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  • #3
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    Maybe we stop trying to be the world's police force? When we put soldiers on the battlefield it should be to fight a war and the only goal should annihilation of the enemy. These protracted limited engagements tie our soldier's hands and cause undue stress.
  • #4
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    Dang, I was gonna say that! Amazing that we only started this in 2001....when we got into these 2 protracted limited engagements! Wonder what the suicide rate was for WW1, WW2, Korean and 'nam soldiers? Though not protracted wars (except 'nam), they were very upfront and personal wars...Either way, time to bring 'em home and stop with this policing of the world (at least with the "foot" soldier).
  • #8
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    @stepped_in_it

    One of the things about WW2. After your tour was up, your troop usually came back as a unit on a boat. This gave the soldiers time to decompress and talk about things. In Nam, we treated soldiers more like they were chess pieces.(Pick them up and plop them down.) I think from that perspective, things are better today. But fighting and dying inside a box of arbitrary limitations isn't any way to run an army.
  • #14
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    @Thunderchicken - Now this is just my thoughts from personal experience. The wounds from the battlefield are not just physical, they are mental as well. I think Rudyard Kipling and others illustrate this quite well in their poems and writings. Using that statement, the psychological effects from battle have been around for some time. The underlying effect is noted by society and the behavior is described as 'came home wild as bucks','wanderlust','recklessn ess', etc. as well as substance abuse. Individuals deal with it in different ways. My belief is that the issue has, is, and always will exist. The difference today is that the medical field recognizes it and the data is tracked. I knew GIs that were 'back in the world' less than 36 hours from battlefield conditions.

    Basically - I have no answer for how one deals with their personal demons. Perhaps some decompression and transitional time for observation is needed. Basic training and preparedness is used prior to; nothing afterward. That's about all I have to say about it, except I will share the following Kipling verse in ending:

    "God and soldier, we adore,
    in time of danger, not before.
    The danger passed and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the soldier slighted."
  • #19
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    @Rocker

    I never served but I've talked to my dad about it. He was in WW2 in the South Pacific and came back still pretty hyped up. From what I can gather, him and my mom (she also served) were quite a pair. One of the things that mellowed them out was having a kid to take care of. And one of the things I noticed while growing up was that the couples that didn't have kids were much "cooler" than my parents. As I've told my kids, "Mom and I weren't this boring till you came along." ;-)
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  • #17
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    First of all many soldiers were ordered to spend consecutive tours. Second, those that were wounded were not given the proper care and treatment. third-employers still refuse to hire vetereans and refuse to give those reservist and guardsmen who were called in their jobs back. When you serve and come back your government and the public does owe you. Yes they volunteered but this is where the government once again broke their promise. Alot of this veterans lost legs, arms, wives, and their homes. So what did they have to live for when they didn't feel human or wanted? But you let one idiot walk into a movie theater and shoot the place up and the government and the press are all to happy to address the issue. It's a matter of sensationalism and grandstanding. But they are happy to hide the disfigured and emotionally wrecked soldier.
  • #47
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    "third-employers still refuse to hire vetereans and refuse to give those reservist and guardsmen who were called in their jobs back"
    Actually, this is very much against the law and if someone is doing it, they need to be reported.
  • #52
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    @Fishbone345 Many companies are doing it and the law refuses to prosecute. Watch the news when the media elects to tell a story that means something.
  • #12
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    Let me see...first, it is not our job to police the world. 99.9% of the people in these countries where our soldiers are sent hate us. This cant be good for morale when they give their all just to be #$%& on. Next, the US government needs to reprioritize how they deal with veterens coming home....better mental and physical health treatment, programs to help veterens reintegrate into the everyday life they are coming back to. But, its the government. What do you expect. Last, I have never been in the military, but I'm sure the support systems across the country could be better. Our soldiers main job should be to protect and defend the US, the US constitution, and its interests. NOT to go to every hole in the wall in the world to fight battles politicians think are in their best interest, or rather their pockets best interests.
  • #5
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    Need better mental health care for our veterans. I have 2 fistfuls of family members from various wars that have PTSD. They risk their life defending us, please take care of them!!
  • #9
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    Yes, and we can take care of future generations of soldiers by ending the perpetual warring so we don't have one generation of PTSD veterans raising another!
  • #27
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    @MBernard

    Thanks for the laugh, and Democrats aren't? The whole mentality of liberals is that society is to blame for a criminals actions, never the person who committed the crime.
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  • #34
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    You have to stop cutting the DoD's budget! They are requiring us to do sooo much more with way less. Can you imagine the stress that we feel? We literally have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Cutting DoD funding is a matter of National Security. Cut the fat ELSEWARE!- Sra Williams - USAF.
  • #37
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    @Chanel Thank you so very much for your service. We are so fortunate to have brave men and women like yourself serving our country. Yes , we need to spend
    more on the military and less on government entitlements...cut the fat and help our
    service people!~ Semper FI !(:
  • #54
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    @Chanel So sorry, I meant to quote the Air Force motto , instead of the Marines. So, "Aim High" and thank you once more. God Bless!
  • #18
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    Soldiers aren't trained to be diplomats but today's soldiers are often expected to be. No proof but I think the same problem existed in Vietnam. You kill this one who looks and acts like an enemy and wants to kill you, but you can't kill that one that looks and acts like an enemy and wants to kill you because you need to convince him to be your country's friend when we go away and leave them here to the distruction we wrought.
    Come home to children you don't know or don't know you, to no job. Along with mandatory mental health counseling upon return soldiers should either have a guarenteed job or paid retraining for one.
  • #41
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    Actually under USERRA they are to have the job (or one equal to with the same pay) as when they left. It is very different for a returning service member to fit back in to the unregulated society at times. For so many years the individual has been told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. There are solid rules and regulations to follow when suddenly there is total chaos to the world.
    We do need more health care and mental health services for those members who are returning from armed conflict. Regardless of whether or not it is called a war by Congress.
  • #10
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    Better mental health care for our soldiers and a massive attack on the Military Industrial Complex that gets us into these endless wars that kill and injure our loved ones and do nothing for America.
  • #70
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    Yes, America needs better mental health for all of Our Men & Women in the Armed Forces who defend our country. The Vietnam Vets and matter of fact, all of our Men & Women Vets are treated like dirt. There is strong need to for better Mental Health Care in Our Country!
  • #67
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    I don't know about suicide but having to spend a couple of tours in Afghanistan? You can bet that's cause for severe depression. Seriously.
  • #72
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    @ConserveUSA I might know a little bit about that.

    I'm asking everyone on both sides to rent (it's on Netflix right now) a documentary movie called "The House I live in". I think this something both the far right and far left can finally agree is taking place in America.
  • #32
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    For one thing, get our men and women out of Afghanistan, and any residuals in Iraq, or any Middle Eastern country. They not only have to contend with an armed enemy, but armed pseudo-allies who murder them any chance they get. Bringing our men and women back will not only do wonders for their MENTAL health, but for the USA's economic health as well. Get them out of places like Japan, Germany, Okinawa, Turkey, etc. where their dollars go into the local economies and US taxpayers pick up the bill for civilian labor like KPs in messhalls, civilian labor groups in places like Germany etc. and our tax dollars don't even go through our middlemen service members but directly into foreign economies. Bring them ALL home now!
  • #78
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    @Fishbone345 Thank you, Fishbone. Let's hope to God our bureaucrats hurry and bring our men and women home ahead of schedule and safely!
  • #79
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    @HungryJoe87111 On this we completely agree. Something that was a main talking point of Ron Paul (something that endeared him to me in the first place) and Gary Johnson and other Libertarians as well.
    I know what they swear to do, I swore it as well. Lets bring them home where they can do what they signed up to do. Defend our borders.
  • #80
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    @Fishbone345 Gary Johnson used to be our Governor. I really resented the heck out of the mainstream media for shutting him out and ignoring his campaign. He would have made a very good President. He's a very good, honest, and capable person. Thanks for your comments, Fishbone!
  • #7
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    Well, we have now been in perpetual warring mode for a hundred years now... what did we expect to happen?! I saw this coming, and I think everyone else should have too, especially the warmongers who sent them to battle. When you have military people who are dedicated to defending their country, and we abuse their devotion by throwing them into unnecessary wars for indefinite periods of time, this is the blow-back, and none of us should act surprised at the numbers who are checking out. In a culture of alcoholism and untreated trauma, it makes perfect sense. Why do we think many veterans are homeless? Because they have checked out! They're done and they want it to be over. Suicide is just one more way to do that. If we want to see those numbers drop, then we will have to start using our heads to solve problems instead of futilely using bullets, and using our brave protectors as cannon fodder.
  • #82
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    Well the answer to this one is very very simple.... Take away their guns, and or what ever method they used for their suicides !!(JUST KIDDING)(TONGUE IN CHEEK) but its not much more absurd than what Im seeing and hearing today!!
  • #77
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    The Department of Veterans Affairs is attempting to address this very serious problem and others through the "Million Veteran Program" (I'm a member). They're analyzing the DNA of volunteer veterans to determine if there is a genetic link to who is more prone to committing suicide; who is more prone to certain diseases; to certain injuries, wounds, etc. We ALSO need to get the HE_L out of places like Afghanistan and the Middle East in general. It's not only the stresses of prolonged separations from family and friends, it's the FREAKING HOSTILITY of the host countries in which our men and women are serving which puts tremendous stresses on them. With the money we save from not having to maintain these artificial American Spheres of Influence we can devote more funds to watching for and preventing serious behavioral/mood disorders and prevent so many suicides from taking place. We also need to develop BETTER screening processes for those wanting to SERVE in the US Armed Forces.
  • #73
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    I think it's not just military suicides that have risen, but suicide in general, as hope for a better future seems to be slipping farther and farther out of reach for far too many American citizens. Specific to the military, I think it needs an "attitude adjustment", overall. The military environment, in general, is not conducive to toleration - whether it's gay soldiers, women soldiers, etc. Bullying and hazing type behaviors are rife within the military and nothing is done, for the most part, to address the overall attitude of military members. Those who bully, condemn, haze, and physically assault those perceived as not belonging or too weak to be in the military, are given a free pass and excused from their actions - blaming the "stress" of military life as the reason why these "misguided" soldiers "act out." NO one seems to want to address the miscreants within the military, afraid they will be perceived as being anti-military or not "supporting the troops." Anyone who even hints that they might want or need to speak to a psychologist, or be in need of any mental health services, are thereafter considered "weak" or "a pansy" and will face ridicule, at the very least, from fellow soldiers. So, I think there has to be an overhaul of the military atmosphere and environment that condemns those who express a need to receive mental health services. No wonder soldiers are afraid of being labeled weak and "unfit for service", and would rather commit suicide than admit they need psychological help. Talking to psychologists in the military is "taboo". No one who wants to be accepted by their fellow soldiers is eager to take advantage of available help. THIS is what we need to change. The military needs a positive "ad campaign" that tells its soldiers it's not only okay, but a sign of strength, to seek help. Only then will we see military suicides reduced, IMHO.
  • #66
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    The higher ups in the service don't give a rat's butt for the fighting soldier. Hey, after all the generals are way behind enemy lines & we got all the a-hole politicans at home here with us. And, they are sucking up fine cuisine & smoking Cuban cigars well our loved ones are firghting this war for us. At least in the civil war they put the generals out in the front lines, too. Also, the poor bastards that are fighting now have to keep going back into one hot LZ after another. When I was in NAM (67-68) a tour of duty was a year long. These poor buggers have to stay 18 months, they go back to the states then the next thing they know they have to go back to fight again. I wonder how many rich kids are doing that, ohhh sorry. I probably shouldn't have said that, about the rich kids.
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