Thursday, November 01, 2012

Veterans suicides

At the start of October, the Austin-American Statesman offered a number of reports on veterans and suicide including "Suicide among veterans receiving less attention than active-duty deaths,"  "After returning home, many veterans get into motor vehicle accidents," "Which veterans are at highest risk for suicide?," "Researches look into possible causes of current 'epidemic' of suicide and PTSD" and "Scores of recent Texas war veterans have died of overdoses, suicides and vehicle crashes, investigation finds."  As the month wound down, Tony Plohetski and Jeremy Schwartz reported one of their paper's accomplishments:

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Waco, said he would ask committee chair Jeff Miller, R-Florida, for hearings on the VA’s response to the prescription drug overdoses and on the latest research into post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
“The prescription drug overdose problem really bothers me a lot,” Flores said. “I would like to get a handle on that.”

Kaitlynn Riley (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) observes that there have been "154 suicides among active-duty troops in the first 155 days of" this year.  And those 154 deaths left many more family members, friends and loved ones to grieve.  Bill Briggs (NBC News) spoke with some who have lost loved ones last week like Rebecca Morrison whose husband, Iraq War veteran Ian Morrison, took his own life and states, "Once you lose someone to suicide, you are so prone to suicide yourself.  I got to that point.  If they hadn't been there, I wouldn't be here.  Every widow I've talked to, every family member, has felt that way.  You just want to be with that person more than anything.  I mean, he was my husband."  The Edmond Sun offers this perspective, "Since Sept. 11, 2001, 19 Oklahoma citizen-soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the same period another 16 committed suicide, including nine in the past two years."

In other veterans news, a numer are making their case in court regarding burn pits.  Mike Francis (Oregonian) reports:

Now, the case against KBR Inc. is up to the 12 Oregonians who've been sitting silently through all the testimony and arguments for the last 17 working days. Finally, the jurors may begin talking to one another about which side made a more persuasive case.

More precisely, they will discuss whether the lawyers for the dozen Oregon National Guard soldiers and veterans have proven that KBR was negligent or committed fraud in its conduct at Iraq's Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in 2003. 

The cancer causing hexavalent chromium was present at the water plant.  It's been said to have covered everything.

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