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CBS special on vets
Old 11-16-2007, 01:48 PM   #1
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CBS special on vets

"Stunning": CBS News Discovers "Hidden Epidemic" of Military Suicides - Media on The Huffington Post

I tripped over this story while surfing the net and just couldnt believe what i was reading,Something is dreadfully wrong if the story is true.:confused:
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:16 PM   #2
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Yes it seems pretty bad...

But I would want them to do some more analysis on this instead of just numbers..

How many have been wounded who commit suicide? I would think the number is higher than normal. So, when adjusted for some of the higher risk factors are they really 'double'? Or are the numbers in line with society?

Inside or outside the military, suicide is not good.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:39 AM   #3
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!20 of our war vets committing suicide every week and it merits one response:confused: . But charging a cell phone gets five pages of responses.:confused:
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:14 AM   #4
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!20 of our war vets committing suicide every week and it merits one response:confused: . But charging a cell phone gets five pages of responses.:confused:
I think the fact that out guys join, and there is a mindset that they are trained as soldiers and knew what they were getting into is a huge mistake.

The tremendous stress that is upon these soldiers in a totally broken country for years is going to take a horrible toll on these men and women. So many originally joined the service way before Iraq and were never figuring on being sent to this place. You knew the spheil given to high school students years back before Iraq, join and we will pay for college stuff. well now they are being sent on two three and four tours.

Then they come home with awful images of horrific situations and some docs dismiss it as not pulling up your bootstraps and dealing with it.

Its all broken the system. War is awful and most of the public has no idea.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:19 AM   #5
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My heart goes out to these people and their families. Doing one combat tour would be enough to shake any sane person. Doing two and three tours it's no wonder.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:49 AM   #6
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!20 of our war vets committing suicide every week and it merits one response:confused: . But charging a cell phone gets five pages of responses.:confused:
I don't find that so surprising. Two reasons -

One, people feel pretty powerless in actually doing anything about the suicide rate of soldiers returning from active duty. While our cell phone charging habits are infinitesimal in comparison, we can do something about it that may impact our daily life. So that's what we do. Put it another way - are you going to eat breakfast this morning? Why? - aren't there more pressing things that demand your attention?

Two, reports like that typically have attention getting headlines. We get tired of the manipulation. Just a glance and I see they report the rate as 2X that of non-vets. So the '20 a week' has no perspective to it. Is 2X so surprising? It looks like that was a study of vets returning from combat? Some of them have been through hell, what do you expect? Maybe that group (prior to combat) is more likely to commit suicide in the first place? Did they compare a group of vets who enlisted with the expectation to do combat (but were not deployed) versus that group of combat vets? Might not be such a big diff, but I don't know.

I know someone who signed up for a second tour. IMO, he is a bit depressed already - he seems to be looking at another tour as a last ditch effort, he has had trouble finding work since returning. Unfortunately, if the group of vets is made up of a disproportionate number of people like that, these are the results you might expect.

Sad, very sad. But a tough thing to constructively comment on.

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Old 11-17-2007, 09:25 AM   #7
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Very sad. Veterans returning from overseas always face readjustment challenges, and those returning from a wartime situation have the hardest time. This war is no different than those in the past as far as veteran's problems, the difference is that in WWII, Korea, and Gulf War I, they returned to a grateful nation that was fairly united. In Vietnam and this war, returning vets don't have a supportive society. Not that the society is unsupportive today, just disconnected. Trying to have guns and butter at the same time.
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:56 AM   #8
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I think the fact that out guys join, and there is a mindset that they are trained as soldiers and knew what they were getting into is a huge mistake.

The tremendous stress that is upon these soldiers in a totally broken country for years is going to take a horrible toll on these men and women. So many originally joined the service way before Iraq and were never figuring on being sent to this place. You knew the spheil given to high school students years back before Iraq, join and we will pay for college stuff. well now they are being sent on two three and four tours.

Then they come home with awful images of horrific situations and some docs dismiss it as not pulling up your bootstraps and dealing with it.

Its all broken the system. War is awful and most of the public has no idea.
Since most of the people in the military joined since the first flair up of Iraq, I don't see where you statements have much validity. I do think your statements hold very little water, but some, for those who joined from 2000 to 2001, after that they should have known. Just about everyone has had the opportunity to get out since the second flair up started. The first Iraq war never stopped, the military was constantly deployed. If the ops tempo an missions during the in between times didn't slap those people awake they weren't taking the job seriously enough in the first place.

I do agree that the horror of war is more than most of the general population realizes. It is mass confusion with bouts of how am I going to survive, all with the pressure of knowing if I make the wrong decision or forget something in the snap of a second I could be killed by the enemy or be tried and possibly killed by my own country.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:15 AM   #9
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!20 of our war vets committing suicide every week and it merits one response:confused: . But charging a cell phone gets five pages of responses.:confused:
It's because threads like these generally take media claims (which may or may not be valid) and turn them into political diatribes. Most of us (with a few notable exceptions) tend to steer clear of these landmines & hand grenades.

I resent the tone of your post. I spent 20 years in the military making sure my shipmates were taken care of, and I'm still doing that in retirement. So perhaps you could back off your implication that we're apathetic and admit that there may be other reasons your thread isn't as busy as others.

BTW I don't own a cell phone.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:40 AM   #10
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Jambo...

I am a bit curious... your location is Montreal... so, are they 'your' guys? Just curious...

And since I was the first poster, I still stand by that post... I do not know if 2X is way out of line or not.... but it is still tragic none the less...
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:34 AM   #11
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as humans evolve and consciousness expands killing becomes more difficult to rationalize.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:04 PM   #12
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Jambo...

I am a bit curious... your location is Montreal... so, are they 'your' guys? Just curious...
Not all Americans are living in America.
As for this war what a total waste of human life.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:57 PM   #13
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My comments below relate purely to the numbers not the veterans issue.

1. When looking at numbers I try to take the emotional factors out of it.
2. When I see the general media looking at numbers I am skeptical about them because I do not think they know how to understand or question the numbers. - I worked in two news organizations - NBC and CNBC - in an finance capacity - in a close working relationship will all levels of personnel.
3. When looking at numbers; you some times have to look at what is NOT said and what is said. For example,
A. How do the numbers compare to the general public?
B. Are the numbers presented all of a specific statistical population or of various statistical population.
C. Was the statistical information gathered properly? Is it being analised properly?
I read the artical. I have my doubts about it's statistical validity. It appears to solely ascribe the suicides to war. We know that there can be many factors that can cause mental depression and suicide. Further study should have been done to identify the causes after a valid statistical study was undertaken. I would mark this down as sensetaionalist jounalism.
Again, my comments are only looking at the numbers and what was presented.
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Old 11-17-2007, 04:22 PM   #14
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As for this war what a total waste of human life.
Maybe some of us guessed this was where your post was actually headed.

The article is entirely meaningless, as written. Is the "2X" figure controlled for age and sex?

I think we're in for a repeat of the last veteran-bashing media stereotype, the "Crazy Vietnam Vet." "Pitty those poor guys, they all came back screwed up." Which was entirely untrue--they were and remain better adjusted and more successful than their non-vet peers. So, here we go again . . .

On an individual basis, I've got no doubt whatsoever that there are guys who have suffered emotional injury from both combat and non-combat military duty. If the numbers are statistically significant, then maybe there's even a bigger problem (but the above cited post does a poor job of showing there's truly a wider problem). Whether the problem is big or small, each case is important and each suicide is a tragedy. Let's get them the help they need without turning it into a political issue--it's too important for that.
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Old 11-17-2007, 04:24 PM   #15
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Nicely said Dex,and i agree that sensationalism is rampant on the news media,however its a sad story if even half the numbers are right.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:51 PM   #16
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I'm not a statistician, but there are gross disparities that jump from the pages that my common sense tell me one should not ignore or dismiss as product of sensational journalism. One can control for all sorts of characteristics or factors like age, sex, race, religion, education, zip codes, combat, non-combat, Afghanistan or Iraqi duty (and break it down by assignment or province) and then engage in all sorts of multiple regression analysis, but I think any group that has a trait or condition that is two times the general population suggests the trait or condition is affecting that group significantly greater than the general population.

Going beyond the article, and if you look at the background of the bill mentioned in the article, the House of Representative evidently believes that the statistical disparity warrants study and attention by the VA. I don't think anyone knows precisely the reason for the disparity,which is the point of some of the data gathering that the bill commissions the VA to do.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:16 PM   #17
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Nicely said Dex,and i agree that sensationalism is rampant on the news media,however its a sad story if even half the numbers are right.
Maybe so, but maybe not. What if the suicide rate was less than the general population? What would that say?

Bad ad research, bad analysis results in bad decisions.

I can see where this discussion is going so, I'm outta here.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:19 PM   #18
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There's no point in a whole lot of research on this, since we can't tell what this CBS report is really going to say, but the info in the Puffington Host piece is very weak. Males kill themselves at 3.7 ties the rate of females ( http://www.suicidology.org/associati...04datapgv1.pdf ). The military is heavily weighted toward males, even more in the combat veteran population. Based only on the info in the article ("vets vs. non-vets", no mention of gender), there's nothing significant here.

I'm sure the CBS piece didn't make an elementary oversight like this-but you'd never know it from reading the info on the HuffBlog.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:22 AM   #19
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What if the suicide rate was less than the general population? What would that say?
it would tell a story sadder than suicide, that killing does not weigh heavily on the mind.

as to all the survivors and all the suicides, heros all.

"if we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each person's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." ~~henry wadsworth longfellow
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:28 AM   #20
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Maybe some of us guessed this was where your post was actually headed.

The article is entirely meaningless, as written. Is the "2X" figure controlled for age and sex?

I think we're in for a repeat of the last veteran-bashing media stereotype, .
samclem you are making a few generalities i never intended.When i made the original post it was not politically motivated it was just a heads up to to a CBS news story that some people might have found interesting,the post was never meant to go anywhere else, I dont see where my comment on the war being a total waste of human life is somehow a bash against veterans.Calling the article "entirely meaningless as written" makes me wonder how you report a story about a disproportional number of suicides in a particular demographic of the population when every one just blows it off as meaningless sensationalism.

So did anyony see this CBS news special?Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans, A CBS News Investigation Uncovers A Suicide Rate For Veterans Twice That Of Other Americans - CBS News and what did you think?
Didnt seem to air up here in Montreal.
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