Thursday, February 05, 2009

Army suicides skyrocket in January 
Hope and change!!!

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I am absolutely enraged at the fact that the army officials' response to increased suicide rates is "We do not know what is going on," or that they attribute it to the "long, cold months of winter." Do we really need studies to figure out why these, young, poor soldiers are killing themselves?
'Hope and Change'.. what kind of a dumbazz comment is THAT? Is this some kind of idiotic attempt to infer that the change of Pres. has anything to do with this??
Tell these idiots who "can't figure out what is going on" to do 2 to 3, 15-month deployments away from their families and I will GUARANTEE they will understand why these brave Americans are killing themselves. The deployments are too long... it is not healthy to keep people away from their families for 12-15 months at a time. That doesn't even factor in the war and uncertainty of life piece.
"We don't know what's going on"? Good thing these geniuses work for the military and not the private sector; they'd have been fired long ago for being absolutely clueless. Doesn't take a genius to say "too long deployments, too many deployments", and when they get out leave them out unless a national emergency arises!
Why is anyone surprised? Long repeat deployments, deployed command organizations that fail to provide adequate support for the soldiers or the mission, and a home chain of command that views post-deployment actions as a required check mark. Who can these soldiers turn to for help or trust..the very chains that already failed them?
I can tell you EXACTLY whats going on as a soldier in the US ARMY. We are WORKED to death before deployment, than we have deployment on top of the endless days in the field and when we get back to company area at 3AM in the morning they decide they want to clean weapons than they let us off at 5am to tell us we have to be back at 10am. THATS whats going on. That is why the suicide rate is so high. because SSG and SFC have no SYMPATHY for their lower enlistees..
I have lived through decades of stupidity in my country of origin, and to hear these words by military 'leaders'in the USA makes me cringe with disbelief and horror. They don't know why soldiers are killing themselves? All of them need to wake up and be real, not bobble-head dolls. Better, commit them all to lunatic asylums...but then, who will do the actual committing? What a sorry-ass world, country,whatever.
I think the 3:25AM comment probably has a lot to it.

It's been a while since I've been active for more than 2 weeks at a time, so I'm a little out of things at the grunt level these days.

As for the winter comment, last I checked, winter comes along every year. And since we're looking at a year-ago figure for the month of January, the seasonal affective disorder component is already adjusted for in the data.

In other words, back to the drawing board.

My sensing of Afghanistan troops is that they are extremely stressed now.

Incidentally, it sounds like that schedule's not coming from the SSG or SFC level, but from the company/battalion level.

Some of it may be that soldiers are being promoted too fast, and some of it may be that it's single soldiers who get promoted disproportionately over married soldiers. Over time, then, decisions then become family un-friendly. Great field soldiers move into that 1SG position too young, or that CO position too young, before they have a lot of perspective or sensitivity to the needs of families and how to balance that against mission requirements to create a sustainable Army.
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