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."

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Filed under: Army
soundoff (1,249 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    Let me ask you people who think suicide is a selfish act. Do you know anyone who attempted suicide and survived? I tried to commit suicide twice because of bullying.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Swamilive

      I'm glad you're alive, but you shouldn't have tried to kill yourself. You have to consider those who love you. Your suicide would have caused them SO MUCH pain and suffering. Suicide is an extremely selfish and cowardly act.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • .

      Keep trying. You'll get it right some day. Pfa g g ot.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
      • Swamilive

        ...and reported.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • .

        Report this: .!.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:32 am |
      • Swamilive

        Yeah, I did already.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:33 am |
      • .

        Try again. It's not working.

        Maybe they think you're an idiot.

        May 26, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • Swamilive

        I am an idiot.

        May 26, 2012 at 11:19 am |
      • Swamilive

        Garrison.

        May 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • chris

        Such stupidity

        May 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • FightBack

      The knuckledraggers would have you believe they are weak and deserve it.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  2. Pishaw

    I love how people call suicide a 'selfish act', and lament that the person who took their life didn't think about how it would affect them. The fact that they are dead does not make you a victim. It seems the height of self-absorbtion, hypocrisy.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Swamilive

      The thing is, though...suicide IS a selfish act.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
      • Teri

        I agree with you 100%.. SUICIDE is A SELFISH ACT...... The people they leave behind blame themselves for the rest of their lives. I KNOW I am a victim of two people who committed SUICIDE and it was SELFISH of them not to reach out for the help they needed so that they would still be around today. We LOVED THEM SO MUCH and MISS THEM SO MUCH and am angry and hurt all at the same time........

        May 26, 2012 at 10:24 am |
      • tim

        You are a dumb ass. Contact AFSP and educate your self so you don't continue to say stupid things

        May 26, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  3. Phil in Oregon

    Consider this – you have to talk about it now. Once the deed is done, there is no fixing it. Hurt some feelings now, save some lives.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
  4. mathphile

    Suicide is not a selfish act. Since when does anyone owe his life to anyone else? All the republican fools claim to be followers of Ayn Rand (a non-philosopher and a fool), yet Ayn Rand wrote: "I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask..." (Atlas Shrugged which so many of conservative ree-tards claim to have read).

    When you are dull of mind (as most religious and prejudiced humans are), you can never understand suicide. What the young man who committed suicide was telling the world was: "It is so agonizingly painful to be around stupid people like you, that death will be a relief!"

    It takes great courage to commit suicide. I have been thinking about it since I was 6 years old and I have the means to do it. I am now past 50 and not a day goes by that I do not think about blowing my brains out because it is so painful living with less intelligent more-ons for which America is so well known. Perhaps one of these days I will find the courage. To the lot of you I say: don't clean up after me and you will have to deal with the smell. You vile, compassionless, stupid, useless human species! Especially republican more-ons. If the lot of you committed suicide, I would promise to carry on living until I die of natural causes.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • Swamilive

      Suicide actually IS a very selfish act.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
      • Tam

        I agree it is vey selfish

        May 26, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • sixin

      There was once this guy, the sole caregiver of his children. He blew his brains out, right in front of them. Children were left parent-less. Sorry, that is a selfish act.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • well?

      No one's begging you to stick around for our sakes, especially since we're all just too stupid for your own particular brand of (alleged) intellect. If there's no one that will miss you in real life, don't go trolling here in cyberspace looking for someone that cares. By your logic, it takes courage to commit suicide; you also imply you've thought about for more than 44 years. So man up, already, instead of pussing out and/or ranting on a web site.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
  5. judester

    Blinders? Not all people can handle what being a member of the military during war time means. The general was clueless. When did he become general? Did he fight in any major wars? Did he kill advising...most likely doing nothing other than paper work. His comments: Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us. Just how would the rest of us deal with having to kill people? He doesn't know. Why don't you people educate yourselves on what happens to our combat people? And why don't you look into what kind of veteran's benefits cover PTSD? This issue has nothing to do with left or right. It has to do with understanding what happens to our vets – and how difficult it is for them to get help. Suicide amongst our military personnel is on the uprise. Rather than having an idiot chastise someone, why don't we look into the reasons for this? The.general.is.a.moron. He has no experience to fall back on...and he passed judgment in a way that is shameful. Suicide isn't pretty. But, when people feel it is the only option left...it happens. Why isn't our government doing more? Oh, I can answer that. We want to protect the 1%. We want to make sure the rich don't see their tax cuts eliminated. We want to make sure that poor people get poorer, rich people get richer, and the middle class folds. And – we want to protect our military leaders. WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? When a person feels he/she has no alternatives, and he/she lives in a world where help is not available...he/she does what he/she has to. I have never been in combat. I won't pass judgement on anyone who has been – and who feels that suicide is the only option. Glad a lot of you feel you have the right to pass judgement in the same way the general did. That same general who hasn't, most likely, seen any kind of combat at all.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • Swamilive

      But, suicide is ultimately extremely selfish. So, the general wasn't wrong.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • FightBack

      Thank you. This is what I've been trying to point out in my posts below. If people refuse to take off the blinders there will be no effective way to deal with this problem. This ignorance has to stop.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Sirned

      Good post...

      May 26, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
  6. Sirned

    Yep, just what the grieving family of a suicide tragedy needs a judgemental a**ss holes calling their loved ones selfish.....I think the ones making judgements without walking in their shoes need to zip it. No one likes to have their dead loved one disrespected.....

    May 26, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Swamilive

      Disagreed. Suicide is incredibly selfish.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
  7. Swamilive

    Well, suicide IS a selfish act.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  8. Jeb

    Good grief. Suicide IS selfish. Has our country become so silly that we cannot say a simple truth like this because someone who had a family member that committed suicide might be offended? I had a close family member who committed suicide and I say preach on General and don't let the politically correct nincompoops silence you. People who commit suicide are self-absorbed, selfish, narcissists. Thank you.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • Lilith

      Sometimes the truth is a jagged pill, but it's still the truth.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  9. bilfar

    The general is 100%, absolutely correct! Suicide in an incredibly selfish act. He said what was long overdue needing to be said. The Army should should sieze the moment and encourage discussions amongst it's members as to why it is such a selfish and totally senseless act.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
  10. teremist

    The ultimate act of selfishness....AND cowardice. We all face things that seem insurmountable at the time. We all have days, and weeks, and unending months when it feels like we are in Hell. You either fight to make things better, as long as it takes, as hard as it may be, or you lay down and quit. If you truly care about anyone other than yourself, you just keep going.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Phil in Oregon

      The ultimate act of selfishness – EXACTLY what I was going to say. Life takes work. Blood. Sweat. Tears. We in America think our situations are so hopeless, while people all over the world would trade places with us anytime. Suicide throws away any chance that you might accomplish something good someday. The General was right. The critics are wrong.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
  11. profart

    The sentiment of suicide as a selfish act pervades our society. I am glad to hear someone learning about the realities of losing a person to suicide, and learning more about issues of mental illness. Thank you, General, for taking time to listen and learn.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • well?

      Then, if it's not selfish, what exactly IS it? Selfless? For loved ones left behind? For children left without a parent? For a spouse/partner left alone? H3ll, for that matter, for anyone that witnesses this? We're not talking about terminally ill patients, that literally are out of options; we're talking, in this particular article, people that aren't faced with an immediate end.

      When you serve, it's not just about the lofty goals of fighting for your country, or defending the Constitution. You're also fighting for the men that serve with/around you. When you eat the wrong end of the gun, you're bailing out on your fellow warriors, along with your other family and friends. It may be from stress, mental illness, desperation, whatever, but please don't think that precludes the selfish factor – "I'm solving the problem for me, so eff you, everybody else! Good luck taking care of my messes!"

      May 26, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
  12. WS

    As ALWAYS, conservatives tell it like it is while liberals delude themselves. Anyone with any degree of intelligence at all recognizes that suicide is the MOST selfish act one can carry out. Suicide is the easy way out, the coward's way of pushing his/her problems on to others... which of course explains why liberals are so quick to defend and embrace it.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • profart

      I see you have never lost anyone to suicide. I hope and pray you never do. I also hope you take the time to learn more about issues of mental health and the deplorable lack of support and resources in our country, and particularly the lack of support and resources for our military personnel.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • bignevermo

      Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Florida, called the comments "upsetting,"...yep Rooney is a prime example of liberalism aint he?!?
      get a grip dude! have you served/ i thought not! especuially combat duty... people that survie combat where they lost buddies feel gulity for living ya tool...you need to buy some empathy since you have none of your own!

      May 26, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • clyde ricks

      I couldn't agree more. Suicide shows nothing but a personal weakness and self-centered view. All the medical-speak reasonings in the world can't change how devastating suicide is to the rest of the world around that particular individual. Congratulations General for speaking the truth and letting people know how life really is.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • USAF(Ret)

      This is foolish comment. What makes you think the General is a conservative or a liberal? I happen to agree with the General and I am a lifelong liberal who spent 30 years in uniform. It is nonsense for people to imply that anyone that disagrees is liberal or on the "left." The issue of suicide and emotions associated with it have nothing to do with politics.

      The General is a great asset to our country and in my opinion is serving admirably (not just this issue).

      May 26, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • Daisy

      Apparently, you are fortunate enough never to have known anyone who suffers from severe depression. People who reach the point of committing suicide do so because they are so filled with anguish that they can't see any other option, and they are convinced that everyone else will be better off without them. They think they're doing the best thing for the people they love. You are the kind of person who could push someone over the edge with your lack of empathy, and I hope that nobody you care about will ever look to you for support during rough times.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Jay

      To WS . . . It escapes me why you've politicized people's responses to the subject of suicide by creating a "conservative" vs. "liberal" divide. The emotional and mental anguish of a dedicated servicemember is far removed from politics. It is a human issue which demands our compassion, not our ridicule. And while you characterize, through an extremely narrow view, an act of suicide as "selfish" and "cowardly," you clearly fail to remember that a vast number of these good people who have committed suicide exhibited extreme bravery and selflessness in their service overseas, many of them in combat in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. You criticize such suffering soldiers and sailors, and yet ignore the losing battles they've suffered deep in their psyches. Your criticism is vile, as it fails to step onto the emotional battlefields of these truly brave Americans. They commit suicide, and yet you then kill their characters further with your shameful vitriol. They deserve praise for the battles they fought as members of our military, and they deserve genuine compassion for the battles they lost emotionally (and fought hard, let us recognize) as real human beings.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  13. 1WHOKNOWS

    This is what I emailed to Rep. Tom Rooney. I hope other would do the same.

    Text: With all due respect, Gen. Pittard's commentary about suicides being a selfish act are accurate, honest and real. Coming home to find the gore and shock of a loved one's body after they have committed suicide is traumatic. Persons committing suicide come in three categories 1) those who commit suicide without notice in a remote way so as not to disturb their loved ones unnecessarily, 2) those who commit suicide with so much anger and agenda that they will harm others, and 3) those who commit suicide in such a way that their loved ones must "experience the full effect of their demise" and deal with the shock upon finding and visual horror for an eternity. Either you are playing politics or you are simply looking for attention by making these public comments about Gen. Pittard. What is selfish is committing suicide on Christmas Day in such a way that your young children have that impression with them for the rest of their lives. No, the soldier he was referencing was a coward. He could have sought help or he could have gone off and done it so his family would not have experienced such horror. So, shut up and stop talking out of turn. This general speaks the truth. Suicide done is that way is a selfish act of cowardice. There are others ways to commit suicide where family members are not so "punished". The general is simply making a comment about what he sees as wrong and he is absolutely right! You owe him an apology.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • profart

      Suicide awareness and understanding are sadly ignored in this country. Unless you lose someone to suicide, this is the attitude which prevails. Instead of taking time to learn and understand, far too many people make assumptions and judgements. May you never suffer from a mental health crisis, nor lose anyone to suicide. It is a fate our country and society simply cannot handle, and I wouldn't wish upon even my worst enemy.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  14. Jeremy

    Suicide is an act born of one or more psychotic episodes. It is irrational and cannot be assigned a simple label as an explanation. A decision can never be explained to the satuisfaction of "rational" people because it falls so far out of what we perceive to be normal behavior.

    I emphathize with the loss many have endured because a loved one (or someone on whom they depended) decided to end their life at their own hands. However, to attempt to render the uniqueness of each person's situation into a single word like "selfish" denegrates the individual and demonstrates how little we actually know.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  15. DA

    Another example of how our society has broken down. The General made a statement – but our new"modern" society can't handle it. We make every attempt to make EVERYONE happy. Now he is forced to retract the statement. In kids sports now – almost eveyone gets a trophy now. Thats not what competition is about. It spoils the kids of this generation. They majority of them feel they are entitled. A large majority of us were bullied when we were kids. But we did not kill ourselves. Why now??? Generally speaking – kids are so weak, overly sensitive and spoiled because of this "modern" perspective we have. Take a look the next time you are at your local grocery store. Most of the time it's tough to tell which person is the parent and which person is the kid. I do understand there are extreme cases that can cause a person to take their life and it is very possible some of these troops fall in that category. But we as a society have to get back to reality. The truth is the truth. Now days – if the truth hurts a little too much. It's not politically correct and the statement must be retracted. And we are raising our kids in this enviornment...and the repercussions are all around us. They are killing themselves,generally speaking – It's hard to hire good help because they are not accountable. I could go on.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
    • profart

      I am glad that he was not forced to retract, but appears to have listened to others and come to a different understanding of the situation. This is called learning, and should be highly praised.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  16. Tiberius

    I agree with Maj. General Pittard.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • yankeetexan

      Me too.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
    • BillN211

      I also agree.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • USAF(Ret)

      I understand that people that commit suicide are in pain and confused but I agree with the General, it is a coward's way out and there is nothing noble in taking your own life. That does not mean I am not sympathetic to those that need help because they are obviously in trouble and need help. If there are a lot of suicides in an area, then it deserves special attention to understand what stress is in play and how to help those affected. However, taking your own life does so much damage to the ones you leave behind, it truly is a cowardly way out.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
      • bignevermo

        the problem is that the people that contemplate suicide may not realize that they are mentally ill. if you have sympathy how about some empathy...it is hard for me to think of suicide as a "way out"...but i nor you are feeling those peoples emotions...i used to think like you...but we have no idea what those mentally challenged people are going thru. mental illness is so misunderstood by the common masses... also remember those that survive combat may be feeling guilty for surviving!

        May 26, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  17. 1WHOKNOWS

    Gen. Pittard's comments are NOT insensitive. What is INSENSITIVE is the act of taking your own life in such a way that your family are the ones who find the mess!

    Want to "off yourself"? Please, do your loved one a favor and tell them it your choice and go off into the woods and do it. Then, the buzzards and wildlife can clean up the mess.

    Doing that at home on Christmas Day is so LAME and insensitive. The Gen. Is Correct!

    May 26, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  18. MuyGuapo

    I partially agree with the General. I had a cousin who commit suicide because he was depressed that his wife was going to leave him. He left behind three young children. That was very selfish on his part.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  19. RRMON

    "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave"-Hotel California.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  20. Abberly

    Suicide is selfish. He should not retract what he said.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • FightBack

      From our point of view you have every right to say this correct or incorrect that it may be. But what is going on in the mind of someone who is about to remove him/herself from the equation of life? You're only seeing one side of this issue.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  21. FightBack

    Soldiers commiting suicide is a tragedy brought upon our rich leaders who care nothing for the lower or middle class by neglecting those who have served their country with pride and honor. But you have to question for whom do they actually serve? Who is threatening our freedoms and just exactly how are they doing this? Who is the real enemy? Today's wars differ greatly from that of the the great wars from the past in that we assert our military dominance when our economic dominance is threatened. This idea of defending our freedoms makes a great sound bite for our politcos and their brainwashed followers but it is all based on lies perpetuated by the elite. Time for Americans to wake up and take back this country and look to our families and faith for guidance. Time for folks to stop joining the military and let the rich man fight his own wars. Folks, it's time to start helping our own, close our borders and let the rest of the world rot.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • yankeetexan

      Suicide is the ultimate selfish act. I wish this General would hold is ground and not let the "political correctness" crap get to him. Do you know people who have committed suicide...I do. Sure, their troubles are over, but for their family and friends, it's a life sentence of uncertainty, self-doubt and complete sadness.

      If life has handed you a problem (and remember – the military is all volunteer – no one forced these people to serve their amazing country!!! And I do know what I'm talking about as my husband (and I as his spouse) did 26 years in the Army.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
      • well?

        While I agree with most of your opinion, I have to take issue with the ending. You may have moved around the world, and certainly worried about your spouse on deployments, but you really didn't do 26 years in the Army. I'm the proud husband of a 21 year USAF wife (ret '10), and i wouldn't dare say I "did" the 13 years from our first date until she retired.

        You didn't earn the rank or do the service. I just hope you weren't one of those wives that "wear the rank" of the husbands, especially if you were an officer's wife; that's just plain obnoxious.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • GalacticSharkFart

      the first part of your response was an interesting, well-articulated opinion. One which which I happen to 90% agree with. The last statement was immature, insecure, short-sighted and extremely unsophisticated. Its as if a college-educated student wrote the first 10 lines and the last line was written by his idiotic pre-pubescent little brother throwing a tantrum. (Yes, my screen name is Galactic Shark Fart. Get over it.)

      May 26, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
      • FightBack

        See my reply to Chicago below.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • ChicagoIL

      @FightBack, I don't see how your comment about politics is relevant to soldiers committing suicide or to a general that spoke out about it. I think it is shameful that you would use a tragic subject such as this to push your own political agenda. Certainly you have the freedom to say what you did, but it seems insensitive.
      Though his words were unfortunate, I think Maj. Gen. Pittard handled the retraction admirably. Clearly this is a complicated and sensitive issue, I wold hope this incident would inspire a discussion on how to help our troops instead of a witch hunt, random radical political comments, racial comments, or any of the other things being brought up here. Just my two cents, feel free to criticize away.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
      • FightBack

        The issue is about neglecting those who have served and come back traumatized. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those willing to die for their fellow countrymen. Even if our armed forces are all volunteer we should be helping them integrate back into society rather than leaving them to fend for themselves. My point is that when the elitists of this world realise that nobody will fight for them then maybe our selfish attitudes will change and we'll begin to help those in need. This is about becoming a better human being, it's about evolving and becoming enlightened. But some of the comments I'm seeing are pointing to the opposite.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Irfan Haqqee

      I totally agree. Most will not.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • Irfan Haqqee

      To Fightback. I totally agree with your comments. Most will not.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  22. Retired Army Senior NCO

    I personally served with Major General Pittard. He is one of the kindest and most caring individuals with which I have ever served. Those who have never served in a position such as his have no idea what it is like. If you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything at all. Major General Pittard is one of the best General Officer's with which I ever served.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • FightBack

      You mean if you don't have anything constructive to say then don't say it at all. Well, here's something constructive, maybe the General ought to think before he puts his foot in his mouth. Suicide is a complicated issue and to see it from one point view is to truly never have an understanding about it. But hey, if he want's to speak out his butt then he has every right to do so even if he doesn't have something nice to say about the subject.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
      • KLB

        Like it or not, what the General said was true. Although suicide maybe a complicated act; he act itself is selfish. Someone who does take their own lives is not thinking of anyone else. Not family, not friends. They are thinking of themselves. This is a selfish act. Now, no one is saying it is not tragic or sad. I feel for anyone that believes they have no other way to cope than suicide. But, I can't help feel even sorrier for the ones left behind; such as the spouses and kids. Most of us would agree that suicide is tragic; but a lot of people, although may not admit it, feel suicide is selfish. The General had enough courage to say it. I only wish he didn't retract his statement.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

      Kind and caring does not equal capable!

      May 26, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  23. Daniel Bryant

    I agree. My brother committed suicide. If he KNEW how much it devastated his family, he would not have done it. I have no doubt of it. There are MANY victims in a suicide, although the one doing the killings things they are only one, making it EXTREMELY selfish.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
    • FightBack

      First off sorry for your loss....When you're thinking about suicide you're not thinking about anybody else except to escape the pain that is tormenting you physically and emotionally. And in some cases you don't have a choice because there may be mental illness that is the source of the problem. I know this because I tried to kill myself a long time ago and it was all about wanting to escape the pain. Again, my condolensces to you.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • V.Clausewitz

      When I drive drunk, I am not thinking about anyone else either, so I guess that makes it OK.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
      • FightBack

        Weak comparison. I don't see your point?

        May 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
      • V.Clausewitz

        Of course you don't. You are a brainwashed liberal.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • ag

      Daniel, I'm sorry for your loss, but as you say, if he had known how much it would hurt your family, he probably wouldn't have done it. That is another way of saying that, due to his mentall illness at the time, he wasn't capable of thinking about the rest of you. The word "selfish" implies the intent to hurt others – what I think really happens is that suicidal people lose their capacity to think of others.

      It may sound like a fine line, but I hope it can help you forgive him.

      May 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  24. Marc L from NY

    Sen Rooney's quote says he "displays a complete lack of understanding about the struggles that our troops and veterans with mental illness are facing." Considering that the General is obviously a member of the military, I think maybe he has some understanding. And since he obviously has more time in the military than all of the troops serving overseas, I would say he has more understanding than some Senator. Maybe the problem is that the General is just a real soldier, tough, resilient, and makes no excuses, and the world doesn't like people like that anymore. Let's face it, the weak, the victims, the excuse makers are the ones who get the attention these days. The strong and tough people are chastised for not being sensitive enough. It is like we just want to expose weakness and hold it up for the world to see like it is something to be proud of.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Vad

      A lot of truth in your post. However, it is not politically correct to say "weakness." The correct term is "sensitive." And "strong" should be replaced by "bully."

      May 26, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
      • Marc L from NY

        Don't even get me started on the whole bully thing. The has become the word of the day and the ultimate sign of weakness.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • FightBack

      Hey, I say when "life gives you lemons" squirt the juice in the eyes of those who brought this on.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • USAF(Ret)

      The General was upset and vented his sadness and frustration. I think anyone that has been aroound (or in) a family dealing with suicide it is devestating. And I can empathize with his view that it is not noble and cowardly. But everyone reading the comments should also read the part where he says,

      "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."

      He clearly is appealling to the soldiers that are contemplating suicide to get help. If we honor suicide then it could only encourage it. This General is clearly not insensitive but sounds like the kind of man I want to be associated with.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
      • Marc L from NY

        I don't disagree. His approach seems to be, suicide is a problem let's combat this problem head on. Everyone else just wants to cry about it and worry that other people are politically correct about the issue, never actually dealing with it.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  25. Reader

    People get so twisted up over words. Hear the message instead. The title of this article is "General's remarks about suicide "upsetting'. Well SUICIDE IS UPSETTING. Just as people have all kinds of reasons for getting to that point and all kinds of reasons for actually going through with it, other people have all kinds of reactions to it. This general has expressed one reaction that MANY people feel and agree with. Do we all have to be afraid to ever express our thoughts and opinions because we might offend SOME people? SOME people will always be offended because WE DON'T ALL AGREE ON EVERYTHING. That simple FACT OF LIFE shouldn't be "upsetting." This was one man's commentary, so try not to freak out about it.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Donna R

      He is in a position of power to speak so recklessly is wrong regardless of your personal opinion, my niece served at Fort Bliss...and if she were having problems..would I want her to go to him and have him call her selfish...for feeling suicidal? To recant his statement isn't enough...because it really doesn't show that he understand what his words have done...like someone that cheats...remorse is one thing and recanting your actions is another but to atone for them is where you find enlightenment.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
      • Reader

        Donna, the general didn't make a "reckless" remark. He made a remark. You don't agree with his assessment. He did not demonstrate a lack of compassion or institute an unsympathetic or unhelpful policy. He expressed one view of a tragedy. Just because some people have backbones doesn't mean they don't also have compassion, just like your display of softness doesn't necessarily indicate that you have no common sense. Leaders are not made from cookie cutters, so they will not all be the same as you, thank goodness. While you may choose to focus on the pain of a single individual, the general is looking at the larger picture of the problem, including the aftermath of an individual's mental breakdown. While you rub backs and listen to someone's problems, other people are taking another approach that may reach people who are DIFFERENT than you. How do you know that the general's original remarks won't help some people look beyond themselves and consider the effects of their actions before pulling the trigger? He shouldn't have to retract a perfectly sensible and widely-held opinion because a bunch of softies cry foul. It's his opinion, and if taken in context, expresses plenty of understanding and compassion of a complex matter.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • ShahinS

      Well said. Remember, Mr. Rooney is a politician. He has to suck-up to these mushy remaskes.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
  26. Mike

    Suicide isn't selfish. It's a tragedy. People who kill themselves are sick. Let's have a little more compassion for people who are suffering. Don't assume they can just "snap out of it". It doesn't work that way.

    Mental illness is something that affects 100% of the population at varying levels. You and I both suffer from it: short-term, long-term, and for some people it's very severe or disabling.

    Have a heart.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • Vad

      Were all mentally ill? GREAT! Now we can all get diagnosed with our own personal disorder, get medical disability so we don't have to work, commit any crime we want and use the mental illness defense and get all the free government handouts we want. We can't lose with a system like that. I personally like the "it's everyone else's fault but mine" thought process. It is very liberating. God bless America.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
      • ag

        I took his comment to mean that since nearly everyone knows someone with a mental illness, we are all affected by it in some way.

        May 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  27. studdmuffins

    He is correct. Suicide is the most selfish act because it never takes into account those left behind, especially children.

    A permanent, self-serving solution to a temporary problem. Selfish.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • Spawned

      "suicide is a self-serving solution"? Obviously it is not a solution! Self-serving? Please re-think that rationale. People say, he took the easy way out. What was easy about it, nothing! I know most people think they are to "strong" to ever take this course of action. Realistically, "nobody" really knows for sure. Let's face it there are quite a few people who are still alive only because of self medication, booze and dope, very self serving but socially acceptable.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  28. angela

    While I don't think he should have put it out there publicly on an official blog, I definitely don't blame his way of thinking. I also believe suicide to be a very selfish act. I've had a few friends take their own lives, and some soldiers in my husband's unit have done it, too. My husband was the investigating officer for two of them, and the mess they left behind them was unspeakable. How sad it is that people feel like things could never get better, that the sun won't shine brighter tomorrow. It must be horrible to be trapped in your mind like that.. but it doesn't excuse the act of suicide. Somebody loved you enough to bring you into this world and raise you. Friends love you. Family loves you. But you never think about them and what you'll leave behind. All you think about is yourself and your own pain or troubles. Isn't that the definition of selfish?

    May 26, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • julibear

      Well said, Angela. I completely agree with you.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Stand Up

      Absolutely agree. Couldn't haved said it better myself! The emotional devastation it leaves behind for others to deal with is horrible. Family and friends are bad enough, but to do that to your chilldren? Unforgivable.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  29. Jack

    Do you know how much pain, mentally and emotionally, a person is in when they chose to kill themselves? Sometimes that pain is just too much and death seems like the only option. All of you saying that it's selfish are in actuality the selfish ones. You're thinking of yourselves and not the person who died and what they are going through.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • Romney 2012

      You are wrong and your mom is fat

      May 26, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
      • Concerned

        Mr. Romney I'm assuming you're going to take that back in a few minutes after your handlers tell you to do so; so we're just going to ignore your insolent little comment.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Whatswrongwithispicture

      No one can really know the level of horror and mental torture another person experiences unless they live in their head and experience it first hand. Everyone has a different breaking point. Do any of you have memories of being sexually tortured as a child with so much physical internal injury that you are reminded out of necessity of the functions several times a day and mental horror that you still can't shake over 30 years later?

      May 26, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Irfan Haqqee

      You are absolutely right. A person chooses to die only when the pain of living becomes unbearable. Jumping from a building and or throwing yourself in the path of an oncoming train is not a selfish act.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  30. Will S

    He's right and was wrong to apologize.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
  31. Lilith

    God will never give you more than you can handle ... Suicide proves that cute little saying wrong.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • shelly

      nope. Suicide is a choice. They are choosing to not handle life's circumstances.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
      • Lilith

        Not being able to handle it is what brought them to that decision..ergo, God gave them too much to handle -or- there simply is no God and suicide is a selfish decision.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  32. Tutuvabene

    It may not be the most politically correct thing but the General was quite correct. Suicide is a selfish act because the individual is only focused on themselves and their woes. Nothing else enters the picture. How is it that the guy's comments weren't noticed until now? Somebody have an ax to grind?

    May 26, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
  33. blender king

    Yup...selfish to the bone. my dad killed himself 8 years ago....me, me, me....it's all about me. buck up. we all have choices and when we choose to absolve ourselves from whatever is "bothering" us and we choose suicide to do it, i mean really. there's been tons of crap in my life that would have pushed the current suicide crowed over the edge many times. but you know what, i value the people that i love more than the problems. our whole society is getting to where we sue someone for anything....blame others for our current condition and kill ourselves because we are tired. i really don't understand.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • julibear

      Sorry to hear about your loss. If anyone would know about the accuracy of the General's statements it is you. I completely agree. Yes, they're at the end of their rope and clearly need help, but thinking that their corpse is the best thing for their family, rather than having them alive and working towards well, is misguided and selfish.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
    • shelly

      Yes. If anyone's opinion matters with regard to suicide....lets ask those who have been left behind because of it. I would assume it is something that impacts them forever.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • SurRy

      Send young men and women (some barely old enough to vote and others not old enough to drink a beer) to commit and witness atrocities while their families suffer in near-poverty at home, and then scold them for becoming depressed.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
      • Vad

        Nobody is scolding them for being depressed. In fact, if they learned to deal with their depression that makes them even stronger. The act of suicide is sort of running away from it.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  34. Gravey

    Suicide is a selfish act, I don't care what anyone says. If you kill yourself, you don't love yourself or the ones that love you. When teenagers do it, there is no difference; if they are at the age to know how to do it and actually do it, well then blame the parents for not raising a strong-willed human being. No matter what emotional or physical pain one goes through, nothing is worth taking your own life. Suicide is a cowardly act and depicts an individual that is spiritually dead. In conclusion, military suicides are no different...I've seen it over and over. I've had a Chief and several other comrades commit suicide and it was a selfishly stupid act and I have no remorse for anyone, not even if it's a relative, that commits suicide. (I will however sympathize with the families) I don't understand why the General retracted his statement, it's the da** truth.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
  35. Gysgtg

    Life is tough, suicide is nature getting rid of the weak

    May 26, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
    • albert

      I think your weak for thinking life is tough. What is so tough about it? You live... what's the big deal?

      May 26, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
    • martine

      You did not just say that?? I guess cancer is the same thing too, but we fight to keep them alive. Maybe you should take your comment and put it where the Sun Don't Shine fool.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • SurRy

      Reading some of these comments and wondering what is so wrong with our society that people who are in pain and suffering are mocked and ridiculed?

      May 26, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  36. MessierDarkmatter

    Suicide is selfish. You prove, in your last act on earth, that the most important thing to you is you. Not your family, friends or other obligations. You can't take it so you check out, leaving everyone around you to pick up the pieces. The general is correct and has no reason to apologize.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      So then why did he apologize and what kind of morals does he have if there was no reason to apologize yet he did anyway?

      May 26, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
      • Tutuvabene

        Because he saw his career going down the toilet, OK?

        May 26, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • General White

      I agree with you: Suicide is the ultimate SELFISH act. True, it's a desparate act as well. But you are right, it leaves all one's loved ones to pick up the pieces, be devastated FOR LIFE, because one couldn't handle it.

      On the flip side, we do need to get more troops so they each don't get overworked over there in those he11holes known as the middle east. Guys should have a maximum of 2 deployments period. No more.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
  37. Yogi

    I don't think a suicide is selfish, as long as it doesn't take other people life with them. Everyone has their own right when to end their life. I myself have a few time considering to take my own life, but again I was thinking about my elderly mom and my 3 cats, that have stopped me. Someday, somehow and somewhere...., it may happen to me when the time is right 🙂
    Namaste

    May 26, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  38. Me2

    He is was spot on when he said it was selfish, they don't give a crap about how it effects others

    May 26, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      It's actually you that doesn't care how your post affects others.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • 13directors

      Call me crazy, but cite your source please.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
  39. Greg

    Note to politicians and pundits, that's how you apologize.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Agreed.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
  40. Whatswrongwithispicture

    Someone is bullied to the point of suicide because they were different and we don't call them selfish, we want to get to the root of the problem and rightly so. Someone in the military who faces the kinds of absolute horror and near death experiences (that would most likely psychologically warp any of us), snaps and finally escapes the horror that just won't stop in the only way they believe they can and a bunch of armchair quarterbacks have the ordacity to call it selfish? What's wrong with this picture.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
  41. Loving

    As a daughter of someone who commited suicide I spent a lifetime trying to understand my dad's depression and his final moments. And then one day I did.

    After a tonsillectomy I took Lortab for pain and apparently the wrong kind of Robitussin for congestion. The chemicals interacted and the outcome was not good. On any given day I am optimistic, extroverted, and generally able to handle crises as they would arise with a whole lot of confidence. With a chemical imbalance though, the fact that my cat wouldn't look at me when I wanted him to caused uncontrollable tears. The feeling of hopelessness was all consuming. Every attempt I made at contacting a friend or the doctor from whom there was no reciprocity sent me deeper and deeper into an emotional hole. In fact, when the receptionist told me the doctor was at lunch I sat on the floor staring at the clock watching 60 minutes pass until I could call again.

    Less than 24 hours after mixing these medications I sat on my bedroom floor contemplating a way out. It felt like I was slowly and deliberately suffocating. And then the questions finally started rolling. How can I make it stop? What can I do to make it stop? Is there a way?

    When I realized I could cut my wrists a wave of relief washed over me. It was like an unsurmountable weight had been lifted. I found a way to make the feeling of despair go away. There was absolutely no fear. There was no worry of anyone else and how it would affect them. Just sheer relief that I had found a way to make the hopelessness cease.

    Pittard's frustration and his comments don't show a callous person. They show someone who has never experienced true depression and can't bear the thought of families having to deal with the life-long aftermath of suicide. However, I can tell you from both sides of the coin that suicide isn't a selfish act. We can't expect military personnel to be exposed to long-term violence on a grand scale and come away from the experience unaffected.
    Please know these men and women are in an entirely different arena of pain. Hopefully our increased knowledge of how the brain produces and balances chemicals in the face of extreme stress will allow us to help military personnel leave happy and productive lives after exposure to war.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Now that's an incredible and insightful post. I'm glad you made it through those terrible feelings and are here to share that with us today.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
      • Been there

        Amen.
        I was undiagnosed hypothyroid for decades. Went through horrendous depression and almost daily wanted to die.Didn't help that I experienced severe abuse of all types in my adoptive home. While I didn't act on the desire to not exist, I have compassion for those who do reach that point. Because depression causes a feeling of worthlessness and guilt, seriously depressed people often feel that their loved ones would be better off without them. Biochemistry is a powerful thing. As for those believing sensitive people are weak, that is not the case. It took incredible strength for me to live with the hypothyroidism and depression. After finally being diagnosed and put on the right thyroid medicine, I was amazed how much easier life was when not fighting my own brain. If you don't have yourself, you have nothing.

        I don't condemn this general for his remarks, as it shows that he has been fortunate enough not to ever get that low. He sounds like an honorable man and is right in that suicide is horrible for the families and friends. Unfortunately, the severely depressed often see themselves as a blight on the world and feel their loved ones would be better off without them.They can't see the devastation they will be causing by taking their life.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • ag

      Loving, thank you for sharing your story.

      Folks, I've heard similar stories from patients who have attempted suicide, and Loving expressed it quite well. It's not that they don't care about how it will affect others; they simply have no ability to even think about it at the time. The thought of ending the pain is such a relief that they cling to it like a life preserver (ironic metaphor, I know). It's only afterward that they come to their senses and say, "What on earth was I thinking?!"

      May 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  42. Moses

    He is so correct; suicide is the most selfish thing a per can do; it is telling the world, friends and family:

    "I have had enough!"

    "Look what they did to me!";

    "I am not putting up with that nonsense!";

    "I will get even with them!"

    May 26, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      It depends on your perspective. I think it's more likely that someone who commits suicide might reason that their continued existence is more of a drain and a burden on their loved ones than just getting it over with.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
      • Moses

        I would still have to say that the focus is on themselves not other; in my post notice the word "I"; man is born totally selfish; so he kills to get wait he wants; he steals; he lies to cover up the truth to protect himself; he committs immorality to please his own sexual lust; he committs adultrey not caring about how it breaks up two families; man is a very totally selfish thing

        May 26, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • 13directors

      Cite your source, please.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
      • Will S

        Fedden, H.R., 1938, Suicide: A Social and Historical Study, London: Peter Davies, page 209.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:52 am |
      • 13directors

        Thank you. I wish I knew what I was replying to.

        December 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  43. Gysgtg

    The coward way out.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:19 am | Reply
  44. Pete

    People that say suicide is a selfish act fail to see their own selfishness. Many people live in unbearable physical and emotional pain for years if not decades. Asking a person to live a miserable and tortuous life is a selfish act in itself. For some people there is no hope. There is only pain and torment. Let these people die with dignity. Let them kill themselves under a doctor's supervision.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:03 am | Reply
    • jimbo

      i am in the military, suicide IS the ultimate selfish act, in the military we give sooooo much to those who are need of help, im not asking you to believe me, im telling you, we have more resources to help those who need it, i have personally used the Army's Chaplain service even though i am agnostic. In mine, and everyone's hour of need, there is a whole community of people who DO know what you are going through, i have yet to have read about somebody committing suicide because of an entirely new issue... people today, tomorrow and the day after are committing suicide for the same reasons that people have done yesterday. when you commit suicide, you are giving up on your self, your friends, and your families. STOP there are people here for you, you need only ask

      May 26, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
      • Concerned

        Thank you jimbo...brilliantly said.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:24 am |
      • Donna R

        I beg to differ. If you live in a rural area and only have a VA clinic to go to, they are under staffed, over worked and over whelmed. I volunteered at our local VA Clinic. Many times young soldiers would come in to register for their benefits. Often there is a 3 month wait to see a doctor, because of the sheer volume of clients. The clinic has two (2) open spaces for walk ins.. 11:30 am and one in the afternoon. I have personally spoken with young men coming back from a war zone, a place of horror for anyone, and see and feel the urgency they felt. One such young man..stated , " I always wanted to be a fireman or paramedic but I have seen so many deaths and flesh burning that I don't think I can do that now. I just don't know what to do." There was NO ONE that could talk to him at that time, all booked up. Sadly I could only refer him to the VA Hospital which was 1 hour 45 minutes away...or to get in contact with a local VA group i.e. American Legion, AMVETS . NO everyone was made to be a killing machine...I also took a WW2 Veteran home, a 25 miles or so ride, trying to make small conversation I asked what he did when he was in the military service ...The man just broke down crying...after 50 plus years the man still had a hard time with the issues of so long ago...
        So my comment to this General would be "WTF" when was the last time you looked the enemy in the eye? The Ivory Tower is very high and is a long ways down.
        For the record my husband is a disable Marine and my Dad was in the Army and Nave and my son is a 19 year veteran of the Marines, still active. His comment was reckless and uncaring!

        May 26, 2012 at 8:42 am |
      • 13directors

        Actually, the fact that you are resolute in your regard toward religion is what has given you the strength to cope.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Moses

      He is so correct; suicide is the most selfish thing a per can do; it is telling the world, friends and family: "I have had enough!" "Look what they did to me!"; "I am not putting up with that nonsense!"; "I will get even with them!"

      May 26, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • john

      I agree with pete–unless they have children or adult children-someone took issue if they have parents but i say the parents never asked if their kids wanted to be born. The bottomline is misery loves company–If someone wants to commit suicide as long as they only take out themselves and not anyone else with the exceptions i said above i see no problems with that–This general doesn't want his troops to commit suicide anymore than a king or queen wants their subjects to commit suicide.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
  45. bchcool

    I agree with most posts... but I will say it is selfish for the most part there are only two ways i can think of that its not... 1)you are old terminally ill and suffering and can no longer take care of yourself and don't want to be a bearing on others. 2)you are a P.O.S. and literally have not lived a fulfilling life have no family to speak of and so on.... then I think its not selfish, but by all means in most cases it is a very selfish thing to do and people here should quit attacking others posts this is an outlet to share your opinions or have an educated rebuttal to a post but that's too far over a lot of peoples heads that post on this site!

    May 26, 2012 at 8:03 am | Reply
  46. DarkPoetinc

    Suicide is selfish PERIOD. Its only thinking about your self and your problems which usually are always solvable.

    But what causes the most amount of suicides in our US Troops?! Its not the fact of WAR but what WOMEN do to our men overseas. EVERY MILITARY person I know or FORMER military person I know that has killed them self has been over something their woman said or did... IE 5 suicides were over women cheating with other men while the man was overseas. Another was because HIS MOTHER called him WORTHLESS cause he stopped sending her money for her drug habit... and the final was because his wife said, " WHEN YOU GET BACK I'M DIVORCING YOU!"

    Just saying, if women could keep their legs closed, their mouths shut, and support their men while they were overseas MAYBE the number would be much much less...

    May 26, 2012 at 7:56 am | Reply
    • TheWeez

      You're an idiot.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
      • the1calleddoc

        he is right. I work in the military mental health field and about 90% of the suicides have to do with women/wife/marriage/relationship problems. Especially on deployment.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Donna R

      What the hell is that it is MEN that CREATE WAR!!!! so tell the arses at the top of the chain to keep their egos in check and stop flexing their American muscles...We do NOT need to be the POLICE of the world...
      NOT everyone has the support or love that can carry them through times of grief and horror or even something in life as divorce or cheating episode...how many people kill themselves when they feel overwhelming love..??? I am sure it is because they do NOT feel loved...rationally or not it is what it is and this General has lost my respect. Remember during WW2 they just started recognizing it PDSD for pilots....but until then you were berated as a coward.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
      • Will S

        Shell shock was a diagnosis back to WWI, get your facts straight.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Will S

      Which is why junior enlisted (E1-E4) should be single and not allowed to marry until their second term of enlistment. Would save a bundle of money, too, on medical expenses and BAQ. Single troops often get hosed with ad hoc after-hours and weekend duties while the married guys are at home with the spouse. The military has become (and this is nothing new) a modified welfare system for people that normally would have been working in a factory or on the farm.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • Concerned

      DarkPoetinc,

      While I hear you; please understand that we are not all like that. I've been married almost twenty years to a soldier and have gone through multiple deployments, TDYs, field problems, “hooah” parachute jumps (yes he almost died jumping out of an airplane once)...you name it...I've been through it and I support my Honey 100% no matter what. I've been through thick and thin with him and will follow him to the ends of the earth through every PCS whether it is to Fort Polk or Fort Drum.

      Unfortunately soldiers get lonely and want someone…sometimes ANYONE to be there for them when they come home; so they jump into marriages with young, foolish, selfish people who have NO idea what being a military spouse entails. Being a dependent spouse (whether male or female) requires self-sacrifice, patience, understanding, and support. I hate to say it…but typically you’re not going to find those ingredients or a quality person in the local club or hoochie bar.

      Maybe there should be a marriage counseling program established for young soldiers before they hop into marriage (not to say more seasoned spouses don’t get out of hand too.) That way both partners understand exactly what they are getting into. Maybe a stipulation that says you should know this person for X amount of months and attend so many classes if you are an E-3, 2ndLt and below. I’m not suggesting this is the end-all-be-all solution; but maybe it could curb some of these terrible relationships that end in divorce or worse.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
  47. paula

    It seems selfish to those who don't understand. It is done out of desperation and those who follow through are sick not selfish. It is a permanent solution for something that could be a temporary problem.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:52 am | Reply
    • linda

      Many of the remarks posted here show how much work is needed to increase people's understanding of mental illness. Suicide is a response to a desparate longing for inner peace. Anger at the person who commits suicide is natural, but I don't believe suicides happen because someone is acting out of spite.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
  48. Isabel

    How about root cause solutions? Maybe if we stop sending people over
    to kill other human beings the suicides will stop. Killing your fellow human being
    is not a natural act and leads directly to mental illness. DUH!

    May 26, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
  49. Bear

    The Major is correct. We also know it is the most selfish act a person can do!

    May 26, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply
    • Moses

      He is so correct; suicide is the most selfish thing a per can do; it is telling the world, friends and family:

      "I have had enough!"

      "Look what they did to me!";

      "I am not putting up with that nonsense!";

      "I will get even with them!"

      May 26, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
  50. MikeMA

    Can't anybody say anything that they feel without the PC police coming down on them. We all, apparently, must think the same thing and have the same opinion. All opposing views must be vilified and expunged from the public square. Suicide is, of course, at it's core, a selfish act. Who else are they thinking of. If they really care at that moment for their friends and family, they would never do it. I had a daughter attempt suicide and almost succeed and it was the most painful experience of my life, one I would not wish on anyone.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:41 am | Reply
    • the1calleddoc

      I agree. The way the military sees it is that its the generals ultimate responsibility for these soldiers even though he has no direct contact with them. Imagine the pressure and the pain all these suicides have caused him even though he does not personally know them. I bet he is informed about atleast1-2 suicides a week and it sounds to me like he is frustrated. I work in the navy mental health on an army base and the amount of services we offer to people who are in need of mental health help is second to none if not the best in the world. We can only do so much in the end.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • Donna R

      I am sorry that you had to go through that...but why didn't you see it coming? How close were you to her? Where was the family support? Why would she want to do that if she felt so loved? Was she not going through something that she felt had no end???? To each there are their own reasons and to just blankly say they are selfish is wrong. Is that what you tell your daughter now, she was selfish or are you glad she is still with you regardless of her attempt? Just saying...life it isn't easy and depending on what eyes you look through makes a world of difference!

      May 26, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  51. Cuckoo

    Dont retract the truth

    May 26, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
  52. Been There

    I almost committed suicide. The mind thinks this is it. It doesn't see a future. There is one. It just doesn't see it. Sometimes it's too far down the road.

    If you're thinking about suicide, make a deal with yourself. Give yourself 5 years and see if things change. Consciously try to make them change though–be fair to yourself.

    I once heard an old man say, "Nobody loves me more than me." I think that is the place you should strive to get to.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:39 am | Reply
  53. Dallas

    PC has been taken too far again. The general is right Suicide is selfish. Why can't we tell the truth?

    When I was a kid, my best friend's mother killed herself. My friend found her body. If people were less focused on themself, they would be less likely to comitte suicide.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
    • mdmann

      You know nothing about suicide, You know nothing about the level of despair that accompanies it. I can't believe you people come into such a public forum and make comments about something as if you know what it is when you can't even contemplate it. It's so rude as to be unbelievable.

      Depression is NOT a state of sadness. There is no way to rationalize yourself out of it. Depression is a medical condition that can be triggered by external stimuli like stress. When a person is depressed, things that might normally give them pleasure have very little meaning to them. You people take for granted that focusing on things you care about keep you grounded. A depressed person doesn't have this. Their brain is experiencing a chemical imbalance which incapacitates them in many ways, and overloads them with feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness in a self-perpetuating fashion. There is no selfishness in this because the person has lost all sense of self. They frequently feel utterly detached from the greater body of humanity. How can you refer to someone as selfish when they don't even feel human, and furthermore expect that to cause a positive reaction within them? Calling them selfish is in no way going to help them get out of that state. Please, get a clue, people or shut up!

      Many of you are being woeful myopic with talk about how our ancestors dealt with tribulations, so we should just buck up and get over ourselves. We have created a society that is far more fast-paced and far more demanding on individuals than what our ancestors experienced. We are constantly bombarded with messages to the effect that we lack something or we could be much better. For someone pre-disposed to depression, it is a situation which can easily trap them.

      This general was irresponsible. While he has apologized for his stupidity, I doubt it will do any good. Any fool can apologize when caught doing something dumb. What is he doing to change his behavior or his way of thinking that caused him to make these comments, which likely have done more harm? He's now made it clear to his subordinates that he has very little in the way of sympathy for their condition. So they needn't bother counting on that dillhole for support. What a great message to send to those working under you!

      He had an opportunity to do the right thing, to the benefit of what many believe to have been his true motives to help these people, but he seriously blew it.

      The fact that so many people here don't get the damage of this is really disturbing. And we claim America is a land of generous people willing to help. You are the selfish ones for being so damn obstinate about something you clearly know nothing about. Such is apparently the American way now.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
      • smithsdawg

        @mdmann: Try explaining all of that to those two young daughter mentioned in the article now. And look in their eyes as you do it.

        The definition of selfish is devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. If suicide does not completely embody that, I don't know what does.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:49 am |
      • martine

        Right on!!! The General is IGNORANT on the Topic. For the people who make comments it was there marriage, it was wife cheating, they went to war for this country and this is the attitude they come home too. Shame on the wife that leaves a man or a man that leaves his wife they gave you freedom at the cost of their mind and body.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:53 am |
      • Donna R

        mdmann...very well written!!!! obviously these people are having some kind of chemical imbalance because people in their RIGHT MIND don't do this! Having access to mental health to help work through someone's issues isn't always at your front door....stop the war mongering.....bring our troops home...I was listening to NPR News on the radio and a gentlemen said his son-in-law had been on SIXTEEN TOURS yes 16 ..WTF is my comment to that General....

        May 26, 2012 at 9:07 am |
      • linda

        Thank you for saying this. Perhaps many people posting here have not experienced clinical depression to know how much of it is biochemical. Alleviating depression takes more than an act of the will.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  54. Steve Lin

    Politicians trying to score points have onc again blown something out of proportions. The general seemed to me was trying to say that suicide is a bad decision. Albeit he didn't express himself as clearly as he could have but I believe he had the right intentions. I think we should promote the message that suicide is the wrong decision. We shouldn't be ambiguous on this subject. We shouldn't say that certain circumstances make it a somewhat acceptable act. We should say that no matter what the circumstance, there is a way out.

    Now I'm no religious zealot. Nor have I served in the military. However, I have had a best friend make the wrong decision 16 years ago. I often think about what she could have become......if only I had given her the support she clearly needed.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
  55. Joyous56

    My mother committed suicide a year after my father died, when I was 17. I have a son, and I have had depression for years, but experiencing the aftermath of my mother's suicide, that is something I have never contemplated, despite how painful life is at times.

    After my father died, my mother's depression led her to become totally dependent on me. At a time when I was supposed to be going to college. I stayed home to look after her....and we never really got along, but she was my responsibility. I cooked, cleaned, drove her to appointment, and essentially became the 'parent'.

    At the time, I did see her suicide as a courageous act. She saw herself as a burden to me, and despite medications and counseling and even being admitted to a psyche ward, she was unable to recover. She wrote in her suicide note that she hoped I would forgive her for what I might see as 'taking the easy way out'. She saw suicide as her only way out.

    In the years since, and before I had a child of my own, while I still don't see her act as selfish, I have felt the repercussions. I realized that having a parent commit suicide gives a child an example of how to deal with the terrible despair that depression can bring. I will not do that to my son.

    My point is that suicide is sometimes a courageous act, if the person sees themselves as a burden. But suicide becomes a legacy to the ones left behind. I don't want to leave that legacy to my son

    I've never been to war, never had the PTSD that can result from that, or struggled to make a life after coming back, in a bad economy. I have tremendous sympathy for those who have gone through that.

    Anyone who sums it all up by calling suicide 'a selfish act' has no idea how painful life can be, and how ashamed a person can become, when they are unable to 'act like an adult', 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps', and feel like a burden to the people they love.

    But I hope anyone reading this, and suffering from depression and PTSD, will understand that by killing yourself, you give permission to your loved ones to do the same. That is a legacy you don't want to leave.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
  56. Lacy

    I can recall when I was working at an awful job and driving over an hour each way after work to visit my wife in a mental institution while my own and our kids lives languished and I was powerless to do anything. On nearly every road trip there was a hope that an ongoing truck would veer over and put me out of my misery. Death would have been such a relief. But I knew that I had to face responsibility or hurt others. And I did perceive that it would have been selfish to escape. Others may be too affected to see that. Regardless, there is an element of truth in a perspective that recognizes that fact.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
  57. RM

    Suicide is of course a selfish act. It certainly is not selfless, courageous or heroic. How sissified are we that we can no longer express the truth without fear of media backlash and losing our jobs? Freedom of speech has become a meaningless right when media pressure is stronger than government, and it's the popular opinion of the lowest common denominator that decides what's acceptable and dispenses the de facto punishment for speech.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
  58. dan

    The general didn't express any sentiment that family members haven't thought or pondered themselves. He had a right to say what he said, and it's a shame political correctness so permeates our society that he had to retract it and have his message undermined. Hopefully, his tough love approach still reached someone and perhaps will make a difference.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
    • There. Are. No. Gods!

      "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." Yeah, just pull yourself together mister, stop being like a human. You and the Maj. Gen are BOTH idiots, and the fact that you do not understand why saying something like this makes you a fool is more of an eyeopener of why you are a failure.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
    • Just STFU

      First you have no idea what families think when a family member commits suicide. Let me set you straight big mouth. I just lost my brother two weeks ago to a suicide. All the signs pointed to this very high possibility that he would take his life. Did we as a family try everything possible to help? Of course we did. My mom is torn but not at the fact that he committed suicide but she is still thinking maybe she could have done more. As I told a day after we buried him and she was just sitting on the front porch that there is no more that any of us could do. We didn't know what he was feeling or the pain that he was going through. I can't think for him nor jump into his mind at all. the worse of course is the three kids he left behind. I told them the same thing. More importantly I advised of the compassion it takes not to think of him as being selfish for taking his life because that would only be selfish of us the survivors not to take into account the pain that he was going through. See it is big mouth people with the anonymity of sitting behind a PC that will say something so ignorant that is why we are a selfish people in society today. I love my brother and always will but I will be "SELFISH" to think of him and whatever pain that he was dealing with prior to him taking his life. Yes people who believe such ignorance is beyond the selfishness they so readily opine when discussing suicide cause they truly don't know til it happens to them.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
      • Bill

        I am sorry for your loss.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Bill

      Dan – tough love does not fix mental illness. This general should know better. When you send people into a "meat grinder" to face this world's version of hell you must NOT ignore human limitations. It is selfish of a general to expect that the individuals under their command exist solely to meet their personal military ambitions.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
  59. Jeffrey Reel

    So, the general had believed (still believes?) that suicide is selfish. What he then, in fact, believes is that worn-torn Vets are much much more selfish than all other population groups. Explain THAT Popeye.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
  60. john

    suicide is only a selfish act if you have children or even adult children-Anyone who doesn't is not selfish no matter who it is in the world

    May 26, 2012 at 6:26 am | Reply
    • Hart

      Until your parents are dead, it is selfish.

      May 26, 2012 at 6:51 am | Reply
    • Ken

      I agree with the Major. It is a terrible thing that those that are left have to face when a loved one takes their own life. More times than not even worse than whatever problem the one gone was going through. Seek help and think of the ones that would be left. Regardless of what I think or what you think the man had an opinion that he expressed which is his right to do so. What is this country coming to when you can't have an honest opinion that wasn't given out of hate or malice? We must be told what our opinions must be regardless of what the heart really believes. In other words lets all start lying and that's ok.

      May 26, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        Just because you have an opinion doesn't mean it needs to be heard. Some opinions are dangerous. Some speech is dangerous. What has this country come to when we believe everyone should be able to say every foolish thing that pops into their head, regardless of the effect it may have on others? How is that right, in your opinion?

        Telling a suicidal person that they are "selfish" for contemplating suicide is akin to shoving a person teetering on a ledge. Someone in that state of despair already feels completely out of control and worthless. So, explain to me how calling them "selfish" HELPS the situation?

        This general should have spoken to some experts on the issue of suicide before opening his mouth. Period. A few discussions with knowledgeable physicians would have prevented this. The fact that a GENERAL is too stupid to take such measures for the benefit of those serving under him is extremely troubling.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  61. TJeff1776

    The intent of this General was to shame borderline suicide cases NOT to take their own life. THAT was it. Pure and simple. Give this guy some credit for at least trying to show some indirect compassion. These mistranslations of him are very cruel indeed. Give credit where credit is due.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply
    • mdmann

      As they say, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." The fact of the matter is that what he said was completely uncalled for, and if he understood what a person contemplating suicide was going through, he would know that calling them "selfish" would only worsen the problem. He had no business making such a comment. He should have educated himself on the issue of suicide before opening his mouth. Give him the benefit of the doubt if you want, but that doe snot excuse how he handled this. He probably did more damage on the issue than he did good, because now those under him who are feeling those levels of despair know they don't have an advocate in him.

      Good job, general! Let's hope for a promotion.

      May 26, 2012 at 6:38 am | Reply
      • pfauenauge

        Send him to teh front lines of Afganistan and have him perform the same duties as our soldiers are doing insteadof parading around with his stars and strips and living the the previledged life of an army Brass. This man is a dud, get rid of him.

        May 26, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • He should step up his game... shame isn't the best option.

      Suicidal people sometimes are consumed with shame... I do not see how adding to the shame burden helps those already in distress. Shame can keep someone from seeking admitting they have a problem and seeking help.

      I do believe, though, that he wanted the deaths to stop. I do not believe, however, he has been trained well for responding to soliders in this sort of distress. Mental health in our military isn't up to par. Years ago the Israeli military recognized their mental health wasn't up to par and wanted to help those with PTSD, (I'm not pro/against Israeli military personally) but as a military leader I would think he would be aware of what other countries are having more success with in an area our military is clearly in distress. Israeli's learned they could train their people to identify terrorist without needing scanners, they could teach their men to acknowledge distress, deal with it as a team, and know that one member of their team was trained to help them with dealing with these issues. The mental health field is a tool for the Israeli military. I believe they also test their young men and women prior to joining to see how mentally resiliant they are and if they may have some issue train them for non-combative or non military positions. I do not know if the model that is helping them would work for us, but I do believe it's time our country took mental health seriously and upgrades the model of care we have... especially for our soliders.

      I'm glad he brought attention to this... now I hope he takes it a step further and fights for his men and women with something more productive than shame.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:03 am | Reply
  62. Concerned

    BeverlyNC,

    I take GREAT exception to you referring to suicide as a "courageous" act. That sends a terrible message to all those suffering from uncontrolled pain and emotions. My husband has and still does suffer from mental anguish impelled by Iraq and Afghanistan. He lost a lot of amazing people under his command and lives with that knowledge every day. However, most days are better than others because I listen to him; encourage him to talk about and purge his demons; and support him in every positive step moving forward.

    I encourage him to look forward to ventures and endeavors and make goals that must be accomplished to fulfill an aspiration he has...it takes his mind off of the bad things when he has something to look forward to. I remind him of the wonderful times we are going to have going on vacations; moving to new cities; watching our grandchildren play at our knees in 10 years, etc. It gives him a purpose for living.

    More than anything, these people need a support system that fights for their life...in other words, reminds them every single day how they are needed and how this world would be lost without them. There are ALWAYS options. This is not the last resort as commented in the article...this is only another option. Pain specialists, group therapy, family and friend support, sponsors, etc. They are all options and tools to help these men and women survive.

    I know what I'm talking about. I've seen it. I've lived it. I'm fighting for my husband's life every day. He is recovering wonderfully and looks forward to each day he can spend with his family. Occasionally the dreams come back; but we talk about them, defusing them so they are not so torturous.

    We take the power away from the dreams and pain and we empower ourselves with positive thoughts and motivation. The General was frustrated...I get that. And maybe he didn't know how to articulate his frustration. But I'm telling you BeverlyNC...in NO way is suicide courageous. It is a choice...an option...but has nothing to do with courage. Living everyday despite circumstances...Now THAT takes courage.

    May 26, 2012 at 5:57 am | Reply
    • istenno

      i send prayers to the universe daily, asking for the end of war. i cannot imagine how your husband deals with the two very different worlds of the love of your family and the brutality of war. The burden on you is also immense and unimaginable. And the pain of the families on the other side is likewise horrific. War darkens the world for all of us. I will add you and your family to my prayers.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:07 am | Reply
      • Concerned

        Thank you istenno...I receive your prayers and thank you for them (smile). Take care.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • martine

      Great story on depression, Beverly you know how to help him. Depression is a mental game with yourself, will I win or will I loose. I had depression so bad, I was on my hands and knees, begging God to take me. There is great physical pain it is almost unbearable. Had I not had a high pain threshold hold I would not be here. My body wanted to take my life, but I had to fight my mind to stay in the game. This went on for sometime until the meds became right. I fought everyday not knowing if I would stay this way, my dreams I would go to the edge of a cliff and then back away. Was in the hospital twice, that was horrible, because people look down on depression. Also, we are afraid to tell sometimes what is really going on inside of our heads. To fight in a war and then come back and fight for your like is too much. I read a great book Out Of The Darkness by William Stirens great book. PTS is what they use to call Solidier's Heart. On the front lines way too long. It took me 2 years to get better, I cried everyday for a year. A friend moved in and saved my life. Your right it takes a whole lot of guts to fight this a whole lot, most than a lot of people have. My Doctor told me I should pat myself on the back because most people would not have made it.. I'm living proof that meds do work it may take a long time and lots of support from just one person you can tell everything too, who has been there and lived through it... God bless all the men and woman who come home with PTSS. I would be happy to chat with them all.... Been there and came out on the other side of hell.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:08 am | Reply
      • Concerned

        Thank you SO much martine for sharing your struggles. Your story and your strength may be all someone needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Please share yourself with others so they can see that there is a way out of the darkness. Please take care.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:30 am |
      • martine

        Thank You, I will help anyone at anytime. Thank you for understanding what your husband as been through, for it is people like you that get us to the other side!!!!!

        May 26, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • mema

      Beverly...Great post. I do feel empathy for our vets but our society is pampering us as a whole to much. Every tramatic life event is given a name and a treatment. When a child falls and scrapes his knee is it in his best interest if we always come running to save him!? Our ancestors expierienced a much tougher life than we do and yet they got up the next day and kept living. No pills no th€raphy...no name for everything. We are being trained to alway be the unfortunate victim. Life is a tough road to travel so we should come prepaired. Being pampered from day one by family, soci€ty, phy©holigist etc...does not serve our best interest.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
      • Concerned

        mema...while I understand your concerns. Please understand that the song "Lean on Me" is apropos to this consideration. Sometimes we do need to lean on each other in our time of weakness. Not to the point of being completely and permanently dependent; but just being supported. That's what we are here for—to help each other, give strength to one another, and be kind so we can pay it forward.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:36 am |
      • mema

        Concerned...stated that I do have empathy for their situation. However this has become what they call in AA an "enabling" society. Or as in crime, we are giving a "license" to have self-pity. There was a time when most people had the mind set that they wanted no ones "pity". Nowadays everyone is a victim and wants pity. It is offered by the truck load. In many cultures they have a mourning period, a specific amount of time to grieve ones loss. What becomes of us when we have no limits or no bouderies!? Its not entirely ones fault as we have been conditioned this way, to want sympathy and support that knows no bounds. As in AA you are said to be "powerless" as regards your addiction. What are we showing people when we say they are "powerless"!? What happens to the children in Afric@ when they lose parents to @ids or a child dies in its parents arms from hunger or disease!? T€rapy, anti-dr€pressants, years of endless mourning and s€lf pity!? No, they grieve and then bury their dead. Im not suggesting that loss and pain have no place in our sociey. I am saying it has become a crutch an excus€ to be a victim. To call what one sees or experiences in war PTSD is just another lable. Because by that definition the ones who find their dead loved ones who res©rted to suicide are suffering from PTSD. Yes!? So now the married soldiers wife has a lable and reason should she choose suicide as a relief to her pain. What of all the soldiers in history who witnessed same!? Or leave war out of it, people who live under very unfavorable conditions, are they suffering epid€mic numbers of suicide!? No because they are conditioned to mourn and move on. Actually they fight for their survival. So should we!

        May 26, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  63. krehator

    Look yourself in the mirror and ask how perfect you are. Everyone has limits, even those of you who think you are Rambo. 9/10 bragging probably never served or deployed. Most likely a bunch of TRADOC flies who avoid deployments.

    You cannot equate your experience to all others. Soldiers went to different places, conditions, and different commands. All of that has a factor.

    You think killing yourself is cowardly? Go try it. Someone really has to reach their limits to get there. Limits you probably have never experienced, or you had better support.

    The real selfish people are those soldiers who think everyone else should be just like them, and cannot think outside their own 1 ft radius. They are one of the root causes of many of these suicides. THEY are the first to leave comrades behind and only think of themselves. THEY are the same @$$holez who cause additional stresses with their arrogant leadership styles. THEY are the same people who ignore when their comrades need help. They might as well have pulled the trigger themselves.

    If you cannot give a $h17 about your comrades because your ego is in the way, get out, and go try Wall Street, because the military is a team job.

    May 26, 2012 at 5:33 am | Reply
    • Concerned

      Do you have a support system? Are you currently working toward goals e.g. school, a new job, family plans?

      I would encourage you to as you put it, "step outside of your 1-foot radius" and see that there are other options than committing suicide. When you allow yourself to be isolated; problems, concerns, and pain crush down on you like a ton of bricks. It is crowded in that “1-foot radius” and the more negative things you allow in that small space the more destructive it gets.

      It took my husband nearly a year to talk about the troubles crowding his mind. But once the flood gates opened and he released some of that pain, it allowed positive experiences and thoughts to come in.

      There is nothing like losing friends and soldiers you are responsible for and having to console their families. The guilt is overwhelming. But hearing an ad the other day made a lot of sense. You have to live your best life because they are not here to live theirs. Carry their smile and their laughter and their positivity or even quarks with you to remind you how wonderful and special their life was while they were here. But never allow their loss to cheat you of the life you were given.

      They fulfilled their purpose on this earth and now it is time to fulfill yours. Your contribution to the world may be to save a hundred lives or write something that will go down in history as a great piece of work or your words may change the life of a young person who is struggling to make up their mind about something.

      You’re still here on the earth because you are needed in some way, form, or fashion—so get busy living your one and only unique life so you can help others as only you can.

      May 26, 2012 at 6:23 am | Reply
  64. Troops Home Now

    Obama won't let us leave Afghanistan until he's out of office, because he was the one who ordered the surge.. So America's fathers, husbands, and sons will continue to commit suicide and lose arms, legs, and their lives. We'll be seeing disabled Afghan vets limping, crawling, and wheeling around the streets of America for the next 50 years. Obama, Bush, and the rest of the neocons won't be so reminded of the war, because the places and town's they live in and frequent don't have to send their fathers, husbands, and sons to war. Pencil in Ron Paul this November and vote against any incumbent who supports more money for the military industrial complex. And when they take away the social security you contributed to all your life, remember where the money went.

    May 26, 2012 at 5:28 am | Reply
  65. Quenten The Queer

    Yeah, I'm an Idiot and I don't even care.

    May 26, 2012 at 4:21 am | Reply
    • the bard

      As someone who has expeienced this within my family, and among friends, the general is right.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:38 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        Bard...thank you. Thank you and thank you again!!

        May 26, 2012 at 4:58 am |
      • mdmann

        Did you try to get help for this "selfish" person in your family?

        Did you even bother to see that he/she had serious problems?

        You will forgive me if I don't just take your word for it that the general is right because someone in your family committed suicide. If YOU haven't personally been in the position of feeling so desperately out of control of your life that suicide seemed the right thing to do, you don't get it, and you WON'T get it. Calling the person who commits suicide "selfish" isn't going to stop anybody from following suit. You are deluding yourself if you think it will.

        May 26, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • Quenten Mullin

      You are actually so funny! Good work...loser! Did you have to watch all of the MEN and WOMEN in your area go to war while you hid in the shadows getting a dgree in...shit? I bet that you are as popular and capable as Napoleon Dynamite! God bless your stupid self!!

      May 26, 2012 at 4:57 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        You make many references to God, but God has clearly forsaken you. He extracted your brain in the process.

        May 26, 2012 at 6:19 am |
  66. D.B.

    Say something igrnorant and selfish like the General said towards the soldiers that he is leading is counter productive to good soldier moral and he deserves to be releaved. Just another toxic leader exposed for what he really stands for.....himself before all others.....military leader's that are good are selfless in their actions and words. And his timing sucks.....I salute those that has made the ultimate sacifice on this memorial day weekend....God Bless the US Army and its soldiers.....minus the toxic leaders...they need to retire. This is coming from a leader that has been deployed 7 times and 4 of those in a combat zone.

    May 26, 2012 at 4:02 am | Reply
    • nikki6

      Too bad you're completely illiterate. And yes, it matters.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:21 am | Reply
      • D.B.

        so you value a spelling goof or a fat finger on the keyboard over the message......hmmmmm.....i'm just saying

        May 26, 2012 at 4:41 am |
  67. PaulB

    From a person not suffering from a mental issue, it does appear selfish. The one who look at it this way are not the same ones going through the mental torment. I somewhat understand the General's frustration in the fact that to the eye, it appears as weakness, because everyone of us have issues where we all at times see no way out. At the moment, this was his thoughts. Since then, he has probably re-looked at the issue and after discussion, has taken a different view on it. Because of his earlier statements, he had to go back and retract his earlier statements. I hope that he can now see it as an illness that requires rapid treatment and that he will further support our soldier's in need of counseling and treatment. Suicide IS the easy way out for the person taking their own life and is a living hell for the family members who have to endure it. My own niece and nephews had to endure it when their father took his own life. Suicide is real and we must do more to get those in need help.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:56 am | Reply
    • istenno

      his retraction did seem to be sincere. it is rare.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply
  68. Travis_b64

    So now we know! This is how they see veterans. They see you as pawns, disposable heroes, cannon fodder, not subject to human emotion. Why do these kids keep following these psychopaths into wars that never had to happen? Defend the USA and that's it. If necessary, defend the country against corporate money driven bastards like this general.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:30 am | Reply
  69. Belly up

    I think this is the Generals' special way of dissing the Families who lost loved ones. It is the best way he knows of pisssing on the graves of the soldiers he wasn't able to help. He has extreme inferiority complex that it occured as a result of his leadership and can't bare to take personal responsibility that he is to blame, and this is the best way-the only way in his mind-to deflect the criticism onto others. Moral decay of the Top Brass of the Military who desperately try to Shift the blame at all costs onto other people and pist all over on the Graves of the Fallen.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:21 am | Reply
    • Quenten Mullin

      You can't even spell correctly. Where were you between 2001 and now?

      May 26, 2012 at 3:30 am | Reply
      • ur a Punk

        You can't even spell your own name correctly. What business do you have criticizing him or his spelling. Go back and get an Education. And take some ginko biloba or something for Christ sake.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:45 am |
      • Quenten Mullin

        To UR a punk. I have a university degree and 18 years in the military. Coward!!

        May 26, 2012 at 3:48 am |
      • mdmann

        Apparently that university, nor the military, TAUGHT YOU HOW TO SPELL. You shouldn't be bragging, because they did you a serious disservice, numbnut!

        May 26, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • Michael Rodchester

      Quenton, you're a lying two-bit piece of garbage, and nobody believes the things you say. Go spew your Lies somewhere else where they might actually believe you.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:54 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        Liberal, hippy, coward. Where were you since 2001?

        May 26, 2012 at 3:57 am |
      • Quenten Mullin

        And Michael...what are my lies? You call me garbage? I served for your country – as a Canadian in NATO – what did you do? A liberal arts degree? Enjoy your job at Wal-Mart!!

        May 26, 2012 at 4:07 am |
      • Quenten Mullin

        And Michael...if you ever want to back your shit talk up...tell me when and where. But you would never do such a thing, because that would expose your transluscent skin to the exterior of your Wizards of Warcraft castle and you might shit your pants when a veteran paratrooper smiles at you. Big words from a coward! God bless America, its Generals, and its soldiers.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:05 am |
  70. Tyler

    I currently struggle with PTSD. When I hear of cowards who say fellow soldiers who commit suicide are cowards it makes me want to go and show them and act out the violent thoughts and actions in my head onto them. Maybe then they will see how tortured we are. My Psychologist tells me in therapy "war is bad" I can't control the tears because of the terrible things I and my fellow buddies have done. The night mares and the daily angry outbursts. The stupid meds and the sleeping for days. The attempts to kill myself via over dose. I am so pissed. I am gonna try to forget this major General and imagine him being demoted and given a GI party via one platoon of marine's every day for a week. Then forced to dig fox holes for a month and then forced to live as a private in Afghanistan for a year. Stupid f en low life so called christian.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:17 am | Reply
    • Chris D

      So Tyler you enlisted in the military who's job it is to go and fight in wars. Then after you do that you are having bad dreams huh? I'm sorry the country doesn't understand. Becuase those of us who served in the military who knew what we were getting into can handle it. It's not a video game, its real and its ugly. So enjoy taking these tax payers dollars for the rest of your life and cursing the government who you volunterily went to for a job. Then once you get that job and do some work whine about how scary it all was...:(

      May 26, 2012 at 3:24 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        Chris D...you know it!!

        May 26, 2012 at 3:46 am |
      • retphxfire

        Either you are the coward and hiding behind some false bravado or you are a sociopath who enjoys war. There is no other explanation for your ignorance and lack of understanding. You think the young men and women of these wars are the only ones who have suffered and, therefore, aren't as tough as GI's of the past? Well, what is now PTSD was once called Battle Fatigue and during WWII after completing the landing/invasion of Anzio Beach 40,000 US soldiers were diagnosed with Battle Fatigue. They did not need to apologize (and they KNEW who their enemy was) and today's troops/sailers don't need to feel guilty or ashamed, either. Normal people can't witness the inhumanity and be unaffected. Recent wars have the added 'pleasure ' of not knowing who your enemy is since they are not a regular army, wear a uniform or care who is harmed with their brutality. There are no battle lines or safe areas. Not only are children victims, but they are used as weapons. If you are as unaffected and insensitive as you write, then you are a sad and scary little man,my guess you are a liar and a sad, scared little man.

        May 26, 2012 at 4:04 am |
      • mdmann

        WOW! You really are an idiot. A military person basically turning his back on another military person for not being able to "take it."

        You are a disgrace to the country and the flag you served under.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:17 am |
    • joe

      grow up

      May 26, 2012 at 3:26 am | Reply
    • Quenten Mullin

      You are the coward! Try to look in the mirror tomorrow when you shave. Tough words from a baby!

      May 26, 2012 at 3:33 am | Reply
    • ezg437

      Chris and Joe: you both suck, lucky for you they repealed DADT. Get my point bois?
      To Tyler: thank you for your service and the sacrifice you made for everyone...including ding dongs who make really dumb comments (that being Chis and Joe)

      May 26, 2012 at 3:36 am | Reply
      • Josephine

        Amen. Quentin sounds like a spoiled-rotten third grader momma's boy who's used to getting his way and throws little temper tantrums when he doesn't get it. Chris D is a qussy and a moronic bozo of a sorry sack of beans.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:49 am |
      • Quenten Mullin

        Josephine, I am just what you called me...a Canadian who invaded Afghanistan with YOUR country in 2002, and who has lived through this dirty war. You are all cowards who won't serve or who criticize your General's. Pu on a uniform!! Then you can speak some shit!

        May 26, 2012 at 3:55 am |
      • mdmann

        "Pu on a uniform?" LOL! That was a Freudian slip if ever there was one!

        This general "pooed" on a bunch of uniforms with his irresponsible comment.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • retphxfire

      Tyler, I don't know if you really are a vet, so many get on these pages and talk about their service and you know dang well they never served. However, no one who has served in a war zone has anything to feel guilty about if they feel bad about what they have seen or were forced to do, no one signs up thinking or know they well witness the slaughter of innocents, children as the enemy or never being able to know the difference between the look of your enemy and the look of just people trying to survive (like children...). The jerks posting their disgust are not worth the time, they are either liars themselves or completely inhuman sociopaths. Only fictional soldiers escape whole and say 'it's what i expected'.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:11 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        retphxfire, who is trying to say that they were untouched by war? Crap! That's not the issue. The issue is that your media wants to hang another Gneral for daring to man-up and speak his mind. Suicide is awful! War is awful! Both exist...should the General shut his mouth and pray? Generals lead...I'm guessing that you are a reserve PFC. Generals don't happen by accident. Some have the nuts to speak up...like the General in question, but then they get yanked back in by the politicians. Did you ever go to school? Grade 3?

        May 26, 2012 at 5:15 am |
  71. midwesttmatt

    For all of you idiots who equate suicide with selfishness, get a clue, you ignorant fools.

    Not only do you have ZERO idea what you're talking about, you fools often play a part in suicides because you have no idea what is happening and how to help. You are both part of the problem and an impediment to a solution.

    The General should be drummed out for his stupid and highly damaging comments. He is not a leader, not a commander worthy of his station and his embarrassing remarks are indicative of other damage he has probably wrought under his watch.

    We take great people and put them in extraordinary circumstances where they perform to the highest degree and some of them cannot come back from that stress. Give those great men and women a HAND UP because they DESERVE IT.

    I have lost good people to suicide and NOT ONE OF THEM were selfish. They spoke about extraordinary pain in their minds and bodies and how they had endured it for as long as they could before choosing a permanent solution to what is a temporary problem. The endured probably far longer than this third rate soldier could have.

    To equate suicide with selfishness is ill informed and dangerous to those who need our help the most. This type of thinking is based on the myth that those that choose death over life are "sticking it to the survivors" or trying to cause pain in those around them which is not only laughably off base, it misses the real reason why so many suicides occur and that is due to emotional anguish that manifests itself as a very real physical pain.

    Try having a piercing headache for a year and a half that never lets up, no matter what you take for it. Then imagine an ache that courses across the rest of your body on a daily basis until you are thoroughly spent and you are no longer able to accept that type of life. That's when people begin to ponder suicide. Because the pain is so extraordinary that they can no longer live with it.

    God help this man if one of his children ever experience this kind of despair and he has to live with losing one of them just like two families at my daughter's high school have had to deal with in the last 9 weeks.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:11 am | Reply
    • Hbadger

      Kill yourself.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:28 am | Reply
    • Quenten Mullin

      Big rant from a small man. "Drum the General out?" Do you have any idea how important your Generals are...fool?

      May 26, 2012 at 3:36 am | Reply
      • ezg437

        speaking of small quenten, clearly you know small well, from what is, make that lacking, in you head, to that small little thing and tiny neighbors below your belt. you too must be benefiting from DADT. ; )

        May 26, 2012 at 3:46 am |
      • Quenten Mullin

        To ezg347...once you learn english...make a real argument. The, go join your army!!

        May 26, 2012 at 3:51 am |
      • Out for Justice

        PTSD and its consequences are not a joke. Vets who are stricken by it are casualties of war. People react to and deal with it in different ways. And one cannot know for sure how they will react to the horrors of war until they experience it themselves. I can imaging vets as yourself, having been there and done that, have differing opinions about this issue, but I think it is fair to say that not all combat vets and trained physicians would agree with your and the general's rather misinformed and callous approach in addressing some of the underlying causes of suicide for those who experience war up front and personal. All things said, though, thank you for your service, nevertheless.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • retphxfire

      Both you and the General are great at making factual statements that aren't...sometimes suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness, but that doesn't mean that applies in every case. Think about the guy who can't face losing his job..money..position, it happens and that is selfish. There is no black and white reasons. No checklist or textbook.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:14 am | Reply
  72. Stonewall Jackson

    He seems so far beyond ignorant on the issue. He sounds stupid is the only way to adequately describe it. It just sounds dumb. To say that it is just only incredibly ignorant would be quite an understatement. It honestly sounds like he's speaking from a low I.Q. and possible mental retardation, I shudder to think that he is in Command of any of our troops.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:09 am | Reply
    • midwesttmatt

      Amen. Drum him out after lowering his rank three levels.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:11 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        Have you served? We Canadians are suffering as well. The General is a MAN, a SOLDIERS, and a WARRIOR! The only shame here is that he was obviously forced by weaklings around him to retract what are true and valid sentiments. Demote hime three ranks? Promote him one more!! I helped America invaid Afghanistan in 2002 – 10 years ago! The soldiers are tired and worn-out. General, I salute you for your initial reaction and words, it is too bad that your staff makes you blunt what you mean. Suicide is selfish...and I stand behind this General's original statement...before his "editors" made him retract!!!

        May 26, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • Quenten Mullin

      HaHa! And you have the nut sack to call yourself Stonewall Jackson? For real? Holy crap! Are you impersonating a General? You must be a full-bird Colonel ready for promotion? There's no way that you're just a shit talking about a delicate subject that you're ignorant of and unrelated to? Please?

      May 26, 2012 at 5:20 am | Reply
  73. mark jessup

    he said what he said cause he's a christian and thinks all suicide go to hell...jeeez tell the true story cnn

    May 26, 2012 at 3:04 am | Reply
    • Cathy

      Not every person can relate to every feeling some one else has. This general sees the devastation left in the aftermath of a suicide and he can relate to that, good for him. It isn't that he doesn't care, it's that he doesn't understand. I don't understand all of the hate that comes out of some of the people who respond to these stories. How do you have that much time and energy to waste on belittling people whose thoughts don't always match yours.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:06 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        Cathy, I'm sorry, but these thoughts are DANGEROUS. Yes, people have the right to be stupid, but you do not have the right to HURT OTHER PEOPLE while doing it. I don't care if a person wants to be an alcoholic...that's their choice. When they get behind the wheel of a vehicle and endanger the lives of other people, then it becomes MY BUSINESS, and I will fight against them.

        Not confronting these stupid opinions is a level of apathy I can not entertain.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:45 am |
    • PaulB

      Mark. You are partially correct. I am a Christian and it is not my place to play God. I personally do not believe that those who commit suicide go to hell. Heaven or hell is strictly between God and the individual. I do not buy the Christian belief that all people committing suicide go to hell. Only God knows.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:07 am | Reply
    • mdmann

      That doesn't make his comments any better. He needs to keep his religious beliefs personal. He is in a high level of command over many different types of people, NOT ALL OF WHOM ARE CHRISTIAN. His religious beliefs should not be worn on his sleeve in such a way as to be inflicted upon those under him. That is wholly unprofessional of him.

      May 26, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
      • MCDon

        Folks, really? I read thes posts and people on both sides tend to start out so civil, but then just let things deteriorate.
        The simple fact, and it is a fact, is that by defenision, if you leave anyone behind in this would that cares for you when you committ suicide, it IS a selish act. Just look up the word selfish in the dictionary. Nevermind, I did it for you. "devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. "

        With that said, I would never belittle someone who has selfish thoughts. Heck, we all have selfish thoughts. Sometimes we act on them, and sometimes we don't.

        But make no mistake, the act of committing suicide is selfish by definition.

        Now, suicide is a muvery complex issue. And my heart goes out to folks who have lost someone to suicide or have and are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. I cannot, and will not, attempt to suggest I have any idea what you have/are going through.

        And although I agree with the general in terms of his facts, I do think there are better ways to express yourself when you are in a position like he is. Depression is real, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. And i think there needs to be more done to educate people who do not suffer from depression about the facts of depression and feelings of hopelessness. Our society, as a whole, not just military generals, still tends to see depression and mental issues as weakness. And if we are really going to be able to help folks then that mentaliy has to change.

        In the end, the general should probably not said what he did the way he said it. And if he was going to say something, maybe he could have said something like, " if you are suffering mentally and hurting mentally, please get the help that is available to you. If you are in the military, or a loved one of someone in the military, please contact XYZ. But please, if you are thinking about taking your own life, or your ashamed to get help, please think of the people who love you, think of the people you love, and get some help."

        Should he be called an idiot or any number of other names becasue of his ignorance, no. Just like we shouldn't be calling eachother names on this forum becasue we might have different oppinions.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  74. jk

    It's at least as noble as dying for a lie and a barrel of oil.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:55 am | Reply
    • Harry Steinmeister

      Few know about the false flag operations this country has partaken in over the last couple centuries. Even fewer care.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        Sweet! Enter the conspiracy theory dip-shits!

        May 26, 2012 at 5:22 am |
  75. USMCBuggs

    As a former Marine currently working in the psychiatric field, I do not agree with nor disagree with his comments on his blog. Suicide is an ugly thing from every point of view. The person who commits the act is obviously in serious anguish, and the people they leave behind will also be in anguish for the rest of their lives dealing with the aftermath. I truly hope that more people will get the help they need instead of turning to a gun or a noose to make their problems go away. I hope they will try every single other angle. There are so many lines of help out there...psychiatrists, group meetings, medications if necessary. So many other options...it's terrible to watch someone fight so hard to get through this war only to come home and succumb to the aftermath.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:51 am | Reply
    • midwesttmatt

      Thank you for being a levelheaded voice of reason among so many fools.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:20 am | Reply
    • PaulB

      Very well said. I fully agree.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:10 am | Reply
  76. Tyer

    Im my humbled opinion... This general doesn't deserve to be in command. He is a man of low command quality and should be assigned to a desk and not be given the opportunity to be in charge of any human life. If I was under his command I would ask to be transferred OUT of his command. What a f en loser!!!! I say that in a nary harsh tone of voice wishing I could back hand the guy.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:51 am | Reply
    • Tyer

      I know of two fellow soldiers who have committed suicide while on duty. It's gonna take me time to forget this story. My god this pisses me off.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:07 am | Reply
    • BeverlyNC

      My PTSD came from a childhood of abuse but it has all the same symptoms of a soldier who experienced the horrors of war. The suicides come from mental torture, nightmares reliving the experience, and being unable to escape the hell your life has become for you and your guilt for putting your loved ones through it with you. War killed these soldier suicide victims as much as those killed by bombs, bullets, and battle. It is disgusting how Republicans want, as part of the Ryan budget, to pay even less attention to soldiers coming home with PTSD, to ending their benefits, to ending their pensions, and yet still being war mongers. If you want war, you should have to go and serve or send your son and daughter if you vote for it as a member of Congress. Don't ask to sacrifice someone else for your war games unless you are willing to commit to it yourself personally. How quickly we would have no war and the money wasted on the Defense budget could go to support the People and the programs like education, healthcare, SS, Medicare, help for the poor and other value system and moral actions that used to be part of American society before Republicans destroyed it with their greed and corporate loyalites. Think clearly about who really supports and serves the People who make up our nation and the rights of workers, women, veterans and our most basic right to vote before you elect any more betrayers of the People called Republicans.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:20 am | Reply
      • Cathy

        Ignorance, they say, is bliss. You must be a very happy person.

        May 26, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • Quenten Mullin

      Your opinion is humble...and ignorant! Do you want to promote suicide...twit?

      May 26, 2012 at 3:40 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        In your case, it would certainly be desirable.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:20 am |
      • Quenten Mullin

        mdmann leaves no chance to reply to him/her/it – admirable and soldierly. And, it professes that it would be desirable for me to commit suicide. Keep enjoying your freedoms loser, that Canadians, Brits, Germans and others have died for you in Afghanistan. Join the army doucher, and if you are already in...God bless America twice!!

        May 26, 2012 at 5:31 am |
      • mdmann

        Once again, Quenten, you show how much of an idiot you are. Since when do posters have the ability to make their comments un-repliable?

        To (mis) quote a Tracy Chapman song:

        Who stole your brain?
        Left a pile of s*it in its place?
        Then gave you a computer to post?
        Remember, the scarecrow
        Found he gave up what we knew he lacked.
        Remember the scarecrow...
        Go find your brain, and take it back.

        May 26, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • Quenten Mullin

      Tyer...I assume that you are in the inner-circle at the Pentagon? You are qualified to decide when General's are replaced and all...so you must have an important place in your nation's national strategy formulation. I am honored to meet (though only on-line) a soldier/diplomat/politician of your stature.

      May 26, 2012 at 5:26 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        Yep, you're still an idiot, Quenten. Apparently unable to see that stars don't make a person perfect.

        You are clearly a failed soldier. You probably had big ambitions of becoming a general, but you just didn't measure up. Probably didn't even make lieutenant. So, like all of the fat, flabby, "regular joes" who were star athletes in high school and had big dreams of becoming a pro, reality set in for you. You came to understand the lofty heights of the military world were beyond your reach, but you IDOLIZE that which you know you will never have. Generals are like the fabled pro athletes whose feats are talked about around water coolers, at backyard barbecues, and at titty bars by washed up has-beens with no future.

        A university degree and 18 years in the military, yet your dream eluded you. So you feel the need to try to disparage others by sarcastically calling them generals, Pentagon brass, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

        You're the loser here, Quenten. Every time you commit to pounding out yet another example of your drivel with your clubbed fits, drooling mouth, and vapid stare, you prove yourself to be a pathetic loser.

        May 26, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  77. jayman419

    I agree with the General. It is a selfish act. I'm sympathetic to those who struggle with depression, but I feel worse for the people left behind than those who take the coward's way out.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:46 am | Reply
    • BeverlyNC

      Do not judge what you do not understand. Your comments are as offensive as the General's. You have no clue what depression, PTSD, is really like. People who commit suicide are not cowards. Actuallly it takes not only great despair but great courage and commitment to wanting to end the never-ending helll of waking up and dreading another day on this earth. I have been there and only worrying about the effect on my daughter kept me from my well-thought out plan. I had been through years of treatments, medications, clinic stays, and everything available but it could not erase the pain, the torturous memories, the PTSD nightmares, the insomnia, or the need I felt to also end the burden I felt I was on my spouse as he went through it all with me.
      Our soliders have these exact same issues, diagnosis, and yet get little to no treatment with Republicans wanting to cut their healthcare, their benefits, and even their pensions. They did not ask for PTSD, could not prevent it, and are the most dedicated and strong and resilient men and women to serve while we sit here at home safe and protected.
      Suiicide is not for cowards. It is for people in great pain, great mental torture who make a very decisive decision they and everyone around them would be better off if they were gone and they could finally be at peace.
      Cowards are judgmental people who criticize something they know nothing about and do nothing to help with the problem.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:04 am | Reply
      • midwesttmatt

        Amen, BeverlyNC. This poster has no idea what he's talking about and your summation is spot on.

        Having suffered from PTSD and a couple bouts of major depression, I know what happens to those that are considering suicide.

        The poster should take a very long look in the mirror and realize how ignorant he sounds.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:14 am |
      • Tyler

        Thank you so much for your sympathy. I currently struggle with PTSD. When I hear of cowards who say fellow soldiers who commit suicide are cowards it makes me want to go and show them and act out the violent thoughts and actions in my head onto them. Maybe then they will see how tortured we are. My Psychologist tells me in therapy "war is bad" I can't control the tears because of the terrible things I and my fellow buddies have done. The night mares and the daily angry outbursts. The stupid meds and the sleeping for days. The attempts to kill myself via over dose. I am so pissed. I am gonna try to forget this major General and imagine him being demoted and given a GI party via one platoon of marine's every day for a week. Then forced to dig fox holes for a month and then forced to live as a private in Afghanistan for a year. Stupid f en low life so called christian.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:16 am |
      • Chris D

        How do you know? They person is dead... You are assuming they are in some great mental tourcher but the fact is the person is dead and they did it themsleves. You get on here and sound off like you have any clue but none of us do. We who are strong enough to deal with life and the decisions we have made are still hear to read and write and love our families. Those who are weak kill themsleves. Shame on the General for retracting his statements.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:18 am |
      • mdmann

        You are a terrible speller (tourcher? still hear? Really?) , and that makes me disregard pretty much every bit of tripe that issues forth from that vacuous space you call a brain.

        If people who have suffered from depression don't know what went on in the mind of the person who commits suicide, then you certainly don't, since you don't even have a functional mind.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:14 am |
      • Hope y'all get feeling better...

        Tyler... You may know this as you sound like you are getting help.... But just in case, many find certain topics to trigger strong emotional responses. It's good to identify one's own emotional triggers (we all have them... some just more and stronger than others). When you are battling depression sometimes you have to protect yourself by not reading or watching certain news, movies, or listening to certain music, etc. Sometimes even a single word can trigger a strong emotional response and some abuse survivors (my point of reference) learn to protect others by being cautious with those words and putting * or - so the mind processes it better. But CNN is often a place for trolls who use triggering-type words deliberately and one must protect oneself.

        I hope you find the path back to feeling better soon.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:33 am |
      • Concerned

        BeverlyNC,

        I take GREAT exception to you referring to suicide as a "courageous" act. That sends a terrible message to all those suffering from uncontrolled pain and emotions. My husband has and still does suffer from mental anguish impelled by Iraq and Afghanistan. He lost a lot of amazing people under his command and lives with that knowledge every day. However, most days are better than others because I listen to him; encourage him to talk about and purge his demons; and support him in every positive step moving forward.

        I encourage him to look forward to ventures and endeavors and make goals that must be accomplished to fulfill an aspiration he has...it takes his mind off of the bad things when he has something to look forward to. I remind him of the wonderful times we are going to have going on vacations; moving to new cities; watching our grandchildren play at our knees in 10 years, etc. It gives him a purpose for living.

        More than anything, these people need a support system that fights for their life...in other words, reminds them every single day how they are needed and how this world would be lost without them. There are ALWAYS options. This is not the last resort as commented in the article...this is only another option. Pain specialists, group therapy, family and friend support, sponsors, etc. They are all options and tools to help these men and women survive.

        I know what I'm talking about. I've seen it. I've lived it. I'm fighting for my husband's life every day. He is recovering wonderfully and looks forward to each day he can spend with his family. Occasionally the dreams come back; but we talk about them, defusing them so they are not so torturous.

        We take the power away from the dreams and pain and we empower ourselves with positive thoughts and motivation. The General was frustrated...I get that. And maybe he didn't know how to articulate his frustration. But I'm telling you BeverlyNC...in NO way is suicide courageous. It is a choice...an option...but has nothing to do with courage. Living everyday despite circumstances...Now THAT takes courage.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:56 am |
      • Madmark

        Beverly, I understand your feelings and the General's feelings. Having had 2 friends take the choice to end their own lives I have seen it in my life too. It is in the end a somewhat selfish act in that the one soldier killed himself at home so his children would see it. That was cruel. In my case, one friend had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and couldn't face the future. What he did also killed his moher who basically died from depression 3 months later. The family is a wreck. My family went through the death of our mother when we were in our teens and she fought for every second of life to the end. I believe that life is sacred and that no matter the depression or pain, you have to continue to try for those you leave behind. Leave them the knowledge that you loved them enough to suffer to be there as long as possible for them. Don't leave them with a bloody mess in the living room to remind them you couldn't take it any more. I also know the depression and total and complete devastation that mkaes you feel as though no matter what, it isn't worth it. That is when I had to continue simply because I had to. I have kides too. Sometimes the hardest job has to be done by you simply because it's your life and your job. If it isn't a point in yhour life for you to learn from, take the hardship as a lesson for someone else you love to be able to learn from and maybe, through your sacrifice, in the future they will make it thhrough their tough times knowing you tried to the end. That is what my mothers struggle did for me. Just my opinion.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:13 am |
      • martine

        Depression is a Chemical Imbalance, hello it is so painful you can't think straight. Stop blaming the person who is sick. You people are the Selfish ones, live in horrible pain to the last minute. Don't leave the mess for us to clean up, who says that. To all of you people out there who have never had Major Depression or Server Depression shut the !@#$ up....

        May 26, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  78. Whatswrongwithispicture

    Someone is bullied to the point of suicide because they were different and we don't call them selfish, we want to get to the root of the problem and rightly so. Someone in the military who faces the kinds of absolute horror and near death experiences (that would most likely psychologically warp any of us), snaps and finally escapes the horror that just won't stop in the only way they believe they can and a bunch of armchair quarterbacks have the ordacity to call it selfish? What's wrong with this picture.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
  79. becool

    i used to think i could never think of suicide, now i do sometimes....i pray that those who did find peace...and hope i never come to that end.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
    • ag

      If you're even starting to have thoughts like that, please get some help right away. Don't wait until you are convinced it's the best idea.

      May 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  80. thestarryskyabove

    There is no other right outcome for this as a dishonorable discharge for this general whose sole focus it should be to keep hie troops safe rather than desecrating the memory of those who have given their lives for our country, which includes those of our armed troops who have lost their lives to suicide in the aftermath of the more harrowing experiences than any of those awfully selfish commentators before me could ever imagine. Shame on those who desecrate the memory of people who take their own lives. May you experience the kind of hardship they have, manifold.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:38 am | Reply
    • midwesttmatt

      Amen.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:18 am | Reply
    • Quenten Mullin

      It is nice to have such an honorable member in this discussion. You are obviously a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...ready to dismiss a senior General from your military. Congratulations on your deep understanding of the nuances of war an national strategy...we are all humbled by your recommendation.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:28 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        And you, Quenten, are obviously blinded by stars. Put a few stars on someone, and they can do no wrong.

        This general was caught saying something exceedingly stupid. And it appears his asinine opinions were based on his religious beliefs, which he should not even be inflicting upon those under him. He is unprofessional. He should be removed, despite his "apology." Any fool can apologize for something. What matters is a change in the behavior or way of thinking that created the offense. Since this idiot based his stupid opinion on an unprovable religious belief, and then he didn't have the common decency to keep his gaping maw shut about it or deal with the issue in an appropriate fashion, I have no doubt that the underlying behavior and way of thinking WILL NOT CHANGE. His apology means absolutely nothing as a result.

        May 26, 2012 at 5:59 am |
  81. Carl Curtice CSM (Ret)

    MG Pittard is 100% correct when stating the suicide is selfish. The people who commit this act, and yes it may appear to be a last resort at that time, leave behind personal and financial messes that other people have to take care of. Families are destroyed more by suicide than by the troubles that lead to the stupid act. My personal experience is with Soldier suicides that were the result of some worthless woman leaving her husband/boyfriend during deployments to Iraq or Afgahnistan. What a waste; putting a bullet in your head because a woman cheated on you. Bottom line: people who commit suicide are weak, but have also not taken all steps possible to rectify the situation. Kudos to MG Pittard for his initial comments. Shame on MG Pittard for pulling them back and not having the backbone to stand up to the pukes of political correctness.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply
    • midwesttmatt

      Carl,
      You are an ignorant fool. Go crawl back under your rock of ignorance and put a cork in it.

      If you actually believe your post, the collective IQ of America has taken a hit.

      Run back to the 1950s where you belong.

      May 26, 2012 at 3:18 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        "Midwestmatt?" Seriously? You are not just a douchebag...you are a used douchebag!! Ever been to war?

        May 26, 2012 at 3:44 am |
  82. GeneralAttitude

    Clearly, the people KNOW WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO THE REST OF US IN DEC. 2012.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:19 am | Reply
    • Carl Curtice

      Great, another idiot that thinks the world will end in Dec 2012.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:28 am | Reply
  83. GeneralAttitude

    Yes. Don't be selfish and kill yourself. Stick around and suffer in pure agony as the system abuses you. WE ARE THE SELFISH ONES.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:16 am | Reply
  84. Jr

    I agree with the General. I am going through some extreme personal struggles and came to the exact same conclusion as he did. Instead of retracting his statements, he should have elaborated more. He does not need to make apologies or retract since he is right.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:16 am | Reply
    • GeneralAttitude

      Sure you do... Corporal punishment... keep them alive so you can keep torturing them...

      May 26, 2012 at 2:17 am | Reply
  85. Nancy

    Suicide is a selfish act. But not realized by those committing it because they are not seeing things as the rest of us do. Godspeed, and may you find peace ...

    May 26, 2012 at 2:06 am | Reply
    • Newsraider

      You're right about that. Anything self-afflicted is selfish. Soldiers are supposed to perform selfless acts, which means to think about others before self.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:16 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        Oh yes,...selfless acts. That's why we have things like the My Lai Massacre and the Abu Ghraib scandal.

        The issue here is that the military programs these people to be "soldiers" to do the "dirty work," but then doesn't take proper care of them while they are deployed AND doesn't DEprogram them once they are done so they can move back into civilian life. Civilian life IS NOT like military life, and if these people aren't readjusted, they are going to have problems. What I find selfish is people making comments about someone else's act being selfish when you have absolutely no idea what is going on with them. Do you consider it a selfish act when a habitual smoker or alcoholic eventually succumbs to the abuse they did with those vices? Those acts may have gone on for decades, adversely affecting the lives of many people around them, but I haven't heard anyone claiming that those people are selfish.

        I think some of you need to get a grip on yourselves. If you've never dealt with depression, which is NOT the same as "being sad" or going though really tough or rough times, then you have absolutely no business making comments about people being "selfish" when they commit suicide while in such a state. You need to zip it.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:08 am |
      • PaulB

        Always remember though. Before they were soldier's they were human. Human trumps soldier.

        May 26, 2012 at 4:15 am |
  86. Newsraider

    If a self-inflicted gunshot wound, hanging, whathaveyou isn't selfish, then I don't know what is. The general was right with his original comments.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:56 am | Reply
    • Andrew

      You are cruel and insane and do not care at all about a persons right to say they have had enough suffering. If the family members left behind don't respect that and understand, they are insensitive jerks anyway

      May 26, 2012 at 2:00 am | Reply
      • Newsraider

        Go hang yourself.

        May 26, 2012 at 2:14 am |
      • PaulB

        Andrew. Suicide does not have to be. A very small percentage of people take their own life, compared to those who do not. Every single person on this earth at one time or another has an event that tends to mentally destroy them. Loss of a family member, wife/husband cheating and leaving them, financial collapse, loss of home or family. The average person does not even think of suicide. In my 52 years on this earth, not once have I contemplated suicide. Some people just are not as mentally strong as others and unfortunately see no way out of their situation. When facing these tough issues, it is at that time that close friends and family members need to intervene and assist that person in finding help and assist them at getting them back on their feet. Suicide should never be an option. A family should never have to accept the wishes of a person committing suicide. In fact, a family should never have to be put in that situation.

        May 26, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • Tante Waileka

      I absolutely agree with you! Suicide IS a 100% selfish act. One can have empathy for the human condition, but to think that suicide is acceptable... it isn't. Maybe if you have terminal and painful cancer and your family is in agreement with your decision, well, that's different. But if you kill yourself just because life is difficult, I have no sympathy for you... for your familly, yes, but not for you. Burn in hell, which is probably what will happen to you. Serves you right.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:22 am | Reply
      • BeverlyNC

        Your comments show how clueless you are. You think physical pain of cancer is OK for suicide but not mental pain. Your ignorance is astounding. Mental pain can be worse than physical pain and can even manifest itself as physical pain that is unbearable. You are the selfish coward for supporting lies of war Bush created and then criticizing those brave men and women who knew these wars were lies made up to steal oil for greed and still went anyway and did their duty.They suffered the horrors of war, the sacrifice of being gone for ridicilous times of tours of duty not even seen in WWII, Their families also suffered from the absence and gut-wrenching worry of whether they would ever see their loved soldier again or as a whole human being. Your views on mental disorders and suicide are consistent with those from the 1950s. Supporting our soldiers is far more than sticking an American flag in your front yard and your head in the sand of the truth of what war does to people and their families. You are the selfish one and should not post your uneducated views that hurt those who are suffering. Your ignorant comments could send someone over the edge tonight. Think about the consequences of your judgmental nonsense.
        From someone who understands – anyone in such pain know it will not go away quickly but I have walked the path through the hell of it and come almost completely out the other side, My Psych was honest with me from the start and told me it woul be the hardest thing I had ever done but I would make it through it, I trusted him and I did. I did think about suicide daily, had a plan, a written suicide note for my daughter, and wanted so badly to leave the hell of living behind. I never left the house for months at a time, went days without sleep because I was so afraid of the PTSD nightmares, and the best help came from a clinic stay with people just like me where I found out I was not alone, had people who used the same words and thoughts I did, and we pulled each other through. I don't judge anyone for I know the horrific pain and idiots like this poster who want you to "just snap out of it". Heard that way too many times from the true selfish fools? You are not alone and many of us know exactly how you feel and what your life is like. May you find peace and not run into the idiots posting ignorance on this topic.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  87. deb

    The only comments and opinions that have validity on this toipc are those from the brave men & women who have, and continue to serve..or those who have endured the suffering of a loved who has taken their life out of desperation..Those who have taken their life because they commited a crime and didn't wan to go to prison is another story in itself..They are cowards!!!

    May 26, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
  88. Jose

    I Dont see anything wrong with what he said initially...too many sensitive douche bags around now a days

    May 26, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • muir

      agreed.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:05 am | Reply
    • BeverlyNC

      You must be a Republican – total selfishness, no compassion, a hypocritical Christian, no values, no willingness to do anything for anyone else because you are so caught up in me, me, me first attitudes of hate, ignorance, and non-Christian judgment of others. Look in the mirror ro see the real "douche bag" – the vocabulary of a moron.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:04 am | Reply
  89. Jim

    Everyone missed the general's point–he was trying to get people to stop killing themselves. His people. The kid's think it's noble, they think it solves problems. It isn't and it doesn't. The Boss was trying to make that point. I have lost a troop to suicide–and I agree with him. And he didn't lose the respect of his troops–just a bunch of soft civilians who don't understand us and what we do for a living.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • Theodora

      You are WRONG! I WORK with soldiers at Ft Bliss...it is an Evil EMPIRE run by an unfeeling Dictator and the persecution runs throughout the COMMAND!
      Pittard HAS NO IDEA what helps out Med BOARDING Wounded Warriors!

      May 26, 2012 at 2:13 am | Reply
    • A Better way...

      A person at the point of suicide often figures they are beyond acceptable anyways. Labeling the behavior as selfish or unacceptable, and making derogatory statements about suicide isn't helping them. It's not about them anyways they are dead. It's conditioning for the rest of the military so that one suicide doesn't cause a domino reaction as men and women in bonding situations can over empathize in compassion for the fallen member.

      A better solution would be to have couselors with every unit, allow for members to talk to them without being on the record as long as they are not a threat to themselves and others, training these couselors better and not having situations where they suggest a solider is faking it to get out, and soliders not having to worry their careers are over for trying to get help. I read war vets do better when they are not set a drift back home with the spouses, but reconditioned with their units after tramatic events. Hard work with those that been there and know what they went through and went through it with them can be therapy for some. Just my opinion.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:18 am | Reply
      • BeverlyNC

        You are right on point. I have PTSD from severe childhood abuse and have talked with my Psych about volunteering to work with veterans suffering from PTSD. The symptoms and feelings and nightmares are all the same. Soldiers are more difficult to get to accept treatment until late in despair. They were trained to be tough, strong, capable of handling any situation and feel ashamed for the effects war had on them. No one comes home without some mental damage and it is just as honorable to seek help as it was to serve and sacrifce. Seek peace for yourself. You deserve it and are worth it.

        May 26, 2012 at 4:11 am |
    • A Better way...

      Oh... and I do not know if this is true or not, but I read (can't remember if it was a valid source) many soliders pumped up on cafeine pills, etc... and sleep deprived. Lets not burn out our military. Surely given the massive size one we have we could be efficient enough to make sure those that need sleep... get it (I understand exceptions necessary in combat.)

      May 26, 2012 at 2:29 am | Reply
    • Phillip

      Soldiers dont think its noble, They Are in over thier heads going through things that no one should go through, Ive been to iraq done the shindig, And the general and all his selflessness , I dont see him Sharing his room or sleeping in tents with his troops...I think his experience in a warzone is extremely different than an 11B so he should be a little more sensitive to the subject.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:49 am | Reply
    • Quenten Mullin

      Jim...a light in a sea of fog!

      May 26, 2012 at 4:31 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        "The kid’s think it’s noble, they think it solves problems."

        Where did you get that these soldiers thought it was "noble" to kill themselves? You have no idea what you are talking about. You clearly don't understand what it is like to feel helpless to the point that suicide seems the only way to stop the pain, to not be able to think about anything else, to not be able to control those thoughts. You don't get it. Yet you and others, like this general, make comments about it as if you DO get it.

        If he really cared about these soldiers, he would NOT have let his religious beliefs and frustrations take him where they did. This is a trained military person who reached the ranks of general?! And he can't even handle something like this? Are you kidding me? Clearly, sensitivity is not part of this man's nature, yet sensitivity is exactly the quality he needed to draw upon to deal with this issue properly. He screwed it up, royally. I the process, he has created a vehicle whereby we can see just how ugly this problem is. There seem to be a lot of complete jerks in this society who don't seem to give a good God **mn about what their fellow man is going through. "Get over your sadness and get to work you wimp!" Psychopaths. You people sicken me.

        May 26, 2012 at 6:08 am |
  90. Jazzster

    Meda is so quick to sensationalize a general's words because they weren't regurgitated from a suicide help pamphlet. General Pittard has probably been on the receiving end of many conversations informing him of one of his soldiers suicide. One can be emotional and frustrated when having to feel that even though it's impossible to know the psyche and history of every soldier's suicide, it takes it's toll when it's one of your "own.". There is no easy answer and war and violence is not a healthy environment to expose ones self to. Each person juggles military and personal life differently and unfortunately some people take their own lives before examining all the possibilities for treatment/help.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
  91. Qaz12

    jim your a racist idiot, if the general was white it wouldn't have made the news dumbass

    May 26, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
    • Mavent

      I think the only idiot here is the guy who can't spell "you're" correctly.

      May 26, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply
      • Quenten Mullin

        Mavent. Thank you for the substance and intellect that you brought to this conversation. I gather that you are a General also? Wait...third on the hiring list for a part-time job at Burger King? Right?

        May 26, 2012 at 4:34 am |
      • mdmann

        You still can't spell, Quenten. No matter how far up this general's arse you shove your pointed head. Your "university degree" and 18 years of military service does not make up for the fact that most 10-year old children can spell better than you will ever hope to. So, you just keep on bringing up this "you must be a general...oh wait" crap. YOU STILL CAN NOT SPELL.

        May 26, 2012 at 6:13 am |
  92. Frank

    The general is completely out of tune and out of touch with the impact life takes especially of those serving in combat. Has the general ever served on the front line or was he in the back safely protected by those in harms way?
    His selfish act was to remain secure instead of joining his fellow soldiers on the front line. He needed a commander like Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • krehator

      He just lost the respect of his troops. It will do damage that he can not easily brush under the rug. He has enough rank to basically blow it off and tell everyone to obey, but he is kidding himself if he thinks they will go the extra mile for him now.

      May 26, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
  93. paul

    pittard the retard

    May 26, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
  94. paul

    pittard the retard.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
    • Quenten Mullin

      Paul...I think I know you. You're about three-hundred pounds, you have a loser job and shabby apartment (but all of the latest gadgets), and if the good General was "miracled" in front of your face, you would shit your massive pants and go back to "gaming." What are you in WoW? Are you wearing a cape? o and join the army doucher!!!

      May 26, 2012 at 4:17 am | Reply
  95. Justinb

    It's amazing how critical people are of everyone's comments about any subject after the fact. If I get the option of listening to every leader and only critiquing their comments, of course I can find where they could have said things better or appeared more sensitive and caring.
    I'm far more afraid of the man or woman who knows exactly what to say in every situation. Maybe I'm wrong but I tend to think this is a carefully crafted life fit for politics. The speech is probably lies covering an uncaring person who knows what to say when the cameras are on. Knowing what to say doesn't make you caring, it makes you a great politician. Perhaps the general is a great soldier and not a very good politician.
    To speak about this general's appointment as some political or racial quota shows some serious ignorance on the commentor's part. Unless he started his career in the medical corps, he probably came in as a 2LT and has spent countless years deployed himself. By the time he gets to the rank he now holds, this guy whether Black, White, Asain, Korean, male or female has an unbelievable amount of training, experience and time spent in hell holes. Will he always say things when viewed in hind sight couldn't have been better said? Of course not but please be more willing to hear the intent and spirit of his speech and the audience he was speaking to before making critical judgements of his character.
    I'm currently an Army officer myself and I disagree with those chosen for leadership in many cases. When I look at the general's comments, they do sound harsh but I have the advantage of being able to look at them after they've been made.
    However he got his current position, to be a three star general and commanding one of the largest bases in the entire military says he's been through a hell of a lot in his career spanning many Presidents, Army Chiefs of Staff, and wars. I'd say to you all, stop trying to simplify his comments as either ignorant or great. They can be taken many ways and depending on who he was addressing, I can listen to his entire statement understand what he was trying to say even if I don't agree with it.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:06 am | Reply
  96. jimbo

    This is what affirmative action gets you.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • BeverlyNC

      You obviously have no clue what "affirmation action" means, was created for, and should go back to your cave of ignorant hate and Republican "values".

      May 26, 2012 at 4:15 am | Reply
  97. jqent

    One way to keep our troops from committing suicide is to stop sending them on repeated tours of duty in endless, unwinnable wars in godforsaken hellholes.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • Calvin

      Hear hear!

      May 26, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply
    • krehator

      All too often Commands force soldiers to deploy again, even when they know there are emotional problems. The "suck it up" mentality is still forcing soldiers to hide their problems. When the situation blows up, the Chain of Command plays like they were surprised. They pull out all the training records for check the box briefings and classes, because they are stupid enough to believe that junk makes any difference. The whole Army has become a "check the box" system when dealing with problems.

      This incident will fade away from the media, and that General will go back to doing business the way he plans anyway.

      I wonder if the General would feel so good about his life if he wasn't making 10K a month, with everyone at his beckoning call, and didn't get pampered by a gang of LT's kissing his azz?

      May 26, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
    • FO liberal

      Unwinable war my a$$. Get off the bandwagon you F@cktard!

      May 26, 2012 at 1:32 am | Reply
      • krehator

        What is the win condition? Stoping terrorism? Yes, that is unwinnable. The US is never going to invade every country these terrorists hide in. They will just move around like roaches. Anyone who has every deployed to Iraq and Afg knows this is a f#$king waste of time and taxpayer dollars. The war contractors get rich, while the rest of us go farther into debt on empty promises.

        May 26, 2012 at 1:37 am |
      • BeverlyNC

        If you think this war can be won – go sign up and go over to Afghanistan. See reality and you will be crying to come home to the safety the real patriots, our soldiers, provide even the jerks like you.

        May 26, 2012 at 4:18 am |
  98. Chuck D

    This General is a loser. Just because he's a willing servant of the Federal Reserve bankers, doesn't mean the soldiers want to kill so David Rockefeller Jr. can live a cush life.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • GeneralAttitude

      Well said.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:18 am | Reply
    • Quenten Mullin

      A General is a loser? How's your part-time job at subway, big man?!

      May 26, 2012 at 4:04 am | Reply
      • mdmann

        Not "a" general. THIS general. Apparently, in your little mind if someone reaches the level of "general," they are beyond reproach. Who knew that perfection meant becoming a general?

        May 26, 2012 at 5:39 am |
      • Quenten Mullin

        mdmann, you have kicked my butt! I gracefully walk away...the first graceful thing I have said here. I was not polite, and I got it back in spades – lesson learned. We went to war with your soldiers in 2002, and we lost four great Canadians one night when your pilots bombed us. They were disciplined...too hard in my opinion. People die in war, Generals command their forces, and the media is always hungry to attack. My apologies to all on here for my poor behaviour, and for being too emotionally involved – foolish, and childish of me. However, I still side with all of our commanders – soldiers have to make decisions. To me, it looks like the media is trying to fry this General, and I think that his remarks are obviously congruent with his frustrations. We have had a lot of suicides as well, and we know the pain. Why attack this man for his frustrations? Regardless, I'm out of here, I offer my apologies to those who I have offended, but I stand by my convictions that the General is correct. We lose enough men and women to war, and when we make it home, suicide is not the answer to end the pain – it only causes more.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:17 am |
      • mdmann

        The general's remarks may be congruent with his frustrations, but that doesn't make his remarks correct. His remarks were wholly reactionary, and overly so. I would have thought that a general has a degree of control about them that would make it less likely for them to "shoot from the hip" in this manner. He is being attacked because his comments can not possibly help any of the people he is supposedly trying to help. If anything, it will only make their alienation worse.

        "We lose enough men and women to war, and when we make it home, suicide is not the answer to end the pain – it only causes more." I agree that it would be far better if these soldiers did not commit suicide. So my question is what is the military doing to help them cope with the problems they are having stemming from their military service? That is where the solution is. This general just decided to lash out at people who need some help rather than address the problem. That is what is wrong here, that is why he has been put on the hotseat. While the retraction and apology was necessary, it is not sufficient. As I've said before, any fool can apologize for doing something wrong. The real indication of character is when one CHANGES their behavior or way of thinking to make sure the offense doesn't happen again. Will this general do that? I'm not optimistic, especially given how many people seem to think what he initially said was right.

        May 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  99. Jane Smith

    EVERYONE is entitled to HIS or HER opinion. That said, the NCOs in the Army are to blame. Soldiers TRY to go on sick call for depression, and the NCOs stop them and/or harass them. The GENERAL is ULTIMATELY to BLAME.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • Emily

      I'm in the military, and sure as hell wouldn't admit if I was struggling. No matter what hype they say, it would hurt my career and I would be seen as weak. If I was really in a bad place, I'd pay out of pocket for a civilian counselor, and the military would never know I'd gone.

      May 26, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
  100. Jim

    It's easy to talk (post or write) about someone else's troubles. Were this general white, there would be calls for his resignation. He should not get a pass, even with the retraction. This was a lack of recognition of the struggles of those with mental illness. An apology won't work for me.

    May 26, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
    • Sirned

      Don't go down that road. A** holes come in all colors...

      May 26, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
    • thestarryskyabove

      Thank you for your post. I completely agree and posted a similar comment. You could not have said it better.

      May 26, 2012 at 2:40 am | Reply
    • BeverlyNC

      Republicans are always saying idiotic things on tape and video and then using the words "they misspoke". No they didn't. They got caught showing us their lack of character, integrity and values. A man who cannot offer a sincere and honest apology is not a man nor a leader. That applies perfectly to Romney who has lied so many times, has no principles on anything, wants to pretend he never said what is caught on video, and is nowhere qualified for the rigors of true responsibility and service to ALL Americans. This idiot general should be reassigned to work with PTSD victims and then give a statement based on reality and knowledge of war.

      May 26, 2012 at 4:25 am | Reply
      • Observer

        BeverlyNC, you keep calling anyone who agrees with the general a Republican and whatever other stupid drivel that slips onto your keyboard, but it was a Republican who called the general out. Perhaps reading the article a little more closely would prevent this type of mistake in the future.

        I am neither a Republican nor a Christian, but I agree with the general. Suicide IS selfish. It is NOT the only answer. I don't care what someone's been through (and since nobody here knows me, they can't say what I have and have not been through), suicide is never the answer. There is always someone that has to live with the aftermath, especially friends and family that have to live the rest of their lives without that person.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:13 am |
      • suprjagfan FL

        BeverlyNC. You have definitely got blinders on and are totally brainwashed by the left. Get with it, we are all in this together, like it or not. Suicide is bad very bad, but it is not what any"rational" person would do to themselves or family. Just as The General would not have said what he did in the "politically incorrect manner" if he had not been been battered by several of his soldiers taking their own lives and the life of their families (dad, son, husband, brother, etc)

        May 26, 2012 at 8:15 am |
      • profart

        I think most of the people on this board probably need some volunteer time working with their fellows in mental health distress. I don't believe the General misspoke- he voiced an all-too-common attitude toward suicide and victims of our poor (nearly non-existant) mental health support system. However, I was pleased to see he appeared to have been listening to those who are knowledgeable on the subject and experience, and learned better. I don't care about his politics- a willingness to listen and learn is always admirable.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
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