It has been remarked that “in times of war the national suicide rate goes down”, referring to the fact that the crazies are getting slaughtered by the enemy, rather than by themselves (if you’re asking who remarked this and when, take another look at the title of this post.) Currently however, that trend has been further ridiculed by the fact that suicide rates for active-duty soldiers will probably exceed the national rate this year, an excess that has not occured in this country since Vietnam.
I would not necessarily consider myself a pacifist – I have too much of a temper – but I’m not a big fan of war. I rather prefer countries to play nice with each other. I would especially prefer not to be involved in a war that causes Americans to kill themselves, whether because of the severe conditions of the war itself, or from a lack of adequate support back home and between tours of duty. It seriously makes me wonder what we’re doing as a nation. What kind of warrior spends the time and money necessary to make a beautiful sword and then beats its keen blade against the ground until it breaks? If you need to dig a hole, use a shovel. What kind of military planners thought it would be a good idea to send soldiers back to war repeatedly, tearing them away from home and family, and not give additional financial and emotional support for that stress? Let’s think a little here.
I dislike inefficiency. I dislike rash or illogical action (perhaps more so because I am occasionally prone to both). I dislike manipulative policy. Current military practice seems to be all three. Though the Veteran’s Association is attempting to address the issues facing active-duty personnel, I wish we had the ability to anticipate such problems more ably. It would give me a little more confidence in the type of war my country is fighting. Like Uncle Victor says, for very different reasons, let’s get back to “the kind of war this whole country can support.”