General's remarks about suicide "upsetting"
Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of Ft. Bliss. (US Army Photo)
May 25th, 2012
06:56 PM ET

General's remarks about suicide "upsetting"

By Larry Shaughnessy

On this Memorial Day when military leaders around the world honor fallen troops, one Army general has retracted a blog post stating he is "fed up" with soldiers who commit suicide, calling it "an absolutely selfish act."

The comments were originally posted online in January by Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, commanding general of one off the Army's largest posts, Fort Bliss, but have only recently caused a public stir.

Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Florida, called the comments "upsetting," Friday. Rooney is co-chair of the House Military Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Caucus. He said Pittard's post "displays a complete lack of understanding about the struggles that our troops and veterans with mental illness are facing."

After meeting with a retired military member recently about the blog, Pittard decided this week to retract the blog and explain himself, according to his office.

His retraction reads in part: "In my commentary published January 19, 2012, I stated suicide was a selfish act. Thanks to many of you and your feedback, I have learned that this was a hurtful statement. I also realize that my statement was not in line with the Army's guidance regarding sensitivity to suicide. With my deepest sincerity and respect towards those whom I have offended, I retract that statement."

Pittard wrote the original post the day after attending a January 18 memorial service for a soldier who committed suicide on Christmas Day. As he was leaving the service, according to his office, Pittard was informed that another soldier at the base was suspected of taking his own life. A senior military source at Fort Bliss who would not speak for attribution, the January blog post was written when Pittard was "frustrated" about soldier suicides and that it was "out of character." It reads in part:

"Wednesday, we lost a Fort Bliss Soldier to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. I heard the tragic news as I walked out of a memorial service for another one of our Soldiers who decided to kill himself at home on Christmas Day so that his family would find him. Christmas will never be the same for his two young daughters he left behind," Pittard wrote at the time.

He continued, "I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act. Soldiers who commit suicide leave their families, their buddies and their units to literally clean up their mess. There is nothing noble about suicide."

Later in the post Pittard wrote "I am personally fed up with Soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us."

But the January blog post also appears to show an officer concerned about his soldiers and preventing suicide.

"I care about each and every one of our Soldiers, family members and civilians at Fort Bliss. I know there are a lot of people hurting out there. ... If you are hurting mentally or emotionally, then seek and get help; but don't resort to taking your own life."

Fort Bliss soldier Sgt. Daniel Taylor disagrees with the idea that suicide is selfish. "I don't think it's selfish, it's their last resort. Anything that's considered last resort is not a selfish act."

Taylor, who admits to having contemplated suicide himself while in Iraq, told CNN that the general's original remarks were likely a result of strong emotions.

"I think that in his frustration a lot of his true emotions may have come out about the situation," Taylor said.

Rep. Rooney said Friday that the entire military needs to focus on the troops. "We should be doing everything we can to encourage our troops who are contemplating suicide to come forward and seek treatment, but Maj. Gen. Pittard's comments can only serve to further isolate our troops who are struggling with illnesses like PTSD and depression and make them less likely to seek the care they need."

Pittard seems to be trying to return the focus to helping soldiers in need, writing in his retraction that, "We can all help by wrapping our arms around our fellow soldiers and showing them a future that is positive and supportive. This takes both leadership and compassion."

Post by:
Filed under: Army
soundoff (2,276 Responses)
  1. Danae Hillebrandt

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2018/05/border-crossers.html?showComment=1550135537777

    June 21, 2021 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  2. RV Repair Around Me

    There is definately a great deal to learn about this issue. I really like all the points you have made.

    http://runnynose.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.vip

    June 21, 2021 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  3. Cari Bono

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2008/02/whilst-david-buckingham-talks-on.html

    June 21, 2021 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  4. jewelry stores near me

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying these details.

    http://www.comeusa.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=earme.a2hosted.com

    June 21, 2021 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  5. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    Great web site you have got here.. It├şs hard to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://www.heybartender.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrv.xyz

    June 21, 2021 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  6. pharmaceptica

    can erectile dysfunction be healed https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  7. pnc bank near me

    https://www.informiran.si/info.aspx?code=1100&codeType=0&nextUrl=http://quotenearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 10:42 am | Reply
  8. RV Repair San Clemente California

    http://crawfishstuffing.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 9:20 am | Reply
  9. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    http://www.labtrends.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 21, 2021 at 9:02 am | Reply
  10. pizza near me

    Excellent article. I will be facing some of these issues as well..

    http://mudflapgirl.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.quotenearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 8:39 am | Reply
  11. Hairstyles

    Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your website by chance, and I'm shocked why this twist of fate did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    https://www.hairstylesvip.com

    June 21, 2021 at 5:36 am | Reply
  12. RV Repair Nearby

    You should take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the net. I most certainly will recommend this site!

    http://enewsletterpro.weblications.com/t.aspx?S=3&ID=0&NL=200&N=5727&SI=0&URL=http://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 5:12 am | Reply
  13. find more information

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it
    is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read even more things about it!

    June 21, 2021 at 3:37 am | Reply
  14. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    You're so cool! I do not suppose I have read through a single thing like this before. So great to discover someone with some unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

    http://undimenac.enviodecampanhas.net/registra_clique.php?id=TH|teste|107641|58910&url=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  15. auto body mesa az

    I like reading through a post that can make people
    think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

    June 20, 2021 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  16. Elda Doudna

    http://openforbusinessmagazine01.businesscatalyst.com/Redirect.aspx?destination=statewidesecurityguards.com

    June 20, 2021 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  17. Era Arntz

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal site now ­čśë

    https://www.google.mn/url?q=https://assistedlivingseniorcarepalmdesert.com

    June 20, 2021 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  18. www.pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil 50mg united states https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  19. irmusic4

    Hello, I enjoy reading through your article. I wanted to write a little comment to
    support you.

    June 20, 2021 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  20. Melvina Fuscaldo

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thanks for providing this info.

    https://image.google.lv/url?q=https://cool-air-tech.com

    June 20, 2021 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  21. hasta getirmek yurtd─▒┼č─▒ndan

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your
    web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing
    to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently
    quickly.

    June 20, 2021 at 11:28 am | Reply
  22. Aladdin

    Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this
    board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to
    give something back and help others like you helped me.

    June 20, 2021 at 10:31 am | Reply
  23. Digital Marketing Near Me

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a really good article├ľ but what can I say├ľ I hesitate a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.

    https://jahanelm.ac.ir/website/open_url.php?i=27&link=https://affordableranking.com

    June 20, 2021 at 10:18 am | Reply
  24. Enoch Rothfus

    Hi, check this product that can help to take care of your hair: https://bit.ly/3gJqhQH

    https://bit.ly/3gJqhQH

    June 20, 2021 at 8:07 am | Reply
  25. Jerry Cuva

    How can you tell if a video has copyright content or not?.

    https://twitter.com/katekdesigns

    June 20, 2021 at 7:29 am | Reply
  26. Social Media Marketing Services

    I couldn├şt refrain from commenting. Very well written!

    http://chelseaclub.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.affordableranking.com

    June 20, 2021 at 7:16 am | Reply
  27. Jeffrey Kibbey

    what is the procedure to copyright a blog content (text and images)?

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmkowalsky/

    June 20, 2021 at 6:26 am | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to mdmann


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.