Stopping Veteran Suicide – A Viable Approach to Identification, Assessment, and Intervention

If, perchance, millions of honorably discharged American veterans, former soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors, came to discover, during the first decade of the 20th Century, that lies and deceit perpetrated by the federal government had resulted in them being persuaded to enlist in the various branches of the U.S. military in the months and years following 1990, in the wake of Operation Desert Storm and the culminant collapse of the WTC Twin Towers and the Pentagon bombing, some very serious feelings of regret and depression might probably result in the minds of those man and women.

It was Abraham Lincoln who supposedly coined the expression “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” and this, I believe, was colloquially applied by Lincoln to address federal duplicity in his era of politics. It is good to recall that Lincoln was the only representative in Congress who had opposed the Mexican War of 1848, calling it an underhanded federal conspiracy in order to impose war on Mexico. Don’t get the idea that I think that Lincoln was a good President. No I don’t, because he sorely and deliberately maligned and disparaged the U.S. Constitution for his own pragmatic purpose during the American Civil War, which he caused to occur in order to denigrate the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights and the right of the States to choose and follow secession. Lincoln should have remained in Congress instead of becoming a despotic President, but he established the truism that federal conspiratorial duplicity does rampantly occur, and this truism has remained substantially correct in the instances of the bombing of the U.S.S. Maine in the Havana Harbor in 1898, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the Great Depression of 1929, the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the CIA/MI6 Iranian coup, Operation Ajax, of 1954, the JFK assassination of 1963, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, and the Iran-Contra conspiracy of 1987. Thank God for the Internet, since most people don’t currently read books or go to public and university libraries for research information. The Internet is the world’s largest library, but, unfortunately, the information contained therein, such as Wikipedia, is only fifty percent, or less, correct. While, yes, the true facts about current news and history have been contained on a few of the websites of the Internet since the Internet went live in the late 1970s, there are actually more websites that contain false news and incorrect history as a deliberate means of obscuring the true facts about news and history. This simply means that if true fact is wanted by a person seeking it on the Internet, an intensive and exhaustive search of those websites must be done by that person before concluding that anything is 100 percent fact and truth.

Ninety percent of these millions of aforementioned literate American veterans, currently among the 325 million U.S. population, have been consistently reading the Internet and doing their research. Many of them have had their appetites for correct facts and information whetted by what they have discovered and read on the Internet, and have gone to public and university library resources to verify what they have read virtually, such as what and the 9/11 Truth Movement have published since around 2002 as well-researched fact. And they have come away from their research greatly disappointed and depressed realizing that the, probable, 700,000-or-more Afghans and Iraqis, who have been killed by U.S. military forces since 9/11 for defending their homelands were totally unnecessary deaths, that Osama Bin Laden didn’t have anything at all to do with what happened on 9/11, and that Saddam Hussain didn’t possess weapons of mass destruction and the 2003 invasion of Iraq was totally unjustified. Do you suppose that the result of a 2018 extrapolated survey by the PEW Research Center, of 100,000 honorably discharged U.S. veterans, as to whether the Afghan/Iraqi wars were worth all of the death and despair they caused, was indicative of the great depression and stress suffered by those veterans? Seventy percent of those 100,000 veterans stated vehemently that those wars were not worth the pain and misery that they experienced, and were totally unnecessary.

So, in a veteran population in the USA of over 20 million former GIs, there are probably 50 percent of those veterans under the age of 50 who were “grunts” during the Afghan and Iraq invasions, who, as infantry forces, carried weapons and killed what were called Afghani and Iraqi “insurgents or terrorists” in the U.S. military strikes against the two countries. According to U.S. records, a total of 6,796 American GIs have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, while approximately 800,000 Afghans and Iraqis have been killed by American GIs in Afghanistan and Iraq since late 2001, while over 100,000 Afghanis and Iraqis have been wounded and disabled in those conflicts. These figures are hard for any rational person to accept who had a direct hand in creating those deaths and casualties. Hence, the soldiers and marines who killed Afghan/Iraqi men, women, and children, having been told at the time by their officers that those human beings, fighting for their homelands, were terrorists and needed to be killed, discovered and found the real truth about those wars, in which they were ordered to kill, very disturbing. The horrific wartime concept of “might makes right” has been the prevailing mantra for the role of the U.S. military since 1951, of creating political U.S. foreign policy as a fiery metaphorical “sword of Prometheus,” as Samuel P. Huntington advocated in his book “The Soldier and the State.” History will bear out that, when the Nazis occupied France during the 2nd World War, the French resistance, or the freedom fighters, who fought against the Nazis and were supported by the USA, were called “terrorists” by the German fascists. Frequently, the roles of terrorists and resistance freedom fighters have, for convenience sake, been confused and reversed in textbooks in order to promote political agendas.

When these sorely deceived GIs returned home to be treated as returning heroes by a deceived civilian electorate with pats on the back for killing terrorists and the enemies of the United States, to shortly thereafter discover that they had been used as pawns by the Department of Defense to do the pernicious bidding of a sinister federal government, many of them became extremely confused and depressed. The awful stress that they had experienced killing in Afghanistan and Iraq coupled with the predisposing stressors that had accompanied them from the civilian world into combat, or indirect association with combat and killing, such as the deaths of loved ones and other emotional crises, predisposed them to a diathesis stress as referred to by the military and the VA as post-traumatic stress disorder. The VA’s socialistic system of veteran aggrandizement is, in many ways, Romanesque compared to the way the ancient Roman Empire treated its soldiers to the very best of everything, wine, women, medical treatment, and retirement, for their brutal murderous service to the empire. The Roman military tattoo, burned into the arms of Roman legionnaires by their commanders, was just like the DD-214 given to honorably discharged GIs. With the DD-214 comes all of the free services and benefits that are associated with being a military veteran. Some veterans, a minority, think that this socialistic system is good, but the greater number under the age of 50 don’t particularly like being paid-off by the government for the killing and maiming of over a million people over a period of nineteen years.

The Internet hype about Vietnam veteran suicide between the years 1963 and 1990, paid for by the VA and other media sources subsidized by the federal government just ain’t true. These sources want the American electorate to believe that nearly 200,000 veterans committed suicide between 1963 and 1990, which is not at all true. During that time there were some regrettable suicides, but less than 8,500. That’s for a period of 30 years compared to the approximate 7,000 veterans/year who have actually committed suicide since around 2007, a staggering figure. That is over 90,000 veterans dead from suicide in twelve years.

Well, we’ve so far established that a lot of U.S. veterans (around 20) are currently killing themselves, by suicide, every day of every calendar year. and that around 200 billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer/borrowed money are going to be appropriated by Congress for the VA for the 2020 fiscal year. The VA has dealt with veteran suicide, since 1990 much as it did with the agent orange debacle, or the defoliant chemicals used during the Vietnam War for deforestation, claiming for the longest time that there were no real detrimental effects of the agent orange chemicals on Vietnam veterans. This, of course, changed when the aspect of plausible deniability ceased to exist with its federal propaganda ministry. With the advent of the internet, the federal government could no longer deliberately hide the facts about, both, agent orange and veteran suicide from the American electorate.

Then, to address the suicide issue, a great deal of VA appropriation money began around 2009 to be routed into what became the Office of Suicide Prevention. Nonetheless, the number of veteran suicides each day, week, month, and year continued to rise. Now, in the latter-part of 2019, the number of veteran suicides is still rising, and the VA Office of Suicide Prevention is spending a great deal of money without showing any success in identifying and assessing veterans with suicidal ideations. Another approach to this egregious problem has to be taken.

The problem of Veteran suicide has to be substantially resolved through reliable and replicable assessment through time-proven assessment tool, with the expectation of discovering and assessing veterans with suicidal ideations by the VA using the tool’s valid results to find those veterans and go to them, instead of expecting the veterans to come to them for help and intervention. Most veterans who suffer suicidal ideations seek to be alone with those feelings. In nearly all cases, veterans will not announce that they are feeling suicidal. Family and friends in most cases don’t, and can’t, “sense” when their sons, daughters, and friends are in a suicidal mode. My proposal is that every active-duty/reserve GI exiting the DOD/military through separation and discharge be required to sit for the MMPI-RF scale personality inventory before leaving active-duty. Then the results of those tests should be sent electronically, along with copies of the new veterans’ DD-214s, to the VA medical centers closest to the veterans’ homes of record. Then the VA MSWs and psychologists at those medical centers should determine which veterans are at-risk for suicidal ideations. Subsequently, those MSWs should reach out to those veterans and their families in a subtle, non-invasive, manner to get those vets to come into the VA facilities for an interview, without mentioning suicide. You have to go to them, after finding out who is at-risk.

But how about the millions of veterans already among the U.S. population living as single families, with friends, and relatives, or homeless and on the streets? The VA should induce those veterans to come into VA health/medical centers to get tested by taking the MMPI-RF. I believe that over 70 percent of the veterans identified, or not identified, in the VA system could be induced to come in for testing by paying them the do so. If the VA paid every veteran $700 to come into a VA facility, with a DD-214 or a discharge certificate, for a get-to-know-you session and to take a test, the MMPI-RF, I believe that 70 percent of the millions of veterans would respond positively. But the VA would have to advertise using TV, radio, the Internet, and bill-boards to get out the word. Of course, it will cost around 10 billion dollars to implement the testing, but how much is the life of a veteran worth?

If you read this article and find cogent logic and meaning in the proposal that has been presented, especially if you are a veteran or have veterans who are loved ones or friends, contact the VA and White House with letters suggesting a testing approach to quelling veteran suicide. Contact your senators and congressman and let them know that you advocate testing (the MMPI-RF personality inventory) for all GIs who will exit the military and become veterans, and for all of the existing veterans among the U.S. population, and the monetary inducements to get those veterans into VA facilities to take the MMPI-RF. The VA will continue this passive and ineffective approach to suicide prevention if a majority of people don’t speak-up for aggressive out-reach. For the sake of the life of a U.S. veteran, please speak-up!

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