GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs) was just used for the first time in combat. This is our largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal (a 21,000lb bomb). Thank you ISIS for being the prime “real world” test platform for the MOAB. God’s speed to hell. (See more at the WASHINGTON TIMES)
✦ Nicknamed the ‘Mother of all Bombs’
✦ The world’s largest non-nuclear weapon
✦ Each bomb costs around $16 million (£12.8 million)
✦ Its explosion is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT and the blast radius is a mile wide
✦ First tested by US forces in 2003
✦ It is designed to destroy heavily reinforced targets or to shatter ground forces and armour across a large area
✦ 30 feet (9 metres) long and 40 inches (1 metre) wide
✦ Weighs 21,000lbs (9,500kg) – heavier than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb
✦ Blast radius stretches a mile in each direction
✦ Leaves no lasting radiation effect
HOW IT IS DEPLOYED
✦ The bomb has ‘grid’ fins that fold into the body during carriage
✦ It can only be deployed out of the back of large cargo plane due to its size
✦ The bomb rides on a pallet – a parachute pulls the pallet and bomb out of the plane
✦ The pallet then separates so that the bomb can fall to its target
✦ The bomb’s grid fins extend to help control the bomb’s descent
✦ It accelerates rapidly to its terminal velocity and is partially guided to its target via satellite
✦ It explodes six feet (1.8 metres) above the ground
✦ The idea behind this ‘airburst’ mechanism is to spread its destructive range
Find More @http://www.DailyRushbo.com
- Joke: All jokes Assad, things are getting pretty Syrias right now.
- A friends response: I’m laughing so hard I’m Putin!
PICTURE: Al-Shayrat Airfield, which is where these chemical attacks were launched from… AFTER Tomahawk Barrage
This is from the U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE NEWS post, which includes videos of the launching of some of these Tomahawks:
…..“The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act,” Davis’s statement continued. “Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.”
A U.S. military official told USNI News that Russian forces in the country were given a “heads up” ahead of the launch of the missiles. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the U.S. did not seek Moscow’s permission for the strike.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who serves on the Senate foreign relations and intelligence committees, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this evening that “I don’t believe this is a message; I believe this is actually a tactical action that furthers an objective, which is important. My guess is, and I think you’ll see confirmation of it shortly, al-Shayrat Airfield, which is where these chemical attacks were launched from with fixed-wing aircraft a couple days ago, is going to be the target, and that is the airfield from which the chemical attacks were launched. It’s also a critical point in a part of the country where they’re battling rebels, non-ISIS rebels, in the northern part of Syria. So as I said, it’s an important and decisive step that was taken. It is not a message; it is an actual degrading of the capability of Syrian regime to carry out further chemical attacks against innocent civilians. This will degrade their capability to launch those attacks from the air, and I think it was an important step and hopefully it’s part of a comprehensive strategy moving forward to bring to a close this chaos that’s happening in Syria.”
Asked about the significance of this first attack in the bigger context of the ongoing situation in Syria, Rubio told Cooper, “I’m not saying this accomplishes everything, but I am telling you that this is the area from which those chemical attacks were launched and where we were going to see future attacks come from, particularly targeting innocent civilians in an area where the regime felt it was losing territory after making significant gains.”….
And — more from DEBKA FILE:
…Washington has NO DOUBT that the Syrian SU-22 bomber which Tuesday dropped a sarin gas bomb on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, killing up to 100 people, was a joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian gambit to divert the Trump administration from a comprehensive plan for Syria. As US President and commander-in-chief he could not ignore this provocation.
Our sources report that the new US administration’s plans for Syria center on an offensive to evict the Islamic State from its Syrian capital, Raqqa, a mission for which US military preparations have been going forward for the past two weeks at five centers. To this operation Moscow, Tehran and Damascus were not averse. But that operation was also designed to rid Syria of Iranian and Hizballah forces – to which they were.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that despite previous agreements, Syria had not surrendered its chemical weapons stockpile, and accused Russia of “failing in its responsibility to deliver on its commitment” to supervise the surrender of those chemical weapons. “Either Russia has been complicit or simply incompetent in its ability to deliver,” Tillerson continued.
The question now is whether Vladimir Putin will decide to hit back at the US operation. Russia did not retaliate for the Israel air strike on March 17 over the northern Syrian T4 air base. If Putin chooses to sit on his hands once again, the same question may be addressed to Iran and Hizballah.
Very possibly, Trump and Putin reached accord on the limits of the US punitive attack in Syrian in long hours of debate during the day between the US State and Defense Departments and the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries, which were first reported by DEBKAfile 24 hours ago. Pentagon sources report that Washington gave Moscow advance warning of the coming US attack on the Syrian Shayrat base where Russian air force units are also deployed.
Follow-up US military action may yet come after the US president asserted that for him, “many, many lines were crossed” by Assad’s chemical attack and his attitude towards Syria had changed….
There are differing prices per gallon depending what vehicle it is used for… but as I can tell, in 2013 the price of a regular gallon of gas for an Air Force jet was under $4, and a gallon of “Green” fuel was $59.
✦ Military Signs Contract for Green Jet Fuel That’s Nearly 16 Times the Price of Conventional Fuel
✦ Obama, Clinton Foundation Donors Sold ‘Green’ Fuel to Military for $149 per Gallon
✦ As Pentagon invests in green fuel, critics focus on the cost
✦ Military Green: U.S. Air Force Flies on Biofuel
✦ US Navy Green Fleet Makes Biofuels the New Normal
The above was originally uploaded by myself to my MRCTV account on April 26th, 2012. I wrote a post on it on my blog with the same date. I am uploading the audio to my YouTube for easier embedding. Here is the description from the original post being updated today:
Dennis discusses the purpose of the Marines, to win. For the same reason a professional baseball team does not have women on its team is because they cannot perform as well as a man in most situations similar to the analogy of baseball and combat. If so, why not make full fledged women brigades for the front lines? Also, a woman caller who served in the Air Force mentions her not qualifying for the K-9 unit because she could not carry 70lbs. She agreed with that policy… that is, if a women cannot physically meet the demands, then, they should not be allowed into such a position.
Another caller that was in the ARMY when they integrated training points out some of the below in rough terms:
It was July 1959. With about 60 other recruits, I was being welcomed to basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. According to John Leo’s “A Kinder, Gentler Army” (in U.S. News & World Report on Aug. 8, 1997), such a welcome is now out. Today’s Army manual dictates, “Stress created by physical or verbal abuse is nonproductive and prohibited.” Forget whether traditional adversative training produced a first-class military throughout our history.Why the changes? Partly, it’s because today’s youth are unaccustomed to discipline and authority, but mainly it’s because our lovelies want to be fighting persons. To accommodate them means the military must lower standards. Carrying a stretcher used to be a two-man job, now it’s a four-person job. The Navy finds that few of its females can manage shipboard emergency tasks such as hefting fire hoses or carrying wounded personnel up a ladder on a stretcher. Females pass physical training because of gender-norming. Yellow lines are put on climbing ropes. Male trainees have to climb to the top, but for our lovelies the yellow line will do. As for those awful push-ups, men have to do 20 and women just six. Then there’s the “confidence course,” called the obstacle course in the pre-P.C. days. At Quantico’s Marine training facility, a visitor noticed a footstool placed in front of an 8-foot wall so no trainee would fail to climb over it. There’s one male/female strength difference quite worrisome. At Parris Island, it was discovered that 45 percent of female Marines were unable to throw a hand grenade far enough to avoid blowing themselves up. Translated in Williams’ terms: If I were in a foxhole with a woman about to toss a hand grenade, I’d consider her the enemy. Walter Williams book, “More Liberty Means Less Government,” [see: http://tinyurl.com/zdxxkk4], also his article: “Double standards in military could be scary in actual combat”
It was July 1959. With about 60 other recruits, I was being welcomed to basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. According to John Leo’s “A Kinder, Gentler Army” (in U.S. News & World Report on Aug. 8, 1997), such a welcome is now out. Today’s Army manual dictates, “Stress created by physical or verbal abuse is nonproductive and prohibited.” Forget whether traditional adversative training produced a first-class military throughout our history.Why the changes? Partly, it’s because today’s youth are unaccustomed to discipline and authority, but mainly it’s because our lovelies want to be fighting persons. To accommodate them means the military must lower standards. Carrying a stretcher used to be a two-man job, now it’s a four-person job. The Navy finds that few of its females can manage shipboard emergency tasks such as hefting fire hoses or carrying wounded personnel up a ladder on a stretcher.
Females pass physical training because of gender-norming. Yellow lines are put on climbing ropes. Male trainees have to climb to the top, but for our lovelies the yellow line will do. As for those awful push-ups, men have to do 20 and women just six. Then there’s the “confidence course,” called the obstacle course in the pre-P.C. days. At Quantico’s Marine training facility, a visitor noticed a footstool placed in front of an 8-foot wall so no trainee would fail to climb over it.
There’s one male/female strength difference quite worrisome. At Parris Island, it was discovered that 45 percent of female Marines were unable to throw a hand grenade far enough to avoid blowing themselves up. Translated in Williams’ terms: If I were in a foxhole with a woman about to toss a hand grenade, I’d consider her the enemy.
Walter Williams book, “More Liberty Means Less Government,” [see: http://tinyurl.com/zdxxkk4], also his article: “Double standards in military could be scary in actual combat”
Similarly, when it comes to first responders, we want the best person to protect civilians in the best possible manner. Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly in their book, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say, note the following:
If there is indeed a social revolution under way, it shouldn’t stop with women’s choice to honor their [own] nature. It must also include a newfound respect for men. It was New York City’s firemen who dared to charge up the stairs of the burning Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The death tally of New York City’s firefighters was: men 343, women 0. Can anyone honestly say you would have wanted a woman coming to your rescue on that fateful day?
(Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2011), 181-182.
To further make the point, here is David Mamet — of Glengarry Glen Ross fame — noting the above in a very erudite manner:
There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)
The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government.
We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.
But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….
….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….
….”Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immediately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….
…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government programs, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a program, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the proprietor a bad business decision.)*
Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority contracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men.†
* No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”
† As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will necessarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.
What this boils down to is people wanting to feel good about themselves…. but like Mamet noted, would rather not “feel good” about themselves if their own family member is involved.
(THE BLAZE) During her concert Friday, Miranda Lambert began to sing her emotional ballad, “The House That Built Me.” Then something the country star noticed near the Hartford, Connecticut, stage made her stop the song and begin to cry. No doubt Lambert has eyed plenty of signs at her shows over the years, but this one she just had to share with her audience. It was from a soldier…..
This last bit is interesting because Turkey is showing their true [anti-NATO — pro ISIS] colors:
This post is not to diminish a horrible and tragic act of suicide, it is just bringing some sober thoughts to the all too commonly used 22-vets a day commit suicide. If you want the skinny now without the long post to follow, here it is:
A more recent study, which surveyed 1.3 million veterans who were discharged between 2001 and 2007, found that “Between 2001 and 2009, there were 1650 deployed veterans and 7703 non-deployed veteran deaths. Of those, 351 were suicides among deployed veterans and 1517 were suicides among non-deployed veterans. That means over nine years, there was not quite one veteran suicide a day,” according to the Washington Post.
This stat is spread to merely to promote politicians at the expense of truth… would be my guess.
The things to pull from the above 2011 video are:
- Its not deployment (PTSD);
- Its not financial reasons;
- It is the same age group in the general population that commit suicide.
This post is a combination of a newer report from FOX News (above) and an older post from my old blog in May of 2009. First however, I will deal with the 22-vets commit suicide every day number: The L.A. Times notes the following:
That number comes from a study published in early 2013 by researchers at the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. But the recent wars were not the study’s primary focus. In fact, they play a minor role in veteran suicides overall.
The VA researchers used death records from 21 states to come up with a 2010 national estimate for veterans of all ages. As a group, veterans are old. Military service being far rarer than it was in the days of the draft, more than 91% of the nation’s 22 million veterans are at least 35 years old, and the overwhelming majority did not serve in the post-9/11 era.
About 72% of veterans are at least 50. It is not surprising, then, that the VA found that people in this age group account for 69% of veteran suicides — or more than 15 of the 22 per day.
Many experts believe that the farther a veteran is from military service, the less likely it is that his or her suicide has anything to do with his or her time in uniform. In other words, many older veterans are killing themselves for the same reasons that other civilians in the same age group kill themselves: depression and other mental health problems coupled with difficult life circumstances.
The VA analysis does not attempt to determine rates of veteran suicide or how they compare with rates for people who never served.
One more step was required to make the comparisons relevant. California veterans under 35 are about 80% male, and nearly half are over 29. A straight comparison to the general population in that age group would be less than ideal, since suicide and accident rates vary significantly by gender and age.
The Times adjusted the non-veteran death rates so they reflected the age and gender mix of the veteran population.
As the story explained, suicide and accident rates were substantially higher for veterans. Over the six years examined by The Times, 329 California veterans under 35 took their own lives. That amounts to an average annual rate of 27 suicides per 100,000 veterans.
If that rate were to hold true across the country, about 530 young veterans are committing suicide each year — roughly 1.5 each day…
In a very recent conversation that has expanded my thinking a bit on this topic… is that… people hear 22-vets commit suicide and then rush to pass political bills that help with:
- physical pain not managed by meds,
- survivors guilt,
- and difficult reintegration,
But ~ this mainly deals with the suicides of young vets returning from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [which AGAIN, are not 22-a-day!].
Since the bulk of the suicides are in the 50-year old range, those “fix-its” are missing most of the veterans that need something else.
What was just pointed out to me as well that fighting cancer or other serious illnesses increase the probability of suicide. For instance:
- The researchers found that, in all countries combined, the number of suicides observed among the breast cancer patients was 37% higher than expected, on the basis of general population rates. That figure translates into four extra suicides per 100,000 person-years, according to the study’s lead author, Catherine Schairer, Ph.D., of NCI’s division of cancer epidemiology and genetics. In the United States, 245 breast cancer survivors committed suicide, making the risk 50% greater than would be normally expected, she said.
Just to be clear –veterans– who could be retired for decades, get cancer treatments [even if successful], and for whatever variable of reasons, commits suicide due to depression caused by this serious illness… this is wrapped up in the suicide statistics.
Here is WebMD:
…Although any illness can trigger depressed feelings, the risk of chronic illness and depression gets higher with the severity of the illness and the level of life disruption it causes. The risk of depression is generally 10-25% for women and 5-12% for men. However, people with a chronic illness face a much higher risk — between 25-33%. Risk is especially high in someone who has a history of depression.
Depression caused by chronic disease often makes the condition worse, especially if the illness causes pain and fatigue or it limits a person’s ability to interact with others. Depression can intensify pain, as well as fatigue and sluggishness. The combination of chronic illness and depression might lead you to isolate yourself, which is likely to make the depression even worse…
- Heart attack: 40%-65% experience depression
- Coronary artery disease (without heart attack): 18%-20% experience depression
- Parkinson’s disease: 40% experience depression
- Multiple sclerosis: 40% experience depression
- Stroke: 10%-27% experience depression
- Cancer: 25% experience depression
- Diabetes: 25% experience depression
- Chronic pain syndrome: 30%-54% experience depression
So the older members of the veteran community have these same maladies, and these statistics from serious illnesses SURELY play a roll VERSUS merely “being in the military.”
WHAT we can do or HOW we can help the vets is something I cannot answer.
But if all you have is the VA to help in your fight against cancer or heart disease, PTSD, or prompt medical responses to any number of things — getting a more private response versus “government care” is the answer that I think would help the most.
When all the factors of gender, race, age, etc. are plugged into the suicide rate in the military: if your son or daughter join the military their chances of commiting suicide lessen slightly. You combine this with other healthy activities such as marriage, regular church attendance, etc… and the rate drops even lower. There are many factors at play in this post, a person’s predisposition, religiousity, serious illness, etc. — it isn’t “cut’n’dry” in other words. ALL that being said, my main purpose of this post however is to deal with media myths and bad media headlines.
THE FOLLOWING COMES FROM MY OLD BLOG:
I have recently come across this wonderful blogger/retired physician. Her name is Nancy Reyes, her catalogued articles can be found at the Blogger News Network, and her blog is not typically about political affairs at all: FinestKind Clinic and Fish Market. (She mainly writes on health issues or food.) How, you may ask did I come across this blogger/physician? Well, I overheard in a conversation someone mention the high suicide rates of our military are higher than the rest of the country. I remember hearing Michael Medved (if memory serves) going through the stats and correcting a caller on this subject. But very similar to other stats used by politicians in the past few elections (just as examples) these stats are easily shown to be misstated or misused. When I hear people make these claims – suicide rates of our military, unequal pay between genders, anthropogenic global warming, and the like — I often think how these people can make decisions and assumptions on statements made by media that has been proven to be biased time-and-time again.
There have been many studies done on where NPR for instance comes down on the side of the abortion controversy with how many stories and experts who give their input on the matter; the amount of “experts” brought in to support the Palestinian view of things versus how many people they bring in to support the Israeli view of the conflict; the amount of pro-2nd Amendment versus how many stories it lines up with “experts” who are for more gun regulation. The graph below is an example of NPR’s use of conservative versus liberal think tanks in the presentation of their stories (see graph below):
Heck, there are whole sites committed to following and exposing NPR’s biased reporting, one is NPR Sucks, for example. Another small article shows why this seems to be the case, a liberal slant to reporting that is, is one entitled, “Few Reporters Describe Themselves as Conservatives.” This isn’t a “big conspiracy,” rather, it is a culture born in the universities about 40 years ago. All this being said, I think the below articles are a must read. The reader should see my already mentioned link to ad to his or her understanding of how stats are misused. While keeping those examples in mind, the crux of the misuse of the below stats is this:
- By comparing a population that is 90 percent men to the general population, you are comparing apples and oranges.
Suicide attempts are more common in the female population, but the men who try it succeed at a higher rate. Taking this higher rate in men (which the military is primarily composed of) and then comparing this to the population as a whole (men and women in other words) is skewing the results.
Last week, it was CBS jiggling the numbers to bash the war in Iraq by stating Veterans had a suicide rate of 18, much higher than the civilian population’s rate of 11 (ignoring that it was only slightly higher than the suicide rate for men, which was 17, and a heck of a lot lower than the rate for doctors, which is 30/100 000 per year).
This week the headline is “Army Desertion rate up 80%”.
The problem? the number “80%” implies a huge increase. But in statistics, if you start with a small number, it doesn’t take a large number to get a huge increase.
So the actual numbers are an increase from 0.7 % to 0.9%. For those of you who are numerically challenged, both those numbers are less than one percent:
According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier.
Many of the desertions are soldiers who don’t want to go back to a war, but many are about soldiers with family problems. Many wives and families are severely stressed by their husband or wife going overseas, and sometimes soldiers just disappear because their families need them more than the Army. Often they report in later, and get an administrative discharge. The article implies the majority are war protesters and says that Canada no longer welcomes them, but the article does not give hard data on this.
Many just don’t like the Army, and it has nothing to do with the war. This NYTimes article notes that the number who actually deserted the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan was 109 (out of the 1 million military who served in these areas since 2003). The real worry is that some of the deserters are not anti war as much as suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and cannot face staying in the military. Others have family problems, such as spouses theatening child custody or divorce. The military is sensitive to these problems, and tries to work out helping the soldier rather than punishing him or her.
As a comparison, the article admits that during Viet Nam, the desertion rate was 5%, and many were for being against that war.
Finally, if you go down to the end of the article, you find the desertion rates for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force are either stable or have gone down.
Nope, can’t publish good news, folks, let’s just move along…
Yup….just ignore the headline.
The war in Iraq is going well, so we have to find bad news to report…..
But just wait a week. Christmas is coming and the MSM will start their annual deluge of articles explaining why Christ was just a myth and Christians are delusional.
The US Army is very worried about suicide and injuries in returning veterans. Stress in soldiers, and in returning veterans, is nothing new:
During World War II, PTSD was an even more serious problem. In the European Theater, 25 percent of all casualties were serious PTSD cases, compared to about 20 percent today. In the Pacific Theater, the rate varied widely, depending on the campaign. In some of the most intense fighting, like Okinawa in 1945, PTSD accounted for over a third of all wounded. In Iraq, less than ten percent of the wounded are PTSD, but the more troops serve in a combat zone, in combat jobs, the more likely they are to develop PTSD. This has been known for over a century.
One of the results of this is, alas, suicide.
The annual suicide statistics of the military/VA have been released.
The good news? The suicide rate remains low.
The bad news? The press is spinning the numbers to fit into the “Evil Iraq war is killing soldiers” and “the Military doesn’t care about the soldiers” meme (to fit the ultimate meme: Evil Bush’s war and evil Republicans don’t care).
Well, never mind the politics. I’m a doctor. Suicide is a major public health problem in the US (and in many countries). But there are a lot of myths out there.
So let’s look at myth number one:
CNN article: Headline: Army Suicide rates could top nation’s this year.
The story is not half bad, but you have to dig into the actual statistics to find the details.
As of August, 62 Army soldiers have committed suicide, and 31 cases of possible suicide remain under investigation, according to Army statistics. Last year, the Army recorded 115 suicides among its ranks, which was also higher than the previous year.
Well, one would expect a higher rate of returning veterans, who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome.
Problem: By not placing it into the context of total number of those who served in the Army, we cannot do a comparison.
But the third paragraph is the real problem:
Army officials said that if the trend continues this year, it will pass the nation’s suicide rate of 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent by the government.
That, my friends, is spin.
You see, suicide rates vary by age and by sex.
Although women have a higher rate of attempted suicide, men die of suicide at a much higher rate than the general population.
The rate of suicide of the general population is 19.5
The rate of suicide in men from the ages of 20 to 35 in 1980 was 24.
The rate of suicide in women from the ages of 20 to 35 was 5.
By comparing a population that is 90 percent men to the general population, you are comparing apples and oranges.
Certain groups: older men, alcoholics, minorities, and those with mental health problems, have a higher rate also.
So CNN assures us:
According to the VA, about 46 of 100,000 males between the ages of 18 and 29 utilizing VA services committed suicide in 2006, compared with about 27 the year before.
A very high rate. Except this is not the general population: this is the rate of those using the VA services, including those with mental health problems. By eliminating the healthy from the statistics, it makes the rate look higher than if the numbers included the entire population of military personnel.
The rest of the article goes on to say the VA is going to improve care for those with PTSS and depression.
So it’s not like nothing is being done: they are just trying to improve the care of the veterans.
For example, unmentioned in the article is that a pre 2001 program in the AirForce was credited with lowering it’s suicide rate from 16.4 yo 9.4 per 100 000 in two years.
Ironically, the article citing the Air Force is not about military suicides, but about suicides in physicians.
Eva Schernhammer and Graham Colditz examined the results of 25 studies of physician suicides and concluded that male doctors killed themselves at a rate 41 percent higher than that of other men and women. The more startling finding was that female doctors take their lives at a rate more than twice (2.27 times) that of the general public.
An E-2C Hawkeye almost crashing into the sea after arresting cable snaps aboard USS Eisenhower.
(Above Video) Just A Common Soldier, also known as A Soldier Died Today, is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York. This year marks the poem’s 25th anniversary.
Please enjoy this tribute to the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who have given so much for our country.
(Son to Father. . .)
Do not call me, father. Do not seek me.
Do not call me. Do not wish me back.
We’re on a route uncharted, fire and blood erase our track.
On we fly on wings of thunder, never more to sheathe our swords.
All of us in battle fallen – not to be brought back by words.
Will there be a rendezvous?
I know not. I only know we still must fight.
We are sand grains in infinity, never to meet.
nevermore to see light.
(Father to Son . . .)
Farewell, then my son. Farewell then my conscience.
Farewell my youth, my solace, my one and my only.
Let this farewell be the end of the story,
A solitude vast in which none is more lonely,
In which you remained barred forever
From light, from air, with your death pains untold.
Untold and unsoothed, never to be resurrected.
Forever and ever an 18 year old.
No trains ever come from those regions,
Unscheduled and scheduled.
No aeroplanes fly there.
Farewell then my son,
For no miracles happen, as in this world
Dreams do not come true.
I will dream of you still as a baby,
Treading the earth with little strong toes,
The earth where already so many lie buried.
This song to my son, then, is come to its close.
(Extract from a poem by Jr. Lt. Vladimir Pavlovich Antokolski. Killed in action, June 6th, 1942)
(Via Gateway Pundit) Brothers Forever–Travis Manion and Brendan Looney were roommates at the naval academy and became as close as brothers. One became a Marine stationed in Iraq, the other, a Navy Seal in Afghanistan. Both died in action years apart and were laid to rest side-by-side in Arlington’s National Cemetery.
It is the
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.
who can at times lay
us down in green pastures.
not the televangelist,
Who can get people out of wheelchairs.
(Also See Tribute Video for all the kids who lost their loved one)
Never Forget Their Sacrifice
This amazing photo was taken in 1918. It is a photo of 18,000 men
preparing for war at Camp Dodge in Des Moines, Iowa (Above)
While the speeches and cartoons are perfect for this Memorial Day… they do not express the loss persons individually feel that express our Nation’s loss through their pain. Pray for the families of the fallen, always.
Kiowa Chopper in tune with Ground soldiers took on the Taliban Insurgents hiding behind the treeline (the U.S. soldier shot in the video survives):