*Editor’s Note: With alarming and increasing frequency, there have been a great number of instances where agencies — such as DoD and VA — have been refusing to provide public information related to instances of suicides.
Equally disturbing is that news organizations have rolled over and chosen not to pursue reporting on the suicide epidemic in the military and veterans community. Perhaps they have been encouraged to avoid this particular story, for political reasons. What else could explain the AWOL coverage of this huge important, and dark story?
And what could be more dangerous to a political concern, than a headline revealing that since 9/11, more American veterans have died from suicide, than did in combat during the entire Vietnam war?
That’s right. To date, more than 100,000 veterans and military members have killed themselves since September 11, 2001. That data comes direct from DoD/VA and the CDC; so given those agencies’ track record of accuracy and honesty, the number certainly must be higher … much higher.
When toxic prescription drug overdoses and vehicle deaths are included, the number balloons to near double that figure.
Why do we not know the name of this man (was he a veteran?) who three days ago, at 10:00 a.m., took a 12-gauge shotgun to Arlington National Cemetary, put it in his mouth and shot himself to death … what has been described by news reports as an “apparent suicide.”
Could it be this man was a retired high-ranking officer, a celebrity, or … ?
What could possibly be so secret that this story gets suppressed by the Army’s public relations department?
This sort of cover-up and silencing of public information sadly is SOP these days; not just in the Army, but throughout DoD and the VA. And the news reporters just accept it as business as usual, or so it would seem.
They — the DoD and VA — are not telling the truth to the American citizenry, the taxpayers who have the right to know what is happening to America’s sons and daughters in uniform … and her veterans.
A few years ago, a lieutenant colonel at the Army post Fort Lewis doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire. He died, and the Army decide to say nothing about it, and suppress the story. No news organization pursued it.
In early 2013, reporting news on military and veterans suicide stopped eerily, almost overnight.
But suicides continued at record pace.
This apparent news blackout occurred at a time when the Los Angeles Times had just reported that more than 524 (not 349 as DoD had claimed) active and reserve service members died from suicide in 2012, an all time high.
American news organizations, “the free press,” have failed America; its service members, its veterans and its people.
What a disgrace and national shame.
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