Former US Marine fights court-martial conviction and bad conduct discharge
by DAVID DISHNEAU
Associated Press, Feb. 2, 2012
HAGERSTOWN, Md. — A discharged Marine private who slit his wrists in a suicide attempt is fighting his military conviction for deliberately injuring himself, arguing the punishment is inconsistent with the armed forces’ efforts to battle a rise in suicides during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s not clear how often the Marines or any other service branch prosecute active duty members for trying to kill themselves. But the defense lawyer for Pvt. Lazzaric T. Caldwell says it’s wrong to punish service members with mental health problems for genuine suicide attempts. Suicide prevention has become a priority across the military as numbers climbed in the past decade with the increasing stress of combat and multiple deployments in the wars.
Caldwell, 25, of Camp Pendleton, Calif., never deployed to a war zone but was diagnosed in 2009 with post-traumatic stress disorder and a personality disorder, according to court records. In 2010, he slashed his wrists in his barracks at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan.
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Filed under: Resources Tagged: | California, Camp Pendleton, Court-Martial, Lazzaric Caldwell, Marine Corps, Military, Okinawa, Personality Disorder, PTSD, Stigma, Suicide, suicide attempt, Suicide prevention, Veterans Affairs