Battle within fort may decide war on suicide

  • Article by: MARK BRUNSWICK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 30, 2011 - 5:59 PM

Fort Campbell, home to the most often deployed combat force in the Army, is using new approaches to combat an alarming rate of suicide.

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flogicJul. 29, 1111:24 PM

You can't be equiped to deal with a decade of fighting on anothers land, with what is seemingly careless over deployment by your own people. Having server in Desert Storm, I felt I was their serving Kuwait. I understood there were some good reasons to help them, but at the same time I was also not so naive to fail to realize I was at least equally there due to the oil interests of private and political fat cats. They executed a plan that I could live with, extract Iraq from Kuwait, an obvious violation of international law, neutralize them enough to prevent further attacks on sovereign countries, and get out. Had they kept me rotating in and out to police Iraq I'd of become bitter and angry. The repeated deloyments are the ultimate yo-yo headgame, how as many of our younger vets make it through as well adjusted as they are is actually amazing to me. But our politicians, and private companies have abused them for profit and/or political gain. Bush was afraid to admit he blew it in Iraq, and Obama simply was too afraid of backlash to start exiting both theaters sooner and completely.

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sonjalangJul. 30, 11 4:20 AM

This is horrible. It's also horrible to the soldiers' families that the Ft. Campbell response to a death or injury is a communications blackout, so that the families of soldiers have to contact each other to find out if it's their loved one dropping out of society, or a full scale communications blackout. I can't imagine!

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jeffportJul. 30, 11 5:14 AM

2 deployments max. In what other time have we made a soldier go back to a war for 3,4,5 tours? After the 1st deployment he/she is taken out of deployment rotation for at least 5 years. This is far beyond our generations Vietnam war. Time to cut our losses and come home or are we just cutting off out nose to spite our face? This coming from a former Army man.

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tcnorthstarJul. 30, 11 6:07 AM

lACK OF LEADERSHIP FROM THE TOP DOWN,OFFICER CORP IS NOW WEAK, 25 YEAR OFFICER I SEEIT EVERYDAY

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Pico_daveJul. 30, 11 7:49 AM

I would figure that somewhere in the story it would compare the suicide rate of returning soldiers to the general population instead of relying solely on anecdotes. Sigh.

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passinthruJul. 30, 11 8:16 AM

Screaming Eagles, those who went before you, are now behind you. Stand tall.

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skier_rickJul. 30, 11 8:28 AM

We as humans perpetuate memes that initiate behaviors ending in atrocities like these suicides. Thucydides describes how in 436 b.c. humans did the same thing...and we should see it for what it is and stop. The behaviors are: intimidation, bully, threaten, coercion, extortion, genocide, etc. The military-industrial-political complex initiates it for economic gain. F.A. Hayek said results of military behavior is, "...Another element which after this war is likely to strengthen the tendencies in this direction will be some of the men who during the war have tasted the powers of coercive control and will find it difficult to reconcile themselves with the humbler roles they will then have to play [in peaceful times]." We train soldiers to kill. When their is no longer a definable "enemy" some soldiers begin to wonder if there ever was one and realizing the cognitive dissonance have to deal with it...result, suicide. All this is part of the Old Lie: dolce et decorum est pro patria mori. It is a lie and we should stop.

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davehougJul. 30, 11 8:57 AM

Thank you Strib for the informative article. A comparison of suicide rate for same age/gender in and out of the military would have also helped. There ARE stories of hospitals/schools being built and thankful folks who want us rather than the Taliban. But I would be surprised to see those in the Strib.

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iamweboJul. 30, 11 9:15 AM

Most of those who are committing suicide are young people. Young people who enlist, go to boot camp for 8 weeks and are immediately deployed. Not once, but two, three times. They are over fighting a war for a year at a time. Too long to be away from loved ones and the connectedness to home. These young people don't understand the full meaning of life - they are just starting to figure it all out. They are sent off and see death and destruction to which they have only seen on video games. In life there is no "do over" like a video game. In war death is real and for most the first time they've ever seen it. These young people who enlist have an understanding they will be deployed at some point in time, but for a year at a time is far too long. They need decompression time in between deployments. When police officers see death in the field they are offered immediate counseling and assistance, what do these young soldiers have in the field? Just each other and their fellow soldiers are trying to deal with their own emotions. Please, support these young soldiers who are bravely offering their services for us (whether you support the wars or not). The National Guard and US Army need to be more aware of where these young people are in life and not seen just as a soldier, but human beings who have feelings and emotions.

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birdpeepJul. 30, 1110:51 AM

I have not faced combat or the stresses these soldiers or any that have served have faced, so I cannot say I have any idea of the lasting effects. However, I have read several other stories on this and all have stated the suicide rate is well below the population as a whole. Of course, we should and must do everything we can to help these wonderful people to get and stay well. However, without comparisons to the public as a whole, what does alarming rate" mean and how does it compare to past conflicts? Is it really worse now, and if so, why? The answer to the "why" would be of paramount importance.

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