Dying to Kill

Why are our soldiers committing suicide?

Why are our soldiers committing suicide?

Why are American Troops Waging War on Themselves?

What if I told you that every day someone in the United States military committed suicide?

Would you believe me?

Can you believe that every 18 hours someone sworn to, “Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…” decides that the real enemy is in fact themselves?

Why would nine active-duty soldiers who took an oath to fight to the death in protection of this country take their own life instead every week?

“Please accept this and be glad for me.”
These were the last words of Daniel Somers a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who left a note for his family explaining his agonizing pain and suffering before committing suicide on June 10, 2013.

In his final letter he wrote:

“The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from…”

His comments remind me of a sight I’ll never forget on South beach Miami, Memorial Day weekend in 2006.

This huge demonstration which span for several blocks on Ocean drive had a placard with the rank, name, and age of each individual soldier who had died in the War on Terror.

There were thousands of these cards lined up spanning as far as you could see.

It was jaw dropping to imagine this amazing number of people could be here at this park hanging out at the beach but instead they’re gone forever over a cause that no one seems to understand. It also documented that three years after the war started the American people were fed up.

Now seven years after this scene, a full decade of war later, all signs point to the troops being fed up. In 2012 a disturbing threshold was passed when the results of a study concluded that more American troops are killing themselves than are being killed at war by any enemy or terrorist.

On average 22 military veterans take their own life every single day.


Is it because they find suicide more honorable an act than the war crimes that Daniel Somers wrote about? If so it wouldn’t be the first time.

In the 16th century Samurai warriors practiced SEPPUKU. This is an ancient suicide ritual where warriors would kill themselves by disembowelment rather than be captured and tortured by the enemy. They would also commit this gruesome act if they had dishonored themselves in order to attenuate great shame or offset what they had done.

Is this Why Troops are Killing Themselves
US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning took action that he thought was responsible and legal under law and he ended up making the news for getting tortured after he was arrested for leaking classified information to the public via Wikileaks.

Manning is the source of the shocking video that showed the Reuters employees being killed by US troops in a helicopter who saw people standing calmly in the street as crazed insurgents shooting at them.

The video was named “Collateral Murder”.

Today Bradley Manning’s locked in a cell awaiting trial for serious charges like “aiding the enemy” for sharing this information, he faces over 20 years in prison.

Just last month Edward Snowden who worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made headlines when he fled the country after leaking evidence to the press that the US government is actively spying and collecting data on its own citizens.

Today Edward Snowden’s in Russia and has applied for political asylum in 19 countries.

Catch 22?
The evidence suggests that military personal who talk to the public about the crimes being committed especially via the press find themselves charged with crimes, arrested, and even tortured.

Faced with the prospect of committing more crimes or getting arrested for telling the truth many soldiers are choosing suicide.

However, there is another way.

In 2004 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars started an organization called IVAW or Iraq Veterans Against the War. The video testimony of its members like Jon Michael Turner are absolutely shocking. He talks about events in the Iraq war where American Troops killed people indiscriminately, kicking in doors, shooting up Mosques, and firing rockets at people’s homes.

His entire testimony could be summed up in one word, remorse.

I believe this will lead to a path of healing and redemption for himself and others.

Why do you think?

Why are so many American troops are killing themselves?

What should be done about it?

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