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Do you think we have a problem here? Hello! This is a gigantic problem. To put it into perspective, if we were losing 22 soldiers a day, day after day, in combat, the whole country would rise up. We need to figure out a way to get help and resources to these soldiers. How can we ever ask anybody to defend our country if we know this will be the end result?
We have a totally gigantic ballyhoo over a similar number of school children being murdered in a one-time incident. But 22 vet suicides a DAY elicits .... *crickets chirping* Makes ya wonder why people ever even join the military to save our continually ungrateful and uncaring civilian population?
516 total suicides IN the military last year... 22 vets commit suicide a day (8000 a year) AFTER they leave... Well, like the DOD says - it's not a DOD problem - the Defense Department is not responsible after discharge - after discharge or wounding is a Veterans Affairs responsibility... And we know all about those entitlements, right?... It was a mistake to not hold DOD financially responsible for post-discharge costs.
I checked on the demographics of 22 vet suicides per day (this is the third most populous country on the planet, and sometimes US raw numbers can be misleading).... There are 21.5 million vets (1.6 million females) with 8000 suicides. There are roughly 60 million males 16-50, with roughly 17,000 suicides per year (47 a day). Vet suicide RATE is roughly twice the average for the non-vets (- but that has some caveats - the education and demographics are not identical, so blaming only the military experience for the difference is not rigorous.)
My heart goes out to these soldiers who have seen the absolute worst side of human nature: war, and concluded that life isn't worth living. That should scare the crap out of all of us and convince us that we need more than anything is to throw our war mongering politicians out of office for good-- and keep them out. As long as the upper and ruling classes can continue to profit from war, these kinds of tragedies will never end. How about we try just defending our own borders for awhile, and let the rest of the world work it's own problems out? Voters need to INSIST we use our elite forces first to stop an enemy because bviously we have the capability to get someone like Bin Laden without a giant army.
If military service is directly linked to these suicides regardless if we factor in other demographic data or not then maybe the military should be doing a better job of finding suitable applicants. The only solution I seem to hear from people regarding vet issues is to throw more money at the problem and if you're a politician who values his job you display your miniature American flag pin on your lapel and give these vet groups whatever they want.
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