Wounded Times

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Look closer, try harder to prevent suicides in military

Look closer, try harder to prevent suicides in military
Posted: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013
From an editorial in the Fayetteville Observer Jan. 17

Suicides in the American military reached a record 349 last year. That’s the only statistic you’ll be needing for the moment. There were increases across the armed services, which all but rules out chance and leaves us in need of answers.

These were our people, in some cases our community’s people. Did something happen to make military life or life in general more stressful or bleak for them?

Is there something that’s being consistently overlooked by those who work night and day to contain this problem?

You might not know it to watch a unit march in formation, but troops don’t come off an assembly line. Their circumstances, needs and tolerances are as varied as our own. Might it be possible, given all those differences and potential outcomes, that 349 is not such an unreasonable number? Not “acceptable.” Never that. But could this be a decent showing for those whose job is prevention against steep odds?

There are likely answers to all three questions.
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