It’s amazing to me that we’ve only been monitoring military suicide rates since 2001, so who knows how many of our service men and women have taken their own lives? Further disturbing news has just been made, however: this year will mark the most suicides in the military since those records have been kept at all. The rate is horrifying: faster than one person per day.
And on top of that, while the numbers of homeless vets have declined in recent years, the fact remains that we have 68,000 homeless vets, with thousands of them suffering from at least one chronic health condition. How have we allowed this to happen to the service people that most Americans claim to love so dearly?
And, of course, while everyone is up Pretraus’s butt right now (eye roll), nobody seems very concerned about the fact that women in the military have an astronomically high chance of getting raped not by enemy combatants, but by their own instructors and fellow servicemen. In 2010, there were about 19,000 instances of military rape alone.
In fact, the Air Force has a new “wingman” policy requiring all trainees at one facility after it was discovered that 48 trainees had been sexually assaulted by instructors. If you’re raped in the military, of course, your chances of getting justice are extremely unlikely.
That’s right, folks; sign up for the military because there are awesome benefits to be had—school, training, travel, medical care! And don’t forget the suicide, rape and homelessness. We talk a lot about how our education system is so screwed up—and I’ll agree wholeheartedly, especially on the political end—but it sure looks like we’re running our military like Lord of the Flies as well. These statistics of violence do not even include the injuries and fatalities sustained while on active duty in the first place!
There is something wrong here, and from the people I know who serve, I also know that once home from service, even if you’re not suffering from a loss of limb or life, you’re likely to suffer from PTSD if you served in a war zone—and the help available to you is utter crap. I am positive we have walking time bombs among us who are ready to explode at any moment that our very government trained in the first place—and when they do, they will be blamed, and end up in jail if suicide doesn’t come first.
It’s time to start diverting those millions of dollars the Pentagon just can’t seem to account for every year into helping our service people who suffer and die for us! How about we give them an audit, America?