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Old 03-30-2005, 05:42 PM
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Re: Suicide....PTSD....WAR

I appreciate the good words. I am very thankful for what I have. I have stepped up my prayers and I know that drawing disability is the only way I can survive at this point. I sure appreciate having this spot, and everyone involved to bounce my feelings off of, and even get some answers I so often miss. God Bless you all -Jeff-
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:28 PM
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Dog Re: Suicide....PTSD....WAR

I know what you mean about having the people here to bounce things off of. I know I certinally do not have all the answers, but with the Lord walking point and our brothers pulling rear and flank, together we will survive!

Every day I thank the Lord for directing me to Pointman. I have discovered a lot of answers that should have been easy to see, but you see, that is Satan lying to us and blocking our view!

Just when something good happens Satan comes back to try to corrupt us with his lies. When you think about it, all of the good things that have happened to us were provided by the Lord. The only thing Satan ever gave us was torment, lies, temptation, pain, depression, and GUILT!

God will forgive us, if we ask. He will take our guilt and pain, if we give him control of our lives. When He is in control, good things happen. When He is in control we are positive. With Him in control we can benefit from his guidance, gain strength from his loving embrace, regain our self esteme, and best of all, peace of mind! And the best part is we can start giving love back to our loved ones, because He has shown us what real love is!

I have yet to have Satan give me anything I wanted. But I know Satan will give me a lot of pain, anger, depression, fear, as well as about a million other things I do not want ever again.

Just remember, when things get bad WE ARE HERE FOR YOU, FOR YOU ARE OUR BROTHER!
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:53 PM
Frank Vozenilek
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Re: Suicide....PTSD....WAR

Hey Brothers,

I see some very valid issues in this message. However in my own research I haven't found that much difference in the gruesomeness of warfare.

Oh yes we've advanced in our abilities to inflict damage to the human body...point in case...explosives. According to some of my history Europeans who saw the use of explosives in China, saw the "ultimate weapon," so to speak.

What happens with an ultimate weapon though is some spy or more likely someone who has an alterante agenda or is just plain greedy and who has access to the secrets of the weapon will compromise those secrets.

Look at Samson as an example. Not only was he a judge over Israel, but with his strength and supposed wisdom, he was a "secret weapon" of sorts. However, due to Samson's self-serving nature, arrogance and greed the Phillistine "spy" (may I call her a secret agent or a Mata Hari) was used to weasel out his secret and overcome him. A fine example of espionage.

Having been a medic and curious I looked at the weapons and wounds of ancient warfare. When you take into consideration what each individual weapon was meant to do, you can see at some points they were as devestating as a booby trapped 500 pound bomb, or a reversed Claymore.

For example, a Claymore Sword was not just a fighting sword. It was a heavy instrument meant to cut through armor and gash into whatever body part it struck. As it cleaved the armor, and chainmale underneath, it would drive those pieces insto the wound along with the clothing shards, thus HOLDING the gaping wound open CAUSING blood to flow freely. If the body part was hackd off so much the better. Maces were not only spiked but were heavy instrumente meant to inflict crushing injury and not just to an opponent's head. Maces were designed to attack men and horses.

Various lances and spears ere desined for close in combat as well as throwing and long reach fighting. Some spears were designed to anchor or bolster into the ground and thus stab into the chest or other exposed body part of a charging horse. Sometimes those spears were long enough to actually penetrate the animal and stab the rider. (An interesting side bar: The leaping side kicks in Karate were actually developed to knock mounted Samurai or other cavalry type warriors from their horses and make them vulnerable to infantry attack.)

A last weapon that many people don't know as a weapon was in fact the scourge. Yes, I'm referring to the whip used on our Lord. It was meant as weapon to be used against cavalry forces...against both horse and rider. Thus it's length and number of "tails". (It was NOT a cat-o-nine-tails,) The scourge was designed with pieces of bone, sharp rock, sticks, metal and a type of Egyptian glass from that era woven into the braid. The tails ranged from 3 to 4 feet long and the man who used it was trained in its use. That warrior used it as a way to trip a horse, unseat a rider or both. And it was meant to do damage.

Medical professionals did not begin actually RECORDING the effects of combat trauma on soldiers until around the mid 19th century. According to Medical Hisotry at Ft. Sam Houston, TX, there are supposed to be some records before that, but they are very sketchy and unclear. Medical history also refers to any soldiers suffereing what we know as trauma today were assumed by doctors then to have been turned out of their families, locked away by their families or put into what amounted to sanitariums...basically to die.

The study I have made has demonstrated to me such a deep spiritual link to combat trauma that I have trouble getting it organized to write about it. Even in my opinion as I continue to try to organize my thoughts, it appears as someone being "hyper-spiritual." (Basically somebody who sees a demon behind every bush.) I'm trying to get this together so it's practicle and not "ookey-spookey." But as you all know, our issues with PTSD are not only real, they are, deeply more spirit driven and related than (I believe) we ever realized.

I hope this all makes sense.

Many blessings to you all and keep up the wonderful work I hear so much about.

Cedar Valley Point Man
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Old 11-26-2007, 02:48 PM
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Re: Suicide....PTSD....WAR

This is a new study....

120 War Vets Commit Suicide Each Week
By Penny Coleman, AlterNet
Posted on November 26, 2007, Printed on November 26, 2007
Earlier this year, using the clout that only major broadcast networks seem capable of mustering, CBS News contacted the governments of all 50 states requesting their official records of death by suicide going back 12 years. They heard back from 45 of the 50. From the mountains of gathered information, they sifted out the suicides of those Americans who had served in the armed forces. What they discovered is that in 2005 alone -- and remember, this is just in 45 states -- there were at least 6,256 veteran suicides, 120 every week for a year and an average of 17 every day.

As the widow of a Vietnam vet who killed himself after coming home, and as the author of a book for which I interviewed dozens of other women who had also lost husbands (or sons or fathers) to PTSD and suicide in the aftermath of the war in Vietnam, I am deeply grateful to CBS for undertaking this long overdue investigation. I am also heartbroken that the numbers are so astonishingly high and tentatively optimistic that perhaps now that there are hard numbers to attest to the magnitude of the problem, it will finally be taken seriously. I say tentatively because this is an administration that melts hard numbers on their tongues like communion wafers.

Since these new wars began, and in spite of a continuous flood of alarming reports, the Department of Defense has managed to keep what has clearly become an epidemic of death beneath the radar of public awareness by systematically concealing statistics about soldier suicides. They have done everything from burying them on official casualty lists in a category they call "accidental noncombat deaths" to outright lying to the parents of dead soldiers. And the Department of Veterans Affairs has rubber-stamped their disinformation, continuing to insist that their studies indicate that soldiers are killing themselves, not because of their combat experiences, but because they have "personal problems."

Active-duty soldiers, however, are only part of the story. One of the well-known characteristics of post-traumatic stress injuries is that the onset of symptoms is often delayed, sometimes for decades. Veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam are still taking their own lives because new PTSD symptoms have been triggered, or old ones retriggered, by stories and images from these new wars. Their deaths, like the deaths of more recent veterans, are written up in hometown newspapers; they are locally mourned, but officially ignored. The VA doesn't track or count them. It never has. Both the VA and the Pentagon deny that the problem exists and sanctimoniously point to a lack of evidence they have refused to gather.

They have managed this smoke and mirrors trick for decades in large part because suicide makes people so uncomfortable. It has often been called "that most secret death" because no one wants to talk about it. Over time, in different parts of the world, attitudes have fluctuated between the belief that the act is a sin, a right, a crime, a romantic gesture, an act of consummate bravery or a symptom of mental illness. It has never, however, been an emotionally neutral issue. In the United States, the rationalism of our legal system has acknowledged for 300 years that the act is almost always symptomatic of a mental illness. For those same 300 years, organized religions have stubbornly maintained that it's a sin. In fact, the very worst sin. The one that is never forgiven because it's too late to say you're sorry.

The contradiction between religious doctrine and secular law has left suicide in some kind of nether space in which the fundamentals of our systems of justice and belief are disrupted. A terrible crime has been committed, a murder, and yet there can be no restitution, no punishment. As sin or as mental illness, the origins of suicide live in the mind, illusive, invisible, associated with the mysterious, the secretive and the undisciplined, a kind of omnipresent Orange Alert. Beware the abnormal. Beware the Other.

For years now, this administration has been blasting us with high-decibel, righteous posturing about suicide bombers, those subhuman dastards who do the unthinkable, using their own bodies as lethal weapons. "Those people, they aren't like us; they don't value life the way we do," runs the familiar xenophobic subtext: And sometimes the text isn't even sub-: "Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, in Washington and Pennsylvania," proclaimed W, glibly conflating Sept. 11, the invasion of Iraq, Islam, fanatic fundamentalism and human bombs.

Bush has also expressed the opinion that suicide bombers are motivated by despair, neglect and poverty. The demographic statistics on suicide bombers suggest that this isn't the necessarily the case. Most of the Sept. 11 terrorists came from comfortable middle- to upper-middle-class families and were well-educated. Ironically, despair, neglect and poverty may be far more significant factors in the deaths of American soldiers and veterans who are taking their own lives.

Consider the 25 percent of enlistees and the 50 percent of reservists who have come back from the war with serious mental health issues. Despair seems an entirely appropriate response to the realization that the nightmares and flashbacks may never go away, that your ability to function in society and to manage relationships, work schedules or crowds will never be reliable. How not to despair if your prognosis is: Suck it up, soldier. This may never stop!

Neglect? The VA's current backlog is 800,000 cases. Aside from the appalling conditions in many VA hospitals, in 2004, the last year for which statistics are available, almost 6 million veterans and their families were without any healthcare at all. Most of them are working people -- too poor to afford private coverage, but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or means-tested VA care. Soldiers and veterans need help now, the help isn't there, and the conversations about what needs to be done are only just now beginning.

Poverty? The symptoms of post-traumatic stress injuries or traumatic brain injuries often make getting and keeping a job an insurmountable challenge. The New York Times reported last week that though veterans make up only 11 percent of the adult population, they make up 26 percent of the homeless. If that doesn't translate into despair, neglect and poverty, well, I'm not sure the distinction is one worth quibbling about.

There is a particularly terrible irony in the relationship between suicide bombers and the suicides of American soldiers and veterans. With the possible exception of some few sadists and psychopaths, Americans don't enlist in the military because they want to kill civilians. And they don't sign up with the expectation of killing themselves. How incredibly sad that so many end up dying of remorse for having performed acts that so disturb their sense of moral selfhood that they sentence themselves to death.

There is something so smugly superior in the way we talk about suicide bombers and the cultures that produce them. But here is an unsettling thought. In 2005, 6,256 American veterans took their own lives. That same year, there were about 130 documented deaths of suicide bombers in Iraq.* Do the math. That's a ratio of 50-to-1. So who is it that is most effectively creating a culture of suicide and martyrdom? If George Bush is right, that it is despair, neglect and poverty that drive people to such acts, then isn't it worth pointing out that we are doing a far better job?

*I say "about" because in the aftermath of a suicide bombing, it is often very difficult for observers to determine how many individual bodies have been blown to pieces.

Penny Coleman is the widow of a Vietnam veteran who took his own life after coming home. Her latest book, Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide and the Lessons of War, was released on Memorial Day, 2006. Her blog is Flashback.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:42 AM
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Re: Suicide....PTSD....WAR


I strongly suggest you all read this. Do not delete it.
Army Suicides Grow, but This Soldier Was Saved


On a dusty afternoon in a squalid U.S. Army base in eastern Baghdad, the world seemed to cave in on Spec. Joe Sanders. On daily patrols, soldiers around him were being killed and grievously wounded by improvised roadside bombs. The sweltering August heat and stink of Baghdad were oppressive. He was thousands of miles from home. And he had just learned that his wife -- his lifeline to the sane, normal world -- wanted a divorce.

Alone in his barracks room at Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah, Sanders, a soft-spoken young man with a pleasant demeanor, seized his
M-4 carbine, put the barrel under his chin, squeezed his eyes shut and pulled the trigger. It was August, 2008. Sanders was 26 years old.

released by the Army this week show what seems to be a steadily increasing number of suicides among soldiers, from 128 in 2008 to 160 last year, an average of about 13 suicides each month.

Last month, despite a strenuous effort by the Army and the other military services, 14 active-duty soldiers took their own lives. The Army cites "relationship difficulties'' as a key factor in causing soldiers to consider suicide.
A powerful factor in preventing suicides, officers say, is the active intervention of a close friend who sees the warning signs and steps in to help.

When Sanders pulled the trigger of his loaded carbine, there was only a light click. Horrified both at what he had done and what he had failed to do, Sanders tore open his weapon, searching frantically to find why it hadn't fired. He quickly identified the reason: no firing pin.

At that moment his roommate, Spec. Albert Godding, walked in. "Where's my firing pin -- I don't have a firing pin!'' Sanders yelled, terrified that he'd misplaced that critical piece and would get in trouble for losing it.

"And how,'' Godding asked gently, "did you discover it was missing?''
When Sanders realized what had happened -- that Godding was worried enough that he'd removed the firing pin -- Sanders broke down in great, wracking sobs. "Okay, let's go get you some help,'' his buddy told him, putting a hand on Sanders' heaving shoulder.

The signs, in retrospect, were obvious. After his wife had called demanding a divorce, Sanders knew he had fallen into a very dark place.
He felt alone, with no one to talk to. The Army had provided combat stress counselors at FOB Rustamiyah, but Sanders didn't feel he had combat stress.

"I'd been through break-ups before, no big deal,'' he told me last week.
"I'd seen a lot of bad (combat) stuff in Iraq, no big deal.'' Sanders and his wife were newlyweds, unprepared for the intense stress of a 14-month combat deployment. "When she told me she couldn't take it and was leaving me it was ... she was really all I had to ... my therapy.
She left, the woman I loved. Everything we had planned for, just -- gone. I was stuck in Iraq, everybody was trying to kill me, and I had no one to talk to.''

"I just didn't think it qualified me'' to see the combat stress counselor, he said.
But he confided to Godding that he was thinking of killing himself, pondering how it might be done most cleanly, in a place where the blood could be washed away.
"I noticed he wasn't talking to anybody,'' Godding told me in a phone conversation from Fort Carson, Colo.

"He said it had been a real bad week, that he was thinking of bad things like killing himself. I'd heard other guys talking about killing themselves, but when he (Sanders) said it, I knew he was serious about the whole situation. When he went off to check his e-mail, I took the firing pin out and hid it in my locker.''

Sanders went to see the combat stress counselor at Rustamiyah. "She was excellent; every time I talked with her it lifted a weight off my chest,'' Sanders said. They gave him some ideas on how to stave off depression -- by taking up a hobby, for example.

Sanders bought a guitar and "played my a-- off. Also writing, just writing down your thoughts, working out the aggression, that helped,''
he said.
"The thing I learned is, don't be afraid to seek help. A lot of guys are scared of what their leaders will think, that they're weak.''

Sanders, now 28, had always wanted to be a soldier. Growing up in the Atlantic coastal town of Sebastian, Fla., he saw honor and glory in military service. His grandfather had served in Korea, but would never talk about his experiences, until Sanders enlisted and they shared the common bond of soldiering.

Today, Sanders is an artillery gunner. He serves with the 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery based at Fort Polk, La., and is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan this fall. His sergeants think highly of him as a soldier.

But when his four-year enlistment is up in the middle of what is scheduled to be a 12-month combat tour, Sanders is going home -- despite the Army's efforts to convince him to stay.
He has found a new love and is engaged to be married, looking forward to a calm, civilian life.

"I chose to get out because this is a very, very hard life for your family,'' Sanders said. "I want a family and I don't want to be away from them. A lot of guys in the Army miss what goes on in their families at home.
"I am about to get married, and she understands I have to go to Afghanistan. But we just want to have a family, settle down. We just want to have a normal, nine-to-five existence.''
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:58 AM
gsardokla gsardokla is offline
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