Another suicide in the ranks, this time in the Navy. The problem is epidemic in our military, demanding the attention of policy makers and the public immediately. Our troops fight to defend us, and should not be left alone to battle the trauma after combat. The Army’s vice chief of staff is visiting Fort Drum today as part of his on-going fact-finding tour on suicides in the military, following stops at Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg last week. The military’s suicide rate now far outpaces the general population’s. The Army is now testing fear responses via video games.
It’s been a tough going for the families of our troops as they slog through back to back to back deployments to two wars. Our active-duty and Guard and Reserves are all feeling the strain, the trauma is piling up on all without regard to rank or unit. The economy can be particularly hard on the citizen-Soldiers caught up in the cycle of deployments. Dealing with the VA system can be overly burdensome. Our military families shoulder all this strain, and it is long past time the nation honored them. Join with VFA in supporting “The Year of the Military Family.“
The strain of ongoing wars is taking its toll on our troops as well as the very institutions of our military. Exhibit A: Special Forces are at risk as shortages and maintenance problems as well as wear and tear leaving these elite units “overwhelmed.” “The train wreck is underway,” reads one report. A similar effect is in play for the Air National Guard forces, whose aircraft are set for retirement with no replacements on deck.
Robert Gates, the defense secretary appointed during the last administration, is securing his place in the current administration’s graces. He’s already making friends at State. He also has two wars to oversee. In Afghanistan, there’s been a $40 million pledge for election assistance. In Iraq there’s now more responsibility for US troops, as the British begin their Basra withdrawal. Is the current calm the eye of the storm? Is a post-surge bubble collapsing? This even as President Obama plans a withdrawal of all US troops by the end of 2011. Welcome to another logistical nightmare.
More than 2,400 National Guard members from six states are now on flood duty in North Dakota.
How much for the VA in the president’s proposed budget? How much for Defense? Take a look…
Disabled veterans have a new Veterans Winter Sports Clinic.