Portsmouth Police Investigating Death of Virginia-Based Command Master Chief as Suicide

Master Chief Petty Officer Gregg Snaza, 50, is One of the Navy’s Most Senior Navy Enlisted Leaders Thought to Have Died of Suicide, Few Details Released

by Mike Hixenbaugh, October 28, 2015
The Virginian-Pilot

PORTSMOUTH VA — The top enlisted sailor at the command overseeing all of the Navy’s bases in the mid-Atlantic region died Monday night at his home.

Master Chief Petty Officer Gregg Snaza was 50.

“Master Chief Snaza served our nation, our Navy and sailors with honor and distinction for more than 32 years,” Rear Adm. Rick Williamson, commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said in a statement.

Snaza reported to the Norfolk-based command in May.

The Navy did not give the cause of death. Portsmouth police spokeswoman Misty Holley said it is being investigated as a suicide.

Snaza was the senior enlisted adviser to Williamson, who oversees more than 94,000 sailors in 20 states.

He previously served as command master chief of the Navy Exchange Command and the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Snaza is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents and a grandson.

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GQ MAGAZINE: More Than 113,500 Suicides Among Veterans and Service Members Since 9/11

Editor’s Note: GQ Magazine published last month, an article detailing Iraq veteran Daniel Wolfe’s 2014 suicide that happened live on social media.

Part of Wolfe’s story was a graphic chart on the latest estimated number of veterans and service members dead from suicide.

GQ Magazine reports 113,500 estimated suicides since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

TMSR believes the number is far higher. GQ Magazine is one of very few news media publications to inform its audience to the seriousness of the suicide epidemic.

Most news editors quote the “22 a day” statistic. Few ever quote the “100,000 suicides” statistic.

Why is that? Why does the American citizenry not know the 100,000 suicides statistic?

TMSR praises GQ Magazine for publishing the larger statistic.

Will Americans notice? And, if they do notice … will they care?

Click here to read Daniel Wolfe’s story.

Click here to view the graphic chart.

ANOTHER VA SUICIDE: Marine Corps Veteran Shoots Self at Florida VA Hospital

Suicide at Florida VA Hospital Reveals Pain Among Veterans

by Howard Altman
The Tampa Tribune, Aug. 26, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. — Ever since leaving the battlefields of Vietnam in 1968, Marine Corps veteran Gerhard Reitmann struggled with the horrific memories of the things he did and saw.

“It was a rough one,” said his brother, Stephan Reitmann. “Emotionally, it did a number on his mind.”

Gerhard Reitmann had trouble holding a job. He often kept to himself and, until recently, cut himself off even from his family.

On Tuesday, Reitmann’s struggle ended.

The man who once served as a guard at Camp David during the term of President Richard Nixon apparently took his own life while parked in his car on the southeast side of the sprawling campus of the Bay Pines VA Medical Center near Tampa, Fla., shortly after noon, according to officials from Bay Pines and the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office.

It was near Building 37, which houses the hospital system’s human resources, environmental management and inspector general’s offices.

Bay Pines police are investigating,

Reitmann, of St. Petersburg, Fla., was 66.

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