Two-fold increase in Fort Hood Suicides


They would not listen, as the song goes, perhaps they never will. The Army does not seem to get the fact that the shootings at Fort Hood would do a lot more damage than had already been done to the troops for this simple reason, this was their safe place. I knew what was coming and warned about it in November.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hood sees two-fold increase in suicides from prior year

Did it do any good to have predicted this would happen well over a year ago?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aftermath of Fort Hood shootings may be worse

As the news reports kept coming out today about the carnage at Fort Hood, my greatest fears were not for today, but for the next few months ahead. No one is talking about “secondary stressors” and this needs to be addressed quickly.

There are crisis teams heading there according to the press briefing by Lt. Gen. Robert Cone. This is one of the best things they can do. I spent months taking this kind of training and it is very thorough. The issue that we need to be concerned about is when there are thousands of soldiers, combat soldiers with multiple tours, many of them are dealing with mild PTSD. Mild PTSD is not that hard to cope with. They live pretty normal lives while covering up the pain they have inside. Many even cope well the rest of their lives but many do not. Like a ticking time bomb, PTSD rests waiting to strike if untreated. It waits for the next traumatic event and then mild PTSD turns into PTSD on steroids.

These are the soldiers that will need the greatest help as soon as possible.

These bases are very well secured. That makes the soldiers and their families feel safe. Think about going into combat and then making it home alive where you are supposed to be safe. Then having this happen.

I was at Fort Hood in March. I had an auto rental and even though I had a military issued ID, that was not good enough at the guard house. I had to show my rental agreement every time I drove onto the base. Even if you have a Department of Defense sticker on your car, you still have to show your military ID. That makes them feel they are safe. Then away from harm, away from combat, they end up having to face something like this from not only one of their own, but a Major and a Doctor who is supposed to be there for them, trying to kill them.

Crisis teams will address the traumatic events of today, but the soldiers that have already been involved in traumatic events cutting into them will need far greater help than anyone is really prepared to deliver. This is my greatest fear for them.

Then we have troops from Fort Hood and other bases deployed into Iraq and Afghanistan wondering who they can trust now after one of their own did something like this. None of this is good and the aftermath may be worse than this day itself.

This is what did not have to happen.

Army: 22 suicides in 2010 at Fort Hood
One was Army Sgt. Douglas Hale Jr., who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after completing his second tour in 2007. He texted his mother, Glenda Moss, on July 6 asking forgiveness before shooting himself to death in a restaurant bathroom near Fort Hood.

During the last week of September, four soldiers committed suicide.
Despite suicide prevention efforts, Hood sees twofold increase in suicides from prior year; some say shooting massacre may have been contributing factor

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