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sad at least 13 us solders have committed suicide

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by buddhafabio, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. buddhafabio

    buddhafabio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,246
    US troops question presence in Iraq

    Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
    Friday October 17, 2003
    The Guardian

    A sizeable portion of US forces serving in Iraq describe troop morale as low, and say they have no intention of re-enlisting, damaging the campaign by the US government to brighten up the image of the postwar occupation.
    The survey of 1,935 troops, published in a series of special reports on Iraq in the Stars and Stripes newspaper, also found that a significant number of troops were confused about the purpose of their presence, and had lost faith in their mission.

    Coinciding with the report, the army yesterday admitted that at least 13 US troops had committed suicide in Iraq, representing more than 10% of American non-combat deaths there, and said the army had sent a suicide-prevention expert to Iraq.

    Stars and Stripes, which is funded by the Pentagon, says it embarked on the project after receiving scores of letters from disenchanted servicemen.

    The mailbags belied claims last week by President Bush that increasingly negative public perceptions of Iraq were a product of media spin, and that those who had been there held different views. Not so those for serving up to 12 months in Iraq, according to Stars and Strips, which noted that the troops' views stood in sharp contrast to those of senior officials on brief visits to Iraq.

    Yesterday the newspaper quoted an unidentified master sergeant as saying that the delegations of officers and Congressmen only met small groups of specially selected soldiers. "They stacked the deck," he says.

    Instead, 49% of those who answered the newspaper's questionnaire rated the morale of their unit as low or very low, 49% said it was unlikely they would re-enlist, and 31% said they thought the war had not been worthwhile.

    Stars and Stripes noted that soldiers who were open about morale problems had at times faces disciplinary action. Although the malaise appears to be linked to uncertainty about the length of tours of duty in Iraq, pay scales, and conditions on the ground, another significant factor appears to be the meaning of their mission. Stars and Strips said 35% of respondents complained their mission was not clearly defined. It quotes a member of the National Guard as saying: "We're in the dark."
     
  2. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Messages:
    8,812
    It sounds normal for combat troops.. When I was in we had a guy in our unit shoot himself in the foot so he could be discharged.

    I throughly enjoyed my time serving, but read below:
    When I was in, while the Army was downsizing, the three units I served in experienced huge loss in morale. Most solders did not wish to re-enlist. I can't blame them. I didn't recieve the GI bill since at the time I enlisted it wasn't available. The commissary is no cheaper than off-post stores for buying staple items, it's there for the wealthy officers, not the soldiers. The military health care is a joke for most, as you are expected never to get sick, unless you want to be ostracized by your unit, and passed up for promotion. I don't think I ever went to sick call. The education you recieve by correspondance doesn't translate to college courses. Surprisingly, even physical fitness doesn't count, as I routinely maxed the PT test, yet recieved nothing except a presidential patch for my efforts. If you do take a course, all you get is added workload from your unit. I carried a m-60, a medic bag, and a slugger (radio).

    You have to fight to recieve bonus's you were promised, I recieved mine in installments over the 4 1/2 years I was in, none of this was explained beforehand. The cost for on-post housing was no cheaper than off-post housing. The goverment even charged us taxes on our supposed benefits!

    Furthermore, when I left the military, I signed up for the National Guard with a supposed $8,000 bonus on arrival at my new unit. I spent all our money transporting my family to the new unit. Needless to say, I never recieved the promised bonus as when I arrived all bonus's were on indefinate hold. Finally, I just walked away, it was the only way to support my family, I lost one rank due to this and was honorably discharged.

    My children will never join the military under any circumstance!

    There is alot more to this story, of how my ETS date was messed up so that I ended up not getting paid for leave, how I could never take leave and served 4 1/2 years without having 1 day of leave time. How I spent my time taking correspondance courses only to have the credits and courses cancelled after passing them, how I signed for 52-E with the highest BMST (math skills test) ever in Fort Benning, yet was denied transfer. How my board dates were switched so that the boards took place after my ETS date. How so many good soldiers were railroaded due to personal prejudice of a member of the chain of command. How others were shuttled to the front un-deservedly.

    As a veteran, I respect people who served and serve in the military. I only hope you had/have a better experience.
     
  3. bassetman

    bassetman Moderator (deceased) - Gone but never forgotten

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2001
    Messages:
    47,973
    I wrote my friend in Iraq re: those fake letters from troops. Here is what his reply was, edited for language!
    Just more BS propaganda re: the war. :rolleyes:
     
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