Friday, May 29, 2009

Wave of Suicide sweeps Fort Campbell

Fort Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division, the Sabalauski Air Assault School, the 160th Spec-Ops Aviation Regiment, and plenty of black helicopters, is experiencing a strange epidemic of suicides. According to news sources, Fort Campbell averaged one confirmed suicide per week between January to March. Maybe even more deaths are actually unconfirmed suicides, because there are a considerable number of deaths that are now being reinvestigated.

After a suicide prevention campaign started at Fort Campbell in March, the suicide wave abated for six weeks. But then last week two more occurred.

So why is this happening? Good question. Although suicides in the military are generally up nationwide, the Kentucky figures are record-breaking and baffling. Fort Campbell has shut itself down for three more days of intensive suicide-prevention training. Even people in the Army have blamed it on the stress of frequent war deployments since 2001, but I have to wonder what else might be playing havoc with these soldiers' nerves. What do they know that we don't know, that weighs so heavy on their psyches? What unspoken burden are they carrying?

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