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Commentary: Suicides surging among US troops

A June 2012 release from Associated Press reveals that the US military is experiencing a surge in suicides now averaging one per day for the first 155 days of 2012. This, after the number of suicides appeared to level off in 2010 and 2011. AP also reports that the US military is also struggling with "increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other misbehavior.

Cited by various studies among possible causes are:

combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription medications and personal financial problems. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of committing suicide, although a substantial proportion of Army suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed.

This does not mean that anyone is to be blamed. We have had a long war - America's longest continuous modern war - fought by the fewest numbers of troops, many of the sent repeatedly back into combat zones, some of them to five or more tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pentagon says that there are operations by US special forces virtually every day of the year.

Would anyone not think this stressing, taxing, living under such high pressure? Or that consequences on service men and women would not be experienced?

Personal Opinion - The US military tends to under report or bury anything considered to be bad news. This is why it can be reasonable to believe that much might be buried in the phrase "other misbehavior" such as drug use. I have seen no reliable studies revealing the use of hard drugs among today's military service men and women. And I'm certain the military itself will never tell us about it.

What is hard drug use but slow suicide? Literally, every single occasion in the use of narcotics such as heroin including the very first use, can conclude in death. Consider the variables such as experience and repetitious use, as well as wholly unregulated purity of the drug. 100% pure drugs and drugs cut (watered down) with other substances - including rat poison - endanger the user with every application. Any mixture stronger than what the user's body has become accustomed to can stop his heart.

Ordinarily, that won't be on a first or any of the early uses. But it can. More likely, you will read in the newspaper about someone accidentally overdosing after several years or many years of abuse.

How is that not a slow suicide? Taking an action intended to remove you from this world, repeated over years, that will weaken the body, weaken your major organs, devastate your health lead to depression and may kill you at any time - how is that not a slow suicide?

Steve Stewart Seminars | 276 N. El Camino Real #184 | Oceanside CA 92058 | 760-298-8146/Direct 760-216-1353/Cell | www.Steve-Stewart.com/ChooseLife