With Veterans Day 2014 coming up, we have to start to come to grips with the sad reality of our culture ignoring the epidemic of suicide and self harm by American combat veterans. 23 per day are taking their life, and a study has shown that Vets who’ve associated with the VA have a higher rate of suicide than those who have steered clear.
This is a scary notion that Vets who strike out for their own support and medical needs end up living longer than those who are using the government allocated care.
Vets are trained to look out for each other, and sacrifice themselves if it allows the team and the mission to succeed. This mentality is not de-programed when a person asks to decommission from the military, this programming is left intact and many vets struggle with the idea that they are to look out for each other, but their country and government will not look out for them. This creates an alienation and separation that cannot lead to anything other than self-victimization. They are victims and they have to struggle not to assume the identity.
This leads to the very highly charged question of why Vets do not publically self immolate so that they may bring real and substantial publicity to the suffering of Veterans all over the country? They are trained that they own life is not as valuable as the existence of their team, and success of their mission, so why is this training no leading to a public suicide that will force our main stream media to cover this country’s epidemic of suicide, substance abuse, domestic and spousal abuse by veterans due to the lack of care and assistance that is offered to our veteran community.
If 23 soldiers/marines/airmen are quietly taking their lives with bullets, pills, or jumping from high distances, surely a few can come forward and take their life publically with fire or with a bullet and fire .
It would only take a few instances of this public self mutilation, covered live by pre-set-up cameras and recorders. Not only would the veterans life be acknowledged immediately by the public, but the military itself and Veteran’s Administration specifically would have to take steps to help our veteran community deal with the depression and psychological hardships that stem from PTSD, and other combat related symptoms.
If the VA had to look forward to a Veterans Day filled with combat terror filled vets going out in to public spaces and taking their lives in front of the general public, they would have immediate funds and immediate resources to help bring troubled Veterans in to programs that can help them stay away from suicide and the psychological challenges that lead someone to it.
What has to happen for the American Public to wake up to this collective tragedy?