Some good news for a change!

| September 22, 2022 | 12 Comments

Vet Suicide rate dips

It isn’t a final solution, but it is encouraging that the suicide rate for veterans dropped for 2020, down to about 17 a day in the most recent year for which data has been compiled. That is still a suicide rate roughly double that of our civilian brethren, but the decrease from 2018 (9.7%) is almost twice as high as that for civilians (5.5%) too.

In a statement, VA Secretary Denis McDonough expressed tempered optimism over the findings.

“This year’s report shows real progress, but there is still so much work to be done,” he said. “One veteran suicide is one too many, and VA will continue to work with our federal, state, local and private partners to tackle this problem and save veterans’ lives.”

About 16.8 veterans a day died by suicide in 2020, the first time that calculation has fallen below 17 a day since 2006. The figure has risen to as high as 18 a day in recent years.

When active-duty and reserve suicides are included in the totals, the estimate is about 20 suicides a day, a figure widely quoted in the military and veterans communities.

Military Times

Now, it’s nice that it dropped – but that is still a rate of about 31.7 per 100,000 vets, as opposed to about 16.1 per 100K in the never-served world. This is encouraging, not worth a final celebration. But, it’s nice to think it is headed in a better direction. Note there are other methodologies which estimate the rates as significantly higher, too, but you can’t compare figures derived two different ways and expect a valid result.

AF Extra duty pay is back

The Air Force announced a while back that it was cutting special duty assignment pay for airmen drawing said pay for particularly grueling or important jobs, to wit:

  • Recruiters
  • Basic Military Training instructors
  • Human Intelligence debriefers
  • Combat Controllers
  • Pararescue operators
  • Command chief master sergeants
  • First sergeants
  • Defense Attaché Office (DAO) liaisons
  • Nuclear Enterprise airmen
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) agents
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) supervisors
  • Postal and National Defense Advisory Commission (NDAC) enablers
  • Tactical Air Command and Control Party (TACP) operators
  • Enlisted pilots and weapons directors
  • Parachute instructors and those with test parachute program
  • Flight attendants
  • Mission system specialists
  • Load masters
  • USAF Honor Guards
  • Special Reconnaissance operators
  • Phoenix Raven Security Forces defenders
  • Forward Area Refueling Point enablers
  • Flying crew chiefs
  • Defense couriers
  • Airmen who support various commands
  • Enlisted airmen who work with special government agencies
  • Public affairs airmen assigned to recruiting squadrons
  • Air transportation airmen
  • Airmen assigned to special classified Air Force projects

AF Times

Well, they have decided that, in these financially stressful times, that taking child-care or gas money  out of the mouths of folks already whipsawed by inflation and Covid was not a good idea. The Air Force has asked Congress to add the estimated $90 million cost back into the budget.  Military Times

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Air Force, Support the troops, Veteran Health Care, Veterans Issues

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HT3

1 is TOO many. If only we sank the resources into our Veteran Services that we did into other countries militaries.  
That would be something…

Andy

Yet another study says daily suicides may be as high as 44. I think it was mentioned by Gretchen of Code of Vets. On a related note, a guy from our PTSD group made the attempt yesterday. We aren’t real sure of all the details since he cut sling load from us some time ago. I know my feelings on suicide is a firm belief it is a cowards way out. But, am I being unbending in that belief while not knowing the full story? Now I want to go the hospital and cuss his ass out for trying. I just don’t know how to process this.

ninja

Suicides?

What about Murder…on both sides…🤔🙄

“Fort Bragg paratrooper the victim of fatal shooting in Fayetteville late Tuesday”

https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/crime/2022/09/15/fort-bragg-paratrooper-nicholas-antonio-bobo-killed-in-tuesday-shooting-in-fayetteville/69497815007/

“Family airs new video, alleges foul play after soldier dies overseas”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2022/09/16/family-airs-new-video-alleges-foul-play-after-soldier-dies-overseas/

“Fort Hood soldier charged with murder of Texas woman, bond set at $1M”

https://www.foxnews.com/us/fort-hood-army-solider-charged-murder-killeen-texas

Can Soldiers now wear beards?

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ninja

“Navy officer charged with killing girlfriend ‘frustrated’ she refused abortion the day before her body was found in Hanover, records show”

https://www.wric.com/news/crime/navy-officer-charged-with-killing-girlfriend-frustrated-she-refused-abortion-the-day-before-her-body-was-found-in-hanover-records-show/

“Prosecutors to charge Navy officer with killing girlfriend’s unborn baby”

https://www.stripes.com/branches/navy/2022-09-15/navy-officer-charged-killing-girlfriend-baby-7346180.html

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Berliner

“Can Soldiers now wear beard?”
Perhaps he self-identifies as “clean shaven”. 😜 

KoB

I’ve lost a number of friends over the years to suicide. Some were Vets, others were not. And not a single one gave any indication that they were contemplating killing themselves. Their pain is over, but their survivors’ pain will never end.

As HT3 points out, if we spent our taxpayer’s $ on our military instead of other countries, we’d have plenty to do what is needed.

ninja

We lost friends and family to suicide…and yes, not one of them indicated they were that depressed to take their own lives.

You are correct, KoB, about their Survivor’s pain. Suicide IS NOT painless.

Hopefully, Mental Illness will be perceived and treated on the same wavelength as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, etc. We think alot of folks do not seek help because of the negative stigma placed on Mental Illness.

Mental Illness Is A Terrible Disease.

ninja

This guy is a “Retired Fort Benning RANGER???????

Or is that what his Ex-Wife was led to believe…by him?

“Retired Ft. Benning Ranger arrested with dangerous explosives, firearms”

https://www.waff.com/2022/09/20/retired-ft-benning-ranger-arrested-with-dangerous-explosives-firearms/

“Upin Henderson’s arrest, deputies found the suspect in possession of the following:

12 blocks of C4 (15 pounds)
About 40′ det cord
(5) 20g slip boosters
4 primadets (blasting caps)
31 initiator (firing system for explosives)
12 AR magazines
1 Daniel Defense 5.56 (firearm)
1 Ross Model 92 (firearm)
1 Beretta 243 (firearm)
1 Stevens 870 (firearm)
1 Winchester 9422 (firearm)
1 River 22 (firearm)
1 Browning 81 (firearm)

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rgr769

Ninja, there is nothing extraordinary about the firearms listed. This is not an “arsenal” as the media likes to call more than two or three firearms owned by a person. However, the explosives are another issue. He has enough C-4, det cord, and detonators to bring down a railroad bridge with the special charges we were trained to fashion in Special Forces demo training.

ninja

rgr679:

That is so cool about your training with special charges!!

We are still scratching our heads as to why the Dude in the picture was identified as a “Fort Benning RANGER”…

🤔

Old tanker

I applaud the rate reduction and still deplore that more has not been done to reduce the rate even further.

Last edited 11 days ago by Old tanker
rgr769

Having had a sixteen-year-old nephew commit suicide, I am sensitive to this societal problem. But with that being said, I suspect that many of these purported suicides by veterans include people of my vintage with incurable illnesses or psychological/mental issues that have nothing to do with their military service over fifty years ago. If Wilted Willie’s brother offs himself, will any longtime TAHer really believe his suicide had anything to do with his service as a dental tech during the Vietnam war, or his fake PTSD. I think not. If any of our other POSers exposed here decide to kill themselves, should we believe it is caused by their service as REMF’s that never heard a shot fired in anger?

I don’t plan to take myself out. But if I did, it wouldn’t have anything to do with my service in combat over fifty-one years ago.