Thursday, December 15, 2016

More "Unawareness" on Veteran Suicides

More "Unawareness" on Veteran Suicides is how this year started out and sadly, ending the same way. 
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 15, 2016

It was posted on January 1, 2016. Not much has changed. The Washington Times reported that "Veteran suicide estimates of 22 per day sparks debate, spurs lawmakers to action" and that all sounded good unless you had been paying attention all alone. The number was quoted over and over again but the rest of the report was ignored.
Indeed, the study found that suicide rates were highest not among newer recruits but among older veterans — two-thirds of those covered by the research committed suicide after reaching 50 years of age. But suicide rates among younger veterans shot up from 2009 to 2011, according to a 2014 update to the 2012 study.
It wasn't bad enough the military was still jeopardizing their lives with all the "resilience training" producing an ever growing number of suicides while the size of the military itself was shrinking, they had to keep pushing it as if totally oblivious to the deadly, heartbreaking outcomes. That "effort" started back in 2009 after even more years of doing what came easy but failed. But then again, they don't want to fact the fact that after 9-11 they kicked out over 300,000 on top of everything else.

Families are still left clueless and then forgotten in all of this. Anyone helping them heal afterwards? Does anyone think about what it is like to blame yourself for losing them? I do. We lost my husband's nephew over a decade ago and every time I read about another veteran committing suicide, it all haunts me. I wonder what I didn't say to get him to at least listen. That pain does not go away no matter how much I know about what could have gone right, it still ended badly for him.

Why on earth would anyone want to take the easy way out and just claim to be doing something by talking about their suffering instead of doing the work to help them heal it? We sure don't have time to talk about those who survived the attempt to take their own lives. Why bother to try to even understand that in 2012 there were 600 attempted suicides but by August of 2014, it was 900? Is it because it was less when no one was out there "raising awareness" and increased afterwards?

The ever growing number of folks out there "raising awareness" on veterans committing suicide was yet one more factor in this betrayal. Intensions may have been good but few wanted to actually understand this enough to know what to do to actually help them stay alive instead of talking about them not wanting to live one more day on this earth. It has been a deadly decade of PTSD.

While they were taking walks, doing pushups, raising money and publicity for themselves, here are some veterans we lost this year because no one told them how they could heal and give them something worth living for.

Staff Sgt. Devin Schuette
Ray Burnside veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan
Terry O'Hearn
Charles Ingram III, set himself on fire at the VA

An Airman committed suicide in June Port San Antonio. By July, 15 Navy personnel had committed suicide. Two Mississippi Sailors committed suicide in less than a week.

These are only a few while they needed to hear reasons to live, others talked about them killing themselves. While they searched for hope, others spent too much time talking about a number, trivializing their lives down to something easy to remember. When they searched for help, others pointed to caskets already filled.

When advocates like me were trying desperately to get the message to them that they could heal and live better lives, our voices were drowned out by folks counting the number of push-ups they were willing to do, when we were willing to go into the gates of hell to get them out. When some were taking walks, talking about how many miles they were willing to travel, we were there listening for hours to veterans miles away. When some were done raising funds, we were still raising hope. When some folks arms were tired from doing push-ups, our arms were still being wrapped around them.

Do you really want to change the outcome? Then how about you stop doing the FUBAR crap and start doing the work. At least stop drowning out voices trying to save them so we can do our work without them having to get sidetracked by the sideshow of professed support you are willing to give when they need so much more.  

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