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U.S. special forces struggle with record suicides

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 1:03pm

U.S. special forces struggle with record suicides: admiral

By Warren Strobel

TAMPA, Florida Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:40pm EDT




(Reuters) - Suicides among U.S. special operations forces, including elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, are at record levels, a U.S. military official said on Thursday, citing the effects of more than a decade of "hard combat."

The number of special operations forces committing suicide has held at record highs for the past two years, said Admiral William McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command.

"And this year, I am afraid, we are on path to break that," he told a conference in Tampa. "My soldiers have been fighting now for 12, 13 years in hard combat. Hard combat. And anybody that has spent any time in this war has been changed by it. It's that simple."

It may take a year or more, he said, to assess the effects of sustained combat on special operations units, whose missions range from strikes on militants such as the 2011 SEAL raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden to assisting in humanitarian disasters.

He did not provide data on the suicide rate, which the U.S. military has been battling to lower. In 2012, for example, more active duty servicemen and servicewomen across the U.S. armed forces died by suicide - an estimated 350 - than died in combat, a U.S. defense official said.

That trend appears to have held in 2013 although preliminary data is showing a slight improvement, with 284 suicides among active duty forces in the year to December 15, the official added.

McRaven's command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, oversees elite commandos operating in 84 countries.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations commands comprise about 59,000 people, according to Pentagon documents.

Special operations forces have been lionized in popular culture in recent years, in movies such as "Zero Dark Thirty," about the hunt for bin Laden, and "Act of Valor," as well as a National Geographic special.

Kim Ruocco, who assists the survivors of military members who commit suicide, said members of the closely knit special operations community often fear that disclosing their symptoms will end their careers.

Additionally, the shrinking size of the U.S. armed forces has put additional pressure on soldiers, whose sense of community and self-identity is often closely tied to their military service, said Ruocco, director of suicide prevention programs for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an advocacy group for military families.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/17/us-usa-military-suicides-idUSBREA3G2EK20140417

http://time.com/67748/us-military-seals-rangers-suicide/




Edited by tatee - Apr 18 2014 at 1:04pm
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Benni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 1:57pm
This does not surprise me.
These soldiers in combat need a break, and extensive therapy.   
Military life is not an easy one whether in combat, or not.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:26pm
Pansies!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JasmineE02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:30pm
My dream career is to be a clinical psychologist in or working with the military. These stories hurt my heart. Disapprove
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:32pm
Originally posted by iliveforbhm iliveforbhm wrote:

Pansies!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:35pm
this is sad and all too common

..there's definitely a lack of support for people who've served in the military..it's a shame they have to suffer in silence

I can't imagine how completely hopeless you must feel to take your own life


Edited by CherryBlossom - Apr 18 2014 at 2:44pm
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iliveforbhm View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:38pm
Military veteran here. They need to buckle down and swallow their pain and be a damn man at the very least and keep moving.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (11) Thanks(11)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iliveforbhm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:45pm
The British failed to beat us what now twice and got saved twice in both world wars. Yall may have done well in the past but you know nothing of war now and how to deal with the precious carnage. Now scat and do something about your home nation and get rid of those Islamic thugs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (9) Thanks(9)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2014 at 2:48pm
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