Few things consume a unit like a suicide.
To all ships at sea by former Marine
There is an immediate need for all veterans and other interested parties among our MAGA mission to consider throwing their support behind a proposal just mailed to Secretary Robert Wilkie, head of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to approve a new “outside-the-box” methodology to address the suicide rate among our young veterans, which jumped up AGAIN, and by more than 10%, which was announced in late September, 2018. For the proposal see here.
(see https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/09/26/suicide-rate-spikes-among-younger-veterans/ and https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/ 2018/05/31/white-house-finalizes-plan-to-stem-suicides-among-recently-separated-troops/) See also Suicide Among Veterans and Other Americans 2001–2014 Office of Suicide Prevention 3 August 2016 (Updated August 2017 by the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention)
This proposal to Secretary Wilkie was sent on October 15, 2018, by former Marine, Steve Boyle, who is the founder and president of The Bellows Foundation, dedicated to rebuilding American education from the ground up. His proposal includes a statement to the effect that the VA’s psychology PhDs will roll their eyes at the fresh perspective reflected in the proposal, but, in fact, they should be sent to the showers because they have made no headway in reversing the increasing suicide rate of young veterans.
Moreover, according to Steve, the removal of the psychology “experts” would clear the way for groups like the Bellows Mentors Team to come on the field with:
- A pragmatic, non-academic, and common sense frame of reference as well as …
- A methodology to re-instill an authentic and strong sense of brotherhood that he believes will greatly appeal to our at-risk young veterans, and …
- Life-long refresher upgrades in workforce training and life-long placement and re-placement services from specific Bellows Mentors who stay in routine contact from the beginning with the young, at-risk veterans as they age.
Steve has a new website, https://bellowsfoundation.wordpress.com/, (see “About Us”) which provides substantial additional information, good research, and images in support of the attachments.
Affliction in a Godless Army: Suicide in the Heavy Rain
by Bradford Smith | 18 May, 2018 |
My brigade had two in a span of months. One particular weekend, a young soldier full of heartache and alcohol hung himself in his barracks room. He and his girlfriend were having some significant relationship issues. Two months later, another young soldier hung himself with his belt. Hours before his death, he posted a picture on social media of him in his barracks room, alone…with a bottle of liquor.
Shockwaves roiled across the Brigade. Neither young man had previously displayed overt suicidal ideations.
Thankfully, they came from separate battalions, but in the immediate aftermath and for days and weeks following, the units were consumed. The chain-of-command was focused entirely, as it should’ve been, as it had to be, upon the care of the family and the unit. We sent teams to funerals, executed memorial ceremonies, and supported the families in any way we could.
More than that, we tore ourselves apart, seeking answers that never presented themselves. How could we have prevented this?
We were asking the wrong questions. For more go here https://goo.gl/CEK92k
The foregoing charts “headline” and “highlight” the problem.
However, those figures, although publicized by Presidents and repeated by the public, have been challenged as they apply to “Young” veterans. Bradford Smith says the following:
As suicide proliferates the active ranks, it likewise afflicts our nation’s veterans. A popular narrative claims that 22 veterans commit suicide every day which translates to roughly one every 65 minutes. 22 suicides a day—politicians regurgitate it, veterans groups made it a banner, and sympathetic citizens demand answers. Even one suicide is too many. Yet I wondered, if this is accurate, then this is an astonishing number!
Peeling the onion reveals some problems.
The statistic, 22 a day, is based upon the Veterans Administration 2012 Suicide Data Report which surveyed statistics from 1999 to 2011 across 21 states and then extrapolated for the general population. The researchers themselves cede the lack of veracity of the conclusions. Further, the average age of the victim was 60 years old, effectively undermining the popular narrative concerning the afflicted Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans. A more recent and comprehensive survey yields that roughly one veteran commits suicide each day, still too many but a far cry from 22. For more go here https://goo.gl/CEK92k
The visuals that follow may be a bit outdated but the message remains the same … one is too many and suicide among our young veterans is on the rise.
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