephanie, Agathena, dewolf99, ksemanek, anna shane, dalef77

    You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

    by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:36:46 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this diary, Democrats Ramshield. (22+ / 0-)

    Hope this video might also add to your readers' understanding:
    -
    -
    At YouTube: Interview With Gen. Peter Chiarelli

    Also republished to IGTNT Advisory Group.

    •  Thank you for your support. :-) (11+ / 0-)

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:55:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry to see this type of diary get trolled up. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WakeUpNeo, allie4fairness
        •  Reason this diary has been trolled off rec list (0+ / 0-)

          Why anyone would troll a suicide prevention diary beggars belief, but that's what happened here by doc2 and deh55. The trolls first job is to reduce the military and veteran suicide victims to statistics, rather than human beings, who don't represent a human tragedy leaving behind grief stricken families and communities.

           The second task of the trolls is to make you believe lied up government statistics which are incomplete data sets as only 21 out of the 50 states represented collect statistics on veterans/military suicides. Therefore these estimates must be seen as being incomplete and therefore completely inaccurate.

          For readers who aren't members of the Daily Kos community, you must understand that if a diary can be trolled off the recommended reading list, where readers by trolls are convinced that the diary is inaccurate and doesn't deserve their support, what will happen given the large volume of daily diaries at the Daily Kos, even finding this diary will be very difficult. Therefore something that is difficult to find can't be read easily. Therefore this is largely a fight for reader provided recommendations to keep this diary visible by keeping it on the recommended list. Whereupon I note quantifiably just in terms of FB shares this diary has done ten times better on Face Book than it did at the Daily Kos, as in FB it wasn't dependent on a recommended list by the Daily Kos community to provide an access point to help this diary get read.

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:22:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Stats can be misleading. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dood Abides

    The suicide rate amongst veterans in this period (22 a day) is equivalent to about 35 per 100,000 (there are 23,000,000 veterans), or 38 per 100,000 males. While the overall suicide rate in the US was 12 per 100,000 in 2010, amongst males it is much higher, and amongst older males it is higher still (more than 69% of all veteran suicides were people 50 years or older). The data for all males in their 50s (including non-veterans) shows that in 2010, the suicide rate was a bit over 30.

    So the bottom line is that military veterans' suicide rates are about 20% higher than the general population. That's still something, but it is important to put these numbers into perspective. We have a societal suicide issue, and it is not exclusive to veterans.

    •  Doc 2 is wrong. he won't rec this diary & (16+ / 0-)

      doesn't support what we are trying to do here.

      The bottom line is this, the overall American suicide rate is unacceptably high because of a lack of mental health access created by the fact America is the only major industrialized nation on earth that doesn't have universal medical access as a right of citizenship and this means that American veterans like the general population are left with a lack of access to mental health counseling. Whereupon it should further be noted that the military veterans of other highly industrialized nations don't have to contend with these issues to the extent that American veterans do.

      Doc2 in his fancy cut and paste job has essentially summarized the darkness of the talking points of the powers that be who have been bought by a for profit medical system plain and simple. I don't at all condemn his comments, I welcome them and hope and invite our readers to join that discussion in the spirit of intellectual freedom.    

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:43:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  when someone presents (0+ / 0-)

        government suicide statistics, most would accept the math and not label it a "fancy cut and paste job". I provided links, to actual statistics. The math is what it is. By using phrases like "a veteran commits suicide every 22 minutes", you are spinning the actual data to make it sound more alarming. Why not just say that veteran suicides are 20-25% higher than the age and gender-adjusted general population?

        I don't disagree that suicide is a problem, but in this reality-based community we can accept the actual statistical facts soberly and not ridicule those who provide us with links to them.

        •  To doc 2 -I don't accept your whitewash govt stats (10+ / 0-)

          The government's failure on this issue isn't anything that we ought to support and you shouldn't either so please stop the whitewash of this completely preventable tragedy with false statistics.  

          Additionally, there's the reality that part of the darkness around this issue is whitewashing this completely preventable tragedy of military suicide into social acceptance with massaged statistics, that doesn't even take 20 states into account who don't report military suicide in their statistical databases as part of the studies that you wrongfully cited as being reliable, which they aren't. So please stop trying to mislead people with the propaganda campaign with the powers that be, while trolling for mojo.

          The truth is the suicide rate in America is a tragedy for civilians as well as victims of military suicide, which is made possible because America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't have universal medical access as a human right and this includes access to mental health care.

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:48:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Completely preventable"? How so? (0+ / 0-)

            Access to mental health treatment is no guarantee, though it may help in some cases.

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

            by Neuroptimalian on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:57:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  there is data on interventions (0+ / 0-)

              When a suicidal soldier tries to get help and encounters barriers it's often seen as a 'sign' that it's time to end it. Suicidal people engage in magical thinking, they look for 'signs' to tell them yes or no.  If we could pay for them to be deployed, we could pay for adequate mental health professionals and short term hospitalizations and the sorts of support and education and help that buys time.  Isn't it the least we should do?

              In these soldiers there is often MBD from too near explosions, and injuries that didn't kill them but knocked their brains around.  Proper diagnosis at least removes the 'shame' over mental confusion and depression.  

              Just a correct diagnosis and a feasible treatment plan is generally enough to buy time.  just people being nice about it.  

        •  Overall suicide rates are too high, vets' suicide (18+ / 0-)

          rates are way too high.  That's what your citations indicate to me.  The fact that vets' suicide rates are "only" 20-25% higher than general population rates for similar age and gender categories is not a reassuring statistic.

          The sole potential relevance of your comments is, apparently, to assert that things aren't quite as bad as the diarist alleges.  Nowhere do I see an acknowledgement that these statistics show a serious problem that is not being adequately addressed by either the VA or by society as a whole.   Perhaps you agree that it is a serious crisis, but I don't see you acknowledging that point.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:53:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To RFK Lives - (Doc2's stats are false) (10+ / 0-)

            Doc2's statistics don't even take at least 20 states into account because they do not report veteran suicides. Therefore, the statistics he presents are really an establishment whitewash of the powers that be to justify their failure. Truth is, nobody knows how much veteran suicide statistics are. Doc2's position and statistics are incomplete at best and ridiculously so, which is the reason this diary didn't rely on those stats which are really an attempt of the government to whitewash its failure in the area of veteran suicide. Some people just don't want to see a diary like this reach its potential for whatever reasons. So all that a diarist like myself can do is to point to what we already know, which is a military suicide occurs almost every hour.

            Obviously if we had universal medical access in America, like every other major industrialized country in the world we would have mental health access to every one who needs it, civilians, as well as military at risk for suicide to get the help they needed. Why anyone would be against this, gives insight into the darkness that surrounds America on this issue that the diary refers to and that we will see manifest in comments again and again.

            You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

            by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:18:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually Doc2's stats do take that into account (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doc2

              since his numbers come directly from the study that gives the 22/day number:

              If this prevalence estimate is assumed to be constant across all U.S. states, an estimated 22 Veterans will have died from suicide each day in the calendar year 2010.
              http://www.va.gov/... . page 15. The previous 15 pages discuss the limitations of this estimate - it may be lower, it may be higher. 34 states have signed on to provide information for this study, but it's based on the first 21 reporting full numbers.

              The following page, 16, reports in detail about the demographics of veteran suicides, which can be legitimately compared to civilian ones. And should be, if we're going to deal with the reality of what causes veteran suicides. They're not all because of service.

              Before you get all huffy about my 'whitewashing' the foundation I work for has fielded suicide calls from vets for nearly 30 years. We've had satellite calls from Iraq and Afghanistan. We know, personally, just how bad this is. The last one that we have personal connections with was one my coworkers friends from the service who just killed himself, the day after he was discharged.

              My boss may not be the most eloquent man, but he tried to address this for the public months ago: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... .

              •  to nickrud - it is just not a good use of time (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thanatokephaloides, WakeUpNeo

                to try to argue this point with you further so I'm just going to turn the page on it and let our readers make up their own minds. I think you are doing people out there a real disservice by trying to move this diary off the rec list. I feel kind of sad about it, but that's life. I will say this if you are so convinced of your position why don't you go write a diary that is better than this one and try to get it on the rec list and keep it there.

                I see you have never written a diary but I really think you should give it a go.

                You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

                by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:08:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  why in the world (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  doc2, Deep Texan

                  do you

                  think you are doing people out there a real disservice by trying to move this diary off the rec list.
                  It's a subject that is important, that needs discussing. What I was talking about is misrepresentation of some else's comments. If you're serious about this, you'd address my points rather than dismiss me as an enemy.
                  •  Wow, what an allegation. (0+ / 0-)

                    How unnamed "people" can band together to move a diary off of the rec list is a mystery to me. Sounds a bit tin-foil hat-like to me.

                  •  to nickrud - look you're a troll plain and simple (1+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    WakeUpNeo
                    Hidden by:
                    Deep Texan

                    You don't want to see needy veterans get the mental health care they need, because you are a hateful person and it is not a good use of time to communicate with you further. I encourage others simply to ignore you, in the hopes you will go troll for mojo somewhere else. As for the rest of us we think that the veterans' suicide rate is already too high and shouldn't climb any higher, and we want to support efforts like this diary to help keep the public focus on this important issue.

                    You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

                    by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:22:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why are you on the attack? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Neuroptimalian

                      Nobody has said anything that deserves this sort of attack. You make a bunch of claims in a diary, and when a couple of people respectfully present or discuss the actual data you go berserk on them. We're progressives here, we're not supposed to be the jerks.

                    •  ok (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      doc2, Neuroptimalian

                      that is about as silly a thing as anything I've read here. Me, a troll. I don't want to see veterans get mental health care. Right. Even though I work with and for the man who created the primary mental health care system for combat veterans. I'm hateful, apparently because I try to correct a misunderstanding of someone else's comment. I'm totally supportive of keeping this issue in front of the public. But, I'm a troll because I dispute one important detail - the relative rates of suicides amongst age cohorts. An important point, since, by far, older vets commit suicide than younger ones, while your diary presumes the opposite. If people act upon your guidance they'll be spending their time where it will be least helpful.

                      •  The math is very clear. I'm (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Neuroptimalian

                        not sure why there is so much resistance to it. The bottom line is that 22 vets end their lives every day, and that is terrible. But if 17 of them would have done the same thing had they NOT been vets, that informs us that the fact that they are vets plays only a small role in driving their likelihood to commit suicide. Being an older male in America makes one quite likely to kill oneself, and most veterans are older males. There's just no disputing the numbers.

                    •  Seems to have been a drive-by donut. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                    •  Dem Ram - you realize that your defensiveness (0+ / 0-)

                      is not only inappropriate, but is making at least some readers (such as myself) question ALL your points?  
                      Doc2 gave some facts needed to put your statistics in a sensible context.  
                      You have gone all " Troll accuse" just for that.  
                      Makes me think you are a nut.

                      •  Ok but you can't read. (0+ / 0-)

                        If you could read you would have seen only 21 states report vet suicide. The stats are in fact as pointed out in this diary only 21 out of the 50 states even report veterans' suicides. Therefore logically these incomplete data sets cannot be relied upon as being complete and accurate, and for this reason this diary has done about ten times better in Face Book shares than it did in recommends on the Daily Kos, because people are able to see through lied up government incomplete statistics, the sole purpose is to whitewash the tragedy of military and veteran suicides in America. Where the overall rate of suicide in this society given the easy access to firearms  AND LACK OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE is unacceptably high by international standards, even for the general population. Over 1k readers at the Kos and on facebook  by their recommendations and Facebook shares support this diary in direct contradiction to your lied up view.

                        I THINK YOU'RE A HATEFUL PERSON and what you have done here fills many of us with sadness. Not just because what you've done is a clear attempt to dehumanize military and veteran suicide victims and their families from validation by reducing their tragedy to statistics, but then you suggest that anyone that doesn't accept these incomplete government statistics, must have a mental health problem themselves. The blind acceptance of government statistics historically has only ever been successfully dictated in totalitarian states. The very exercise of democracy itself gives us the right to challenge the government's statistics, the design of which is to whitewash this tragedy, while concurrently providing job protection for senior government administrators, and their continued big government paid out bonuses, who don't care that 29 states were not included in their statistics.

                        The darkness and hatred in people like yourself is plainly visible to the large number of people who have supported this diary, as it clearly beggars belief why anyone cogently speaking would attempt to troll a suicide prevention diary by posturing pontificating little people pretending to prostrate themselves in front of the altar of government statistics. The simple fact is that the overall American suicide rate is a preventable tragedy, and we cannot allow ourselves as people of conscience to be misled by comments such as yours.
                        :-(

                        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

                        by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:45:13 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  I'll bet you have never been in the military eithe (0+ / 0-)
          •  I wrote (0+ / 0-)
            We have a societal suicide issue, and it is not exclusive to veterans.
            We all know that suicide is a terrible problem. It's just not a veteran's issue, as claimed here. It is an everyone issue. Vets kill themselves just a little more than non-vets kill themselves. Understanding a problem, through a thorough examination of the underlying numbers, is an essential first step at attacking an issue.
          •  I suspect that a properly designed study (0+ / 0-)

            ...would find a significantly larger difference between the suicide rate of veterans and a group of young people of similar demographics and health who did not enter the military.  

            •  Why in the name of all that is good are (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WakeUpNeo, Agathena

              we fighting over the actual, precise number ....because truth be known it could be higher....Accidental overdose, ???  Car wreck??????  There are probably accidents that are not accidents... One death is too many.
              One suicide is one too many.   I have dealt with issue time and time again about stats in it's exact number which no one has a real statistical handle on, just an educated guess because not all victims of gun violence, as a shooter, or domestic scene, or overdose gets reported as suicide... How about those and I know about those who just jump out in combat hoping to be killed... Or the old vet who quits taking his meds?  
              Let's not argue over 2 oe 22.. Let's try and do something about this disgrace !  

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:53:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Vetwife didn't rec this diary (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Agathena, Vetwife

                Though she gave a tip jar. This is representative of what happens when a diary is allowed to be trolled. I should like to point out to Vetwife that my intention in writing this diary was not to argue statistics with doc2. Doc2 essentially lied while trolling for mojo where he represented whitewashed government statistics as being representative of the country. When in fact truthfully it only represented stats from 21 states with no data being provided from 29 states.

                In addition to which he also lied about the fact that the study he cited said that the veterans' suicide represented over 50 year olds committing suicide at a slightly higher rate as well as other things, when compared to the general population. When multiple people called him on those assertions and others, he was unable to provide an exact page citation for his information. But it didn't matter because too many came to the conclusion that a suicide prevention diary had erupted into a pie fight and for whatever reason they wouldn't rec the diary fast enough to keep it on the rec list to help people gain information as related in this veteran and military suicide prevention diary. This is the type of tragedy that regularly repeats itself at the Kos with too many important diaries.

                So to Vetwife the bottom line was the intention of this diary was never for me to argue statistics, but rather to provide a suicide prevention information resource for the public, and to get as much exposure and support for that life saving undertaking as possible. Thank you for your comment.  

                You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

                by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 01:06:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You my dear were not the one arguing (0+ / 0-)

                  The comment was directed to doc2.   As far as recording the diary.. I simply forgot... It was late when I commented..Sorry.

                  Thank you for the diary Democrats as it is posted on my facebook and shared.... Good diary but the comment  of 1 or 100 to others was rather frustrating to me.. One is too many.

                  We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                  by Vetwife on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:12:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  RFK - you are wrong in criticizing doc2. (0+ / 0-)

            Sensible people will pay no attention to a statement such as "22 suicides per day" - that is out of context and meaningless.  Whether it is normal or not depends entirely on the size of the population at risk.  
            By providing context, doc2 makes the diary worth reading.  

            •  deh55 is using a troll's argument. Plain & simple. (0+ / 0-)

              The first troll's (doc2) argument presented are incomplete and in fact phony government statistics which purpose it is to dehumanize the military and veteran suicide tragedy by dehumanizing them as statistics instead of people. The second sophistry laden argument is that these people are of no substantial numerical consequence because they're not that much higher than the overall alleged American suicide rate. This again is a false lied up argument, because only 21 out of the 50 states report veteran suicide. So it is impossible to come to the reasonable conclusion that the government estimated statistics could reasonably be believed to be reliable.

              The trolls however such as doc2 and deh55 don't care about that, they are what is known in the Kos community are doing what is called trolling for mojo, where ratings points are given to them by people who haven't fully read this diary, who see the words government statistics and automatically want to believe that this diary is misrepresenting facts. The effect this has is that recommends by readers can be withheld so that this diary will fall off the reader's rec list, which means given the volume of diaries at the DKos, it basically will no longer be possible for it to be easily found. The fact that this diary has done 10 times better on FB shares already provides quantifiable evidence that this diary has been cravenly trolled at the DKos to kill support for it. A fact that seems beyond comprehension why anyone would want to troll a suicide prevention diary completely beggars belief!

              Yet these same people who want to do nothing substantial about military and veteran suicide rates in America want you to essentially believe their lies, for reasons known only to themselves, which are promulgated by bureaucrats in the US government based on incomplete statistical estimates, the design of which is to provide them with job security, continued pay out of bonuses. This is a scandal in America and these trolls do not deserve your support. Please do not be fooled or misled by incomplete phony government statistics. Also it should be noted that as a shocking number of suicides in America occur with firearms, that America both for military and civilian firearm deaths and suicides leads the world. This troubling fact is likewise being whitewashed! Because these firearm suicides, both military, veteran and civilian in America are shocking and unacceptably high.  

              You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

              by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:02:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  deh55 never gave this diary an honest reading. (0+ / 0-)

              You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

              by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:49:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Just because a Dem is in the WH (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, cybrestrike

          it doesn't mean we should whitewash these problems.

          We're Dems. Let's make our leaders face the problem of veteran suicide and deal with it.  There's no honor in pretending its not a problem.

          Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

          by Betty Pinson on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:43:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hey doc2 you have really flooded this board (0+ / 0-)

          I read through most of the posts here and for someone who claims not to be a troll you surely have flooded this message board. You claim you're not a troll but that's what trolls do they completely flood message boards. I say if the shoe fits wear it.

        •  Would this be the same government whose statistics (0+ / 0-)

          show that inflation is less than 4% and UE is less than 7-8%?

          ALL the negative social statistics (UE, inflation, et al) are cooked and as legitimate as a $3 bill.

          Best rule of thumb is to take whatever "official" number is given for any negative stat and double it.

          •  What statistics should we believe if not those (0+ / 0-)

            collected by the US government?  

            •  Why believe Gov stats that are incomplete? (0+ / 0-)

              I again only 21 states have provided stats. What about the other 29 states? Why doesn't this matter to you? Why are you really doing this? Why? What is your real agenda here? Why would anyone troll a suicide prevention diary whose intent it is to raise public awareness in order to save lives.

              Besides your shameful attempt to try to dehumanize the victims of military and veterans' suicide and their grieving families to mere statistics is shameful enough, but then for you to try to bludgeon people into accepting lied up government statistics is something reminiscent of actions taken in a totalitarian state, where free citizens can't question the government as part of the exercise of democracy itself. The truth is the design of these lied up government statistics is to cover the asses of senior government bureaucrats so as to provide them with job security and continued pay out of large government bonuses. It is intellectually irresponsible to accept that in a study where only 21 states have reported, that the other 29 states don't have to be examined, when in fact they don't report veteran and military suicide on their death certificates, so we don't know how much worse the problem is, than what has been reported by the government's statistics which are only estimates for what may be happening in those other 29 states. It is not a full report, it is not an accurate accounting, and why you would hatefully try to bludgeon people into prostrating ourselves before the altar of  inaccurate govt estimates is beyond belief.

              The fact is the American suicide rate is tragically high even in the general population by international standards, when we consider the easy access for Americans to firearms, as well as lack of mental health care. Whereupon a subset of that tragedy is military and veterans' suicide rates which no one wants to give a complete accounting for in the govt for obvious reasons, so I ask again why would anyone want to troll up a suicide prevention diary, how completely unconscionable of you and indeed how very sad!  

              You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

              by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:05:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  This isn't just a Veterans' issue. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WakeUpNeo, Democrats Ramshield

        Adjusting for gender and age, veterans do have increased incidence of mental health problems and suicides.  It is unknown if this would still hold true if further adjustments were made for education or socioeconomic class.  What is clear is that, compared to the general US population and to other industrialized countries, this group is over-represented by suicides and under-represented in terms of quality mental health services, either through the VA or through other community services.

        Mental health services in the US have suffered more funding cutbacks than any other sector of medical or social services.  When the rights of mental patients were recognized and patients were turned out from mental hospitals in the 1960s and 1970s, community mental health services were established to treat these people as outpatients.  When funding for community services were cut back repeatedly over the subsequent years, community mental health services were cut back to the point that there is little service other than "medication management", quick-and-dirty mental health assessments by psychiatrists (or, depending on state, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, or psychologist) who continue the treatment regimen unless the person is psychotic or threatening suicide or homicide.  

        These folks aren't seen in regular hospital emergency rooms unless they are in such a state, but are turned away to seek treatment from the mental health services.  A lot of these folks fall through the cracks because they don't like the side effects of their meds and discontinue treatment.  The community services can't follow up on  those cases due to large caseloads and overworked workers.  Many of these people are estranged from their families because mental health symptoms exhibited during exacerbations tend to alienate people.  Off their medications, many of these people become suicidal.

        Hopefully, the ACA will help fund mental health services in the US.

        •  In California we are doing better since we passed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena

          the Mental Health Services Act. This is a 1% tax on those who make more than a million dollars a year. We now have more than just "medication management" through the Department of Mental Health and also organizations such as Mental Health America (by the way if you know of a homeless mentally ill person check MHA out. In my area they have a terrific homeless assistance program that literally saves lives.)

          The DMH has therapy and also support groups in addition to the medication. And MHA has peer-run support groups.

          Recently a study came out that shows that due to the Mental Health Services Act the numbers of mental health consumers who are able to live independently have gone up.

          These kinds of programs have also helped keep people from the revolving-door system of repeated hospitalizations. A 72 hour hold is not really enough time to get someone stabilized and when they are let loose they may not have the insurance to pay for medications. Thanks to this Act there are fewer people falling through the cracks.

          However I am not aware if they have anything specifically tailored for veterans. I guess that would be with the VA and their funding is separate as far as I know.

          It is a shame that the government does such a poor job of taking care of our solders who have put their lives on the line for our country and then abandon them when they get home. Any politician that cuts funding for veterans ought to be fired.

          If billionaires can afford to spend millions of dollars so that they can avoid paying taxes and fair wages, then they *can afford* to pay taxes and fair wages!

          by Pixie5 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:32:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  to Expat and Proud of it - thank you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena

          for your well thought out comments. The simple fact is that when doc2 began trolling this diary he did not tell people the data sets that he was representing as being valid were in fact invalid, as they only included 21 out of the 50 states who reported for the study. I note even in your well thought out comments, there seems to be a perception that the veterans' suicide rate is only slightly higher than the general population. In fact there is no evidence of doc2''s submission of this reality that he purports deceptively.

          They don't want to make the facilities available in all 50 states because they don't want people to know how big of a problem veteran suicide is. So what we are left with is the knowledge that veteran and military suicides occur nearly hour. That is what this diary faithfully reported, 23 times a day military suicide takes a toll. The fact that we are talking about doc2 misleading, trolling activity shows he was completely able to divert the dialog on this diary, so as to troll it off the rec list to prevent it from gaining further support, so as to help people.

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:48:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  PS: I note Expat and Proud of it didn't rec diary (0+ / 0-)

            Whether they did this because of doc2's efforts can't be known, but what is clear is that at 132 recs the amount of time this diary was able to spend on rec list, so as to help people with military and veterans' suicide awareness was limited. This is the sad reality of the matter when we are trying to inform the public as to the size and scope of the crisis.  

            You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

            by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:55:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dem Ram - you are sounding very paranoid. Please (0+ / 0-)

              check your own mental stability and make sure you take all your meds as the doctor advises.  
              Rather than Trolling, Doc2 gave your diary meaning.
              Your frantic assertion "23 times a day military suicide" is meaningless until the population at risk is defined and compared with non-vets.

        •  Now THIS is another important point. Of the (0+ / 0-)

          suicides in both Vet and control populations, how many are mentally ill with a condition that could be controlled - AND how many would control it if they had the resources?

          "mental health symptoms exhibited during exacerbations tend to alienate people" - nicely put.  

      •  Not just health care. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not so sure the suicide rate can be simply laid at the door of our healthcare problems.  For one thing, societies like Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries with government-sponsored healthcare programs have much higher suicide rates (and much lower homicide rates) than in the US.  Then again, you have to take inter-cutural comparisons with a grain of salt.  Differences in cultures and attitudes toward suicide and its social environment must be taken into account as well.  

        Another factor that must be considered is the stigma attached to any mental/emotional problem in our society.  The attitude is internalized by those with mental issues, so they refuse to acknowledge their problem to others and themselves as well.  In brief, they can be in denial about it.  From personal experience, I know that depressed people will interpret their situation over-rationally.  That is, they attribute their mood to external factors - to the state of the world, as evidenced by the aforementioned diary - or to some philosophical issue they can, or cannot, think themselves out of.  Unfortunately, the former are stubborn and are not likely to go away anytime soon, and the latter often are turned inward - the eventual philosophical conclusion, driven by the depression itself,  is that the depressed person thinks her/himself damaged goods, a moral failure of some sort.  In other words, internally stigmatized.  Which is why society's stigmatization and blithering ignorance of the internal dilemma of a depressed person is so cruel.  Equally cruel is the delusion that true depression can be "cured" without medication and/or expert help.  The suicidal person will often attempt this, but in most cases fail, concluding that they are doomed.  Most of all, they cry out for compassionate attention.  This is where the rest of us can step in.  

        •  Most of all, they cry out for compassionate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena

          attention.  This is where the rest of us can step in.  

          THIS.

          If billionaires can afford to spend millions of dollars so that they can avoid paying taxes and fair wages, then they *can afford* to pay taxes and fair wages!

          by Pixie5 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:35:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And yours are especially misleading. (0+ / 0-)
      The suicide rate amongst veterans in this period (22 a day) is equivalent to about 35 per 100,000 (there are 23,000,000 veterans), or 38 per 100,000 males.

      The data for all males in their 50s (including non-veterans) shows that in 2010, the suicide rate was a bit over 30.

      So the bottom line is that military veterans' suicide rates are about 20% higher than the general population
      So you are comparing the suicide rate of only males in their 50s in society as a whole with the suicide rate of all veterans regardless of age. You may have a point here, but your data do not bear it out.
      •  civille townie wrong 29 states have no stats on (0+ / 0-)

        Military suicide at all. Please go back and read the diary. :-)

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:25:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read my comment again. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Democrats Ramshield
          So you are comparing the suicide rate of only males in their 50s in society as a whole with the suicide rate of all veterans regardless of age.
          Independent of the problem you note, I pointed out that doc2's comparison is between apples and oranges, so his "only 20% higher" figure is bullshit.
          •  To cville townie - Well said (0+ / 0-)

            You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

            by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:39:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  doc2 didn't compare suicide rates (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doc2

            for only males in their 50's to all vets, but to vets in their 50's. As he pointed out the suicide rate for vets in their 50's is much higher than any other cohort. If he'd compared only non-vets in their 50's to all vets he'd have claimed that fewer vets than civilians committed suicide.

            Here's a comparison by age cohort: http://www.va.gov/... , page 22.

            •  I actually compared male vets over 50 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ItsaMathJoke

              to all males over 50. So the comparison is as apples-to-apples as one can get. Some people here just don't want to hear about actual data. Saying "one veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes" just sounds more impressive than "vets commit suicide at a rate 20% higher than the age- and gender-adjusted society as a whole". But facts are facts.

              •  to doc2 - fact is you're trolling for mojo (0+ / 0-)

                You don't get about the veterans' suicide rate, because you are a hateful person. It is not a good use of time for people here to try to communicate with you, who think that the veterans' suicide rate is already too high, and want to be engaged in a life saving public information campaign to try to help people stay alive, because military suicide is a completely preventable cause of death.

                My message for the readers on this board please don't continue to try to feed the trolls. The diary's position is clear, 29 states aren't even included in this so-called whitewashed study cited by doc2 who is just here to troll for mojo.

                You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

                by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:26:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not going to let you mislead people (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ItsaMathJoke

                  on the data. The 29 states you mention are from YOUR study, the one you mention in your diary. And if you would have read it, the authors state that they used the data from the other 21 states to extrapolate to the 22 suicides/day rate that YOU quote. So there are no "missing" 29 states. The whole point of the research paper is to model just how many veteran suicides there really are. Do you understand what this means now?

      •  No, the 38 per 100,000 is for (0+ / 0-)

        only male vets, as cited in my link. My numbers are correct.

        •  But male vets of all ages. (0+ / 0-)

          And you're still cherry-picking data; from that link, the difference in suicide rate between vets and non-vets is higher for younger men, and higher for women, than it is for older men.

        •  If we are playing statistics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife

          what is not taken account of is the number of avoidable deaths among veterans which can be attributed to the consequences of their service.

          Here I am thinking of the number who die early because of homelessness or alcohol or drug use. Other deaths might result from what is sometimes called "death by police" but there is probably a wider number of deaths and injury as a result of a nihilistic incitement of others to punish the vet.

          There is, I believe, also a higher incidence of spousal violence among serving and ex-military which can lead to murder and deaths of both victim and perp.

          So the suicide rate is just one metric that should be taken into account when considering the adverse effect of military service. It just happens to be the one which is most likely to be recorded in a uniform fashion in a representative sample of states.

          "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:01:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  THANKS DC. Without knowing how the Vet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2

      suicide rate compared with that of the general population, I could not evaluate the post.  
      There is two more things necessary to evaluate  -
      (1) What % of suicides (both vets and control population) represent a reasoned choice from a mentally healthy person - ie someone dying of prostate CA or degenerating from dementia, etc.?
      (2) Many non-reasonable suicides are done with firearms.  Is the % the same in vets and controls?  Is the higher % deaths in vets firearm caused and correlated with higher access to firearms?

  •  Complex relationship (13+ / 0-)

    The UK government does not keep records of ex-soldiers who commit suicide however last year the BBC's Panorama documentary strand did an edition on military suicides. They surveyed all the coroners and examined newspaper records in an attempt to establish the figure.

    They came to a figure of "at least 29" ex-soldiers during 2012 compared to the 21 serving soldier figure provided by the Ministry of Defence. The MoD also claim that the rate of PTSD in soldiers is lower than in the general civilian population however the experience of one ex-soldier may help explain that somewhat dubious assertion:

    "I went into camp one morning and I just broke down. So they took me to the doctor's and he said you might have PTSD."

    An appointment was arranged but he missed it because he was on paternity leave. When he left the Army in January 2011, he had not been formally diagnosed with PTSD and then became chronically depressed.

    "I'd feel suicidal every day," he said. "I probably didn't leave the house properly for about a year."

    He applied for compensation from the Army but it was refused because he had never been formally diagnosed with PTSD.

    To put this figure in context, the USA has roughly 7 times the number of members of the armed forces compared to the UK (source) Using one year's figures is of course not necessarily representative but it does suggest that the rate among American service personnel is substantially higher (@50x is probably an exaggeration due to statistical variations).

    Let me just remark in passing that there are other symptoms of the damage caused to service personnel besides suicide. One of these is post-service homelessness often associated with substance abuse (usually alcohol).

    I am not sure if the difference can be explained as simply as the UK having National Health Services. You allude to the problems of poverty among military families in the USA and here the British Army's regimental system may be providing support to spouses and partners which is not so formalized in the US Army. (Here I should give a shout out to the, usually, wives of senior officers who do a lot of voluntary work in this area.)

    From what I understand, the US Army's regiments are not, at least in theory, geographically based. So there are still regiments that recruit mainly in certain areas, like the Royal Welsh and Royal Regiment of Scotland, as well as specialized corps like the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) or the Signal Corps.

    Another factor may be the different lengths of the tours of active duty (deployment). In the British Army, this is usually 6 months although in the exit from Afghanistan this has been extended to up to 9 months. A reply here indicates that deployments in the US Army were for 12 to 15 months.

    There is an implied "duty of care" for a nation towards its armed forces (not the least aspect of which is to employ every other means of solving a dispute before invoking the military). In 2000 this was formalized for the BA as the "Army Covenant" which starts:

    Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces.

    In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service.

    The principle of caring for ex-soldiers decently goes back to the establishment of Les Invalides in Paris which inspired the founding of the Chelsea Hospital in 1682  'as a place of refuge and shelter for such Land Soldiers as are or shall be old, lame or infirm in the service of the Crown'.  Hospital in this case is the old meaning of a place of caring and is effectively a retirement home. A similar hospital was established for sailors at Greenwich. That is now part of a university campus but the historic elements are open to the public and worth a sightseeing visit from central London.

    Now which, if any, of these factors are responsible for the apparent different in the incidence of suicide I leave up to further discussion.
     

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:12:54 AM PDT

    •  to Lib Dem FoP - thank you for rec the diary (7+ / 0-)

      You are absolutely right to bring an international perspective to bear here. More or less the same thing can be said of the support for military veterans in Germany and France as well as Britain and other Nato nations that have universal medical access, which includes a permanent lifelong cradle to grave guarantee of access of mental health care to include prescription medications, all of which is lacking in the American society of 2014.

      Additionally the overall social safety net in the European Union and Canada is much better at providing for the needs of service members, veterans and their families. We must understand that the social contract has been broken in America, and that the well heeled are now stepping over our veteran brothers and sisters with callous disregard and it is time they were called on it, because part of what allows this epidemic to continue is that we allow too many of our brothers and sisters to slip away quietly in the night having fallen victim to the tragedy of military suicide that afflicts the 2014 America with callous indifference to the important weight of this completely preventable tragedy.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:51:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Approach (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, gulfgal98, Betty Pinson

        I hope I recognized that both countries share the experience of ex-soldiers committing suicide and domestic violence; mental health problems; substance abuse and homelessness. Both countries fail their armed forces in this. These though are symptoms of underlying causes and the degree of them is a useful starting point to compare what are effectively organizations with the same purposes.

        I think there are additional reasons to simply the availability of health care as after all in theory British ex-soldiers access to NHS services should mean none committing suicide - which is why I consider this a failure of the system.

        Another part of this is the loss of "purpose" that soldiers often experience on leaving the service - one reason perhaps why especially in the USA there are large numbers of them in the law enforcement services. Perhaps we should also be looking at the final phases of actual service and seeing what "exit" courses and training is given there. Certainly learning to acknowledge PTSD as a real risk both personally and for the personnel they look after should be part of basic training.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:30:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  smile! (0+ / 0-)

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 01:28:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another opportunity for dems - show what Reps do (7+ / 0-)

    republicans don't support the soldiers

    the sucicide issue could be a big issue for the dems to push

    namely, those dems who want to work against the military - surveillance state

    and show the hypocrisy of "support troops" as a propaganda slogan

    by the way, another radical suggestion for the dems is to support the constitution, and even less radical is to support the new deal against the oligarchs

     

  •  rec'd and tweeted without looking (7+ / 0-)

    at the videos or having read the diary in full.

    I think I have seen enough.

  •  The Peace vigil group (7+ / 0-)

    that I am involved with tries to engage the general public during our once a week vigil.  One of the points that many Americans are completely unaware of is the abnormally high rate of suicide among both veterans and active duty personnel.  

    There are probably many causes to this high figure, not the least of which is that war is a traumatic experience for most individuals who are sent into combat.  

    When we look at the number of wars that the US is currently engaged in, along with the ridiculously high number of tours of duty that our military personnel are required to serve in, along with the fact that so many of our military personnel have no jobs to come home to, along with the fact that our healthcare and mental healthcare system is not easily accessible to all people, it is no wonder that the suicide rate for veterans is so high.

    This is an important diary, no matter how one wants to slice and dice the figures.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:04:46 AM PDT

    •  to gulfgal98 - thank you for your support (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gulfgal98

      As you know with 29 out of the 50 states as set out in the diary don't even report for the purpose of any studies their figures on veteran suicide rates, it is therefore a proposition in absurdity that upthread people are trolling this diary with bogus figures that are incomplete in order to take this diary off the rec list, so as to prevent further community support. The truth is there are hateful people everywhere who don't want to see needy veterans get the assistance they need.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:19:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even under the best of circumstances, (8+ / 0-)

    returning to the civilian world involves no small amount of culture shock.

    Add to that frustrations of dealing with the VA, overpayments, underpayments, denial of existence, being put on 6 month waiting list to have an office visit with a doctor over life threatening conditions, and the fear of failure on behalf of one's family--

    This is before PTSD or TBI or any other condition that would make this situation demonstrably worse.

    You go from being young and able bodied, part of something bigger than yourself, to being ejected from (for many) the only community they know, with very little or zero support system and a mountain of red tape and unable to either find a job (as promised by all that fancy training) or hold one down because of your injuries.

    Everyone is so goddamn eager to tell you how patriotic you are, but not one person lifts a finger to help you in your time of need. Either because they don't know what to do for you, or just don't care. Either way, the end result is the same.

    Thanks for the Diary Democrats Ramshield. The government likes to play the statistics game a lot with all kinds of issues. It can be useful,  but there are times when the surveys used to find some of this data are skewed to find a particular result.

    A lot of people never dealt with that, and cannot imagine it. If they met veterans and heard some of our stories, they wouldn't believe us, because the tales of woe sound fantastical, too bizarre to be real, because civilians do not understand how twisted up the system is, and that's been that way for decades thanks to a bipartisan effort of apathy and greed.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:36:37 AM PDT

    •  I feel your anguish and anger (5+ / 0-)

      I am a disabled Vietnam veteran who served honorably in the USAF.  My struggles with Agent Orange related disease and PTSD/MST have been overwhelming.  Fighting for VA disability since 2005 has been so difficult and damaging to my physical and mental health.

      Thank you, GreenMother for your enlighted words and understanding of the horrible struggles of being an American veteran.

      •  I have been through some shit, but (and this is (5+ / 0-)

        important) as bad as it was, not minimizing a thing, I was still one of the lucky ones.

        I didn't end up homeless. I was able to muddle through it with my spouse and a couple of friends and family. I could have used real help, and it would have made a real difference, that being said, I managed to keep my head above the waves.

        Somewhere between luck and love, and determination I made it through, but seriously, there but for the grace of some god--it could have gone a whole other direction.

        If were to tell my WHOLE story here online, it would sound crazy, and it would infuriate people, and still--Mine is not even close to being the worst story to tell.

        When I talked to other vets who waited 6 to 8 months for an office visit for heart failure, who had to skimp on supplies when they have COPD, and some who reported being harassed at the VA due to their race or their gender, etc.,

        OMFG that pisses me off. It pisses me off for me, but most of all it angers me on behalf of all the vets who suffer needlessly with conditions that are treatable, with conditions that could have been preventable, who feel totally abandoned and shit on by the people who put them in harms way.

        There is no way to convey all that is going on, because it is that deep and that messy. Words do not do this situation justice.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:20:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am glad you and I made it through (4+ / 0-)

          I had less of a support system - but I did rely on the few who knew and understood the suffering.  And it is suffering.
          I honor you, GreenMother.

          •  Righ back at you tommyfocus2003 (4+ / 0-)

            I cannot imagine going through all that AND have a missing limb or be burned or otherwise be disfigured on top of all of that.

            I don't know how they do it. And some of them cannot make it on their own at all. we should be able to do better by our veterans, by our entire population for that matter.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 12:59:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am glad you made it through tommyfocus2003 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tommyfocus2003, WakeUpNeo, Vetwife

            Something else I noticed through all of this--when dealing with the injustice of it all--if a vet gets upset, and tries to change the system, others will stand in our way. They will ask us Why we are taking so much on ourselves, and tell us, this is a time for you to take care of you.

            They are clueless. They don't understand. You don't leave a man or woman behind. You were trained in the service not just to avoid obstacles, but to remove them for the sake of the team and the mission. It's grilled into you, no matter what your job is.

            Telling a vet not to care about other vets, even the most hardened and bitter amongst us, is like telling water not to be wet.

            So even when we try to change things, we get undermined by (realtime) concern trolls. It sucks. I am sick of it.

            Thanks tommyfocus--for prompting that memory, it's something worth sharing.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:04:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, you are welcome (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GreenMother, WakeUpNeo

              Listen to this.  One of the very best PTSD therapists I ever had in + ten yrs of going to the tampa VA, was told that he was being "too much of an advocate" for his group members (He wrote statements in support of claims, etc.).  He was transferred and left a very good and loyal group behind.  The group soon disbanded.

              They do not understand.

              •  After what people have told me over the years (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WakeUpNeo

                I can believe it.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:34:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  please read GreenMother's comment (0+ / 0-)

          Green Mother, we hear and feel our sister Green Mother's pain and sense of betrayal she has suffered. We want to validate it. We are with you and we are with all our brothers and sisters who are not alone in feelings that the nation that has put you and many of our other brothers and sisters who put you in harm's way has abandoned you to a bureaucratic nightmare of benefits and treatments withheld and delayed by heartless bureaucrats, while too many of us are being stepped over by the well heeled.

          A disabled vet buddy of mine who has been on outdated medications, that he was put on by the American government's doctors and when he got to Europe, his European doctors put him on updated medications which had the effect of immediately ameliorating his symptoms that he had needlessly been suffering under. To be clear it's not the fault of the American government's physicians that the federal government wouldn't pay for updated medications.

          The problem is the political will to provide current gold standard medications isn't there. But members of Congress and their families from the same government doctors always get the gold standard of treatment and medication for themselves and to hell with the American veteran, who has been overlooked and stepped over by the well heeled American population, whose very freedom was defended by the veterans that they are now stepping over with inhuman and indeed callous disregard, in what must be seen as a final act of betrayal.  

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 12:43:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  to tommyfocus2003 - thank you for great post (4+ / 0-)

        It is quite illuminating and of course you are completely correct in your position. Of course please let me say I speak for the majority of the people who recommended this diary, when I say we are with you and thank you again for your service.

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:47:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry tommy and sorry all vets... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, tommyfocus2003

        (((((hugs)))))

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:58:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  to GreenMother - thank you for the great post (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, GreenMother

      Thank you also for your service. Everything you have said in your post is true. You're right most civilians have no appreciation for how jacked up the system really is and can't see through civilian government bureaucrats using half baked statistics to try to provide job security for them in the face of their overwhelming ineptitude. They should be fired, but in order to save their jobs they will try to hide behind statistical studies from 21 states, when in fact there is no complete data from the other 29. In doing so try to fool people into thinking they are doing a good job, when in fact they should be fired, because they are doing a terrible job.

      Of course this being the Kos someone is going to get on this diary to troll for mojo. That's part and parcel of the Daily Kos. It's just that when veterans are actually dying because they can't get access to needed mental health treatment, it then seems clear that trolling for mojo becomes particularly troubling and indeed sad.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:40:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well let's look at this again and it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        sure explains a lot.. thanks Democrats for standing up..It is a hard road to travel,,but we must journey on...I was told today a lady vet who had a stroke and on a stretcher was dropped from travel..I guess I have to go back on CNBC.  Watch Death and Dishonor.. Crisis at the VA.  I hoped things would get some better when we did the interview.

        http://www.cnbc.com/...

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:11:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The important thing that some civilians need (0+ / 0-)

        to understand is that they need to read the questionnaires sent out to the Military and to Vets. This is just one example

        Way back in the day when the military first started to deal with sexual harassment, I got a questionnaire at my last duty station and it focused on asking people in the military if they had been sexually harassed.

        Civilians say--hey, that's great, the military is asking, we don't need to pay attention to this any more.

        What the civilians didn't know is that the questionnaire focused only on the previous 12 months of service.

        Most people (many of which are women) who go through this, get harassed more than once, throughout their entire service. And the service knew this. The complaints are constant. So by focusing on the previous 12 months you cut the number of complains made by respondents down significantly. By doing this--the results of these surveys points the fact that if there is a problem--it's a very small one. That means funds allocated to handle this problem are affected.

        And there are no fill in the blank questions. You are restricted to answering only via the multiple choice answers you are given. That significantly limits the ability of respondents to describe what is going on, the nature of the problem(s), frequency, severity, etc.,

        So what does this active duty Questionnaire mean to the VA? Well at that time, there were NONE of the following:

        Programs just for female vets concerning Military Sexual Trauma. No inhouse PTSD treatments, nothing to deal with the homelessness issue of female vets who survived MST. Nothing.

        As bad as it all is for all Vets, what services were available were so male oriented, that many women vets couldn't even get a Pap exam.

        Because the military's nonchalance about female service members set the tone, and then reinforced it with their attempts to cover up the problems.

        Now extend that sort of behavior to all vets, in hopes of saving the government money and behold the horror.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:13:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  (((((hugs)))) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:59:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My brother, you know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, Betty Pinson

    and I know the depths to which the USA has fallen.  I am older and not in great health.  I regret not having emigrated to the EU. I lived in Belgium and France when I was younger - and I recall a more gracious and less stressful life - one filled with many good & kind people and good things, and with a sense of community and solidarity.

    You have explained things well.  I am a USAF veteran who served honorably.  I was stationed at NATO HDQT's in Belgium and immersed myself in the Belgian culture(s) , languages and quickly fell in love with the country and her people (the French as well).

    My dream was to emigrate to the south of France (Southwest is not as expensive as Provence and le Cote D'or, as you know).

    Sadly, I am stuck in Tampa, FL - among so many stressed out Americans and a good number of ignorant people.  I am isolated and withdrawn.  I know things would have been different in Europe.

    Live your life celebrating people, food, pleasure, grace and joy.  

    Merci beaucoup, cher ami, mon frere.

    •  I sit here today, with typical American (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, Vetwife

      health issues, with reliance on an overburdened and underfunded VA healthcare system, in a culture that worships youth and disrespects anyone and anything old (unlike Europe).  I am clinically depressed and on meds for that.  I have difficulty relating to many my age here in Florida, as many are conservative, reactionary and ignorant about many things (science, the world, history, the arts, music, culture, world geography, political complexities).

      I do visualize a village or town in France or Italy where I would walk to a local restaurant each evening, socialize with others, have a drink, have good conversation, be respected and return home to read and relax.  My life here is very different.

      I have great admiration for you, Democrats Ramshield.

      Bravo

  •  Book of Numbers (5+ / 0-)

    A brilliant boy went to the sandbox, he was the son of a friend who worked with me. A broken young man returned, the wit and curiosity had been left somewhere in the desert. If he were alive today, he would be my son's brother in law.

    The young people who would place their bodies between home and danger are beyond price. They are far too valuable to be auctioned for the profits of the oligarchy. The young man I mention died of betrayal, though the death was far from the betrayers. Facts are necessary, figures need be accurate. One dead mother's son is an infinity.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Wood Gas on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:47:03 AM PDT

  •  Suicide and steroid withdrawal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommyfocus2003, WakeUpNeo

    http://www.dukechronicle.com/...

    A study cited by Brower during the hearings stated that 3.9 percent of 77 illicit anabolic steroid users followed by doctors attempted suicide during the withdrawal period.

    “We think of depression within the first three months of that withdrawal period,” Brower said.

    Researchers generally agree upon the mechanism through which depression can be invoked by stopping steroid use. Edward Klaiber, a Massachusetts-based researcher and clinician who studies the psychological effects of hormones like testosterone, said anabolic steroids used in larger than natural doses flood users’ systems with testosterone. The abuser’s own testosterone production is depressed in an attempt to keep the body’s hormones balanced and may not recover in the months after anabolic steroid use is stopped.

    PubMed Anabolic androgenic steroids and suicide.

    http://www.livestrong.com/...

    http://seattletimes.com/...

    In Iraq, some soldiers say steroid use was no secret.

    "No one really hid this," said Seth Manzel, an Army veteran who served from 2004-05 in Mosul, Iraq, with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. "I walked into a squad leader's room one time, and he was with another soldier who had his pants down around his ankle. He had a needle and was injecting that soldier."

    Manzel said about a half-dozen soldiers in his 35-man platoon used steroids. His roommate and several other soldiers took steroids purchased from American contractors who worked at the Mosul base, and they injected themselves with needles provided by medics, he said.

    Officers, he added, weren't eager to investigate steroid use.

    "If a captain sees his soldiers getting stronger at a quicker rate, that's not necessarily a bad thing," said Manzel, who now operates Coffee Strong, a Lakewood, Pierce County, coffee shop, and has been active in the anti-war movement.

    Some soldiers report steroid use among Army Rangers, who repeatedly cycle through war zones for months of difficult duty.

  •  Aside but related... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield, SilentBrook

    Do the math. If we reduced the % of GDP we spend on healthcare (17.9%) down to what Denmark (or any other civilized nation on Earth where everyone is covered reliably, non-discriminately and comprehensively from cradle to grave, including mental, dental, prescription, vision, hearing, long-term, etc.) spends (9.8%) we would cut our $2.8 trillion healthcare spending (and rising) almost (not quite) by half and save well over a trillion dollars every year. A trillion dollars is hundreds of billions more in savings every year than we spend on our military. Simply by doing the right thing morally we would be incredibly better off fiscally too. This is the best-kept political secret (exceptionally in America), ever.

    •  to bthespoon - you are 100% right (0+ / 0-)

      You have described the best kept political secret in America. However the secret is known to all American expats living in major industrialized countries. The problem is even if you write a diary that goes viral, it is a flash in the pan here today gone tomorrow. Rush has a weekly audience of over 3 million. We just can't get the word out and keep getting it out to get the message to enough of the folks back home to make a difference politically. This is a real problem and your post has done a great job in describing it. Thank you for your support.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:44:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  U.S. taxpayers already spend enough money (0+ / 0-)

      ...to provide free healthcare to every American.  

      While I have philosophical and practical issues with free healthcare (compliance when one pays nothing, potential for kickbacks and fake from doctors when no patient payment is involved), it is clear that we are spending more than enough to provide affordable healthcare to ALL Americans.

  •  This diary is being trolled to take it off the rec (0+ / 0-)

    list. I feel quite sad about it that people would feel that the plight of military and veteran suicide requires less attention and help from the community. It is however fitting that people see the opposition that American veterans face from hateful people who don't want to see them receive the help they need.

    You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

    by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:14:48 AM PDT

  •  My brother ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    portlandzoo

    Both my brother and I served during the Viet Nam War - my brother was there - I wasn't. I decided to enlist because I was 1A, and soon to be drafted I tested high, and joined a NORAD unit within Air Defense - not used or needed in Vietnam. My brother was drafted - served as a combat engineer - American Air Calvary support - he was 18 ... though he seldom ever spoke of his tour, I know that he saw and did things that no 18 year should ever have to.

    My brother, Steve, was a quiet - laid back - easy going type. Some would've tagged him a nerd. When he returned home he was different. Drugs - booze - and a complete and total disregard for responsibilities. He had a simple tattoo on the web of his left hand - "FTW" - where the TW stood for The World ... you decide what the F stood for.

    Steve was in the middle of the Agent Orange drops - took in plenty of it - AO was a herbicides that was used to defoliate jungle areas where Cong and NRA were known to hide ... it was disbursed as flour like orange dust --- clung to all it touched ... and knew no enemy.

    Some 58,000 Americans' were killed in that war - a war that was supposed to stop the spread of communism. Yes, that's how they defended it - stop the spread of communism ,,, in little 'ol Vietnam. Funny, but after we turned-tail and ran, that bad communism thing wasn't really all that bad. Heck, today Vietnam is now a trading partner.

    Consider this ... we lost the Korean War - Vietnam War - War in Iraq and soon will have lost the Afghanistan War. Our War on Terrorism will continue until we put Israel in its place. We've also lost many other conflicts and skirmishes where we had no right to be in the first place.

    America is a brainwashed and mislead nation ... a nation where others let us have their way ... even if it kills us. Then, with heads held high, they go on about their lives.  

  •  I cannot bear to read some of these (3+ / 0-)

    comments.  I have had to have training on how to handle suicides.  This is tragic, both in the military and outside the military.  We should all reach out to each other to help prevent this horrific outcome, for all Americans.

    Thanks DM; this is an important topic for all of us.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:01:57 AM PDT

    •  To slowbutsure - I share your point of view (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo, Vetwife

      I think some of the comments on this diary are truly unbearable that people would play trolling games on a diary that is trying to get people help on such a serious subject matter. I would like to thank you for your post and for your support here. I also want to thank you for the important work that you do in this area.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:31:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have wanted to work with Military PTSD (6+ / 0-)

    now for a couple of years.

    I got myself set up as an approved Tricare provider last year but have not been aboe to talk to anybody that can point me in the direction necessary to actually start seeing them.

    Rightly or wrongly what I have suspected is that the VA has a variety of agendas, one being not sharing the wealth of clients they have (which they cannot begin to serve in a timely manner) and another being that elements in the government and the DOD still deny the existence of PTSD even as it totally hands them their collective ass daily.

    So... I am all for rolling up my sleeves and assisting with this, whenever the country 'really' wants to deal with it.

    And it is an epidemic.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:19:58 PM PDT

  •  Keep education expensive and jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    unavailable.  The caste system will spit "volunteer" soldiers out for the wealthy class's preemptive wars of choice for resources.  Once they return, let them die as they no longer serve a purpose and become just a suck on the wealthy's resources.

    When did America become this?

    Please read Drift by Rachel Maddow.  Concise, well written, eye-opening.

    •  to hokieduck13 - thank you for honest comment (0+ / 0-)

      It is refreshing to read this kind of honesty at the Kos that has no pretense about it. Of course you are right Rachel Maddow is cool! The only regret I have is that this diary was prematurely trolled by Doc2 off the rec list, because he falsely represented that the veterans' suicide rate is only a bit higher than that of the general population, which is demonstrably false as the data sets he presented only covered 21 states, with no information reported from the other 29.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 01:22:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  smile (0+ / 0-)

    You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

    by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 01:16:10 AM PDT

  •  Now that the U.S. military has finally accepted (0+ / 0-)

    that PTSD actually exists and is a problem, the next step is to assume that ALL military personnel deployed to war zones are at risk, just as all personnel deployed to tropical zones are considered to be at risk for tropical diseases. All returning personnel should at least be screened and be offered support services. When the cost of deployment to Afghanistan is estimated at $1million per soldier per year (never have figured out where all that money goes - only a small fraction is going to the deployed personnel for their salaries, hazardous-duty pay, or general upkeep) some of it ought to be earmarked for psychological support upon returning Stateside.

    Republicans - A pathology, not a party.

    by storeysound on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:38:02 AM PDT

  •  Build a memorial??!! REALLY??!! (0+ / 0-)

    Sure, let's blow a few million on a statue or some other feel-good monument for all of us to go look at & say "Yeah, we take CARE of our vets, y'see?"  Because that would be a MUCH better way to spend that money than to maybe put a down-payment on a new, state-of-the-art PTSD treatment facility.

    Yes, we, as a nation, have almost completely abdicated our responsibilities to those who selflessly surrendered their freedom and self-determination to become "G. I.'s" (which stands for Government Issued).  Throwing dollars at a memorial for the ones we ALLOWED to take their own lives (a final and ULTIMATE expression of self-determination, one might say) isn't going to fix ANYTHING.  I think it's far more important for us to focus our attention and our resources on those who remain, and can be prevented from taking such drastic actions.

    Aside from that, GREAT diary on a topic that gets far too little bandwidth - Rec'd!

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 11:21:05 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this important diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena

    As a person who has been suicidal multiple times, and as an aunt who took in her nephew who was a disabled vet and who killed himself, this struck me very close to home.  It is a part of the larger picture of America's mental health "system."

    My nephew had nowhere to go. He had constant pain from his injury and became addicted to prescription pain killers. He was 40% disabled. But his disability made it impossible to pursue the training he wanted, and frequent appointments and trips to a VA center two hours away made it nearly impossible to keep a job. 40% my ass.

    Anyway, this is a very important diary. I have rec'd it, shared it to Facebook, and submitted it to be republished in the group Mental Health Awareness.

    Thank you.

    I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. ~ Booker T. Washington

    by Prickly Pam on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 02:07:36 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, DR! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena

    I will share this with my FB friends and my pages.

    It is shameless how we do not take enough care of our Vets who give so much for us, including time away from family. So few of us anymore have members of our families serve but it ought not to mean they are forgotten.

    I do genealogy on my family and, when I find ancestors who have served, I make it a point to honor them. I had two ancestors die at Andersonville and I made sure that their stories were told. I found all their children and followed those lines. We also lost a man at Utah beach who is buried in France.

    The men and women we lose through suicide are every bit heroes as these ones and we need to honor them by taking care of them.

    Taking care of them is a cost of war--the most important one.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 03:50:59 PM PDT

  •  why this diary has been trolled off rec list (0+ / 0-)

    The first troll's (doc2) argument presented are incomplete and in fact phony government statistics which purpose it is to dehumanize the military and veteran suicide tragedy by dehumanizing them as statistics instead of people. The second sophistry laden argument is that these people are of no substantial numerical consequence because they're not that much higher than the overall alleged American suicide rate. This again is a false lied up argument, because only 21 out of the 50 states report veteran suicide. So it is impossible to come to the reasonable conclusion that the government estimated statistics could reasonably be believed to be reliable.

    The trolls however such as doc2 and deh55 don't care about that, they are what is known in the Kos community are doing what is called trolling for mojo, where ratings points are given to them by people who haven't fully read this diary, who see the words government statistics and automatically want to believe that this diary is misrepresenting facts. The effect this has is that recommends by readers can be withheld so that this diary will fall off the reader's rec list, which means given the volume of diaries at the DKos, it basically will no longer be possible for it to be easily found. The fact that this diary has done 10 times better on FB shares already provides quantifiable evidence that this diary has been cravenly trolled at the DKos to kill support for it. A fact that seems beyond comprehension why anyone would want to troll a suicide prevention diary completely beggars belief!

    Yet these same people who want to do nothing substantial about military and veteran suicide rates in America want you to essentially believe their lies, for reasons known only to themselves, which are promulgated by bureaucrats in the US government based on incomplete statistical estimates, the design of which is to provide them with job security, continued pay out of bonuses. This is a scandal in America and these trolls do not deserve your support. Please do not be fooled or misled by incomplete phony government statistics. Also it should be noted that as a shocking number of suicides in America occur with firearms, that America both for military and civilian firearm deaths and suicides leads the world. This troubling fact is likewise being whitewashed! Because these firearm suicides, both military, veteran and civilian in America are shocking and unacceptably high.  

    You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

    by Democrats Ramshield on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:05:02 AM PDT

  •  The Stone Cold Eyes and Hearts... (0+ / 0-)

    ...of America.  That's the Thousand Mile Stare, the eyes that are looking for the floor of the ocean or the end and meaning of the universe, knowing there is no end and no answer.

    But we must change this now, before the horroir calcifies everything.  There is still time.  Not a lot, but some.  We must grab this time by it's short handles and proclaim---the solemn, sacred, howling recognition of you too, of all of us together -- one human family.

    "So, if another U.S. “surge” is needed, let it be a surge of compassion." Ray McGovern

    by dharmasyd on Thu Sep 11, 2014 at 06:34:33 PM PDT

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