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Tom S. 07-30-2016 05:56 PM

22 People Killed at Mall
OK, I've intentionally misled you, but imagine if something this happened every day. The press would be all over it, and politicians would be devising bills to nullify it (while trying to make themselves look good).

The truth is though, every day, an average of 22 veterans commit suicide. That's right, every day. So why isn't the news all over this? Oh, periodically you may here a snippit here or there about "the high rate of suicides among veterans", but come on, 22 a day?

There is an organization named 22 kill (Google 22Kill.com and you'll find it) who doing what they can to A) bring this to the public's attention and B) find ways to help veterans. Part of their fund raising is selling plain black rings. These rings, to be worn on the trigger finger, are their effort to bring this message to public light. Prices run as cheap as $6.22 up to $144 for engraved versions. I have found that wearing one on my trigger finger is a great conversation starter to make people aware of this overlooked issue.

BTW: They also have T shirts and hats, but people see people wearing so many different shirts and hats, they often pay them no attention, where as relatively large black ring worn on a finger not normally adorned with rings tends to stand out more.

So while I intentionally misled you, this is a message I feel needs far more attention than it is getting. Nor do I feel it's a veteran's issue - it should be everyone's issue. These are people who volunteered to put their life in harms way so that the rest of us can have the freedom many take for granted.

Carry on.

mp06011999 07-30-2016 06:41 PM


sfcjones 07-30-2016 08:22 PM

I remember posting something here and it barely got any remarks...

Tom S. 07-30-2016 08:27 PM

Tim, did you post it here in Off Topic or in the military section? Although it's a military topic, it's something all need to see, IMHO.

sfcjones 07-30-2016 08:48 PM


Tom S. 07-31-2016 09:23 AM

Tim, unlike most of the responses to your post, I don't look at this as a political problem as much as I do a military problem. Acknowledging that your veterans are killing themselves off is bad for business. In other words, how easy to recruit new blood is it if they learn or know there's a good chance they are going to want to kill themselves? I know the VA has finally started to acknowledge and work with veterans with PTSD, but obviously they aren't doing enough. If this is because of lack of funding, then yes, it is a political issue, but in order to obtain that funding, the VA needs the support of the American public to make the politicians respond - and to my knowledge the VA isn't doing that, and I strongly suspect it's for the reason I mentioned above.

So that leaves it up to the American people to make this an issue that the politicians, the armed services and the media can't ignore. And that was the purpose of my post. The American public should be up in arms about this especially now during an election year, yet we don't see any mention of it from the candidates or the news media when they interview them. There are hot button topics like immigration reform, the economy and foreign policy, and IMHO, the media should be making this one of those issues. If the media made as big an issue about this as they would a mall shooting killing 22 people, the public would raise hell, forcing both the candidates and the VA to at least attempt to fix the problem instead of quietly sweeping it under the rug.

sfcjones 07-31-2016 09:56 AM

It will always be a political issue because the government controls the VA, I know many who suffer from PTSD who have been given no meaningful care from the VA or if they receive care it is in the form of pills or other medication. Most is a failure. Many Vets are unable to cope in large crowds, do the ordinary things we do on our day to day lives and they seek to end the cycle by taking their life. It is just so sad we allow this to happen to our vets.
On Edit: I wasn't going to mention this but I knew a vet who took his life in a VA mental hospital. He was a good friend of his for 20+ years. He was no longer able to cope with the demons of war that haunted him so he let the VA end his life. So you are wondering how? He refused to walk, eat, or drink and just layed in the bed until he passed away. Many of his friends would visit unable or not knowing what to do to help him. So he took his life after serving 3 tours of Vietnam retiring as a LTC with 27 years of service. There is much more I can tell but I Know he is not hurting anymore...

mp06011999 07-31-2016 11:09 AM

It is a disgusting fact that vets are treated as discarded military property. I have little doubt that the government bean counters look at those 22 a day as "no longer an issue".

I believe Tom is correct that until there is a public uproar, that wheel will get no oil.

Tom S. 07-31-2016 01:09 PM

Tim you are right - the government controls the purse strings, but I don't see the military raising hell about this. As mp said, they look as vets in much the same light they look at used equipment. It just a damn shame on everyone's part, including the press and the public. Especially the press. If this had as much coverage as the lead water crisis in Flint, head would be rolling now like they are in Flint. One or two local news stories won't do it, it needs national coverage, and continued coverage until action is taken. This is a far more important issue than some punk getting shot during a traffic stop, or Trayvon Martin for that matter.

sfcjones 07-31-2016 03:53 PM

Being in the Army for so many years I know the reason and it is simple...They will take decent care of you while you are in. If you get hurt you become a liability and you will get chaptered out. Once that happens if the injuries occurred while on active duty you will become eligible for the VA program. Then you are at the mercy of the other side of the coin. You wouldn't even believe that once you are retired you can just waltz into the VA and get free healthcare...Will not happen nowadays. Thanks to Obama. The only exception is if you are in the poverty level of income and do not own any tangible property. My son is 80% disabled and he can't get the VA or Tricare to pay the bills. He is constantly getting bills from hospitals and urgent care centers. His only true blessing is still living close to Ft. Hood where he has a better chance. Outside of that it really sucks bad. He has basically quit going to the VA, Long lines, missed appointments they have made, lack of parking spaces and no real care being given. I bet this is another reason why soldiers give up. They do not want to be a burden or simply can not cope with the stress the government disses out to them.

Bottom line is this. The Military doesn't have the power or funds to treat people once they leave active duty. That falls onto the VA...

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