It is an odd and startling statistic, but nonetheless true. In this stirring care2.com article, author S. E. Smith. sheds some light on the wounds that are suffered on the other side of the gun and criticizes the United States’ Department of Defense (DOD) in its inadequacy to deal with this issue. As she explains, the numbers are very explicit:
Approximately every 80 minutes, a US military veteran commits suicide in the United States; for Iraq and Afghanistan, the numbers of veterans lost to suicide now outstrips casualty lists of those killed in action. The suicide rate for active duty personnel isn’t so shockingly high, but it’s still significant; in the first half of 2012, almost one soldier a day took his or her own life. Both veterans and combat personnel have experienced a steep rise in suicide rates since 2005, which notably marked a sharp increase in the intensity of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Although the DOD focus its critics on the privately-owned weapons situation as the cause for this problem it’s easy to understand that the root of the problem lies way deeper:
While on duty, soldiers deal with high stress on a constant basis, with limited opportunities for decompression and processing. While counseling services are available and mechanisms are in place to flag soldiers as “high-risk,” such systems come with significant stigma, which can make people reluctant to report suicidal thoughts and other signs and symptoms of severe depression. They can risk losing their clearances, being discharged or being taken away from their units, which can serve to increase feelings of isolation and depression.
Men was made to create, not destroy. Love, not kill. To go against our own nature will not only drain our energy, it will, in time, make us feel useless, depress and unaccomplished. The times for glory in the battlefield have dissipated with our evolution from the earlier states of society and primitive social mindsets. A developed being cannot find comfort in war when he understands that the dead of another human being makes less of him and the world. At a time that urges for global unity and cooperation, the blast from a gunshot might echo for a whole life.