BREAKING NEWS: Vietnam Veteran Discovers Cause of Military Suicides … War

Soldiers drag the body of a dead Viet Cong soldier near Tan Binh, South Vietnam, Feb. 24, 1966. (Kyoichi Sawada/UPI)

LETTERS: Effects of War Truly Unknown Until Later

by Lou Jardim

USA Today, June 18, 2012

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta would like all military branches of services to determine what’s causing the high rate of suicides. I would like to know what hole Panetta has his head buried in (“Suicides No. 2 cause of death in military”).

I am a Vietnam War veteran who served 14 months in combat from 1968 through 1970. I saw death and mangled bodies up close, which I cry over.

The Army trained us to kill. In order to survive, one must leave emotions and family values behind so one can return home.

If not for my family, I would probably be one of those suicide statistics.

Panetta is asking what is behind the high rate of suicides?

Let me answer that. Stop sending Americans to war, and stop playing politics with the families whose children are willing to give up their lives for this country they love.

I also suggest Panetta start visiting combat veterans at Veterans Administration clinics and talk to them; that’s where the answers are.

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