Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan A. Soto-Delgado
I had been out of the Army for about a month when a guy I’d served with texted me to say that one of the soldiers in my old squad had gone missing. The circumstances were strange. The soldier, whom I’ll call Barnes, had vanished after being taken to the military police station on Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Rumor was he got caught taking discrete cell phone photos of men pissing in the urinals at a local bar. Now he was facing criminal charges. The guy who contacted me suspected Barnes had gone AWOL, to avoid the humiliation.
Nearly half of all Veterans Health Administration clinicians did not complete suicide risk management training within the timeframe mandated by the Department of Veterans Affairs last year, according to a new report released May 18 by the Department of VA Inspector General.
Derek Weida, founder of Straight Legless Clothing, doesn’t speak for all veterans, but he does speak for a certain type. His audience is largely shared by a growing number of military-oriented companies, organizations, and blogs that celebrate, rather than lament, the experience of being a veteran in post-9/11 America. It’s an audience that could be described, bluntly and without risk of causing offense, as a bunch of unapologetic grunts.
U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook
There is a statistic that has been widely quoted in the veteran community that highlights an estimated 22 veterans a day are committing suicide. It is a deeply troubling statistic and has galvanized the veteran movement, both from inside the military and veteran communities, and externally, to bring about a wide range of programming nationwide. The statistic, however, is widely misunderstood.