Showing posts sorted by relevance for query police suicides. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query police suicides. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Too Many Lives Have Been Shattered After More Efforts Have Failed

When Do We Change The Outcome For Veterans?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 4, 2015

There is a price being paid all over this country just because what is easy to say is being supported and promoted as fact yet the truth has a heartbreaking complexity that goes far beyond what can be cut down to a slogan. The collateral damage is all due to our collective ignorance. We hear about the "problem" and turn around to write checks but never manage to wonder where all that money went. I'd love to see an "awareness" charity fit this into their fundraising Tweet or Facebook post.
"Department of Defense has had increased suicides after "prevention training" then turned around to boot out 140,000 leaving the discharged with no help at all, betrayed others with PTSD treating them like slackers while telling the public they care, and then Congress betrayed even more by not taking responsibility for all the money they spent, laws they passed, rules they wrote because they could turn around and blame the VA when they in fact had jurisdiction over and then folks saw charities making millions off "awareness" raising and jumped on the bandwagon making suffering of veterans a way to make money leaving them without help so they could fact off with law enforcement officials all over the country to the point where communities had to come up with Veterans Courts to try to keep veterans out of jail and get them the help all the others failed to provide."

In 2013 NPR reported "The most recent statistics on incarcerated veterans from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) are almost 10 years old. In 2004, 10% of the State prisoners reported prior service in the U.S. Military. 140,000 were being held in prisons nationwide, 62% reported having an Honorable Discharge. A majority of veterans in State (54%) and Federal (64%) reported they served during a wartime period. At that point in time veterans of the Iraq-Afghanistan era comprised 4% of incarcerated veterans in both State and Federal prison."

Yep, it's that bad. Just to prove the point, when all the reporters were finally talking about suicides tied to the military and PTSD, Congress decided to start spending money. No, not just over the last decade or so but back in the 70's. Vietnam veterans pushed for all of it yet after all these years what was learned was forgotten and so have the Vietnam veterans been forgotten. They are the majority of the suicides but hey, why tell the truth on that simple fact?

As for current news, the DOD reported that there were 99 suicides in 2006 and was the highest number of suicides in 26 years. So Congress decided to do something about it but didn't matter to any of them what they did made it worse. More committed suicide even as less were serving with the end of wars.
Over the first six months of 2015, 130 active-duty troops took their own lives, along with 89 reserve members and 56 National Guardsmen. In the second quarter, the reserve component experienced 47 suicides and the National Guard, 27.
As for the VA, "The analysis found that the actual number of estimated suicides per day among veterans has remained relatively stable, ranging from 20 per day in 2000 to 18 per day in 2007 and 22 per day in 2009 and 2010, the latest estimates available, according to a report on the study released Friday. The rate of suicide among veterans who use VA health care services has remained steady in recent years, at about 36 per 100,000.The analysis found that the actual number of estimated suicides per day among veterans has remained relatively stable, ranging from 20 per day in 2000 to 18 per day in 2007 and 22 per day in 2009 and 2010, the latest estimates available, according to a report on the study released Friday. The rate of suicide among veterans who use VA health care services has remained steady in recent years, at about 36 per 100,000."

Yet even that report came from limited data. At least you can see that when more "efforts" were made, there were more suicides but WTF no one shows any sign of changing a damn thing they got wrong already.

How about we take a look at another missed number in all the talk about the price being paid by those who risked their lives for this country? I was reading about another veteran in crisis facing off with law enforcement officers and wondering who is being held accountable for failing veterans in the first place? A Deputy was shot in the face by a veteran with PTSD. The veteran is now facing charges.

Local Shooting Starts Conversation About PTSD was the headline but the news begins with the false conversation of "22 Veterans Commit Suicide Everyday."

How do you begin a conversation with bad information? How to you boil any of this down to a soundbite as if it will ever change anything?

This is what happened in California but keep in mind it is happening all over the country.
Mariposa deputy shot in morning shootout
Your Central Valley News
By Patrick Nelson
Published 10/02 2015

Mariposa, Calif.
The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office is asking for prayers after one of their own was shot in the face during a shootout with a suspect early Thursday morning. The deputy remains in critical condition. 35-year-old Brian Ballasch of Merced is being charged with shooting the officer.

While this shooting happened in a small community it's impacting anyone who puts on a law enforcement badge for a living.

The Fresno Sheriff's Office is just one of many agencies offering their support for the critically injured officer.

Just a day after the Merced Police Department was warned about former Marine Brian Ballasch struggling with post traumatic stress disorder he had a run in with Mariposa deputies.

After ramming his vehicle into deputies trying to stop him on Highway 49 near Mariposa investigators say he got out and started shooting a .45 caliber pistol hitting a deputy in the face and upper body who is now fighting for his life in a Madesto hospital.

Officials are visibly shaken by the incident

"One deputy... I'm sorry... a ten year veteran of the office, a father, a husband, a friend was struck at least twice," Kristie Mitchell of the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office said fighting back tears.

Ballasch was also shot in the shootout, but will be ok. He is being held for the attempted murder of a peace officer. The three other deputies involved in the shootout have been placed on administrative leave which is standard protocol as California Highway Patrol is investigating
read more here

These are other just from 2015
Magoffin County Sheriff's Deputies and Kentucky State Police, went to serve an arrest warrant on Vietnam War Veteran, Carter Castle.

MARICOPA, Ariz. --- An Arizona military veteran died after a confrontation with police in his neighborhood south of Phoenix Sunday afternoon. The widow of 32-year-old Johnathan Guillory says her husband struggled for many years with post-traumatic stress, brought on by a combat deployment in Iraq. He also spent time as a contract worker in Afghanistan.

On the balcony of his second-story apartment in U.S. Air Force dress blue uniform, Francis “Frank” Lamantia Spivey stood with an assault rifle pushed up to his chin just after midnight Feb. 25.

Police said William Dean Poole, 52, had told the hotline he planned to kill himself and not to send anyone to his home because it would not end well. When officers arrived at about 5:25 p.m., Buie said Poole was sitting on a lawnmower and fired multiple shots at police first. The officers returned fire, killing Poole.

Glendale police fatally shot Joe Tassinari in March 2015 outside his home near 67th and Peoria avenues. An officer said Tassinari, who was suspected of displaying a firearm at a woman earlier that night, did not obey commands and made a threatening move by reaching for his waistband. Dallas and neighbors said Tassinari typically kept a gun on him in one of his back pockets.

Anthony Hill, a 27-year-old US air force veteran, was shot dead on 9 March at his apartment complex outside Atlanta. Police officers had been responding to a 911 call for an episode during which Hill was not wearing clothes, crawling on the ground and banging on his neighbors’ doors.

An as-yet-unidentified officer shot and killed Brian Babb, a 49-year-old former captain in the Oregon Army National Guard, after Higgins called police to Babb’s west Eugene home because he was suicidal and told Higgins he had fired a gun in his home.

At least two Victoria police officers were placed on administrative leave Sunday after fatally shooting a 25-year-old man outside of his home. Brandon Lawrence, was an Afghanistan veteran.

Standoff on 1-35 With Texas Veteran Ends With Help, Police confirmed he was a veteran and took him to the hospital. Investigators were waiting Saturday afternoon to talk to doctors and decide whether to file charges, Dickson said.

A army spokesperson has released the name of the Soldier found dead by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department SWAT Wednesday in the Century at Fenwick Apartments in the Berwick area. The Soldier was Spc. Roobelson Viciere, 30, 3rd Infantry Division Artillery.

Boise Police Department On average, Boise police officers encounter approximately one veteran per week facing a crisis and in need of assistance, and officers are provided the opportunity to aid in referring the veteran to one of the network partners. These interactions demonstrate the value of the program, and that its objective is being met.

Wade Allen Baker, 44, of Clyde, alone in the church when law enforcement crews arrived. The man exchanged gunfire with the officers, she said.

Barry Sutton was a civilian contractor, working with DynCorp International. He was helping to train police officers in Afghanistan as part of NATO's resolute Support Mission, according to the Floyd County Sheriff's Office. Sutton was one of 12 people who died after a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy traveling through a crowded neighborhood. "Barry was a solid career officer, Floyd County Police Department SWAT veteran and deputy,"

Mr. McGranahan had served two tours of duty in Iraq, been wounded in the back, and awarded a Purple Heart. The woman, Shirley Mowery, said her grandson suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, but was not capable of hurting anyone. Toledo police have identified Donald McGranahan II as the main taken in custody after a standoff with police in West Toledo today.

An Ormond Beach father and husband was additionally charged Thursday with attempted second-degree murder after his wife described to police a horrific night of "PTSD rage." Before barricading himself in his house for seven hours on Wednesday, Kevin Hamilton attacked his wife, threatened to kill his family and shoot himself in front of his crying 4-year-old son, police reports state.

Keep in mind that I cannot find all the reports, so there are a lot missing from this list. There were many more news reports about veterans on trial for standoffs from other years during this year like the one going on in Tampa Florida
Matthew Buendia changed after his third deployment to Afghanistan and that when he came home, the former Marine became a recluse. "He was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," said Swanson, "A lot of those doctors were giving Matthew different types of medications. He was taking very severe stuff." Buendia is accused of shooting Hillsborough County deputy Lyonelle De Veaux during a domestic dispute in October 2011. The deputy survived the shooting.

This isn't even factoring in the number of questionable suicides like accidents that are actually on purpose or drug overdoses that may or may not have been on purpose. Families are still wondering what the purpose of all this "awareness" actually produced to spare other families from suffering the same deadly outcomes.

Too many lives have been shattered because veterans are still unable to find the help they need to heal from where they were sent. So when will someone be held accountable for this failure that spreads from the DOD to our communities? When do we actually do something to change the outcome? How do we get there when all the nonsensical "awareness" raising fails to not only tell the truth but trivializes this massive suffering down to a convenient soundbite of "22 a day" just because it is easier than reporting the facts?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Our Lost Heroes Police Suicide Statistics

2009 Police Suicide Statistics
Our Lost Heroes

Crisis Intervention Contributor

The Badge of Life Organization recently released their preliminary 2009 police suicide statistics. There were 143 police suicides in 2009, a slight increase from 2008 police suicides of 141. In 2009 there were 127 in the line of duty deaths. Officer suicide rates are at least double of the general population. Any law enforcement suicide is one too many. World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.

The 2009 Badge of Life police suicide study provided additional demographic information:

•Ages 40-44 are at highest risk of suicide, representing 27% of all suicides.
•Service time at highest risk was twenty years plus.
•Officers with less than ten years on the job had a suicide rate of 17%.
•64% of suicides were a surprise.

There is no easy or full proof way to identify which officers are most at risk for taking their own lives. Every officer has his or her breaking point. The stresses of daily life, coupled with stresses from tragic/critical events, can push a police officer to end his/her life. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and depression before an officer reaches that breaking point is essential.

The top predictors for suicide for anyone are: a diagnostic mental disorder, alcohol or substance use, loss of social or family support, and the availability and access to a firearm. 90% of officers commit suicide using a gun. Additionally, about 90% of the time, an officer is drinking heavily when he/she kills himself/herself. Statistically, most officers that commit suicide are white males, working patrol and are entering middle-age. They have experienced a recent loss, real or perceived. Most have no record of misconduct. Most shoot themselves while off duty.
read more here
Police Suicide Statistics

Monday, April 22, 2019

Protesters in Paris shouted "Kill yourselves!" at police officers

Outrage after some French protesters urge police suicides

By The Associated Press PARIS
Apr 21, 2019

Police unions held silent protests Friday after two officers killed themselves last week. Unions say police ranks have seen 28 suicides so far this year, compared to 68 over all of 2018.
Police advance on protestors during a yellow vest demonstration in Paris, Saturday, April 20, 2019. French yellow vest protesters are marching anew to remind the government that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn't the only problem the nation needs to solve. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
With French police suicides on the rise, Paris authorities are investigating yellow vest protesters who encouraged police to kill themselves.

Radical protesters have clashed with police nearly every weekend for five months on the margins of largely peaceful yellow vest demonstrations demanding more help for France's beleaguered workers, retirees and students.

On Saturday, Associated Press reporters heard some protesters in Paris shouting "Kill yourselves!" at police firing tear gas and rubber projectiles and charging the crowd to contain the violence at the 23rd weekend of yellow vest demonstrations.

Police unions denounced the protesters' call as an unacceptable insult to the officers who have killed themselves and their suffering families. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called it a "disgrace" and pledged his support for police and their loved ones, who have been under extra strain as the yellow vest protests have sometimes turned quite violent.
read more here

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who is checking on National Guards and Reservists when they come home?

For all the claims we have read about how much is being done, it turns out the military was wrong but so were journalists we trusted to tell us what was happening as a result of what they were doing.
PTSD Hits National Guard Soldiers Harder: Study
National Guard Soldiers Have Higher Rates of Mental Health Problems Than Others
MedPage Today Staff Writer
June 13, 2010

Over 20 percent of service members report psychological distress.Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with serious functional impairment increased from about 7 percent to more than 12 percent over a nine-month period, compared with only about a 1 percent increase among those in the Active Component, according to Jeffrey Thomas of Walter Reed Army Institute in Silver Spring, Md. and colleagues.

The researchers reported their findings in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

"The emergence of differences ... likely does not have to do with the differences in the health effects of combat, but rather with other variables related to readjustment to civilian life or access to health care," they wrote.
These are from the DOD
Army Suicides according to the DOD press release on January 19, 2011 for 2010
Army 156
145 "not on active duty" (National Guards and Reservists)
For 2011 DOD press release on January 19, 2012
Army 164
114 potential not on active duty suicides (80 National Guard and 34 Army Reserve)
For 2012 DOD press release dated February 1, 2013
Army 182
143 potential not on active-duty suicides (96 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve)
This report was revised and released in the August report for suicides in July
Army CY 2012: 185
CY 2012: 140 (93 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve)

Army for 2013 thru July
For CY 2013, there have been 94
For CY 2013, there have been 90 potential not on active duty suicides (58 Army National Guard and 32 Army Reserve

CNN reported "Suicide rate doubles for Army National Guard" (Charley Keyes, CNN Senior National Security Producer on January 19, 2011)
The overall number of suicides for the 2010 calendar year was 343 -- an increase of 69 over the previous year -- and included self-inflicted deaths among active-duty soldiers, the National Guard, the Army Reserves, civilian employees of the Army and family members. The Army reported 156 active-duty suicides last year and 112 in the National Guard.
Where did they get their numbers from? As you can see the 2010 numbers they are referring to were reported by the DOD as 156 Soldiers and 145 National Guards/Reservists. How could they get that wrong? They wrote the report on the same day the DOD released the numbers.
USA Today reported this the following day (Gregg Zoroya January 20, 2011)
Among active-duty Army soldiers, there were 156 potential suicides in 2010, down slightly from 162 in 2009.
Among National Guard soldiers on inactive status in 2010, there were 101 confirmed or suspected suicides, more than double the 48 deaths among Guard members on inactive duty in 2009.

The Washington Post got it right.
"Army sees suicide decline overall, increase among Guard and Reserve soldiers" (By Greg Jaffe Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, January 19, 2011)

Last year, 301 active-duty, reserve and National Guard soldiers committed suicide, compared to 242 in 2009, senior Army officials said.

Christian Science Monotor got 2011 wrong Army report: Suicide rate sets record; some alcohol abuse up 54 percent (By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer, January 20, 2012)
There were 164 suicides among active-duty, Army, National Guard, and Reserve troops in 2011, compared with 159 in 2010 and 162 in 2009.
As you can see by the DOD report the Army suicides were 164 plus 114 potential not on active duty suicides (80 National Guard and 34 Army Reserve)

National Guard 2013 Posture Statement
The National Guard has made suicide prevention a top priority by promoting resilience and risk reduction programs that will enhance coping skills in our Soldiers, Airmen, families, and civilians through leadership awareness, training, and intervention programs. In the last 18 months, DPHs have provided 14,177 consultations and 2,881 clinical referrals.

Follow-up and case management services are also provided to ensure the behavioral health treatment received is successful. (page 27)

In the last 18 months, DPHs actively mitigated 954 high risk situations; to include suicidal, homicidal and assault cases

National Guards 2014 Posture Statement
There are 260 Air Guard Wounded Warriors enrolled in the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program. Nearly two-thirds of them (172) suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

Army Guard clinicians have screened more than 8,000 Soldiers; 2,000 were referred for ongoing care in FY12.

Army Guard behavioral health counselors provided informal consultations to 30,000 Soldiers and family members; 1,400 of these consultations led to further psychological care in FY12.

Our heart-breaking suicide rate profoundly alarms us, and senior leaders are aggressively addressing this mental health challenge. We developed creative programs to build resilience and out determined staff of mental health professionals and volunteers provide a supportive network of friends and family members to our Citizen Soldiers in need.
In the last 18 months, DPHs have provided 14,177 consultations and 2,881 clinical referrals. Follow-up and case management services are also provided to ensure the behavioral health treatment received is successful. (exact number used in the 2013 report)
Now that you know the false report and claims going on, these are the deaths that resulted from "repeating the same mistakes over and over again while expecting a different result."
Army National Guard suicides increased 75 percent in 2009. May 11, 2010
Apr 20, 2010
Reporter: Associated Press
The National Guard says 28-year-old Sgt. Randolph A. Sigley Jr. of Richmond, was found dead in his quarters Sunday at Bagram Airbase, where he was serving with the 2123rd Transportation Company. The Guard says Sigley had been a member since 2006, and previously served a tour in Afghanistan when he was in the Marines, from 2000 to 2004.
April 23, 2010
National Guard renews suicide prevention campaign after "highest number of suicides within the active duty Army in 28 years. According to the Department of Defense, there were 12 potential suicides among active duty soldiers in January and 14 in February. And there have been 2 potential suicides among Missouri National Guardsmen in the last six weeks."
A Minnesota National Guardsman serving his second tour of duty in Iraq killed himself last October,(2009) the Army reported Thursday. According to the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, Maj. Tad Hervas, 48, died of a self-inficted gunshot wound to the head.
SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - Military officials have continued their investigation of the death of a 29-year-old Iowa solider who died in Iraq during a "non-combat incident." The United States Forces-Iraq offered no new details Saturday in the death of Spc. Christopher Opat. He died last Tuesday from injuries in a non-combat incident in Baquah, Iraq.
Five Missouri National Guard Troops Commit Suicide So Far This Year June 2010
Sgt. Jordan E. Tuttle , 22, of West Monroe, La., died July 2 at Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident.
Sixty-five members of the Guard and Reserve took their own lives during the first six months of 2010, compared with 42 for the same period in 2009. The Army recently announced that 32 soldiers, including 11 in the Guard and Reserve, took their own lives in June, a rate of one a day and a level not seen since the Vietnam War, according to the military.

Seven of the suicides occurred in Iraq or Afghanistan.

22-year-old man fatally shot by Vancouver police was an Oregon Army National Guard soldier who served 12 months in Iraq, a National Guard spokesman confirms.

Spc. Nikkolas W. Lookabill deployed in May 2009 as a member of the 41st Infantry Brigade after joining the guard in 2008, Guard spokesman Capt. Stephen Bomar said. Lookabill returned in May.
McCain calls suicide prevention overreach and blocks bill
Army to report rise in National Guard, Reserve suicides Report on suicides is to be released Wednesday, senior Army official says Active-duty suicides declined in 2010, but rose among Reserve, National Guard Increase was among stateside troops, most of whom were never in a war zone Army doesn't have any answers for the discrepancy, official says Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Army on Wednesday will report that while the number of suicides in the active-duty force declined in 2010, the number of suicides in the Army Reserve and National Guard increased, a senior Army official said. The increase in Reserve and National Guard suicides is among troops who are in the United States and not activated for duty. The senior Army official said more than half of those troops were never deployed to a war zone.
Matthew Magdzas, a 23-year-old Wisconsin National Guard soldier who earned a combat badge in the Iraq war, shot and killed his pregnant wife, their 13-month-old daughter Lila, and their three dogs before turning the gun on himself. August 2010
24-year-old guardsman in Waukesha, Wis., allegedly shot dead “his best friend,” a 23-year-old Marine Corps veteran, after the two argued during a night of drinking, according to local police.
Friends identified the shooter as Clayborne Conley, a former Hawaii National Guardsman with a history of violent behavior and mental instability. Conley was deployed with his Hawaii unit to Iraq in 2004, and friends said he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder.
22-year-old man fatally shot by Vancouver police was an Oregon Army National Guard soldier who served 12 months in Iraq, a National Guard spokesman confirms. Spc. Nikkolas W. Lookabill deployed in May 2009 as a member of the 41st Infantry Brigade after joining the guard in 2008, Guard spokesman Capt. Stephen Bomar said. Lookabill returned in May.
Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry, Wilson had returned from Afghanistan in November after being stationed there about nine months. Staff Sgt. James Wilson was also a police officer
Their stories get worse and I can post more if you want but I think you have the idea that when it comes to what the military tells us and what reporters write, the National Guards and Reservists haven't mattered nearly as much as they should have.

Monday, August 12, 2019

More first responders saving others....but not themselves

For second day in row, NYPD mourning officer who died by suicide

NBC New York, citing law enforcement sources, reported that the officer who died Wednesday was 56 years and found in his Queens home after police were called around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

On Tuesday, another police officer died by suicide in Yonkers.

Since the beginning of June, seven NYPD officers have died by suicide, and nine since the beginning of the year.
read it here

FDNY captain found dead of apparent suicide in his Staten Island home: sources

AUG 06, 2019

An FDNY captain was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Staten Island home Tuesday morning, police sources said. The 53-year-old captain was found hanging in a closet of his Tottenville home at about 11:15 a.m., sources said. 

His name has not yet been publicly released. An autopsy is pending, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner’s office said.

FDNY spokesman Myles Miller provided no details about the captain’s death Tuesday, though he said the department shared suicide prevention tips to its members after the suicides of seven NYPD officers this year — four of them over a three-week stretch.
read it here

NYPD suicides push officials to work to overcome stigma of asking for help

AUGUST 11, 2019
The study found that first responders failed to seek help because of the stigma of seeking mental health treatment in a profession that prioritizes bravery and toughness. It also found of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country, “approximately 3-5% have suicide prevention training programs.”
The first sign something was wrong: The police sergeant didn’t show up for morning roll call.

New York Police Department officials went to his home, where they found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was July 27, and the 30-year-old with eight years on the force was the NYPD’s seventh suicide this year, according to officials.

It’s news that rattled Police Commissioner James O’Neill, who says his biggest fear is another one of his officers is about to take his or her own life.

“Am I scared? I’ve got to be honest with you. Yeah, I am,” O’Neill told CNN during a recent interview at his office at One Police Plaza in Manhattan. “Maybe there’s somebody out there right now that’s in crisis or approaching crisis and just unable or unwilling to come forward.”

Over a two-month period, O’Neill has had often-painful conversations about a member of the department who killed himself. The number of NYPD suicides so far this year stands at seven — with five of those occurring since June.
read it here

FOX43 Focal Point: Heroes in Harm’s Way — First responders and mental health

AUGUST 11, 2019
"What they are seeing on a regular basis is not normal. We're responding to situations that would absolutely terrify another member of the public or completely devastate them if they've seen some of the carnage we've seen." Chief Jarrad Berkihiser

LANCASTER, Pa. -- For the third straight year, police officer suicides exceeded line of duty deaths in the United States. Local first responders are now sharing their battles with mental health issues. FOX43's Grace Griffaton takes a closer look at the toll the uniform can take. Lancaster Bureau Of Police lost a patrol officer last year after he took his own life. The loss hit the department hard, and it really changed how it looks at mental health. The flashing lights, the sirens, the tape, it's what civilians see. What first responders see, smell, and hear may never go away.

"Just watching what they do at an autopsy to four children - one being the same age as my daughter. It was kind of a gut bunch," said Chief Jarrad Berkihiser, Lancaster Bureau of Police. Flash back to August 22, 2003: Officers, including Berkihiser, respond to an arson on East Chestnut Street in Lancaster. Four children perished that day. "It was a homicide so I ended up spending 3 full days in the crime scene," explained Berkihiser. It wasn't Berkihiser's first time seeing trauma either; he spent his first 10 years processing violent crime scenes. "I was in a dark place in 2003, and it wasn't just one incident. What I found out? It was a culmination of multiple incidents over several years," he added.
read it here

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Sunday, March 10, 2013

National Guards and Reservists dying after combat, forgotten by media

National Guards and Reservists dying after combat, forgotten by media
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
March 10, 2013

Reading in the Austin Statesman More Guard soldiers dying from car crashes, suicide than in combat by Jeremy Schwartz, I was reminded of all the National Guards families I've talked to over the years. It is much harder on them because when they come home, they go back to life as civilians surrounded by people without a single clue about where these men and women were. While active duty forces are surrounded by their buddies, they also return to the same type of civilian population as veterans. There is very little support for them among the 7% of the population because they were only 1% of the population fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for all these years.

Veterans will not be deployed again when they come home to return to civilian jobs, the National Guardsmen don't have the luxury. Unless they leave the guards, they come home, pick up where they left off with the knowledge they can, and usually do, get redeployed again. They also have to face the fact they can get called up in their states to help with disasters. Top that off with the fact most of them are either police officers or firefighters, continuing to risk their lives to help others.

They face the same issues everyone else does with financial problems and relationship problems. For those issues they can talk to their civilian peers however even these conversations get complicated when the added stresses of deployment are parts of the same problems.

Cops understand cops. Firefighters understand firefighters. Veterans understand veterans and since they are the smallest group yet the highest in suicides, that support vital to their survival is often too hard for them to find.

What is astonishing is for all of this when the yearly suicide numbers were released, National Guardsmen and Reservists were not included in the total. Every reporter jumped on this "news" without noticing what the DOD put out.
The Army sustained the heaviest suicide toll at 182, a dark tally that — as NBC News reported Jan. 3 — marked another frightening first as soldier suicides last year outpaced the 176 Army members who were killed in combat while serving Operation Enduring Freedom, according to Pentagon officials.
During 2012, there also were 60 suicides among active-duty members of the Navy, 59 in the Air Force and 48 in the Marine Corps. Throughout the U.S. military, suicides increased by nearly 16 percent from 2011 to 2012, figures show.

The problem with this is, with the Marines, Air Force and Navy, the report came out January 3rd, long before they would have added in what ever suicides happened in those groups in December. The numbers have not been updated including Navy SEAL Cmdr. Job W. Price since the published numbers of those groups came out before the end of the year. The DOD has not updated those groups, at least, none I could find in their archives.

This is what the DOD released on February 1, 2013 No. 056-13
Army Releases December 2012 and Calendar Year 2012 Suicide Information
The Army released suicide data today for the month of December and calendar year 2012. During December, among active-duty soldiers, there were seven potential suicides: three have been confirmed as suicides and four remain under investigation. For November, the Army reported 12 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers: four have been confirmed as suicides and eight remain under investigation. For 2012, there have been 182 potential active-duty suicides: 130 have been confirmed as suicides and 52 remain under investigation. Active-duty suicide number for 2011: 165 confirmed as suicides and no cases under investigation.
During December, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 15 potential suicides (10 Army National Guard and five Army Reserve): four have been confirmed as suicides and 11 remain under investigation. For November, among that same group, the Army reported 15 potential suicides (12 Army National Guard and three Army Reserve): 10 have been confirmed as suicides and five remain under investigation.

For 2012, there have been 143 potential not on active-duty suicides (96 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve): 117 have been confirmed as suicides and 26 remain under investigation. Not on active-duty suicide numbers for 2011: 118 (82 Army National Guard and 36 Army Reserve) confirmed as suicides and no cases under investigation.

Later they added 1 soldier and 1 Guardsman for 2012 but the media didn't notice when they reported their military suicide numbers, they omitted all of these. As of today I have not been able to find the numbers for Marine Corps Reservists or Air National Guards.

The publicized numbers have not been corrected by the mainstream media. That is how much they have been paying attention to our "citizen soldiers" and that is why this article on National Guards and Reservists is so important to read.

A 2012 American-Statesman investigation into Iraq and Afghanistan veteran deaths found that 1 in 3 Texas veterans receiving disability benefits died of suicide or drug overdose, rates that far outpace their civilian counterparts.
In recent years, National Guard suicides have helped drive overall Army suicides to record levels. In 2010, the overall National Guard suicide rate eclipsed that of active-duty soldiers and the civilian population; last year, about 1 in 3 Army suicides was of a National Guard soldier. Officials say about half of National Guard suicide victims nationally had never deployed, a trend that appears to hold in Texas.
Cory Brown’s behavior became increasingly erratic, and, in April 2011, he fled his monthly drill when a drug test was announced. His National Guard commanders initiated the process of kicking him out of the Army with an other-than-honorable discharge, which could limit his ability to receive some medical services from the VA. His mother insists that instead of trying to discharge her son for going absent without leave, his commanders should have intervened and helped get him more intensive in-patient treatment.
In September 2011, shortly after an argument with his new wife, who was then seven months pregnant, and about a week after his mother says his medication was changed at the VA, Brown killed himself with a gunshot to the head. His son, Elijah, was born two months later.

Please go to the link and read the rest of this. They have been forgotten and so have their families yet these are the people we depend on everyday for our communities.

I made this video a few years ago to remind people of that.

The fact these men and women must turn to civilian mental health workers, not specializing in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, knowing very little about combat, is reflected in the deadly outcome of hopelessness and suicide.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Suicide Awareness Not the Same As What We Need to Change

Failing More Veterans
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 22, 2015

Three years ago, a life was lost because of what we failed to do. Oh, sure, some just want to blame police officers faced with a veteran in crisis caused by PTSD. The truth is whenever these veterans reach this point, we're all responsible.

When the report came out two years ago, I posted it Veteran Marine with PTSD shot and killed by police but should have said our fingerprints are all over the bullet.

(The link is still good to Knox News)
Family: Maryville man killed after shooting at police suffered from PTSD
Theodore “T.J.” Jones IV was shot and killed at about 4 a.m. Thursday when he advanced on officers who had surrounded him at a former business at 1811 E. Broadway Ave., Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp said.

On Thursday afternoon, Jones’ father took to Facebook to share his grief.

“Today, I feel great pain. My beloved son, Theodore ‘T.J.’ Jones IV, last night suffered another flashback to his combat service as a U.S. Marine,” wrote Theodore Jones III of Maryville.

“He has lost the battle with PTSD. This morning, he sits within sight of Creator and Jesus. He now smokes the pipe with other warriors who have fought to defend their beliefs.”
You may think this story is old news. It isn't. After Jones was buried, the heartache didn't end. It didn't end for the family. It didn't end for police officers. Above all, it didn't end for the line of families afterwards all facing planning funerals for veterans who did not die in combat but perished because of it.
Blount Marine, victim of PTSD, remembered in awareness walk
Daily Times
By Joel Davis
March 22, 2015

Lance Cpl. Theodore “T.J.” Jones IV is not forgotten.
Mark A. Large | The Daily Times
Lea Jones Glarner writes on a banner in memory
of her brother LCPL Theodore Jones IV
Saturday at the pavilion behind the Blount
County Courthouse.

Jones was remembered Saturday during Blount County’s second annual post-traumatic stress disorder Awareness Walk.

It marks two year since his death on March 21, 2013, in an armed standoff with police.

The mile-long walk began in the parking lot outside the courthouse near the greenway. The Blount County Veterans Affairs Office was involved in organizing it.

”This is one of the hardest days of the year for me,” his father, Theodore “Theo” Jones III, said. “My son suffered with PTSD.

It is something that none of us in this family knew or understood in time to help him or to save him, but we have many young young men and women right here in our own community that are still suffering and still waiting on treatment and are still afraid to acknowledge that they need help because of the ridicule they sometimes can get in the community.”

People need to start writing letters to their lawmakers to force better and more timely treatment for those suffering from PTSD, Jones said.

“They don’t get follow-up treatment for years. It’s not fair. It’s not right to our American heroes. We owe them more.”
read more here

Why is it our fault? Simple. Within days of this tragedy this report was released about a study by RAND Corp on what the military was actually doing to help the servicemen and women in uniform. No one seemed to care that the military failed them first.
By Bob Brewin
March 21, 2013

The Defense Department runs 900 suicide prevention programs, yet the number of military suicides has more than doubled since 2001, the head of the Pentagon’s suicide prevention office told lawmakers Thursday.

Jacqueline Garrick, acting director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, told the House Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon has identified 291 suicides in fiscal 2012 with investigations into another 59 pending. This is up from 160 in 2001. She said the suicide rate for 2012 is expected to increase once death investigations have been completed and a final manner of death determination is issued.

Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Army deputy chief of staff for personnel, said the service had a record number of 324 potential suicides in 2012, more than double the previous record of 148 in 2009. Both Garrick and Bromberg said the military suicide profile matched that of suicides in the general population -- young, white males younger than 30 with only a high school education.

Eliminating the perception that seeking mental health care could cripple a career and lead to loss of a security clearance is one of the most “critical aspects” of suicide reduction, Bromberg told the hearing. He said there should be a top-down emphasis that seeking help is not a sign of weakness.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., who is also a physician and commands an Army Reserve brigade, said he has personal experience with soldier suicides -- one death and two attempts in his unit. He expressed frustration with the military’s inability to stamp out mental health care’s stigma. Heck noted that when he returned from Iraq in 2008, he asked, “Why are we still developing a stigma reduction campaign?” read more here
I left this comment.
The answer they are looking for has been right in front of them. End Resilience Training! In 2009 I gave the strongest warning possible that if they pushed "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness" suicides would go up. I was right but had no power to get anyone in the DOD or Congress to listen to what 30 years of research, living with it and helping veterans taught me. Too many know what works but it doesn't have to be tied to huge contracts that have to be refunded. Nextgov has a report out "Military Suicides are up despite 900 prevention programs" and these programs are tied to contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars but are renewed even though RAND said they did not work with the military culture among other issues. Tired of spending hours trying to undo the damage this approach has produced because it does more harm than good.

Military brass were also answering questions. The problem was no one in Congress ever gather the facts, statistics or reports enough to actually ask them questions as to why after all these years of "prevention" suicides actually increased at the same time combat deaths decreased.
Military evaluating suicide prevention programs
Stars and Stripes
Megan McCloskey
Published: March 21, 2013
Preparing to testify before the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Military Personnel Thursday, March 21, 2013, at the U.S. Capitol are, left to right, Jacqueline Garrick, acting director of the DOD's Defense Suicide Prevention Office; Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-1; Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education; Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services; Brig. Gen. .Robert F. Hedelund, Director of Marine and Family Programs for the Marine Corps; and Dr. Jerry Reed Jr., director of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

WASHINGTON — After another rise in the military suicide rate last year, the services on Thursday outlined to Congress their efforts to reverse the trend and evaluate their prevention programs.
Last year the Army set another record with 324 suicides. For active duty, the 183 suicides in 2012 far exceeded the previous record of 148 in 2009.
“While most Army suicides continue to be among junior enlisted soldiers, the number of suicides by non-commissioned officers has increased over each of the last three years,”

The overall program review has fallen to the Pentagon’s relatively new Defense Suicide Prevention Office, which opened in 2011.

By the end of September, it should complete its comprehensive inventory of all the service’s programs and will have identified gaps and overlaps in the various efforts, Jacqueline Garrick, acting director of the prevention office, told the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. From there the office will begin to streamline and unify what is offered across the services, she said.

Although she didn’t answer questions about how they were evaluating the programs – besides collecting data from the branches – she said it was a top priority of her office.
read more here

So the DOD failed them first and we didn't manage to fight them to fix anything. Then the VA failed them but hey, why bother to tell the truth on how long all of this had been going on? After all, the press has a short memory on all of this.

Remember the uproar over Candy Land with the VA pushing pills? It came out as if it was all new news. Oh, ya right. I forgot that we're not supposed to remember that this was a matter of life and death. Far too many deaths for far too long.

Deal is reached in lawsuit over veteran's death reported by Kate Willtrout for the Virgina Pilot shows it was going on for the sister of a Navy veteran.
Kelli Grese - a Navy veteran like her twin sister - killed herself on Veterans Day in 2010. She overdosed on Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication that was part of a cocktail of drugs prescribed by doctors at the Hampton Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Darla Grese, of Virginia Beach, filed a malpractice suit against the medical center, seeking $5 million. It was scheduled for trial in Norfolk in April. On Tuesday, Grese and the U.S. government reached a settlement, according to her lawyer, Bob Haddad: If a judge approves the deal, the government will pay Grese $100,000.

Grese hopes publicity about the suit will draw more attention to the treatment of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, both of which her sister battled.

In a single year, Grese said in an interview, doctors at the Hampton facility prescribed 5,370 pills of Klonopin, used to treat anxiety disorders, for her sister.

What was the result of all of this? More deaths that didn't need to happen.

While the false reports of 22 suicides a day were not even close and the VA admitted the numbers were an average of 21 states provided by limited data, everyone simply assumes those numbers are true. Yet state after state produced more shocking numbers.

The number of veterans committing suicide are double the civilian rate. What is even more troubling is the majority of those deaths are 50 and over, meaning veterans from the wars civilians have forgotten about.

And then there are the reports of younger veterans, all trained in suicide prevention, coming home and committing suicide triple their peer rate.

We can talk all we want about raising awareness on the heartache but if we continue to just talk about those we fail, we will fail even more.

We need to start taking a look at what was done to them while we were being told it was being done for them!

If we don't then more families will have to suffer for what we fail to do for the men and women prepared to die for the sake of others but not prepared to live back home!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Deadly Decade of PTSD Healing Prevention

Deadly Decade Followed Army PTSD Prevention
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 12, 2016

It has been one deadly decade of service members and our veterans but this enemy was allowed to follow them home. For all the talk we keep hearing on raising awareness, far too many veterans are still not aware of the simple fact they survived combat multiple times but were not trained to survive being back home. 

They were left not understanding what PTSD is or why they have it anymore than they were made aware of the simple fact, the Army knew it all along.

Sergeant Cory Griffin summed up what has been going on in the Army.
"Cory was a leader with the U.S. Army. He served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Qatar. He says many soldiers come back with PTSD because, 'Every other year we are deploying. There's not really ever a reset time. We train, shoot and deploy.'"
He is facing time in prison, much like far too many veterans left with the stigma of PTSD after a decade of Army prevention programs.  So stigmatized he knew he needed help but did not ask for it.

In 2006 the Army discovered that redeployments increased the risk of PTSD by 50%.
Repeat Iraq Tours Raise Risk of PTSD, Army Finds
Washington Post
By Ann Scott Tyson
Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

U.S. soldiers serving repeated Iraq deployments are 50 percent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress, raising their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Army's first survey exploring how today's multiple war-zone rotations affect soldiers' mental health.

More than 650,000 soldiers have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 -- including more than 170,000 now in the Army who have served multiple tours -- so the survey's finding of increased risk from repeated exposure to combat has potentially widespread implications for the all-volunteer force. Earlier Army studies have shown that up to 30 percent of troops deployed to Iraq suffer from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with the latter accounting for about 10 percent.

The findings reflect the fact that some soldiers -- many of whom are now spending only about a year at home between deployments -- are returning to battle while still suffering from the psychological scars of earlier combat tours, the report said.

Within that same report was this
The report also found a doubling of suicides among soldiers serving in the Iraq war from 2004 to 2005, the latest period for which data are available. Twenty-two soldiers took their own lives in Iraq and Kuwait in 2005, compared with 11 in 2004 and 25 in 2003, Army officials said.
So the Army decided to start Battlemind to prevent PTSD.  Yep, they thought instead of actually stopping these redeployments, their best bet would be to just stop PTSD.  We saw how well that worked out when suicides went up.

By 2008 when the Army was facing an increase in suicides, they were also looked at the number of attempted suicides.
There were also 935 active-duty suicide attempts, which Col. Elspeth C. Richie, psychiatry consultant to the Army's surgeon general, said includes any self-inflicted injury that leads to hospitalization or evacuation. This number is less than half of the approximately 2,100 attempts reported in 2006.

This was followed by Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, which by 2009 was already sounding warning bells in the veterans community. Telling soldiers they could train their brains to be mentally tough was telling them they were weak and PTSD was their fault.

Years later, after all this training was pushed, soldiers like Griffin were still left not understanding what PTSD was, why they had it or how they could heal. How could he think anything differently when the Army told him they trained him to prevent it?

If you want to know why there is such an increase in PTSD and suicides, start with that then have a real conversation with these veterans that may actually do some good.
PTSD defense- a local soldier's story
By Brie Groves, Investigative Reporter
March 11, 2016
A local soldier is going to jail as part of a plea deal he made, after an evening with friends that turned violent.

Sergeant Cory Griffin says Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is to blame for the night he shot another man. He wants to tell his story to shed light on a problem that may be affecting more people in our community.

In November of 2014 Cory and his wife, Jenarae had some friends over to their home. They had been drinking for hours. Jenarae tells us Cory left and didn't return for quite some time. When she found him, he was having a full-blown PTSD episode at the top of the stairs. Jenarae says their friend walked up to the stairs, startling Cory. That's when Cory shifted the gun and shot the victim in the hand.

However, a different story was told to police that night. According to the police report the couple and their friends were indulging in a heavy night of drinking, when Cory confronted his wife of infidelity. That's when he grabbed the handgun and pointed at her. His friend walked up on the situation and Cory shifted his focus. According to police records, that's when Cory shot the victim in the hand.

Cory says, "I felt detached from myself. The anxiety poured in." Cory was a leader with the U.S. Army. He served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Qatar. He says many soldiers come back with PTSD because, "Every other year we are deploying. There's not really ever a reset time. We train, shoot and deploy."
read more here
You can't dismiss the deadly outcome. After a decade of excuses as to why soldiers and veterans of these wars are committing suicide in higher numbers, the results cannot be dismissed nor needless suffering be diminished because in the veterans community, we see the numbers the DOD does not have to account for. All of them had the same prevention training. 

Here are the numbers from the Department of Defense.

2008 268 Service Member suicides 

2009 309 Service Members died by suicide
2010 295 Service Members died by suicide
2011 301 Service Members died by suicide
2012 319 suicides among Active componentService members and 203 among Reserve component Services members
2013 259 suicides among Active Component SMs and 220 among Reserve and National Guard
2014 269 Active Component deaths and 169 Reserve Component 

For 2015 they are reporting quartily numbers.
In the first quarter of 2015, there were 57 suicides among service members in the active component, 15 suicides among service members in the reserve component and 27 suicides among service members in the National Guard.
In the second quarter of 2015, there were 71 suicides among service members in the active component, 20 suicides among service members in the reserve component and 27 suicides among service members in the National Guard.
In the third quarter of 2015, the military Services reported that there were 72 Active Component suicides and 70 Reserve Component suicides with 38 suicides in the Reserves and 32 in the National Guard. Please refer to Figure One for a detailed breakdown of the number of suicides within each Service and component through the third quarter of 2015.
4th Quarter has not been released yet.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Military suicides from 2012 more than entire Vietnam War?

Military suicides from 2012 more than entire Vietnam War?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 16, 2013

We can pretend all of this is new. That somehow young men and women entering into the military are more prone to suicide, or whatever excuse the military has been offering so far, but excuses do not explain what is going on.
Military suicide problem hits home at MacDill
Tampa Tribune
By Howard Altman
Tribune Staff
Published: July 15, 2013

Douglas Caldas was the life of any party, according to his brother and girlfriend, a guy who could bring two disparate groups together just by pulling off a joke. He was a hard worker with track record of success at his job.

But on Friday, the Air Force senior airman from New Jersey, who had been stationed at MacDill Air Force Base for four years, stabbed himself to death, according to the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office. Caldas, one of more than 100 confirmed military suicides so far this year, was 25.

Suicide is a problem the military is struggling to handle. There were 488 confirmed military suicides around the globe last year and another 27 suspected, compared with 298 deaths in combat. The trend is continuing this year - 102 confirmed and 66 suspected suicides, compared with 75 combat deaths, according to figures compiled by the Tribune last month from records kept by the individual services.

Last year, the Pentagon introduced a suicide prevention plan that called for increased responsibility by military leaders; improved quality and access to health care; elevated mental fitness; and increased research into suicide prevention.

Yet men and women continue to kill themselves.

"There have been so many (suicides) lately," said Wynn Dressler, 28, an Air Force staff sergeant, who had been living with Caldas for the past 10 months. "When I was in Turkey, there were three when I was there. I know another girl who was here prior, she committed suicide. Another guy came back and his wife was cheating on him. He blew his head off in base police cop car."
read more here

Gee that sounds really bad but also wrong. For starters, the DOD has not released the suicide reports for May or June yet. They are also wrong because they have not completed the Suicide Event Report for 2012. All we can do right now is guess based on what they do end up telling reporters. The facts are in the comprehensive reports researchers have been waiting for.

First we need to look at the Vietnam War to see what has been missed by journalists.
Number of Records










Total Records

382 Confirmed "self-inflicted during the entire Vietnam War. Last year alone the DOD reported more than that number for 2012. While the full Department of Defense Suicide Event report has not been released for last year we do have an idea of what had been happening before the record high number of suicides.

2003 Army 79 26 while deployed
2004 Army 67 13 while deployed
2005 Army 87 25 while deployed
2006 Army 99 30 while deployed
(Army Suicide Prevention Program Fact Sheet, Army Public Affairs, August 17, 2007) 2007 Army 115 36 while deployed (50 deployed prior to suicide and 29 not deployed)

The following is from the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report.
Air Force Suicides Confirmed and Pending (2011 page 93)
2008 45
2009 43
2010 60
2011 50
241 Airmen who attempted suicide in 251 separate incidents.
Army Confirmed and Pending Suicides (2011 page 128)
2008 140
Suicide attempts 570 Of the 140 suicides, 34 (24%) occurred in OIF-OEF. One hundred sixteen suicide attempts (12%) were reported to have occurred in OIF-OEF. Nineteen percent of Soldiers with completed suicides, and 14% of Soldiers with suicide attempts, had a history of multiple deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Of suicide events reported as occurring in theater, the majority was reported to have occurred in Iraq.

2009 164
Army DoDSERs Submitted for Non-Fatal Events 2,047 Army DoDSERs for non-fatal events were submitted for 2009. Of these, 502 (25%) were submitted for suicide attempts, 347 (17%) for instances of self-harm without intent to die, and 1198 (59%) for suicidal ideation only

2010 160
DoDSERs provide data on suicide attempts for 400 individuals. Two attempts were reported (DoDSERs submitted) for 11 (2.75%) individuals, and three for one individual (0.25%). Additionally, four Soldiers with a 2010 suicide attempt DoDSER subsequently died by suicide in 2010 and were also included in the preceding section.

2011 167
440 DoDSERs for 2011 Army suicide attempts. As indicated in Table 5.29, these DoDSERs provide data on suicide attempts for 432 individuals. Two suicide attempt DoDSERs were submitted for 8 (1.85%) individuals 2011 Army suicide attempts 432 individuals with 440 attempts

Marines Confirmed and Pending
2008 42
2009 52
2010 37
2011 32
2011 156 Marines who attempted suicide in 157 separate incidents
Navy Confirmed and Pending
2008 41
2009 47
2010 38
2011 52
2011 87 Navy suicide attempts
Department of Defense Suicide Event Report for 2011
For 2011 there were 935 attempted suicides in the military with 915 individuals trying to kill themselves. 896 tried once, 18 tried twice and 1 tried three times.

It is important you know those numbers because of what is in this book. For 2012 it was reported that there were 179 attempted military suicides and the headlines all seemed to read the same way. 349 suicides were successful.
These are the deaths from suicides for 2012.
Army 182
Army National Guards 96
Army Reserves 47
Marines 48
Air Force 59
Navy 60
492 total reported suicides from one year alone.

While these numbers continue to be revised, again, the full report has not been released including the number of attempted suicides.

During the Vietnam War, many were drafted and were forced to be there but the war produced less suicides than when the US began an all volunteer force. So what makes the numbers higher now? Considering since 2006 the Congress and the DOD have funded billions every year in "prevention" you would think there would have been hearings as to what is causing the increase. Then again, you'd also have to believe they are willing to open their eyes, figure out what they got wrong and actually fix it. When we end up with one year's worth of military suicides higher than during the entire Vietnam war after they started to address it, every journalist in the country should be jumping all over this, but they ignore it.

The military loves to play a little game of hide and seek. If they discharge them, they don't have to count them. Then they get lumped into the veteran suicide figures instead of ending up on the DOD accounts. If you read just a few of the links under military suicides, you'll find some of their stories. All of them would have had the "prevention" training and subjected to testing before they were discharged. The DOD wants us to think they have nothing to do with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder even though most of the news reports we read are tied to PTSD among combat veterans.

There is one more frightening aspect to all of this. While at least 22 veterans a day commit suicide, the majority of them are Vietnam veterans. Considering the explosion of active duty suicides already, many more graves will be filled because no one asked for the answers and no one was held accountable.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CNN took easy way out on reporting Vets' PTSD, violence a growing problem

CNN took the easy way out on this report and it is depressing to have to say that. They usually do an outstanding job. Of all the cable news stations I use their reports more than others.

"Violence by returning veterans may be on the rise, experts say" is wrong simply because it is what has been on the minds of experts for a very long time but has been based on facts and stone, cold hard data. Not just a couple of news reports. The first thing is there are more veterans getting into trouble with the law simply because there are more veterans. Over 2 million of them.

With two wars going on as long as these, you'll have veterans getting into trouble simply because they come from the same backgrounds the rest of the population does, face the same problems the rest of us do with families, relationships, finances topped off with coming back from deployments into combat zones. We commit crimes too and we make headlines everyday without ever having been in combat. Veterans make the news because they are less than ten percent of the general population and the troops serving are less than one percent.

If you take the percentages of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans coming home with PTSD, it looks like this.
We are well past a million with PTSD but think about the few reports coming out on them getting into trouble. I track reports from across the country and most of them never made it onto CNN.

Since 2007 police shooting (49)police shootout (12) police standoff (53) just to give you some idea of the numbers we're talking about. While it is true the numbers are going up, they will keep going up because there will be more veterans.

CNN mentioned the suicides but didn't address the rise in calls to the suicide prevention hotline or the fact that as the suicides have gone up, so have the attempted suicides despite the suicide prevention hotline. Military suicides have gone up as well. So have divorces, drunk driving arrests, single car accidents, motorcycle crashes, you name it. What CNN didn't understand is that most experts were screaming about all of this as soon as the troops were sent into Afghanistan in 2001.

There are so many parts to what's going on that it is mind boggling. Medications that have side effects that cause anger and suicides. Training that tells them if they end up with PTSD it is their fault because they didn't train their brains to be tough enough. Redeployments increasing the risk of PTSD by 50% topping off the extra stress families already have being left over and over again worrying about someone they love not coming back and in the case of National Guards and Reservists families, they have to worry about income being lost and no jobs for them to come back to.

The nature of what is part of combat these men and women face is worst because of the IED attacks planted on so many roads it makes them a target every time they get behind the wheel and then there are the suicide bombers blowing themselves up. Amputation are up because of the number of bombs and the battlefield medics saving more lives. Along with this are the witnesses seeing it all happen and being helpless to do anything about any of it. You can't shoot back after a bomb has blown up. Then you have the VA claim backlog leaving them with no incomes when they are unable to work because of what serving did to them.

Ask a young kid after they joined right out of high school if they are happy having to give up the only career they ever wanted because they don't have legs anymore or have been so deeply changed by combat they have to be on so many medications they can't do what they used to do.

The two veterans they reported on made the headlines but they forgot about these.
Police suspect Army vet in shooting of six officers
Thu Jan 5, 2012 5:10pm EST

(Reuters) - Six police officers were shot, one of them fatally, when a gunman said to be a U.S. Army veteran opened fire on them as they served a drug-related search warrant in Utah, authorities said on Thursday.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Iraq War veteran home just 4 days is fatally shot during standoff
UPDATE to this story
Troubles haunted soldier killed in confrontation with troopers from WBTV

Iraq War veteran home just 4 days is fatally shot during standoff
Jan 08, 2012
IREDELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Three troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol are on administrative leave after they were involved in the deadly shooting of an Iraq War veteran early Sunday morning.

Troubles haunted soldier killed in confrontation with troopers

Posted: Jan 10, 2012
By David Whisenant, Salisbury Bureau Reporter
STATESVILLE - To his fellow soldiers, Bill Miller was the kind of guy who would do anything for you. He was generous and hardworking.

But now many are saying that Miller was fighting some personal demons, and that those problems may have played a role in his fatal confrontation with state troopers on Sunday morning.

Troopers had confronted Miller at the home of his former girlfriend on Sain Road, east of Statesville. They say that moments earlier, Miller had driven his car off the road and through a neighbor's yard.

When they arrived at the house, they found Miller with a gun. They say he refused to obey their orders to put the gun down, and when an Iredell County deputy tried to use a Taser to subdue him, they say Miller started shooting. The troopers and the deputy returned fire, killing Miller.

Miller served with an Army National Guard unit based in Salisbury where he was a mechanic on the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

Fort Bragg Soldier in Fayetteville standoff facing 30 charges

Soldier in Fayetteville standoff facing 30 charges
Published: January 13, 2012

A Fort Bragg soldier is facing 30 charges after exchanging gunfire with police and barricading himself in his apartment for hours Friday night and Saturday morning.

Staff Sgt. Joshua P. Eisenhauer is charged with 15 counts of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of felony assault on a law enforcement official and nine counts of felony assault on a government official.

Saturday, January 14, 2012
Iraq veteran with rifle killed by police in Kansas

Veteran with rifle fatally shot by Raytown police
The Kansas City Star

The man shot to death by Raytown police Thursday while threatening officers with a rifle was a veteran of the Iraq war who had recently learned he was being sent to Afghanistan.

In describing events that led up to the shooting of 26-year-old Robert G. Long, Raytown police Capt. Ted Bowman on Friday said he did not want to suggest that Long’s military service was responsible for what happened. In talking with officers during the ordeal, Long, a reserve medic, said he was proud of serving his country.

These are just some of the recent ones. It is happening all over the country but considering how many are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the bigger issues these veterans face is healing and the next part of their lives but those stories are not as attention grabbing as facing off with police.

Experts: Vets' PTSD, violence a growing problem
By Ashley Hayes, CNN
updated 5:02 PM EST, Tue January 17, 2012

Veterans are accused of homicides in Washington and California
Violence by returning veterans may be on the rise, experts say
Some may experience relationship difficulties or struggle with substance abuse
Loved ones can be key in encouraging vets to seek help

(CNN) -- A man opens fire in a national park, killing a ranger who was attempting to stop him after he blew through a vehicle checkpoint.

A second man is suspected in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in Southern California.

Both men, U.S. military veterans, served in Iraq -- and both, according to authorities and those who knew them, returned home changed men after their combat service.

Iraq War vet could face death penalty

A coincidence -- two recent high-profile cases? Or a sign of an increase in hostile behavior as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal from Iraq, similar to that seen when U.S. troops returned home from the Vietnam War?

"You're going to see this more and more over the next 10 years," said Shad Meshad, founder of the National Veterans Foundation, who has been working with veterans since 1970. "... There's a percentage that come back, depending on how much trauma and how much killing they're involved in, they're going to act out."

Margaret Anderson, a ranger at Washington state's Mount Rainier National Park, was shot to death on New Year's Day. Police believe Benjamin Colton Barnes, who served in Iraq from 2007 to 2009, was responsible for the shooting. After a manhunt, authorities found Barnes' body face down in a creek in the park.

According to court documents obtained by CNN affiliate KIRO, the woman with whom Barnes was in a custody dispute said she believed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his deployment. Barnes was emotionally unstable, vindictive and anger-prone, the woman said, and owned many knives and guns. The woman said she was frightened to be in the same state with him, the documents said.
read more here

We talk about what happens to them but what we don't talk about enough is what the families go through especially when they don't have a clue why it is happening.

We talk about them having nightmares but we don't talk about a spouse being woken up by the veteran having one. That is stressful. What is even more stressful is making the mistake of trying to wake them up in striking distance. Whatever you do, don't touch them or yell at them.

Untreated PTSD is a destroyer. They drink to numb themselves so they don't have to feel anything and usually they'll end up doing drugs when alcohol stops taking care of it. They take off for hours at a time leaving their families to wonder if they are alive or dead or arrested for DUI. They have mood swings without warning. They over-react to sudden moves or noises. Sometimes they take something said innocently as an attack against them. They can get paranoid.

That is the worst part of PTSD but then there is mild PTSD caused by combat when a sadness comes over them and they are no danger to themselves or anyone else. That is one more thing we don't talk about. There are many different levels to PTSD with just as many outcomes. Combat PTSD is a whole different type of PTSD than what average people get because of the nature of the trauma itself, the duration and the number of exposures.

The good news is that they can heal if they get the right help and they'll heal better if they get help fast instead of putting it off hoping they just get over it. It is also important here to mention the simple fact that it is never too late to begin to heal since Vietnam veterans have proved that one. They are still discovering another side of life than just suffering in silence.

There is so much that can be done but as long as the media spends so much time on putting the spotlight on a few of them, the rest of the population will learn absolutely nothing about the reality of PTSD and combat. The stigma will live on because the average veteran with PTSD is not reported on enough.

Christian Science Monitor
Veteran charged with homeless murders:
Hint of larger problem for US military
A veteran charged with killing four homeless men was troubled after returning from Iraq, reports say. That has highlighted the rising mental-health problems facing the US military.

UPDATE 4:27 January 18, 2012
Warning: Veterans are dangerous, crazy criminals
Published: January 18, 2012

WASHINGTON – CNN and the Christian Science Monitor had separate stories today chronicling the growing problem of post-traumatic stress disorder and unchecked violent tendencies among returning veterans. Both pieces hinge on a pair of recent stories involving veterans from Iraq who committed shocking killings, and may have been suffering from war-related mental trauma.

But two incidents don’t necessarily equal a trend, at least in the eyes of veterans who lashed out at the stories over social media. They say the narrative of the unstable, potentially dangerous war veteran provides an easy and inaccurate stereotype that keeps the military community distant from the rest of American society.

The Monitor story couches their findings with a statement from a spokesman from the National Alliance of Mental Illness saying that speculating on mental illness shouldn’t be used to imply a correlation to violence.
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