Army Stands Down For Suicide Prevention
U.S. Soldiers serving around the world are standing down Thursday, taking time for a briefing on the alarmingly high number of suicides in the Army.
The stand down was ordered by Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III after numbers from July showed a record number of Army suicides.
On average, one soldier is committing suicide every day meaning that this year there have been more suicides in the Army than combat deaths, according to the report released.
“We’re losing too many good people that did too much for this country too quickly,” said local veteran Bruce Mari. “I just don’t believe the resources are out there to help them, and that’s why we’re losing as many as we have.”
Thursday, all soldiers learned about suicide prevention in an effort to combat increasing suicide rates.
“It’s really shocking to see what so many of our troops are going through right now and the toll it takes on them when they come back from any type of a hostile environment,” Mari said.
For suicide numbers to go down, Mari said what soldiers really need is help in learning how to re-acclimate to life back home.
“You’re expected to step off the plane of step off the bus and go right back to life like it never happened,” Mari said.
Many theories exist about why soldiers commit suicide, including stress from combat duty, as well as pressure caused by serving overseas. But, as with many suicides, the reasons ‘why’ remain unanswered.
The Army hopes today’s stand down will benefit both current soldiers and veterans.