By Amando Flavio

A new report by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) has revealed that suicide death among troops on combat missions on foreign lands, is higher than actual combat death among troops. Actual combat death is death recorded during fighting ‘enemy’ troops. Suicide death is committed by the troops themselves, who take their own lives due to some factors.

The disturbing report is the DoD 2014 calendar year Suicide Event Report (DoDSER), which details the number of suicide attempts and deaths of United States service members. The report only focused on the 2014 calendar year.

According to the details, in all of 2014, a total of 55 United States troops, in both hostile and non-hostile situations, lost their lives in foreign occupations. On the other hand, the number of soldiers who killed themselves is nearly 5 times this number.

The DoDSER revealed that in 2014, there were 269 deaths by suicide among active component service members. This figure was slightly higher than the previous year. In 2013, 259 suicide deaths were recorded among troops on combat missions in abroad.

Since the 2014 report was made public, some observers have expressed grave concern about the increasing rise of suicide death among service members. Observers say that apart from even the active members taking their own lives, when they retire from the service, the situation worsens. This observation made by commentators is true, looking at the statistics below.

In a 2012 report put out by the Veterans Administration, it was estimated that up to 22 veterans a day, kill themselves. That is 8,000 lives a year; almost one per hour. For attempted suicides, the number skyrockets to 19,000 attempts, of which 8,000 result in ending their own lives.

Observers acknowledge that there are a number of factors contributing to this increasing rate of suicides, but they argue strongly that the major cause is the trauma fromwar. Due to the killings and the destruction of human lives involved in war, the consequence is huge. Some service members (both active and ex) experience nightmares, disturbing them to the point that they have no option than to take their own lives to put an end to the suffering. Many ex and current servicemen have told of some of these horrible experiences.

A honorably discharged veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Matt Agorist who has been very critical of wars waged by the United States on foreign lands, wrote on the Free Thought Project that service members are used and discarded by the few elites who sit in Washington DC, authorizing needless and useless wars for their own selfish gains.

“Our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and mothers and fathers are contracted by the state and used as cannon fodder for special interests and the expansion of imperialism. Those who refuse to join are enslaved into the ranks via conscription, and the rest of society calls those who fight this conscription, cowards. When the state is done with its pawns of empire, it disposes of them like spent military gear,” Agorist wrote.

From a holistic perspective, it’s clear that Mr Agorist’s assertion is the hard truth. The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that nearly 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Another 140,000 are currently in jail, many of them for victimless crimes like drug possession. The statistics also shows that veterans are often the target of unjust attention from law enforcement.

It is even said that on multiple occasions, the Department of Homeland Security has referred to veterans as potential terrorists, noting that they pose a real threat to national security.




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