Thursday, February 3, 2011
The suicide rate and death due to overdoes of drunk driving within the soldiers once they get back home is larger than the death toll of the soldiers within the battle field. This statistics did not really surprise me as well, along with a few commenter's of this post. Based on the video, it is good that the military is indeed making changes in making sure that the soldiers are getting more help such as providing more chaplains and such. Even so, it is quite disappointing to know that it took them more than a year to really start helping out these soldiers.
If we were to look from the soldier's point of view, they have indeed endured or will eventually endure the cruel environment of war. I am sure that this has already been included in the intense training that these soldier had even before being qualified to be able to go into the battlefield. I am also quite positive that they would take pride in being able to take down the enemy. Some horrors that they might not have been prepared for are losing their own teammates, or perhaps regarding to what extent killing really means.
To look from a completely different perspective, soldiers who are trained extremely well to handle war-extreme conditions might be completely caught off-guard when they have prisoners held; inhuman tortures and procedures executed on the prisoners or hostages are something that the soldiers are most probably not taught to handle before hand. THEY themselves might have been trained to ENDURE those tortures themselves if they were captured by the enemy, but it is a whole different experience when you are the one performing the torture.
Having these shocking and bad experiences either from the battle field, or simply from the prison or place where the enemy was held captive and tortured, returning home to his or her family would certainly not aid to simply wash those experiences away. With these bad images and experiences, the soldier would not want to burden his or her family by talking about it with them; hence they tend to keep it to themselves. When this happens, the soldiers will feel isolated and feel that no one could help them or understand their feelings (other family members are not soldiers like them). He or she might also be afraid to seek help with this problem as they might see it as a 'weakness' for a soldier. Hence the alcohol, drugs, drunk driving and suicide.
Even though the video mentioned that they are indeed doing something about this issue, but I am still doubtful about to what extent is help actually being provided to these soldiers. As a matter of fact, they should actually change their training pattern to better prepare the soldiers to endure bad experiences, and not to simply tell them to 'man-up' and forget about it. They should be more well informed of what they could ACTUALLY experience besides the basic 'bloody' warzone. In addition, they should also be told that it is okay to admit that they have nightmares or problems due to what has happened to them or what they have seen or experienced. By doing this, they do not have to feel ashamed to admit that they have nightmares; they are indeed human beings like us. Providing a support center for the soldiers to go to BEFORE they go home, right after a war should be executed as well to help decrease the suicide rate, drug and alcohol abuse within the soldiers.
As a side note, improving the military procedures will most likely be favorable to all parties. Torturing prisoners or hostages definitely has its limits, but crossing these limits has caused these soldiers to also commit suicide as they could not handle the inhumanity. Though this might seem to be favoring the enemy, (whoever the enemy may be), but it is more in favor of our own troops and soldiers. So which one would you choose?