Desperation, depression — and an overwhelming feeling of desertion — are the dangerous components that have contributed to the rising tide of suicide and mental health problems in the military. Just this week it was announced that for the sixth year in a row, suicide among members of the armed forces is on the rise. Mental health has been a growing problem in the military, as waves of soldiers continue to return from Afghanistan and Iraq in much worse shape than they left. New statistics reveal that for the second year in a row, more soldiers have killed themselves than been killed in active duty. July 2012 was the worst month for military suicides to date, with 39 self-inflicted deaths reported. That’s up from 24 the month before. Suicide is now the leading cause of death among soldiers.
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While the war in Iraq may have officially ended last week, the U.S. soldiers who were stationed there will be feeling the after effects of life in a warzone for some time. As soldiers and Army personnel are reunited with their American friends and family, they are often leaving behind their Iraqi family — the many stray Iraqi dogs the soldiers bonded with and took care of while serving overseas. The pups provided an invaluable emotional support to the men and women and many returning soldiers are now working with a program called Operation Baghdad Pups to bring their Iraqi pets to the States. Keep reading »
Stray dogs became like family for many of the American troops serving over in Afghanistan, and for some, leaving their posts and coming home means leaving their new pets behind. But a lucky few soldiers were able to be reunited with their long lost furry friends recently, in a heartwarming homecoming. It’s tough to say who was happier — the soldiers or the pups. [Buzzfeed]
Women soldiers should be allowed to serve in combat alongside male soldiers, a military commission is set to recommend in March. Presently, women soldiers are not allowed to be assigned to combat roles out of concerns they have weaker physical abilities, yet women can be attached to units that do fight in combat. Therefore, military experts say, women are already technically fighting in combat through that “loophole.” But because women soldiers are not recognized for doing so, the experts continue, they are falling behind in their military careers. According to the investigatory commission, which was established by Congress and the White House, the military has been concerned that “women in combat impede mission effectiveness because they cannot handle the same equipment or tolerate the same physical stress as men.” Yet experts say those concerns were based on more traditional modes of warfare where physical strength perhaps was more important. More modern warfare, some experts say, places less emphasis on physical strength and in any case, the women who have fought in combat through the “loophole” have done so quite capably. Keep reading »
What’s better than four shirtless soldiers who can dance? Finding a man who loves N’Sync as much as we did — OK, do. This routine to “Bye, Bye, Bye,” straight from the front lines in Iraq, is jam packed with smooth moves from a bunch of built bros. Mmm, men in the military. Lance Bass would agree: It’s a pleasure to see our tax dollars hard at work. [Cougars Wild Kingdom]
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