For some reason, people in the army love to kill themselves, and the army just can’t figure out exactly why. I mean, they know there’s no indication that deployments increase the likelihood of suicides (so says this DefenseLink article, although most nongovernment funded news sources will tell you differently), so why do people in the army keep committing suicide?
Well, the army has been out to put a stop to it. And by “it” I don’t mean “the reasons people commit suicide” I just mean “letting people commit suicide.” For instance, if somebody thinks that you might just maybe be a little bit of a slight risk of committing suicide, you can be locked in a hospital and kept under constant surveillance until you just plain old decide that you feel better. And nobody will be there to force those positive feelings out of you; that I can assure you. (Wink, wink, I’ve got your back industrio-military complex!)
It’s become somewhat common practice for us to have briefs on suicide awareness / prevention (and some would say “assistance” since it just adds to the already overabundance of prolix military briefs we are forced to endure). And today was that day. What follows are some of [what I thought were] the most important key points, followed by (in brackets) why [I think] they’re so damned important.
- Chaplain sez “Suicide is a permanent fix to a temporary situation; A permanent fix to a temporary situation.” [This is important because it reminds us, more than once, that suicide is merely a permanent fix to a temporary situation. People who commit suicides are overachievers, just like teachers’ pets. Good lookin’ out, Chaplain.]
- Suicide rates are very very high right now. [It’s good to know that you’re not alone.]
- Chaplain sez “I can reach out and touch you out here, because I can walk around.” [Our Chaplain reminds us that most of the world’s sexual molesters are not paraplegics.]
- If there’s no note, is it still suicide? [What a great fundamental philosophical question! However, I think it would be better worded as “If a tree kills itself in the middle of the forest, and no one is around to read the note, is it still suicide?” Bonus points if the tree had the presence of mind to make the note out of its own pulp, and the pulping process is, in fact, the method of suicide so chosen by the tree.]
- Chaplain sez “February is the month with the highest suicide rates. Somebody once told me that’s because that’s when the bills come in from Christmas.” [Our Chaplain points out that if, after two months time, you think you’ve spent too much money to show your loved ones just how much you love them, your best option is to kill yourself. Additional suggestion: Do it before St. Valentine’s Day, so you don’t have to buy more stuff.]
- Men are more successful at suicide than women. [“More successful at everything” is a comment I heard from the row behind me. Then I laughed. Then I thought, “Is successful really the right word to use there?”]
- Chaplain sez “We haven’t had any warrant officers kill themselves so far this year.” [The key word here is this, because “this year” is only eight days old. It’s a sad proposition for the commissioned officer and enlisted sides of the house.]
- Reasons Why People Kill Themselves Reason #7: Obey the Voices I Hear. [Awesome!]
- Chaplain sez “As an officer, you need to be concerned about your soldiers and things.” [The chaplain here is dutiful in making sure that we know soldiers are just as important as anything that can be ambiguously termed a “thing”.]