Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Concerning US Army Recruiters (and other soldiers) Suicides

23 December 2008

Concerning US Army Recruiters (and other soldiers) Suicides

Recruiter suicides lead to Army probe


Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Henderson, a strapping Iraq combat veteran, spent the last, miserable months of his life as an Army recruiter, cold-calling dozens of people a day from his strip-mall office and sitting in strangers' living rooms, trying to sign up their sons and daughters for an unpopular war.

He put in 13-hour days, six days a week, often encountering abuse from young people or their parents.

When he and other recruiters would gripe about the pressure to meet their quotas, their superiors would snarl that they ought to be grateful they were not in Iraq, according to his widow.


The all-volunteer military is under heavy pressure to sign up recruits and retain soldiers while it wages two wars.


In all, 15 of the Army's 8,400 recruiters have committed suicide since 2003. During that period, more than 540 of the Army's half-million active-duty soldiers killed themselves.
Surely, somewhere in these same old, same old, sad and sorry US services' suicide stories a sombre moral lurks.

Read the rest of this clipped & pasted quotes' relevant Associated Press piece --
right here.

*(Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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Blogger Nevin said...

If a government sends young, poor men and women to the parts of the world which are very different then what they know, to fight a war they do not really understand, of course these men and women will come back all stressed and suicidal.

The type of soldiers that signed up were usually young people who came from very poor and unprivileged backgrounds. They did not leave their state, let alone travel to other parts of the world. These young men and women spend most of their days in strip malls without truly understanding what their government was doing in their name.

After 9/11 most American's wanted to take revenge on the "evil doers". Without thinking, they signed up... After watching plenty Hollywood stories about War and how glorious it is, they thought they will back as heros. But what they saw was not only their own inhumanity but the inhumanity of the collective... It is hard to live with yourself if you kill other innocent human beings.... No wonder either they drink themselves to death or actually committee suicide.... :(

8:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true, Nevin.

Drinking themselves to death over any period of time is much more common tham most people imagine. The same is true of all soldiers involved in any "active" service btw, not just the US army.

Remember though that these deaths don't show up in any official figures ~ never ~ ever. And yet they ARE suicides. I've always called them "suicides in instalments.

9:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're both right of course.

While I'm here ... Happy Xmas to one and all!

1:03 am  

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