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Monday, July 8, 2013
Re: Rodney Franklin’s “Military suicides: an unspoken tragedy” June 30 commentary:
The message is laudable, but the article fails to illuminate the full scale of the problem.
Yes, today’s military is losing unprecedented numbers of active-duty personnel to suicide. Even more troubling, suicide is now taking our veterans at a rate of approximately one per hour.
The truth behind these statistics is troubling, but it is available. Today’s weapons, and especially today’s American way of waging war, are horrible. Atrocities abound. Today’s young volunteer soldier is ill-prepared for the ferocity and cruelty of the warfare we are waging.
Far from liberating the peasants of Iraq or Afghanistan, modern tactics and strategies are killing and mutilating huge numbers of innocents in the most horrible manner. What the recruit sees on his or her first deployment often scars him for life.
Asking the military to fix these problems is like reporting child abuse at Penn State to Coach Joe Paterno. Franklin mentions the answer, but only lightly. We must find an alternative to war.
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