Showing posts with label Fort Wainwright. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fort Wainwright. Show all posts

Monday, June 14, 2021

Alaska-based soldier suicides appear to be nearly four times the general U.S. rate

Tom Vanden Brook
Jun. 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – Six soldiers stationed in Alaska have died by apparent suicide in the first five months of the year, an alarming number of deaths after the Army poured more than $200 million into the state to combat the mental health crisis it identified in 2019, according to Army figures released to USA TODAY.

The 2021 suicide toll among the roughly 11,500 soldiers stationed there already has nearly matched last year when seven soldiers died by suicide while stationed with U.S. Army Alaska, whose principal posts are Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

While suicide rates among troops overall are comparable to the civilian population, the rate within the relatively small population of Alaska-based soldiers appears to be nearly four times the general U.S. rate.
read more here

Why? Why after all these years are the numbers still going up? Because what they are doing is not working, yet they keep doing the same things that already failed. The question is...why?

February 7, 2021, Army Times reported this, "After Army Alaska’s alleged suicides, one battalion gets ‘sensing sessions’"
A command team from the Hawaii-based 25th Combat Aviation Brigade visited one of their battalions at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, in January to hold sensing sessions in which troops discussed their opinions on mental health, loss and grief.

The trip came after two soldiers from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, died by suicide in late December and January, and a third soldier attempted suicide in that same time period, according to two people and an email from a unit official obtained by Army Times that describes the three incidents.
Because they have not changed what they are doing anywhere! It shows.
Military Deaths by Suicide Jumped 25% at End of 2020
By Stephen Losey
5 Apr 2021

The number of deaths by suicide among military service members increased alarmingly in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Defense Department's latest quarterly report.

The military recorded 156 deaths by suicide among all services, including active-duty, National Guard and Reserve troops, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 last year. That is a 25% increase from the 125 such deaths that occurred in the last quarter of calendar year 2019.
read more here

Exactly when will the Joint Chiefs be forced to change what they are doing so that they can actually change the outcome?

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Soldiers' morale is low at some bases across the country

Morale Is in Trouble at Some Army Bases. Here’s What the Service Plans to Do About It
By Matthew Cox
February 5, 2020

The general in charge of Army installations laid out a plan that moves beyond fixing the service's housing crisis to drastically improving the quality of life at some of its most undesirable posts.
Soldiers secure equipment to their Stryker before moving out to "the box" at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Ca on Aug 30, 2019. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Nicole Branch)

"I am working two big pilots. First, I call it the big three, enhancing quality of life at Fort Wainwright in Alaska, at Fort Irwin in California and Fort Polk in Louisiana," Gen. Gustave "Gus" Perna, commander of Army Materiel Command, told reporters Tuesday at a Defense Writers Group breakfast.

Wainwright is a strategic base on the Alaskan frontier; the other two are equally Spartan and are home to two of the Army's combat training centers: the National Training Center at Irwin and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Polk.

"We send our best leaders, at all levels, to go train our [brigade combat teams], and then they are in these installations in the desert and in places where they don't have a lot of quality-of-life stuff," Perna said.
read it here

Monday, March 25, 2019

Suicides at Fort Wainwright cause investigation

Army launches Fort Wainwright suicide inquiry

Daily News Miner
By Sam Friedman
Mar 22, 2019
"If these deaths are officially ruled as suicides, Congressman Young hopes the U.S. Army can help identify a path forward to improve the mental health and overall well-being of active duty military at Fort Wainwright," Brown said.
FAIRBANKS—A team of medical experts will be sent to Fort Wainwright to study suicide in response to a perception that there has been a recent spike in suicides at the Army post.
Cars drive in and out of Fort Wainwright's main gate off of Airport Way on Thursday, January 15, 2015. Daily News-Miner photo

The team is coming at the request Rep. Don Young and U.S. Army Alaska commander Maj. Gen. Mark O'Neil. Young wrote a letter on the subject last week to U.S. Army Medical Command.

U.S. Army Alaska spokesman Lt. Col. Martyn Crighton said he believes this is the first time this type of investigation is being conducted in Alaska. He said the timing of the investigation has not yet been announced but that soldiers at Fort Wainwright have begun preparing for it.

The exact number of recent suicides at Fort Wainwright is fluid because several deaths remain under investigation.

Since May 2018 two deaths of Fort Wainwright soldiers have been determined to be suicides, Crighton said. There were four other deaths of Fort Wainwright soldiers in the same time period. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command is investigating those deaths.

Two confirmed suicides in this time period is not unusual among Alaskans and Army soldiers — both populations have high rates of suicide compared with national averages, Crighton said. Even this number of suicides is not acceptable, he said.
read more here

Come out of the dark and fight to #TakeBackYourLife #BreakTheSilence and ask for help. If someone is a jerk about it, then call them out for being an idiot. If they do not know what PTSD is by now...they never will. 

We figured it out in the 70's when Vietnam veterans came home and fought for all the research other generations came home with.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Fort Wainwright and Fort Hood in the news

In other news

Fort Wainwright

Fort Wainwright soldier found dead on base

A Fort Wainwright soldier was found dead last week in an armory on base, U.S. Army Alaska officials said Tuesday, with his death still under investigation.

Spc. Ashvin James Slaughter, assigned to Fort Wainwright’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, was discovered Friday in a company arms room.

“According to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, at this point in the investigation they do not suspect foul play, although they have not completely ruled it out while they conduct a thorough death investigation,” Army officials wrote in a statement. read story here

Diving team recovers body after canoe accident on Lake Belton

Fort Hood
Three men, two of whom were soldiers, took two motorized canoes out on Lake Belton Monday night. Both canoes turned over, and two people were missing for hours, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. read story here

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Fort Wainwright soldier found dead after welfare check

Army dog handler found dead in Alaska home during welfare check

Published: January 4, 2019

A 25-year-old Army dog handler was found dead Wednesday at his home in North Pole, Alaska, the Army said.
A Fort Wainwright sign is shown in this undated photo. COURTESY OF THE U.S. ARMY

Alaska law enforcement officers discovered the body of Sgt. Jorden Thomas Williams during a welfare check that had been requested by family members living outside the state, the Army said Friday in a statement.

North Pole is located between Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright, where Williams was stationed. The town is about 13 miles southeast of the central city of Fairbanks.
read more here

Friday, November 2, 2018

Army investigating 2 soldiers found dead in Alaska

Two Alaska soldiers found dead in their homes in separate incidents

Published: November 1, 2018

The Army is investigating separate deaths of two Alaska soldiers found in their living quarters late last month.
Spc. Mason James Guckavan, 21, died of a gunshot wound while in his barracks Oct. 26 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, the Army said in a statement Thursday.

On Oct. 25, the body of Sgt. Andrew James Washington, 28, was discovered by personnel with the military and Anchorage Police Department during a welfare check after he failed to report to his place of duty, the Army said.
read more here

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fort Wainwright Soldier's Death Suspected Suicide

Army: Soldier died from self-inflicted gunshot wound
Army Times
By: Staff report
October 21, 2016

A soldier assigned to Fort Wainwright, Alaska, has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said Friday.

Spc. Tyler Christian White, 21, died Wednesday at a friend's house in Fairbanks, Alaska.

White, 21, was from Richmond, Indiana. He was found in his friend's driveway with a single gunshot wound about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. He died while he was being taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
read more here

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Palin Needs To See What Others Saw Long Ago Looking At Her

I was eating dinner last night with my husband when this came on the news,
At a rally for Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, Palin said her son, "like so many others," came back from Iraq "a bit different" and "hardened." She also said veterans are forced to look at "our own president" and wonder if he can relate.
Needless to say, I pretty much gagged. The woman is out of her mind!

Paul Rieckhoff of the IAVA said it best with this,
"I hope this doesn't become a portable chew toy in a political campaign," he said. This is a great opportunity for Sarah Palin to sound the alarm on PTSD.
But unfortunately, Rieckhoff is giving Palin more credit than she deserves. Back in 2008, the Alaska National Guard was facing a crisis and they had to "look" at her.

In July of 2008 there was this piece of news that didn't seem to bother Palin much at all.
Washington, DC - The U.S. Army knew that the site chosen to build a family housing complex at Fort Wainwright was a toxic dump but proceeded anyway, in violation of federal laws and service policies, according to an audit by the Army’s own Office of Staff Judge Advocate that was released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Despite creating a hugely expensive debacle, sickening workers, spreading pollution and retaliating against whistleblowers, the base command has absolved itself and issued an "outstanding" rating to the official who green-lighted the project.
And this one
Air Force Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, the Alaska Guard's top officer, warned in an internal memo that "missions are at risk." The lack of qualified airmen, Campbell said, "has reached a crisis level."
And then there was this too,
Veterans For America, a veterans advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., released a report on the Alaska Army National Guard Oct. 15 that stated the Guard does not adequately care for soldiers who return from deployment. The report accuses Gov. Sarah Palin of not taking action to address this issue.
And this,
Brig. Gen. Thomas Tinsley by self-inflicted gunshot wound
It is one thing to say foolish things but quite another to not give a crap about service people when she had a chance to do something and maybe, just maybe, make a difference before her son fell through the cracks after being trained to be "resilient" and then didn't get what he needed at home just like all the others before him, and well, sadly, after him.
Head of Veterans Organization Says Obama Is Not to Blame for Sarah Palin's Son's Issues, Urges Her Not to 'Politicize' PTSD
Char Adams
January 21, 2016

Paul Rieckhoff, head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Sarah Palin (bottom left corner)
President Obama isn't to blame for Sarah Palin's son's PTSD, the head of a New York City-based veteran's organization says.

"It's not President Obama's fault that Sarah Palin's son has PTSD," Paul Rieckhoff, head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told NBC News on Wednesday. "PTSD is a very serious problem, a complicated mental health injury and I would be extremely reluctant to blame any one person in particular."

The comments came after Palin linked her son, Track's, recent domestic violence arrest to his PTSD and Obama's lack of "respect" for veterans.

Track, 26, who served in Iraq, was arrested in the family's hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, on Monday for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face, kicking her and threatening to commit suicide with an AR-15 assault rifle.
read more here

Guess someone else doesn't know this stuff either. Read this Opinion piece.

Disillusioned by America's treatment of vets? Place blame where it's due
Alaska Dispatch
Phillip Morrill
January 21, 2016

Sarah Palin has blamed Obama and post-traumatic stress disorder for her son’s troubles. She is absolutely right that today’s veterans face some tough challenges: PTSD, the worst economic growth since the Great Depression hindering civilian job prospects, flat wages since the 1970s, political impotence, lack of medical treatment and resources, outdated GI bills, etc.

I did not vote for Obama, but Obama did not get us into Iraq or Afghanistan. Those are the actions of George W. Bush -- a Republican. However, Obama is not innocent of military support and aggression in regime change -- Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt (twice), Tunisia and Yemen to name a few.
read more here

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fort Wainwright Soldier Died in Motorcycle Crash

Soldier dies in Fairbanks motorcycle crash 
The Associated Press
Published: July 10, 2015
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A 32-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks has died in a motorcycle crash.

The Army says Sgt. Stanley Bernard Daniels Jr. died early Wednesday after a crash at a city intersection less than a mile from the entrance to the post.
read more here

Sunday, June 14, 2015

North Carolina Soldier Killed in Training Accident in Alaska

Soldier killed during Fort Wainwright training exercise 
Associated Press
June 13, 2015

FAIRBANKS -- The U.S. Army says a 23-year-old soldier died during a training exercise at Fort Wainwright. The Fairbanks News-Miner reports that the soldier was killed in a single-vehicle rollover accident on Wednesday.

The Army says Spc. Tyrice Weaver died from injuries caused when his 5-ton tactical vehicle rolled while conducting a platoon convoy at the Yukon Training Area. read more here

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dilemma of Sharing or Suppressing News

Lunchtime at work today I had a dilemma. I talked to a couple of friends about posting how there seems to be an increase in soldiers charged with crimes, especially this morning. I couldn't decide to post them or just avoid them.

One of my friends said that operating a news site like this would mean I was suppressing news instead of covering it.

I thought about it for a while and then remembered other stories I just wanted to ignore. One of them is Dakota Meyer stories that have come out over the last few days. (It pains me to put these up)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Bristol Palin says she is engaged to Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer.
The daughter of former Alaska governor and former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin said in a blog post Saturday that Meyer came to Alaska to film the "Amazing America" reality show with her mother last year. She says Meyer is wonderful with her son Tripp.

'That's just how we roll': Bristol Palin's Medal of Honor fiance defends playing with an infant as gun sits feet away on table
In an Instagram photo posted to his account, former Marine Dakota Meyer can be seen playing with an infant as a gun sits next to them
When someone pointed this out on his post, he joked 'that's just how we roll, haha'
Meyer, one of the youngest Medal of Honor recipients in American history, has a large number of posts showing him with guns on social media
One shows a sign he was gifted by friends that reads 'I Don't Call 911' with two pistols on either side In Kentucky, where Meyer is from, no permit is needed to buy a handgun and the weapons can be carried anywhere as long as they aren't concealed
The same is true in Alaska, where Meyer's new fiance Bristol Palin lives with her son Tripp
The Daily Mail By CHRIS SPARGO 20 March 2015

U.S. Air Force Veteran, Charged With Trying to Join ISIS

Anyway those are some of the stories I avoided posting on. 

These are the ones that troubled me the most.

Fort Meade-based Army Spc. is charged in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and statutory sexual assault.

A soldier with Joint Base Lewis McChord is facing charges after he allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl, Grays Harbor Sheriff's deputies said.

A Fort Bragg soldier is facing multiple child sex charges, the Hoke County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska — Soldiers in a unit in Alaska have a “tradition” of allowing racial slurs to be used freely on “Racial Thursdays,” a soldier told the Army Times. "When I first got to my unit, someone said we should do 'Racial Thursdays' because it's been a tradition," the soldier, a staff sergeant, told the Times. "It's something they made up where you can say any racist remark you want without any consequences. The platoon sergeant said no, but the (expletive) is still going on."

All of them just came out. Names omitted for Soldiers charged with crimes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Amputee Soldier Going Beyond in Ranger School

Amputee Soldier set to attend Ranger School
Tuesday, May. 06, 2014

When 1st Lt. David Brunett lost his leg after an IED explosion in Afghanistan three years ago it permanently changed his physical appearance, but never changed his mind about going to Ranger School. As he prepares to begin the intense 61-day course, which begins Sunday, Brunett said his only goal is to give it his very best.

"Rangers are the best Soldiers in the Army, and I think every guy wants to test himself in that way," he said.

"I'm glad to have the opportunity to do this and push myself past the limit."

In April 2011, Brunett deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, with 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, from Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He was returning from a dismounted patrol when a roadside IED exploded, severely injuring his left leg. After doctors told him his injuries would prevent him from living an active lifestyle, Brunett agreed to have his leg amputated in July 2012. He was reassigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and received five months of rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid.
read more here

Monday, September 9, 2013

LA Times thinks suicides tied to financial rewards?

Does this happen? Sure it does and it also happens when they use a vehicle with insurance on it so they can leave something behind for their families. Having insurance does not cause them to kill themselves!
Looking closer at the role of life insurance in military suicides
For distressed service members, knowing death comes with a financial reward for kin could provide extra motivation, experts say.
LA Times
By Alan Zarembo
September 8, 2013

Army Spc. James Christian Paquette walked into the benefits office at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, with a question: Did his military life insurance policy pay in cases of suicide? He was assured that it did.

Less than two weeks later, he shot and killed himself — and his family collected $400,000.

His widow struggles with the question of whether he would have proceeded with his plan if suicide had not been covered. "He just wanted to know we would be provided for," Jami Calahan said. "It may have been a weight taken away."

The role of life insurance has not been closely examined in the quest to understand why 352 active-duty service members took their own lives last year — more than double the number a decade earlier.
read more here

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OEF-OIF veteran died in fatal motorcycle crash in Alaska

Afghanistan, Iraq veteran dies in motorcycle crash in south Fairbanks
August 13, 2013

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The Army says a 32-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Wainwright died in a weekend motorcycle crash.

Staff Sgt. Jason Dean Calman was a veteran of two combat tours of Afghanistan and one in Iraq.

The Army says he lost control of his motorcycle and was thrown Saturday at Van Horn Road and University Avenue in south Fairbanks. He was pronounced dead at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
read more here

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fort Wainwright soldier died in boating accident

Soldier dies after boat flips on Klutina River
Associated Press
July 30, 2013

Officials say a 23-year-old soldier based at Alaska’s Fort Wainwright has died in a boating accident in the Copper Center area.

The Army says Pfc. Christopher Covington of Temple Hills, Md., died after the mishap Saturday on the Klutina River. An autopsy will be conducted by the state medical examiner’s office.

Alaska State Troopers say Covington and fellow Fort Wainwright soldiers – 23-year-old George Brady and 39-year-old Columbus Jones Jr. – and Jones’ 11-year-old son, Columbus Jones III, were fishing on a jet boat operated by the elder Jones.
read more here

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fort Wainwright soldier seriously injured after convoy hit

Soldier Badly Hurt After Truck Crashes Into Salcha Military Convoy
By Chris Klint and The Associated Press
Channel 2 News
1:46 p.m. AKST, January 30, 2013

A Fort Wainwright soldier was severely injured Tuesday afternoon after Alaska State Troopers say a pickup truck struck several vehicles from a military convoy, including his Humvee, in a parking lot off the Richardson Highway near Salcha.

U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll identifies the injured man as Spc. Zachary New, 20, a member of Fort Wainwright’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

An AST dispatch Wednesday says the troopers responded shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday to the crash, in the Midway Lodge's parking lot at Mile 315 of the Richardson. The incident began as vehicles in the convoy, followed by 20-year-old driver Forrest Hermanns of Tok, were pulling into the lot.

“(Hermanns) was driving a 3/4 ton GMC pickup with a large trailer loaded with logs for sale,” troopers wrote. “Hermanns struck a (U.S.) Army Humvee that was slowing and preparing to turn into the parking lot. (His) vehicle continued into the parking lot, striking a soldier exiting a parked Humvee and then two parked (Stryker) armored vehicles.”
read more here

Monday, November 5, 2012

1st. LT. Nick Vogt Alive Day after 300 fought for him

Lieutenant journeys back from the dead
How more than 300 troops rallied to save one soldier
Army Times
By Patricia Kime
Staff writer
Posted : Monday Nov 5, 2012

Nick Vogt graduated from West Point in 2010 with an acceptance to medical school and plans to become one of the Army’s top trauma surgeons.

But first, the Ohio-born 22-year-old wanted to understand the physical and mental demands on an infantryman in combat. So he went to Ranger School and Airborne and landed with 1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, first in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and later, Afghanistan.

“It felt necessary for me to go out there, to experience what the soldiers experience, so when I’m a doctor, I’ll know,” said Vogt, now 24.

In Panjwai, near Kandahar, Vogt’s affable demeanor and willingness to learn quickly earned his men’s allegiance.

“I really liked the guy. He was really motivated to get out there and work with us,” recalled team leader Sgt. Adam Lundy.

But within two months, the popular lieutenant would be clinically dead, having taken a wrong step onto an improvised explosive device.

And what happened afterward is now a chapter in the annals of military medicine.

On Nov. 12, Vogt, now a first lieutenant, will celebrate his first “Alive Day,” the anniversary of the day both his legs were shorn off by a makeshift bomb.

read more here

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fort Wainwright soldier from Florida died of gunshot wound

Soldier’s death likely a suicide
by Sam Friedman
Fairbanks Daily News Miner
Jul 17, 2012

FAIRBANKS — A Fort Wainwright soldier who died Sunday morning likely was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, although the circumstances of the case are being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigations Detachment, an Army Alaska spokesman said.

The Army identified the soldier Tuesday as Marvin Kenneth Scott, 21, of Quincy, Fla., an air traffic control operator with the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment. Scott was stationed at Fort Wainwright since 2009. Scott was found with a head injury Sunday morning in his Fort Wainwright barracks and was rushed to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead. His next of kin have been notified.

Read more: Soldier’s death likely a suicide

Army probes Fort Wainwright soldier's death

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Army probes Wainwright soldier’s death

Army probes Wainwright soldier’s death
The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jul 16, 2012

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Fort Wainwright soldier was pronounced dead at a Fairbanks hospital after being transported there from his barracks with a severe head injury.

U.S. Army Alaska spokesman Chuck Canterbury on Monday announced the death but few other details from the Sunday incident.
read more here

Monday, February 6, 2012

Vietnam Veteran awarded Silver Star after 45 years

Fairbanks Vietnam veteran honored for war heroics
by Reba Lean /
Feb 05, 2012

FAIRBANKS — The memories are still vivid, former Staff Sgt. Paul Taylor said. That was why after receiving the third-highest decoration in all U.S. military branches, he had his daughter, Laura, say his thanks.

Taylor, 68, received the Silver Star award Saturday at Fort Wainwright, 45 years after an act of heroism that saved a fellow soldier’s life and sent Taylor to a nine-month stay in the hospital. After earning the award Jan. 17, 1967, the paperwork got lost in the shuffle, and Taylor never received recognition.

Taylor joined the U.S. Army in 1964, during a period of heightening U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

He voluntarily joined because, he said, he didn’t want a run-of-the-mill job, like cooking or driving.

“If I was going to go into the Army, I wanted to do something exciting,” he said.

What Taylor really wanted to do was become part of a special forces unit. He remembers the window of opportunity to join a special forces unit was closing, when he decided to call one legendary Mrs. Billye Alexander — an employee of the Pentagon’s personnel office, who wrote the transfer orders for special forces soldiers.

He asked if he could be sent to Vietnam with a unit.

On Jan. 17, 1966, Taylor’s platoon was on patrol when it came under heavy gun fire. Taylor and another soldier led a charge toward the enemy’s machine gun, but were wounded. They were trapped in a rice paddy. The platoon’s senior medic, Taylor dragged his fellow soldier to safety and continued the attack on the enemy. He ensured the safety of the soldier and his platoon before being transported to a hospital with three gun shot wounds for a nine-month stay. He medically retired that year.
read more here