Tuesday, January 13, 2015

10th Mountain Veteran: "end this tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans"

Rate of veterans committing suicide has not changed since those days. President Obama is not more aware of all of this than he was back in 2008 while still on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. He went to the Montana National Guards to talk to Spc. Chris Dana's family after he committed suicide.

Nothing has changed yet members of Congress still push bills that only repeat what already failed and in the end, only the veterans are held accountable for leaders failures. In the end, they are still suffering and no one has been held accountable to them for their lives.
10th Mountain veteran shares his story of near-suicide
JAN 12, 2015
"I felt damned. I felt terrible. I felt hopeless. I felt like there was nothing to look forward to. What was I going to do — go back over there and die myself or put up with much more misery? So I put the gun in my mouth and I’m reaching for the safety," he said.

Former Fort Drum soldier Stephen Carlson in his home in Washington, D.C.


Since 2001, more active-duty American soldiers have killed themselves than were killed in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama acknowledged the soaring suicide rate in the United States military in a speech in North Carolina last summer. Obama said, "We have to end this tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans. As a country, we can't stand idly by on such tragedy, so we're doing even more.”

The Pentagon responded with new tools to reach troubled servicemen and women, things like more mental health counselors, and regular screening for post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries.

But a powerful stigma persists among the rank and file that getting help for having suicidal thoughts is a sign of weakness. Many soldiers simply don’t trust the military’s medical system.

This is the story of one former Fort Drum soldier who never asked for help and almost pulled the trigger.
Carlson said he used to think suicide was a coward's way out. He said even brave men and women struggle. He hopes by sharing his story, others will summon their courage and speak up too.
read more here

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