Police: Soldier from Minnesota commit...

Police: Soldier from Minnesota commits suicide in Kentucky

There are 24 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Sep 22, 2010, titled Police: Soldier from Minnesota commits suicide in Kentucky. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Police say a 19-year-old Fort Campbell soldier has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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O-3E in 101st Airborne

Calhoun, LA

#22 Sep 23, 2010
Major Ed wrote:
Comparing suicide rates for the general population as a whole to suicide rates on a military base is a bit misleading because suicide rates vary by age and gender and most service members are in the 19-40 year old age range and there still are many more men than women. For U.S. males as a whole, ages 15-19 20-24, 25-29 and 30-34, suicide rates all fall in the range of 25-28 per 100,000 people in that population. So if there are some 23,000 or so service members at Ft Campbell and they were all male, you could expect about 6-7 suicides per year.
The general rule is that women attempt suicide more frequently than men but men are more successful. So the proportion of Ft Campbell soldiers who are women might change things a bit, but not much.
Summing up, 21 suicides on a post that size is well above the rate for the U.S. population as a whole for that age range.
You make some good points sir. The other thing to consider is that presently all 4 brigades of the 101st are deployed so the only people remaining at Fort Campbell or either new soldiers arriving to the post, soldiers serving in each unit's rear detachment (all units leave a skeleton crew back in the states to maintain unit operations, notify next of kin in case of casualties, etc.), soldiers serving in one of the non-divisional units on post (5th Special Forces Group for example) or wounded soldiers undergoing rehab and recovery in the Warrior Transition Battalion. Those soldiers who are new typically are undergoing a 3-week training course before being sent to join their already-deployed unit. Those assigned to "rear D" often have a comparatively easy life and work fewer hours than they normally would if the entire unit were at Fort Campbell. Officers in the rank of captain and higher are normally tasked with casualty notification - telling families of the wounded and killed the bad news - but my own personal opinion is that that's not so stressful as to lead to depression. People dying is part of the profession, especially in the 101st during wartime, if anything your stress in notification is wishing you could do more to help. As for my own personal case, I returned from Afghanistan 4 months early because I'm heading to a new assignment in November and it's policy to ship soldiers home 60 days prior to their report date for a new assignment. When all is said and done, as I said in an earlier post, things in Afghanistan aren't as bad as the media makes it out to be and one shouldn't presume that a soldier who commits suicide automatically did it because of the stress of deployment. We had numerous attacks at our FOB, some minor, some not so minor, and one in particular that was huge. The concept of dying or ending up maimed or what have you never entered my mind and I'm 41 years old. Your typical college-age soldier tends to have a feeling of invulnerability a lot greater than mine. Those who don't, as I also mentioned, have dozens of resources if they need to work something out.

Eau Claire, WI

#24 Oct 20, 2010
It isn't just Ft. Campbell. The suicide rate is up for young people in all walks of life.

A generation focused on money and entertainment doesn't have much in the way of spirituality to fall back on when the going is tough.

These kids aren't "trapped." They volunteered.

Are they "weak" or has our current culture let them down?

“Xtra, extra, read all about it”

Since: Oct 10


#25 Oct 23, 2010
One thing people need is the feeling they are needed. Think of the people that would be hurt or would miss you. Having children is a good facilitator to this feeling. When people don't have anyone or divest themselves from family, it's easy to understand.

Since: Nov 10

Fayetteville, NC

#26 Nov 8, 2010
Nienna: Huh?

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