JBLM SPOKESMAN: “We Take Suicide Very Seriously”

CAPTION

At least 12 JBLM soldiers died from suicide in 2011, an all-time high. An internal Army investigation, prompted by senator Patty Murray, into the ‘un-diagnosing’ of PTSD in as many as 400 JBLM soldiers found that at least half had their PTSD diagnosis reversed to reduce disability compensation costs to DoD. Suicide statistics for 2012 are mostly unknown and unreported. The Army is expected to publish its annual suicide report for 2012 sometime next month. Meanwhile, senior Pentagon leaders continue a campaign to minimize the connection between PTSD, war duty and suicide in the military. According to a Nov. 18 USA Today news report, DoD continues its PR effort to link the ongoing military suicide epidemic to a struggling U.S. economy, failed relationships and suicide increases in the general population. “This is not just a military issue or an Army issue,” said Gen. Lloyd Austin III, Army vice chief of staff. “Across the military, we’re a microcosm of what’s in the nation,” said Navy Vice Adm. Martha Herb, director personnel readiness. Above, JBLM soldiers assigned to the “The Ranger Battalion” conduct ceremonies Nov. 7, 2012, at Fort Lewis to mark the end of its 15th combat deployment in the post-9/11 era. According to recently published statistics on a JBLM photo website, the Rangers spent a total of 59 months deployed to combat zones overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. (DoD)

For Tacoma Military Base, a Grim Milestone in Soldier Suicides

JBLM passed an unwelcome milestone in 2011, recording more soldier suicides than in any previous year. At least 12 soldiers took their own lives in 2011, up from nine in 2010 and nine in 2009, said Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield, a Fort Lewis PR officer assigned to the Army’s ‘Most Troubled Post.’ Suicide death totals will likely grow as the Army completes investigations ahead of expected release of its annual suicide report next month. In June, a news report cited Fort Lewis claims that no JBLM soldiers had died from suicide in the first six months of 2012.

by Adam Ashton
Tacoma News Tribune, Nov. 27, 2012

Joint Base Lewis-McChord passed an unwelcome milestone in 2011, recording more soldier suicides than in any previous year.

CAPTION

JBLM spokesman LtCol Gary Dangerfield.


Twelve soldiers took their own lives in 2011, up from nine in 2010 and nine in 2009, Army I Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield said. The total could grow as the Army completes investigations ahead of its annual suicide report next month.

The toll at Lewis-McChord rose despite new efforts to counsel soldiers when they come home from war, including the creation of a suicide-prevention office.

Lewis-McChord leaders plan to apply what they learned from those programs to help soldiers cope with stress at home and in their work.

“We take suicide very seriously,” Dangerfield said. “We’re going to continue to push the envelope to make sure soldiers get the resiliency training they need.”

Lewis-McChord’s surge in suicides followed its busiest year of combat deployments. More than 18,000 soldiers from the base served in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009-10.

The base is also larger than ever, with some 34,000 soldiers stationed there, up from 19,000 before the war in Iraq started.

Leaders at the base established plans to help soldiers readjust to stateside life as major homecomings took place in the summer of 2010. In early 2011, Madigan Army Medical Center reported a rising number of soldiers and military family members seeking behavioral health services, a trend officers interpreted as a sign that people were becoming more open about asking for help.

This is not just a military issue or an Army issue.

— Gen. Lloyd Austin III, Army vice chief of staff

Across the military, we’re a microcosm of what’s in the nation.

— Navy Vice Adm. Martha Herb, director personnel readiness

Read this story at its source:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/12/30/2382161/for-tacoma-military-base-a-grim.html

Watch video news report about Fort Lewis as “most troubled” military base:

About these ads

One Response

  1. If the Army takes suicide seriously then they will investigate the labeling and drugging of our injured warriors and their families by Behavioral Health. Talk with the soldiers who have been prescribed these drugs and discuss their experience with them. Meet with warriors who have attempted suicide and put into their hospitals and loaded up with these chemicals and not offered “health services” as introduced in our programs and described in our website. Psychiatry and conventional psychology are failed systems. http://jerryvestinjuredwarrior.com

RESPOND... Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 134 other followers

%d bloggers like this: