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  • #31
    Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

    Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
    Interesting report at http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/1...uicide-101512/

    LONGVIEW, Wash. — A 20-year-old soldier from Longview killed herself in Afghanistan last December as she served alone in a guard tower, where she was stationed despite a long history of mental-health issues that was not communicated to her supervisors, according to a new report.An Army investigation determined that Spc. Mikayla Bragg’s commanding officers were never told she had made an apparent previous suicide attempt while serving stateside in Fort Knox, even though officials at the Kentucky base knew of it, The Daily News of Longview reported. The newspaper obtained the investigation report through a Freedom of Information Act request.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Of course it wasn't communicated to her superiors; the Army's policy on suicide prevention has been crafted with the stipulation that soldiers' careers not be impacted by their mental imbalances. This is something that senior military leaders brag about all the time. No matter how screwed up you are, your career is protected. The result is soldiers who are mentally unprepared for the stresses of combat being kept in service and placed in positions of responsibility that they are simply not capable of handling.

    On a side note, why was she in a guard tower alone? I understand that for short periods of time or during emergencies a sector may need to be covered by an individual soldier, but long term defensive plans should be established such that each sector has at least two soldiers covering each sector from the same (or very nearby) position.

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    • #32
      Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

      I have not been on that FOB that she killed herself at. When I was in Iraq, they were using one-man in the guard towers (plus they were real small ones - really like one-man towers). The ones I see now could hold a lot more. Here how they look like on my FOB.

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      • #33
        Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

        Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
        I have not been on that FOB that she killed herself at. When I was in Iraq, they were using one-man in the guard towers (plus they were real small ones - really like one-man towers). The ones I see now could hold a lot more. Here how they look like on my FOB.
        One-man guard towers are pretty freaking stupid. Even in Iraq in 2004 at Taji we had two-man towers. That thing in the picture looks like an apartment!

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        • #34
          Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

          Originally posted by jwarren View Post
          One-man guard towers are pretty freaking stupid. Even in Iraq in 2004 at Taji we had two-man towers. That thing in the picture looks like an apartment!
          lol LT. Yes, you can have a platoon formation inside of there and they have power inside of them. I have seen mini-fridges inside of them full of water bottles and others that run various types of network applications.

          I was at FOB McHenry in Iraq and they were replacing lot of the towers with concrete structures. I can write about some stories that happened in those towers but it is for mature audiences only.

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          • #35
            Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

            While I encourage conversations about this tough topic, I just want to remind everyone to address the passing of a Service Member with dignity and respect. This thread is starting to lean towards being flippant about it, even though I'm sure none of you are intending to do so.

            Thanks!

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            • #36
              Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

              Hey guys, just wanted to say it's been good to read through all of this. I'm definitely a big supporter of the Army finding new ways to prevent soldier suicide and help vets adjust to life back in the states. A good friend of mine actually took his life back in 2008. We were roommates in Iraq, back in 2003/04, and I hadn't seen him since 05. He went on recruiting duty back in his home state and I'm not sure what changed for him. Anyways, I agree that suicide is a problem that we have to fix. I'm bummed that my rating keeps me from serving right now, as I've always dreamed of flying. I'm just going to keep in touch with the flight/med NCOIC, Flight surgeon and recruiters that I'm being connected to through this unit and see if things change over the next year or so. Thanks again!

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              • #37
                Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

                Originally posted by squeekboy View Post
                Hey guys, just wanted to say it's been good to read through all of this. I'm definitely a big supporter of the Army finding new ways to prevent soldier suicide and help vets adjust to life back in the states. A good friend of mine actually took his life back in 2008. We were roommates in Iraq, back in 2003/04, and I hadn't seen him since 05. He went on recruiting duty back in his home state and I'm not sure what changed for him. Anyways, I agree that suicide is a problem that we have to fix. I'm bummed that my rating keeps me from serving right now, as I've always dreamed of flying. I'm just going to keep in touch with the flight/med NCOIC, Flight surgeon and recruiters that I'm being connected to through this unit and see if things change over the next year or so. Thanks again!
                Who told you that your rating DQ's you?

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                • #38
                  Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

                  Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                  Who told you that your rating DQ's you?
                  To be more specific, as I stated before it is a common myth that a VA rating prevents service. While the underlying medical condition can be a DQ, the actual rating means nothing.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

                    I was told by Rycass in a separate post that a new regulation came down for recruiters that anyone with any history of depression and/or anxiety wouldn't be allowed to enlist for the time being. Also, to pass the flight physical you can't have depression or anxiety disorder in your past. If so, you have to attain a waiver. I'm talking with the unit's aviation/med NCOIC and hopefully can get in contact with a flight surgeon and the SAO. I'm trying to figure out if there's a likelihood of getting a waiver to reenter the service and pass a flight physical with a waiver. It seems like a long shot, but then again, I haven't heard anything definitive yet. So we'll see.

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                    • #40
                      Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

                      Originally posted by squeekboy View Post
                      I was told by Rycass in a separate post that a new regulation came down for recruiters that anyone with any history of depression and/or anxiety wouldn't be allowed to enlist for the time being. Also, to pass the flight physical you can't have depression or anxiety disorder in your past. If so, you have to attain a waiver. I'm talking with the unit's aviation/med NCOIC and hopefully can get in contact with a flight surgeon and the SAO. I'm trying to figure out if there's a likelihood of getting a waiver to reenter the service and pass a flight physical with a waiver. It seems like a long shot, but then again, I haven't heard anything definitive yet. So we'll see.
                      I understand, just so there isn't any more confusion on anyones part...the reason you cannot enlist is because of depression, it is not because you have
                      a VA Rating.

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                      • #41
                        Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

                        Yeah, for sure. I guess I should have been a little more specific as to why I can't enlist at this point. Anyways, hopefully things will change in a year or two.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

                          Originally posted by jwarren View Post
                          The rates of suicides in the military are no different from those in the general population. The claims of soldiers killing themselves at an unprecedented rate are being made by disingenuous parties with the intent of destroying the reputation of the military, as I clearly point out here.
                          The thing is that enlisted individuals were vetted for serious mental illness. For example, people suffering from bipolar disorder kill themselves at a rate over 20% (though this number is being skewed downward by overdiagnosis). if they are killing themselves at the same rate as the general population, than there must be another variable at work.

                          I feel tremendous empathy for anyone who even thinks of taking their life, let alone someone who acts on it. Don't minimize this stuff, vets need help. I know someone who did two tours and can't get a therapist to talk to right now. It's not a conspiracy to hurt the military, its a reality and the more awareness, the better chance that we give the VA the resources it needs to help these people.

                          I just felt i should say this. I have a close friend who did a couple tours and really needs ... a damn therapist (not my interpretation, its how he said he feels)

                          c.

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                          • #43
                            Re: Not letting in anyone with depression or anxiety in their past?

                            Originally posted by chrman View Post
                            The thing is that enlisted individuals were vetted for serious mental illness. For example, people suffering from bipolar disorder kill themselves at a rate over 20% (though this number is being skewed downward by overdiagnosis). if they are killing themselves at the same rate as the general population, than there must be another variable at work
                            I cited reputable sources for all my claims, yet you provide none for yours.

                            Your statement implies (or states explicitly) two things which are disputable. The first is that the enlistment process successfully screens for mental illness. The second is that those whose mental illnesses are associated with increased rates of suicide make up a significant portion of the general population (and therefore a significant portion of suicides). Neither of those assertions are self evident.

                            The vets who need help can get it. There are myriad opportunities for counseling and therapy.

                            Perhaps instead of telling me what not to minimize, you should consider the enormous number of PTSD claims being filed by soldiers who have never even stepped outside the wire on a patrol and how these so-called "victims" are desensitizing us to those who have had genuinely traumatic experiences.

                            As an aside, what keeps your friend from getting therapy appointments? Just call up a shrink and schedule one. Or are you saying that he's having trouble getting free therapy appointments?

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