Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Military suicide rate

Suicides in the Army are expected to reach a new high this year, with 140 suspected cases among active-duty soldiers so far, Army officials said Tuesday.
This will be the fifth year in a row that grim statistic rose despite an aggressive military campaign to tackle the mental health stigma in the Army. This year's number already matches that for all of 2008. There were 115 suicides in 2007 and 102 in 2006.

The above is from Nancy A. Youssef's "Army suicides expected to rise for 5th year, setting record" (McClatchy's Kansas City Star). And on this topic, visitors please stop sending garbage to the public account. Garbage is confusing military suicides with murderers. An alleged piece on this topic that yet again boo-hoos the Fort Hood shooter (and, of course, offers nothing on the victims -- rendering them faceless in a manner that *surpasses* even the grotesque efforts Alberto Gonzales repeatedly attempted in recent years), military suicides are confused with murder. They aren't the same thing and those pimping that lie better start grasping that it is not playing out that way across the country. People are noticing that there is an effort to erase the murdered from the story and they are noticing the one and a half million excuses being offered for the shooter. Excuses, we should note, which were often based on speculation and have since fallen apart as facts emerged. It takes a special sort of cretin to look at a massacre and offer non-stop whining for the murderer and never even name the victims. That nonsense will not be highlighted. And you know it's nonsense by what the author's done: Pimp it like the world's most important story only to drop it to go to town on Sarah Palin in what is allegedly a 'report' but doesn't even qualify as a blog post. It's the same idiot who was claiming in the spring of 2008 that Hillary only visited Iraq once. Cause his little buddy Stephen Loons said so. Forget the public record, with these wack jobs, it's all one long circle jerk. And they're 'satisfaction' is the dumbing down of discourse.

Their spin is offensive and they'll still be confused by that even after they're hearing from the families of service members who did commit suicide. It's all about a non-stop, never ending war for them -- so far from reality and anything relatable that they consign themselves to the fringes of the margins. And yet consider themselves 'advocacy journalists' -- ones who apparently have no desire to reach a larger audience -- doing so might seriously curtail their targets.

Phil Stewart (Reuters) reminds the suicide figures are just for the Army. Is it an undercount? Absolutely and if someone on the left manages to address that without glorifying the Fort Hood shooter, we'll happily highlight that. Lumping the Fort Hood shooter into the military suicides is offensive and I will not take part in that because we have community members who have lost loved ones in the military and outside of it to suicide. Translation, I don't live on the corner of Unwashed & Mao where we spit on everyone who passes by. I am appalled as so many either stay silent or offer up something offensive. And those on the left not willing to step forward (which includes ____ who I spoke to on the phone last night) because you're afraid of being attacked by the extremists? You better start grasping that in your silence an opinion is being formed about the left and it's not pretty.

Iraq War veteran Staff Sgt Amy Seyboth Tirador was buried on Tuesday. The Albany Times-Union observes of the fallen:

Even a cursory review of this young woman's life reveals achievement, commitment and purpose that are impressive by any standards. To think she did it all by just 29 -- accomplished Army interrogator; recipient of a Bronze Star, for saving another soldier's life; trained Arabic linguist -- is to marvel and, of course, to wonder about all the feats and challenges that might have awaited her.

Dennis Yusko (Times-Union) reports on the funeral, "Those who loved the 29-year-old Army staff sergeant remembered her at Tuesday's funeral services and in interviews as a dedicated family member, dependable soldier and determined person. They spoke of a wholesome girl who grew up attending Colonie schools, who played the trumpet and several sports, and who, by age 29, had become a serious but compassionate military leader." Danielle Sanzone (Troy Record) quotes her mother Colleen Murphy stating, "She was my first born. I loved her so much. She touched so many in her 29 years with her sparkling blue eyes. I remember the happy times -- camping, playing in the water, going to Thatcher Park. Amy, Aunt Ann, and I were glued at the hip for a long time." Mark O'Brien (WTEN) explains, "Her parents say she was shot once in the back of the head. The Army is conducting a full investigation into her death."

Meanwhile Chuck Crumbo (South Carolina's the State) reports Shaw Air Force Base will be sending two squadrons to Iraq at the start of the year. Meanwhile Col Mark N. Campsey offers "Guard unit from Houston is ready for duty in Iraq" (Houston Chronicle):

The 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) stands ready for duty in Iraq. Over the past two months, we've been in the New Mexico desert preparing for the situation in country.
During our time there, soldiers from the Houston area trained in detainee, convoy and urban operations. The training was some of the most realistic that soldiers in the 72nd IBCT have ever encountered stateside.

Throughout many training lanes, actual Iraqi civilians role-played and mock weapons systems simulated the environment in Iraq. The realism made it easy for our soldiers to stay battle-focused.

The following community sites updated last night:

And Ruth's "Stupak," Marcia's "Danny Schechter, the eternal idiot," Trina's "Millions of Women Could Lose Abortion Coverage," Elaine's "CRR (yea!), CCR (boo!)," Ann's "Katha Pollitt, alleged feminist" and Kat's "Reading on the road."

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oh boy it never ends