Alpharetta, Georgia (PRWEB) January 19, 2013
Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, on July 25, 2012 testified before a joint hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Veterans Affairs refers to military suicides as an ‘epidemic’.
USMilitary.com reports that it gets worse because now it’s not just active military members. Veteran Affairs says a veteran commits suicide now every 25 active members who die in battle.
For the first time, military suicides have outnumbered civilian suicides in 2012. The rate for the Army was close to 30 per 100,000 compared to 24 per 100,000 civilian population of similar demographic population.
Many points the finger to the ‘economy’ back home leaving returning veterans little or no work. The stress, guilt and feeling hopeless that often accommodates the unemployed.
Then those with combat experiences may experience PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). Witnessing war, death and the wages of war is not normal. The lingering memories can be trembling not to mention repetitive. Sadly, some veterans may become ‘reclusive’ since their battle experiences are not common in the civilian population. However, USA Today quoted one source that “85% of the suicides were related to failed relationships, linking it to the high number of separations.”
Not only that, but of the military suicides, approximately 70% of the Marines, 80% of the Army, 98% of the Air Force and 92% of the Navy personnel had never seen combat.
Perhaps there’s some help on the way in the way of ‘professional care’. General Eric Shinseki, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced in April that there would be an increase of 1,600 mental health workers. The Veterans Administration said that they’re moving quickly to address the suicides as a top priority. However, according to one parent of lost a child to military suicide, “it’s a monster out of control. They (the VA) are not prepared for the number of veterans (needing help).”
According to Ed Ailes, President and CEO of Life Management Center, “the rise in suicides is troubling but probably will not subside since the number of veterans coming home from war continues. He goes on to say, “mixing drugs and taking too much of one drug could be detrimental. Overdoses of prescribed medicine can add to a person’s psychological problems.”
One faith based organization, Church.org, is now preparing a website that will attempt to connect military personnel with civilian encouragement partners, provide faith based companionship & resources with the goal of no one feeling isolated.
Not only that, but they hope to offer free downloads of praise music, free online sermons targeting the young adults since the vast majority of military suicides are between the ages of 17 – 30, online resources to maintain relationships with active servicemen while away in other countries with family at home and the ability of these servicemen to attend church ‘on-line’ wherever they may be. In fact, sermon topics like loneliness, fear & military suicides will be easily found by those seeking help.
According to Church.org, their goal is to reach out and touch all active and military veterans… letting them know that they are truly loved and significant. Not just stopping there. Also connecting military personnel family and friends to their local churches for support.
One thing is clear. This is not one single organization’s problem. Every living American should embrace our freedom and love for human rights granted from our country by reaching out with an open heart to our military men and women.
Go to USMilitary.com for more information on this article.