What's killing US soldiers?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Syzygys, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Whats killing US soldiers? Their families and other Americans who are willing to throw away their lives to support some dictator in some country they have no clue about.
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  3. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

    That does not look so shocking. Screened for mental illness, yeah right. Maybe screened for the most blatant mental illness. Who says the identified mentally ill account for some large percentage of the American suicide total anyway?

    The VA estimated that in 2005, the suicide rate per 100,000 veterans among men ages 18-29 was 44.99, but jumped to 56.77 in 2007. http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=49971.

    The statistic above that I provided the link for above is way out of alignment with the statistic Syzygys provided the link for above that. Why?

    Syzygys stat is not alarming because 22.9 per 100k is not four times the suicide rate for the same age group. It is not even twice the suicide rate for that age group and if you look at only males of that age group it is even less alarming because males of that age group kill themselves at something like 20 per 100 k.

    But if my links stat is correct and Syzygys's link's 22.9 stat is wrong then there is a significant problem.


    The link has detailed information about who kills themselves in the USA.

    Basically it is old white men owning guns living in Republican states particularly the interior West who kill themselves with the highest frequency (higher than 32 per 100k)

    Non-Whites of both genders and all ages kill themselves much less than their white counterparts kill themselves.
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  5. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Its the conditioning, the buttons that are pushed to gear up a soldier through training are not effectively turned off when they return home. What you are seeing is the stress of over deployment, even Vietnam vets were not deployed to this extent and the training has become much more fine tuned than previous wars. Joseph Campbell pointed out that traditional societies never allowed their warriors to re-enter society after battle, they were separated for a period of time so that they could re-adjust with rituals meant to melt away the mechanisms being activated during war time, we don't have any such adjustment period so there is no way for these soldiers to integrate their experience, leaving them whole for civilian life. Check out First Kill on youtube (titled First Kill: vietnam war documentary).
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
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  7. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    It is, because in non-war times it is way below the normal population's 19 per 100K, it is around 12. Now it is up to 20-21 per 100K, so yes, doubling the suicide rate is alarming...
  8. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Hmm I think Lucy's got a good theory here. In the U.S more is being put on the shoulders of fewer people in the military. We see this in Canada too.
  9. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Meaning that they are coming back with higher rates and more severe cases of PTSD, I'd expect, the suicides being the most blatant result.

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  10. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

    I agree that this is also a big issue.
  11. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

    Ok, so first so you don't think I'm just completely talking out of my ass here (though it doesn't make me an expert by any means) I actually served a tour in Iraq. I spent a year there.

    So its not knowing who the enemy is it to an extent, I mean you don't really know who the enemy is that's true. But in this war it's not a matter of people who you thought were farmers suddenly shooting at you, it's that in many areas they never shoot at you at all, at least not directly. You never even see the enemy, let alone get to shoot back or defend yourself/ get a chance to get him as good as he got you. I know that sounds kind of horrible but in that kind of situation it's true. I'm not a killer or anything and in fact I count myself fortunate that I did not have to use my weapon on a person in Iraq. However, at the same time none of us would hesitate to shoot one of those bomb planting fucks in the face if we got a chance.

    Unfortunately, you never get the chance. They plant the bomb in the middle of night on the side of road, usually a 155 round or something like that tied into a cell phone. The person detonating the charge is literally miles away watching through binoculars. Then when it's done he goes back into his mud hut and no one knows the difference.The randomness of it is that it is usually the first convoy that approaches after the person starts watching that is hit, but when do they start watching?? I couldn't even count the number of times that we had went by a spot on the road, then 15 minutes later another convoy comes by and we hear on radio that they got hit and we didn't. All your left with is why them, why spare us?

    One of the roads I drove down in Iraq every day was in the top 10 most IED laden roads in the country. NOW that is some stressful shit right there. You never know when it could be coming. Any piece of garbage on the side of road, any pile of dirt, or any pothole could all be concealing an IED.

    Then you're not even 100% safe when you're on the base. We had rocket attacks come in a couple times a week. I was on a big base so they never attacked afterwords, but in the smaller bases, especially in Afghanistan I think they do. Most of the rocket attacks are worthless, but some hit their mark (some guys laptop saved his life in fact). Even though we could figure out were the rocket was coming from (smoke trail anyone) and respond immediately to the area (within like 10 minutes for sure) they were never ever there. That's because they never launched the rockets by hand, they always had some Rube Goldberg contraption hooked up to it to launch it an hour after they left, so they were long gone when we got there, every time. Again, they hit us, but we can't fight back.

    It makes you feel helpless. All of your training amounts to nothing in the face of random chance. They hit us over, and over, and over, and over, and over for a whole year and we only got to catch one guy, the whole time.

    You might think that makes us look ineffective, but Iraq is not a very flat area and the roads are very long, winding, and hilly so you can't see very far. You just don't have enough man power to watch all roads all the time and our big humvees and everything means that they know where you are most of the time, so they just change locations.

    Now I'm not trying to be macho or anything by saying all this. In fact I probably had one of luckiest tours of anyone. No one died in my battery, and we only had some minor injuries. I did however see someone die, and plenty of people be fucked up mentally and emotionally (I've seen a lot of grown men cry). We just happened to have a lot of eagle eyed people in our battery that tended to see the IED's before they went off. We did every kind of mission, route clearance (you drive slowly down the road looking for IED's in the morning, they just wait till you go by, then they plant them), raids, training the Iraqi army (mostly did this), route overwatch, and convoy escort. I also got the privilege of helping to watch over Iraq's first election (man that was a happy day for them

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    ). My training of the Iraqi army meant that I got to speak with many Iraqis from many diverse backgrounds so trust me when I say it's a few bad eggs that ruin it for the rest of them.

    This is my personal experience, your mileage may vary.
  12. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    It's additional stress, over and above that of a "normal" war, IOW Believe.
    Engaging guys who are clearly identified as the enemy isn't as bad as "anyone could be the shooter".
    It's a far more nebulous situation.
  13. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

    It's like your being attacked by no-one.
  14. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    You never had the feeling that you don't belong there?
  15. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

    No, in fact it was quite the opposite in the area I was in. They loved us for the most part (except when your searching their house of course). Most of them understand that we keep it from turning into a horrible civil war. They attack us instead of each other for the most part but if we were to just drop everything we were doing and leave immediately before they were ready it would all go to hell.

    Most soldiers that I know say that we shouldn't have been there in first place, but that we cannot leave before it's ready or the sacrifices that have been made would be for nothing. The Iraqi people deserve a chance to be free, and I'm glad to be giving them a chance to do so. I just wish we have went in for THAT, not for made up WMD's and the oil agenda.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  16. Pineal Banned Banned

    I think the people who say, basically,

    today's youth are pussies

    as the answer to this thread

    are not very nice.
  17. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    they are also compleatly wrong, acording to the washinton post article i posted a while back the US army didnt even keep records on suicides until 1980 which makes it apsolutly impossible to judge the suicide rates in WW2 or even vietnarm. The article also goes on to state that the rate of suicide amongst WW2 vets NOW is twice that of iraq and afganistan vets and 4 times that of the general population.

    Now we need to be slightly careful of that because there is a spike in suicide rates for elderly men (especially) anyway. Further more you have to take into acount things like terminal illness which may or may not have been accounted for (i dont know how suicides are reported in the US).

    Anyway for people like read only to say "oh its mamby pamby kids these days" is stupid, arrogent and idiotic. It would be like someone saying "there were no gay solders in WW2", ie stupid.

    Mental illness hasnt been recognised since WW2, PTSD wasnt even concidered a condition back then. However i can garentee that suicide and mental illness were there. My grandfather was a WW2 vet, he died from cancer caused by 3 things, exposure to radiation in japan as part of the occupation forces, smoking because the army encoraged solders to smoke and alcholisium because he was never treated properly for mental illness when he got back from the war. Mum has told me many stories about him stopping (with her and her brother) at every tram stop on the way home to visit every pub to get drunk. This was a regular occurance, not a 1 off. Further more she came home any number of times to find him unconcious because he had tried to commit suicide, again, regular occurances, not 1 offs.

    He was diognosed as scizophrenic because they didnt have any diognosis then for what he was suffering (PTSD), furthermore the department of vet afairs did NOTHING for my grandfather, my grandmother or my mum and uncle. Mum and nan had to fight them for years to get recognition that what he was suffering was caused by the war and it wasnt untill after he died that they finally accepted responcibility and gave my grandmother a war widows pention and a gold card.



    Once again we see people like Read only calling the mentally ill "Weak"
  18. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

    I don't what to say except

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  19. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    It's probably related to the types of people who enter the army.
  20. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, Asguard, we're perfectly aware of your stance on "mentally ill" since you've openly said you fall into that group. AND your insistence that there are no criminals at all - just people who need treatment for mental illness and they would become fine, upstanding citizens.

    So tell me once again - exactly who is "weak" and "stupid" here????:bugeye:
  21. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Since I have it from dysfunctional family Olympics, one of the things I really geek on is PTSD...it is a condition wherein physiological vulnerability meets trauma. IOW some people are more neurologically susceptible to the brain structure changes involved; we just do not know who those are yet.

    I do think I remember blows to the head (or brain injury from a high explosives blastwave) is more likely to add to problems after service...so even those who survive an IED attack may get...knocked not silly, but knocked into problems controlling temper and impulsivity.
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Good point.
    The demographics of people who enter the army have changed.

    In previous times, men were mostly drafted in the times of war or there was a mandatory service term for all able-bodied men. These men were likely to have a considerably different attitude toward combat than the modern-day soldiers, many of whom join freely (although many join because of economic pressures/conveniences).
  23. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

    That doesn't make sense either. Wouldn't you think that being force into doing it would make you MORE likely to commit suicide, not less?

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