Memorial Day — On the last Monday of May each year is Memorial Day in the U.S.A., a day “to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. … it is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.” (The quote is from Wkipedia) Right, but this video shows that there is much more to the consequences of serving like that.
Purple Heart’s Final Beat – A Soldier Suicide Story (5:38 minutes)
From the video: “70 percent of Iraq veterans return to divorce. Within five years of their return, 90 percent get divorced. Only 1.5 percent get fair treatment from our court system. Most will live the rest of their lives in poverty. Most will be alienated from their children. Countless veterans a month choose this option. I love my country… but my country doesn’t love me….”
- 90 percent of army suicides are menArmy Suicides Up, Prevention Efforts Strengthened
- Congress.org Rising military suicides
The pace is faster than combat deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan.
By John DonnellyMore U.S. military personnel have taken their own lives so far in 2009 than have been killed in either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars this year, according to a congressional Quarterly compilation of the latest statistics from the armed services.
As of Tuesday, at least 334 members of the military services have committed suicide in 2009, compared with 297 killed in Afghanistan and 144 who died in Iraq, the figures show….
But even those who have been most intensely focused on the issue said they found the new numbers alarming. So far in 2009, the Army has had 211 of the 334 suicides, while the Navy had 47, the Air Force had 34 and the Marine Corps (active duty only) had 42. (Full Story)
Note by F4L: The terms “military personnel” and “members of the military services” very nicely smooth things over, so that we can even feel compassion for the women who share the horror of a calamity that kills almost exclusively men. Nevertheless, the numbers mentioned in the article do not identify whether they include veterans. Somehow I doubt that they do, because veterans are not considered to be members of the military services any longer. The problem is in all likelihood far larger than is being let on.
More on this issue at http://fathersforlife.org/fatherhood/preserve.htm.