Saturday, March 23, 2013

Army Releases February 2013 Suicide Information


The Army released suicide data today for the month of February 2013. During February, among active-duty soldiers, there were 11 potential suicides: three have been confirmed as suicides and eight remain under investigation. For January 2013, the Army reported 19 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers; however, subsequent to the report, another case was added bringing January's total to 20: seven have been confirmed as suicides and 13 are under investigation. For CY 2013, there have been 31 potential active-duty suicides: 10 have been confirmed as suicides and 21 remain under investigation. Updated active-duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 183 (156 have been confirmed as suicides and 27 remain under investigation).

During February, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 13 potential suicides (eight Army National Guard and five Army Reserve): four have been confirmed and nine are still under investigation. For January 2013, among that same group, the Army reported 14 potential suicides; nine have been confirmed and five cases remain under investigation. For CY 2013, there have been 27 potential not on active duty suicides (14 Army National Guard and 13 Army Reserve): 13 have been confirmed as suicides and 14 remain under investigation. Updated not on active duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 140 (93 Army National Guard and 47 Army Reserve); 136 have been confirmed as suicides and four remain under investigation.

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at .

Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at .

The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at .

Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).

Information about Military OneSource is located at or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.

Information about the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at .
The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at and at .
The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at .

Source:  DOD Announcement, verbatim

Friday, March 22, 2013

Air Force commander grapples with servicemember’s suicide

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — While most people hunkered down for the night as a typhoon pounded the Tokyo area, an American airman plunged to his death from the 11th floor of a nearby hotel. Before dawn, Yokota base commander Col. Mark August received one of those calls that almost always bring a different kind of turmoil.

August learned he had lost a man — the first since he rose to command level 15 years earlier.
“When you get that phone call first thing in the morning — no one wants to get it, but when it happens, it triggers a very specific response, an AFI-driven response,” August told Stars and Stripes a few weeks after the death last fall.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Marines killed in training were young, lives ahead

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- They're called "leathernecks" or "Devil Dogs," but some of the Marines killed in a desert training accident this week were just a year or so out of high school, their boyish faces not yet weathered by life's hardships

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nevada town mourns Marines who died in explosion

HAWTHORNE, Nev. -- Hundreds of residents in a rural community steeped in military history turned out to mourn the loss of at least seven Marines as investigators arrived at an ammunition depot to try to determine how a mortar shell exploded at the Nevada base and sent shrapnel flying into troops during a training exercise.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Families of Soldiers Call for Investigation into Deaths After Military Hazing

More at The Real News

Submitted by Richard Stites

Vet saved many in Iraq, couldn’t escape demons

Capt. Peter Linnerooth was an Army psychologist. He counseled soldiers during some of the fiercest fighting in Iraq. Hundreds upon hundreds sought his help. For nightmares and insomnia. For shock and grief. And for reaching that point where they just wanted to end it all.

Read the entire story here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mum: Army hiding truth into soldier's death

The grieving mother of a dead Kiwi soldier asked for the return of his clothes but was told they were burned as the items were considered "bio-toxic".

An Army investigator also told Venus Poa she may never know the truth about the death of her son in Afghanistan last year.

She replied: "We are Ngapuhi - we will get to the truth, however long it takes."

Read the entire story here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Texas Guard GIs Die From Suicide Than Combat

Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, roughly twice as many Texas Army National Guard soldiers have died of suicide as in combat, an American-Statesman investigation has found.

Records on the Guard soldiers' cause of death also identified vehicle crashes as their top killer, claiming the lives of 54 since 2001, or 32 percent of all fatalities among Texas National Guard soldiers . Four Texas National Guard soldiers died of drug overdoses over that time.

The cause-of-death data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, includes soldiers who didn't deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those who did, and it paints the most complete picture yet of how Texas National Guard soldiers have died during a decade of war.

According to numbers provided by Texas Military Forces, 27 Texas National Guard soldiers died of suicide since 2001, while 12 were killed in action or died of their war wounds. An additional five National Guard soldiers died in overseas helicopter crashes that officials classified as nonhostile accidents.

The suicide numbers have climbed since the cause-of-death figures were released late last year; the Texas Army National Guard now counts 30 suicides since 2001, with most occurring in the last five years

Read the entire story here.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

General foresees end to grim rise in Army suicides

WASHINGTON - Army suicides are still increasing, but the four-star general who has been at the forefront of seeking solutions, Lloyd J. Austin III, says he thinks a turnaround is in sight.

"The trends are not going in the direction that we want them to go - they haven't been for some time," Austin told The Associated Press in his last interview as the Army's vice chief of staff. He nonetheless spoke optimistically of "doing the right things to begin to turn this around," despite the suicide rate worsening during his 13-month watch.

Read the entire story here.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Wait for court-martial in fratricide case frustrates victim’s family

WASHINGTON — It’s been almost four years since the deadliest case of American fratricide in the Iraq War, and the Army sergeant accused of killing five of his fellow servicemembers has yet to face a court-martial.

The lengthy delay has one victim’s family questioning what, exactly, is keeping the Army from moving faster on the case.
“It’s just not justified. There’s really no good reason,” Tom Springle said. “We’ve waited long enough.”
His brother, Navy Cmdr. Charles Keith Springle, was among those killed in May 2009 at Camp Liberty in Baghdad when Sgt. John Russell allegedly opened fire on the combat

Read the entire story here.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

How to honor non-combat military deaths?

WASHINGTON -- Jack Fletcher doesn’t have an objection to the new Distinguished Warfare Medal. He just thinks that his son, a soldier who died in the line of duty, deserves an award as well.

“There are a lot of troops and families who fall through the cracks,” he said. “It’s baffling to me that everyone who loses their life serving honorably in the military isn’t somehow honored.”
Fletcher’s son, Lt. Robert “Bart” Fletcher, was shot and killed by a fellow soldier during a confrontation over missing weapons at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2008. Because the attack was not combat-related, he was not eligible for the Purple Heart.

Read the entire story here.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Real-life NCIS: Was sailor murdered?

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Three years after a sailor was found dead, the investigation into his death is being reviewed again by authorities in Illinois. New evidence obtained by I-Team 8 could help reveal the truth behind 22-year old Kyle Antonacci ’s death. A death that happened when the young man was serving as an informant in a sexual assault case for NCIS, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Read the entire story here.

-- submitted by Lois Vanderbur