Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Are Marine Suicides News?

From Reuters

Suicides of U.S. Marines have reached their highest level in five years, prompting a Defense Department effort to encourage Marines to seek mental health services, a Marine Corps spokesman said on Tuesday.

Sounds awful, huh? Things must be pretty bad if our toughest troops are killing themselve, right?

There have been 32 confirmed or probable suicides among 178,000 Marines this year, surpassing the 28 who killed themselves in 2001 as the United States invaded Afghanistan

It turns out that the average is about 25 per year. I would question how many of those occur in boot camp. I never finished boot camp on Parris Island due to an injury, but there were many suicide attempts from those who didn't want to go back into training and an equal number for those who didn't want to go home. I may have even witnessed one myself. Eighteen year old men, who make up the bulk of recruits are emotionally volatile when away from their loved ones, but that has been fact of military life since time immemorial.

Every suicide is a tragedy. But shame on Reuters for exploiting this for a thinly veiled propaganda piece.
papijoe 4:01 PM