Military suicides (349) surged to record heights in 2012 exceeding the number of losses in Afghanistan (295). Leon “the pants” Panetta had tentatively forecast  325 so this came as a rude surprise. In fact, all the services reported more this year but the Army far and away led the pack.

Investigators are querying medical examiners’ findings closely searching for errors as everyone knows troops are often careless when cleaning their personal weapons. This was in light of the discovery that over 60% of the suicides (or gun-cleaning accidents) involved a soldier’s own personal weapon rather than a service weapon. The same investigators were stumped as to why anyone would point a service-issued rifle or handgun at themselves thinking it was empty and pull the trigger accidentally.

The Puzzle Palace had this to say about military versus civilian suicide rates:

The Pentagon says that although the military suicide rate has been rising, it remains below that of the civilian population. It says the civilian suicide rate for males aged 17-60 was 25 per 100,000 in 2010, the latest year for which such statistics are available. That compares with the military’s rate in 2012 of 17.5 per 100,000.

The Pentagon did admit off the record that if the newly-separated Veteran population were included and measured exclusively versus the civilian cohort, the percentage of suicides was right off the map. They declined to be interviewed on that saying it was simply too touchy a subject currently and was an unfair comparison. “Actually, Veterans are civilians and it makes perfectly good sense to separate them out of the military numbers” said the unnamed Pentagon spokesman. When asked about comparable Vietnam Veteran statistics, the same spokesman became even more testy. “The reasons Vietnam Vets commit suicide are many and varied. To attribute it to the military and their experiences during that time is simply unsupported by facts. After forty years, there can be numerous causes and besides- the courts addressed that in Maxson vs. Gober in 1999 so ploughing that ground again is pointless. We maintain that there have been no studies on this to ascertain the cause and it remains a sad coincidence. People from all walks of life commit suicide including former military personnel of all wars”.

Well gee. There you have it. The history of suicide-both military and civilian- is available and we are free to conjecture on the why. What we are not permitted is to lay it at the military’s front door because they smartly have declined to do any studies on it thereby absolving themselves of blame. Sounds a lot like the “non-tests” to determine if jetguns were capable of transmitting HCV. (“While plausible, any conjecture on this is just that. No testing has ever revealed a link between jetguns and the transmission of HCV because no testing has ever been done. Case closed”.)

Circular logic is so wonderful. Here, no evidence is positive evidence much to their delight. Or… perhaps Leo thought the newsies were referring to the Salvation Army.

images (2)

I can almost hear that Awwerrr? of Tim Allen’s from Home Improvement.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
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