Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Support the troops?

I wish they provided more data in this article, but the info they did provide is shocking!

So CBS News did an investigation - asking all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records, for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. Forty-five states sent what turned out to be a mountain of information. And what it revealed was stunning. In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year.

Obviously this number would include veterans from past wars, but 6,256! Wow. If even 1/4 of those came from veterans that served in the current Iraq War, then we are seriously under-counting the toll this war is taking on our veterans.


At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely we must do something to make the lives of our Veterans worth living. I'm wondering if their lives would seem any more worth while to them by us leaving Iraq, or if there is something we can do that would be more effective. Winning in Iraq might give their lives more meaning. Another way to improve their sense of self worth would seem to be less MSM coverage of the wackos who do things like protest at funeral service of fallen heroes, and less coverage of AbuGhraib type incidents, and instead promote more coverage of the positive changes soldiers are making in the lives of the people they serve and fight for. This would have the added benefit of destroying the morale of the enemy.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Hi anonymous,

I'm glad you (and others) are concerned about improving the lives of our veterans. More than slogans, we need to change the way veterans are treated when they return home (and the way their families are treated too).

The DoD should create a post equivalent to the Secretary of the Army (or Navy etc.) who is in charge of allocating resources for veterans and advocating for them in their communities (help them reclaim their jobs post service etc) Personally I think we owe them much better health care (including mental health-care) than we are currently providing. The whole Walter Reed issue demonstrated to me how under-prepared the DoD/VA was to provide care.

On the flip side, I don't think we can control what the MSM reports..other than to write to our TV stations and newpapers and ask for positive stories.

Since I never felt it was necessary to invade Iraq (none of the hijackers even came from Iraq), and indeed the enterprise has been a huge distraction from finding Osama Bin Laden and his ilk, I'm not even sure what people mean when they say "winning in iraq". The country seems to be involved in a civil war and it is unclear to me how our presence improves anything.

I would prefer to win against terroists by tracking them down and disrupting their plots, by isolating and eliminating the threat they pose. Our invasion of iraq and subsequent mismanagement of the occupation (i'm talking about the folks in charge: Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bremmer, Pace, and Sanchez, not the average soldier) has led to more terrorists today (around the world) than there were 6 years ago.


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