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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  22. Clifton Robinson

    First, I would like to remind this Fort Bliss, Texas Commander MG Dana Pittard that he is not a license psychologist nor does he have a license to practice psychartric. It seems you have a natural proclivity of speaking for those dead serviceman, whom i believe join the armed forces for better reasons. But they found themselves in over their heads, isolated from family and friends. Commanders, like yourself who feel they can just sputter comments of harsh reality can make someone change their minds makes me sick. I hope you don't get the chance to interject your opinion onto any more soldiers. I have a first hand experience about serving in the armed forces. I have served at Fort Bliss and its not all that.

    November 17, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • Norm Walt

      There will always be idiots in any situation, but, this "General" should be immediately discharged from the service along with a bar to extend his tour of duty. People like him that degrade our military who has given so much to this country should be sent to some foreign, desolate place where there is never again a chance for him to spew his ignorance. Personally, I think Fort Leavenworth would be an adequate place. If the Army Chief o Staff does not highly discipline him and ask for his resignation of his commission, then he, too, should be reprimanded. Mr. President, take charge of this idiot before he ruins the reputation of so many who have given so much. Final thought, may he rot in Hell.

      November 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  23. humblesouthernopinion


    June 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  24. Veteran 2/2012

    If you have been watching CNN this week you will know that Fort Campbell leads the Military in suicides by 11 this year(2009).

    Let me say that the act of suicide is below sad, it is a STUPID and SELFISH act committed only by a COWARD and IDIOT individual. This person does not think of his family, friends, or any one connected enough to think about his cowardly act!!! He/She thought of only their problems thinking they were the only one in the world experiencing trouble. Everyone connected to him/her is now affected in someway or another. Sympathy for this indivdual should not be rendered AT ALL!!! We ought to sympathize more with the family who now has to deal with this coward's funeral, finances, and disgrace.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, the individual who may be experiencing these thoughts and seeks help is the BRAVEST person you'll ever come in contact with. This person has COURAGE and not a hint of coward in him/her.

    The Army is not so bad that one would want to committ suicide. No one is immune to the trails and tribulations of life. Stress is experienced by any and everyone, from the rich to the poor.

    Please pray for us troops contiunally that we not only keep the enemy away from harming us, but also that we are kept from harming ourselves.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Veteran 2/2012

      I agree with Gen. Pattard 100% in his initial thoughts concerning suicide and military members. I wrote the above piece in 2009 and continue to have the same thoughts. Yes, I have served and do understand the stresses we encounter on the daily basis. However, they are not to the point where as suicide is left as our only option.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
      • michael

        No I don't Kay. I am all about responsibility. I have no problem with consequences. live or die,good or bad The universe runs on cause and effect. As far as afterlife goes... believing in something does not make it true. It being true makes it true. Seeing as I have not been to the afterlife it would be in error for me to preach the truth of afterlife for any faith including my own. I will say this though... I have gotten close to the afterlife and felt a profound sense of relaxation or peace..No fear at all..It was an unexpected experience and not unpleasing.

        May 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

      With firsthand experience working with what the military gives up to other government careers and watching how arrogant, hateful and destructive these folk intentionally are to others, I imagine that there are people in the military that intentionally try to cause suicides.....I imagine it is a game for them! Again, when you train people to act like dogs, they act like dogs in all realms, even the women!

      I have no doubt there is a problem from the top down on this military base (we already know there is in the entire military)which has contributed to this problem...America's government has gone unchecked for years! This will no longer be the case....the check will come from the Gd of heaven as the water in the land begins to dry up and life becomes a living hell for all. All will be reduced to equals! All will suffer!

      But then again, there is justice.....folks around the world hate the military and those in battle will destroy them without question! There is a saying, what goes around, comes around, and it appears the military may be getting what comes around now....what came easy before will likely be bought only by a living hell in the future. When Karma hits, life can become a living hell! Hence, not only will suicides continue to increase, life and battle for the military will become much more difficult in the out years!

      As one arrogant government worker once told me...he who laughs last, laughs best! I doubt America will have the last laugh this time!

      May 31, 2012 at 2:34 am | Reply
      • michael

        You left your tin foil hat under your bed. Go back and get it.

        May 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • Kay

        Well, I hope you don't think that *you* will be spared from this living hell...or that you're going to be rewarded for your own arrogance and mean-spiriteness in whatever afterlife you personally have chosen to believe in.

        May 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • humblesouthernopinion

      Veteran 2/2012, I think you and this sorry excuse for an Officer are STUPID, IDIOT, COWARDS for talking trash about people who have "absolutely" no ability to defend their actions or explain what happend in that split second that took a life. You see how I am saying something directly to you and being specific about why you and MG Backtrack are very stupid people who should shut their mouths and stay in their lanes. This is me actually using that thing in between my ears. What I want you to think about is just one example (because I don't want to overload you). Look up the side effects of the 5-10 most commonly used anti-depressants. I think you will find that strangely enough suicidal ideations is associated with at least half. Next, think about this. What if these people did reach out? Do your research kid. Many people have never had a thought of suicide in their life until they get on these meds. They don't get on the meds until they ask for help. They want to get better. Sometimes a split second that makes no sense at all to anyone cannot be explained away by just saying this guy was a coward or stupid. If you want more examples going in total different direction as to why you are wrong I can take you there as well. I am active duty myself and as a leader I realize this stigma has to change.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  25. CombatVet1993

    To those that claim suicide is selfish I agree, but not in the means that many of you think. I have been in combat since 1994 and yes even then there were combat situations, just most of you had not heard about them. Suicide is the last resort of a mind lost! Active military are ridiculed and demeaned by their peers and leadership. In fact in 2007 there was a military study that a General was quoted as say "PTSD indicates a weak force and we need to just make these soldiers stronger, so they are not so weak!" My point is that much like this 2 star general the people making the decisions would crap their pants the first time a bullet flew past them and have no clue what it is truly like to hold your friend as their blood runs down your leg and have them take their last breath. Nor would they know what it feels like to take a life. Most of the leaders today started their military career in the 80's when only .07% of military forces saw combat until Desert Storm when the number jumped to 8%. Again my point is these people have no clue. Forget politics and realize that once in true combat, one's mind will never be the same...Get rid of the current military leadership and replace them with people that have seen the effects of modern warfare. Wake up America, your vets need your help, but we are too proud to ask for it!

    May 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  26. Rynomite

    Not sure why the General felt the need to do a retraction. There was nothing in the content of his original statement that deviates significantly from the thought patterns of normal society. I would hazard to guess that if people were polled about whether they thought suicide was a "selfish act" probably 85%+ would agree. No matter what someone says in today's society, someone else is going to take offense. Someone else is going to blow it way out of proportion. I lose respect for people, companies, and organizations who back away from thier convictions because someone else was offended.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Norman Walters


      May 29, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
      • Rynomite

        Dear Mr. Caps Lock,

        Like most people under the age of 60 who grew up in an age of an all volunteer military, I do not have military experience. Thankfully it was not necessary. That said, my father fought in vietnam and was wounded in both legs, and both of my grandfathers fought in WW2 (one at D-day). None of them ever attempted to commit suicide.

        Mental duress cause by service in war is probably something I cannot even begin to imagine. That said, it does not change my view that suicide is inherently selfish, and by stating this belief, I am not "denegrating" anyone who has served. I am merely stating what I believe to be a fact; however distressing that may be to you.

        May 29, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • Norman Walters

        Rynomite: Maybe your military service wasnt necessary but instead maybe you (not your family) didnt feel it part of your duty as an American to help protect this country. That is why I am totally in favor of the return of the draft so that each segment of our society has to do their part. Those that are rich and can buy their way out can, will and have. Only the middle class and poor have served this country and paid the ultimate price. Why dont you ask your father and grandfather if they feel that suicide due to what was called during their generation, "battle fatigue" is selfish? A person would only resort to suicide as a last way to handle a suituation that they "feel" they cannot overcome and that their lives are meaningless to themselves or others. So, why dont you volunteer for your duty of service and go to Afghanistan and when you come back, post how you feel about this topic at that time. Im sure when you live through the insanity of war itself, you will find that you can somewhat understand why others feel that suicide is their only solution to end their mental problems. If the Upper Command had ever done studies before they started sending these guys to Iraq or Afghanistan for 4 to 5 tours of duty, the rate of suicides would not be this high. But, if you have served over 80 per cent of your military career in a battle zone, sooner or later it is going to affect your mental attitude. If it doesnt, then I guess you dont have much of a brain for it to affect. War is hell. To watch your friends die on a daily basis is no fun. Those who return maimed and disfigured from roadside bombs have to live the rest of their lives trying to make the best of it. So, for people who have never been to war, what makes you think you have any idea what it is like? You dont. the movie Full Metal Jacket and that doesnt even explain how bad war really is. Imagine it ten times worse than that and tell me that it wont affect your mentality. BTW the only reason I used all caps was to get the attention of those who think suicide is ALWAYS a selfish act. Its the ones that are left living that are sometimes the selfish ones, because they miss their loved ones. But, they never saw their suffering and tried to help them out before they resorted to such self destructionl. And from the religious viewpoint, I think God will understand that not in all cases suicide is a reason to send you to hell. If he is the loving, caring God that we are taught that he is.

        May 29, 2012 at 10:58 am |
      • michael

        II am a vet. I was left disabled with serious limitations from my service time. I demanded nothing from the VA. I asked instead and they have helped me greatly. If they had not helped me I still would have done it again knowing the consequences. I joined for what I could offer and not for the benefits or paycheck. I knew the risks. I paid the price. I am no hero but did a good job and am proud of it. I cried on occasion over things I experienced in the service and still do from time to time but did my job anyway. I believe men cry when they have to and get on with their lives. I never considered killing myself over difficulty. I think people that commit suicide over fear of facing a situation or themselves are weak and or selfish. I agree with the general.

        May 29, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • Norman Walters

        Please go to this ABC News website and then tell me that all those active duty soldiers who committed suicide were cowards and weak ............................ .................They werent weak, they just didnt have commanders that understand after 3, 4 or 5 tours of duty back to back can put you in a state of mind that you surrender to life's problems. The active duty personnel who have and still do serve in Iraq and Afghanistan have served more tours of duty than most who served in Vietnam, WWI, WW2, Korea or any other conflict since the Civil War. If after reading that article you still think that in all cases suicide is selfish, send me your address and I will send you a bullet so you can be selfish. Yeah, thats cold hearted but some of the remarks I have heard on here were, too.

        May 29, 2012 at 11:28 am |
      • michael

        Hi Norman. I believe a mentally sound person can accept a different opinion hurtful or not. I am for freedom of speech. I wouldn't ever suggest someone commit suicide and assist them by sending them a bullet because they disagreed with me. By the way. How does this offer of yours mesh with your whole position on suicide anyway? I see a logical disparity here? I have plenty of bullets anyway so you can keep yours.

        May 29, 2012 at 11:41 am |
      • michael

        By the way Norman. and CNN administrators. Although inappropriate. I do not wish your previous post to be pulled. I think it helps frame the logic of your arguments.

        May 29, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • chris

      It really does not matter what 85% of people polled believe, because most people do not understand suicide for what it is. Everyone is entitled to their opionion, it does not mean they are correct. Mass consensus on a subject (85% agree) does not mean that 85% is correct, it just does not. If you look at the percentage oif people who fought in Vietnam and saw combat, only a % develop PTSD. So if one soldier says they saw combat and did not consider suicide, it does not mean another soldier who saw combat is not susceptible to PTSD, depression, and suicidal (or homicidal) thoughts. I understand the selfish perception, many people cannot understand how someone could kill themselves and leave behind loved ones, people who now have to live the remainder of their lives in emotional pain. As a psychologist who specializes in PTSD, I have often seen very suicidal soldiers who said the only thing that kept them alive is because they didn't want to hurt their family. I have never seen one soldier who was thinking selfishly, like who cares about everyone else I just want to escape. Do you really think that they want to feel this way? Any of them would gladly get help if it would relieve them of their pain, nightmares, panic attacks, rage, etc. Substance abuse also plays a part in many of these suicides. Some of these soldiers would not commit suicide if not abusing substances. People are always going to have their perception that suicide is selfish, and from the outside view it can certainly appear that way. However, suicide is a result of a mind that is in extreme pain and for which there seems no hope of recovery or healing. The general is undoubetdly suffering from his own degree of pain from seeing the toll war and suicide has taken on his fellow soldiers. He is angry and sick of death and suicide. Removing judgment and increasing our ability to listen and understand will help reduce suicide. Allowing people to talk about these dark thoughts and realizing there is help will reduce suicide dramatically. Conveying the message it is weak and selfish will contribute to more self-loathing and depression among suicidal people. It is best to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I do not take anybody's right to an opinion away, and I know there will always be people who see it as weak and selfish, but if as a society we really want to help these soldiers who are so traumatized and suicidal, we need to at least keep those opinions balanced. We need to show a willingness to understand and allow these people to open up and seek help without fear of judgment, punishment, ridicule, etc.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
      • Les

        Agreed. The masses are asses. The minority is wrong some of the time but the majority is wrong all of the time.

        May 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • michael

        II agree with much of what you are saying. I agree that society should render assistance to the battle injured, Physically and emotionally. I however disagree with your position on weakness as a matter of definition. A stronger armor is stronger because it can withstand more damage. A weaker armor is weaker because it withstands less damage. A strong mind,will and sense of self worth is strong because it can withstand more stress and challenge. Conversely a weak mind, will and self worth can withstand less. So weaker is weaker and stronger is stronger. I am not a mental health professional but I don't see how denying the truth or altering a definition helps anyone. It seems to me In order to correct a problem or strengthen a weakness, one must first acknowledge that there is a problem or weakness to be corrected. I do recognize that no one is ultimately strong or weak, we are all shades of each. Because of this I never meant to imply that someone seeking help or talking about their shortcoming is weak. In fact they have demonstrated strength because they have the strength to recognize their problems and ask for assistance. As for those that cannot admit or face their shortcoming and it destroys them.....well in my opinion...They are just plain weak.

        May 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  27. Survivor

    I don't know why people are so quick to generalize suicide by saying it is a selfish act. Those people need to realize that the person is in so much emotion pain that they feel they have no other choice and that is sad. My loved one did this because he felt he was a burdon to everyone. This was not a selfish act, he was thinking of everyone BUT himself and afraid that if he did not do this he would end up taking other people with him. Sure–sometimes it is selfish, but not always, so I am offended by these remarks and do not accept the retraction. The words were spoken, you can't take them back.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • michael

      There are the strong and the weak. When faced with a difficult position or situation many will get through it and some will not. You should read some basic Charles Darwin... survival of the fittest. The truth is not insensitive. The truth is the truth and that is all. When facing a difficult situation some will take it on, Some will run, others will give up and yet others are to afraid to even face the situation and kill themselves. I am a vet and have faced difficult situations so don't tell me about stress and not understanding. Face the truth...If someone you know killed themselves over stress they were weak and couldn't take it. Does that make them bad? No.. just weak. Does that make them selfish..Possibly.. because they were thinking more about their own escape from a situation they considered unbearable than the ramifications on those around them. Does my opinion make me a jerk? Sure.... why not...But remember... a jerk can still be right and regardless,, the suicide dead are still dead because they couldn't hack it and Darwin's theory on survival remains intact regardless of what you, I or anyone thinks. The general spoke a truth but politics does not like truth so he must now withdraw his statement. Too bad.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
  28. pgh

    This guy should be hoisted up by his own 'Pittard'. War is destructive and it destroys soldiers too. War has destroyed those who fight it for millennia. Of course some will take their own lives as their perceived only way to ease the pain. As part of his career description, Pittard has encouraged the perpetuation and glorification of war, so he's as guilty as any in causing suffering to the countless surviving families.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  29. pmmarion

    If you know ANYTHING about the people who commit suicide you know that the one thing about them is that they are selfish. The very act is about them and no one else. This general had NO reason to retract a statement of fact.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
    • Yossarian

      You're an asshole.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
      • rika33

        Amazing that cretins with limited intelligence and vocabulary believes its important to exhibit the limits of their abilities publicly.

        May 29, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • violinexpress

      You understand nothing about human nature or of the mental damage caused b war and your statements are without a shred of evidence simply your own narrowminded dogma likely influenced by equally unsupported religious beliefs.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
      • Michael

        You just keep that projection train running down the tracks, m'kay? I didn't see anything in the post that you replied to mentioning religious beliefs.

        For what it is worth, I think suicide is both selfless and selfish, depending whose point of view you're looking from.

        It is selfless to those who commit suicide; I will no longer be a burden, they will be better off without me, etc. What needs to be understood by everybody is whomever commits suicide is hurting, and hurting deeply. And it is difficult for veterans to talk about their mental health issues due to the stigmas attached to mental health issues.

        It is a selfish act in that, as previously stated, everybody else is left with the aftermath, which is devastating.

        May 29, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • michael

      II agree...

      May 29, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
  30. GodlessOpera

    I'm satisfied with his retraction. Sometimes people deserve the benefit of the doubt that they've sincerely learned a wider perspective from feedback like this.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  31. bob h

    if i had to serve in the with a bunch of faggots giving me comit suicide too.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • Norman Walters

      You probably arent man enough to serve to begin with. But, one little fact that most Americans either dont know or they have forgotten. George Washington did not know how to start up an army so he had a Frenchman come to the new United States to begin the First Contintental Army. And guess what, he was gay. So, there have always been gays in the military and have served with pride, dignity, respect and patriotism. Just because you're gay doesnt mean that you're not man enough to fight for this country. So, get off your redneck ass and join the Army to prove that you are man enough to be in the Army of One.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
    • Larry L

      The Army in which served would have flushed you down the toilet like loose stools... not even tough to be a real turd. Soldiers don't ask and don't care. It's you Bible-thumping bigots who want to pry into people's lives. But don't worry ... well defend your worthless @$$ anyway.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply
      • Norman Walters

        Larry, dont waste your time with people like him. He is probably a closet case homosexual himself but just cant admit it to himself or anyone else. Usuallly those who protest so much about something, it is because it really pertains to themselves and they think that helps them to cover it up for them. Wrong !!!

        May 29, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • Les

      This discussion is not about your personal hang-ups with gender identification. It is about military personnel that suffer depression and commit suicide. Your post clearly shows that you have a mental illness of your own. I would suggest getting immediate help before you do anyone around you anymore psychological harm than you already have. Hate speech is covered by the Constitution as is discrimination based on sexual orientation. Both are criminal actions. You, sir, are nothing more than a criminally warped mind inserting itself into otherwise reasonable and sane discussion.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  32. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

    One of the saddest plagues to hit America in recent years is the plague that has infected the inner being of Americans and caused them to believe that by being hateful to others, it will make another something more than they are if what they are is not good enough!!! This cancerous plague has been especially horrible within the women and girls of America. It is also especially dangerous within the psychological community!

    Is it any wonder that America's teens are so hateful when the mothers who raise them are so exceedingly hateful! A granny smith apple tree cannot produce strawberries!

    I just wonder if the women in the middle east are as hateful to each other and their children, and if so, has this helped to create the problems they now face in their homes/land. Is this what America will one day look like, as well, because America is becoming so exceedingly hateful?

    May 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Norman Walters

      Absolute: I have met many of the young men and women (17-25) of this generation and most of them seem to have the common decency to respect that fact that every American has the choice to live their lives the way they choose. They are not like the idiotic rednecks of our generation and even worse the generation before us. So, I have faith that they will step up to the plate when it comes their time to run our government, protect our country, treat our neighbors with respect and beleive in the standards that we were taught as we were growing up. There will always be a few bad apples in every basket, but, I feel in my heart that the promise of this generation will get us through the bad times that this Nation has ahead of it. I hope my faith in them will not be in vain.

      May 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Reply
      • Les

        This is only true IF the life that is chosen does NOT negatively impact those around you.

        They do not believe in those standards. The last generation has an appalling lack of the need for personal privacy and they believe that individual "opinion" is justified even when that opinion is based on half-truths and misinformation. They also think that they can "believe" whatever they want even if that belief is based on ignorance. They also use the words "me" and "I" very often as if it means their selfish personal "comfort" is somehow important when others need immediate attention.

        < I feel in my heart that the promise of this generation will get us through the bad times that this Nation has ahead of it.

        I' wish you well ion your thoughts but the new generation will fair no better than any other generation until they throw off the tremendous selfishness, gender specific and age biases they have embraced.

        May 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

        Glad you have that belief. I have no doubt this generation will screw the nation and lose its freedom!

        May 31, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  33. Paul

    No, general officers are should not comment on troop weaknesses. Equally representatives elected by the people should not comment on the weakness of a general officer. Congress approves of each general officer advancement. Do we want a general officer that kissing a politician ass, wasting time to be political correct or act as directed? I want a general to act legally and without compassion. While I was in the army; I had a buddy who killled himself. The chaplins were patient with us. The commander was not, he reminded us of our duty. He was a jerk for what he said about our fallen buddy, but his duty was not loose his unit. My assessment is generals should not blog until they retire and call it their book of duty.

    May 28, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
  34. Norman Walters

    I cannot beleive that a four-star general would make such an assinine remark. As a Vietnam vet who suffers from PTSD, depression, anxiety attacks, eschemic heart disease from Agent Orange and the lists goes on and on, for someone of this rank should be reprimanded and possibly releived of his command because if this is his kind of attitude towards the men that he "leads,." then he is NOT a leader. No wonder so many active duty are taking their own lives when they feel desperate and alone with their problems and afraid to seek mental health when their own commander makes such a stupid remark which will make theim even less likely to seek help. I think President Obama should direct him to report to Washington immediately and take action against this reprehensible person. But, he probably pets his dog head at night before HE goes to bed. These are words of a complete fool.

    May 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • Prophecies... you vets who comment on here about all your problems expect us to care? You took the lowest common denominator job because you were probably not smart enough to get a real job with a future, obeyed orders contrary to everything freedom and justice stands for and then come home and complain that you have nightmares. No, you have come home from doing god awful things to innocent people for whatever cause your CO brainwashed you with and now your conscience has a problem with it. Jesus, so sick of these soldiers whining and whining and whining....The Vietnamese, the Iraqis, the Afghanis are not a national security threat, THEY NEVER WERE! You wanna win the war for the American people? Take over Washington and re-establish a just, democratic government! Everything they told you was a lie. You killed, r @ ped and pillaged innocents for the profit of our government and the people in control. Deal with your own conscience, soldiers have become so brainwashed and foolish. Don't worry, eventually our government will collapse and your children will see how much fun war is. Idiot!

      May 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
      • Norman Walters

        To Prophecies: I could care less if you give a damn about us Vietnam vets or not. You are the one who sounds like a selfish hippocrit. Why dont you enlist in the military, go to war, see your friends blown all to hell, get injured by scrapnel and then come back and tell me how much you enjoyed your duty. You or your family members were probably some of the jackasses that spat on us and called us baby killers. I and none of my buddies ever killed any children, only the Viet Cong. Maybe you should inform yourself of what you speak before you post such insulting remarks. Only an IDIOT like YOU would post such nonsense. Personally for myself and probably most other Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan vets will tell youi to take your vicious ass and go to hell.

        May 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • Norman Walters

        After readking your hateful remarks I have come to the conclusion that you are probably associated with that "church" that demonstrates at military funerals by calling them Fags, and that they are going to hell, etc. You words sound exactly like the hateful remarks that would come from that group. And since you have no idea who I am when you made your ignorant remarks, I had a job when I "enlisted" in the military as it was my patriotic duty to do so. To protect our country from the evils of this world (like you) and to give imbeciles like you the freedom to make your insulting statements against the military. I dont want nor do I need your sympathies and I dont know of any other vets that feel that way either. We did our duty to our country and asked for nothing in return except a little respect for those that we fought for. So, now you can crawl back under that rock that you slithered out from under and pray that God has mercy ion your soul for being so hateful to your fellow man. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day. You will probably burn the American flag. You sound like the type. I pray that I never run into you, the world is better off with people such as you. So, once again, go join the military and then come back and make your posts based on experience in the military. I think you wont be so ungrateful and spiteful then.

        May 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • brian

        Prophecies.... I think people like you are funny. I will assume you live in the USA and enjoy all the freedoms the so called brain washed no brain soldiers provide for you.... Why not show everyone how strong your convictions are and how much smarter you are than everyone and move to another country if this place is so bad. You have every right to your opinion, however you are kind of talking out of your butt.

        May 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • KawiMan


        You're an id!ot – Plain & simple!!!

        I highly doubt you would have the balls to make your statements in front of real vets. People like you like make your inflammatory statements behind cover of semi-anonymity in your internet postings.

        If I had my way, I'd feed people like you to the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

        May 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
      • Les

        I don't think they would eat them. They're already full of the blood of women and children. Of course, with that desert heat, they could make a little jerky to use when they are hiding away. The possibilities are endless

        May 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
      • Norman Walters

        TO KAWAIMAN: Thanks for your support for my remarks. Its idiots like that person that make a lot of military guys give up their careers because they hear the hatred from such stupid people. But, let some country invade us, like they did at the World Trade Center and they sure as hell are glad that the military is there to find the SOB that did it then. Thanks to the Special Ops unit that killed Osama bin Laden and to all the other active duty military that keep our country safe and to the vets from the past that did their share for our generation.

        May 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
      • SkyFrog

        Norm – Stop lying about your service.

        Myself –
        B Co
        3rd Ranger Battalion
        75th Ranger Regiment

        May 29, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • Norman Walters

        First, screw you. I served in Vietnam long before you. I arrived in 1964 with MACV. I worked with General Westmoreland and was assigned to the 69th Signal Bn that was stationed on Tan Son Nhut AFB, Saigon. So, now, dont you feel like a complete fool to imply that I would do such as thing as to lie about my military service. Check me out on and you can see for yourself. By the time you finally arrived there we already had everything set up so you could just walk in and do your job. They had to clear a place out in the jungle for us near Bien Hoa. Got it now?

        May 29, 2012 at 3:33 am |
      • dan

        Prophecies, you disgust me.

        May 29, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • ProudVet

        You certainly are one to talk! I retired from the military and am now in a high profile job. Seems to me that the military trained me very well! Received two degrees while serving on active duty all the while serving a cause greater than myself. You should try that stupid libturd!

        May 29, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Kay

      Actually, Norman..."Prophecies" sounds like he's too young for Vietnam to be anything but history, so he doesn't understand the reality of a draft. Even things like the decisions that young men had to make when their number was coming up. (My brother, for example, enlisted in the Air Force to avoid being drafted into the Army.) I'm sure he's say *he* would have run away to Canada...and maybe he would. But it's highly doubtful. Talk is cheap. Anonymous talk is even cheaper.

      And, rather than sounding like a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, he actually sounds like one of those clueless OWS protestors who completely wasted the momentum of what *could* have been an effective movement...if only the tools hadn't wasted all their time and energy on defending illegal camping!!! What fools. Heck, maybe he's one of the OWS anarchist thugs who get off on destroying things and pretending they're doing it for a good reason...when the only real reason is to get an adrenaline rush.

      One thing is for sure...Prophecy is an angry, frustrated person who chooses to take it out on others, rather than change himself. Very sad.

      By the way, what is also very sad is the torment you have been going through for all these years. I'm so sorry you're having to go through any of it. Indeed, I'm so very sorry that *any* of our vets have to suffer. And that the military culture persists in this "suck it up" attitude, which only makes things worse. And don't get me started on the VA's approach to PTSD over the last number of years.

      My friends and I protested the Vietnam War...our high school classmates and our brothers were being killed and maimed and we learned it was for absolutely *of course* we protested. But NONE of us EVER had a bad word to say to a single soldier. How could we? After all, they were our classmates and our brothers...or they were *someone's* classmates and brothers. We protested against the GOVERNMENT. Against the politicians and the military-industrial complex who made frickin' obscene profits over the dead and maimed bodies of our classmates and our brothers. And we demanded on thing...and one thing end to the frickin', stupid, pointless war.

      But, like you, I'll bet that, if Prophecies had actually gotten up off his butt, *he* would have been one of those jerks out there spitting on returning troops and calling them babykillers...which was just as unproductive as OWS squandering all their energy and momentum protesting about illegal camping. It's all so sad.

      May 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • Norman Walters

        I think I must have decided to voice my opinions on the wrong website. Obviously this is a right-wing Republican funded organization along with the Tea Party who thinks that any type of government except what meets the needs of the 1% is socialism. After first I thought I was on a website of free-thinking individuals that could have a common sense approach to this subject but then it very suddenly became apparent that most of the posts were done by radicals from the far right that no matter what I said I was part of the "great Government conspiracy" to twist the minds of young men to enlist in the military for patriotic reasons. I had heard of such websites like this that is full of haters and those who would demean our military but this is my first time of actually being on one, so, I will block all further responses because they will only come from the Rupert Murdock crowd of the Republican far right-wing party. And I still think a lot of these people either are members or think the same way as the Westboro Baptist Church radicals. Have a joyous holiday and I will keep you in my prayers that some day you will come into the days of enlightenment.

        May 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
      • Kay

        Did you mean to send this response to *ME*???? I was 100% supporting you!!!

        May 29, 2012 at 12:49 am |
      • Norman Walters

        No, I knew that you were supporting me. The remarks were made for those that had no idea what they were talking about. Probably never served a day in the military for their country and most probably didnt make it past the 8th grade. They're just haters which are people who have nothing better to do than to get on the internet with the sole purpose of pissing people off with their stupid propaganda. But, no, its was NOT directed to you at all. Sorry if it looked that way.

        May 29, 2012 at 3:29 am |
      • Kay

        Whew 🙂 And, thanks again so much for your service and your sacrifice.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Ralph in Orange Park, FL

      He is a major general. Two stars. I am not trying to excuse his remarks, just correcting a factual error.

      May 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • Norman Walters

        To Ralph in Orange Park, Fl;orida : Sorry. You are correct. I assumed that since the article said General (which means a 4 star) in small letters under the picture it did truly identify him as a Major General (2 star). Thank you for your correction. When I am wrong, I am man enough to admit it.

        I just wish this website was a more balanced one, where individuals from both the right and the left could post their positions without all the anger and insults, but, it seems that this is not one of those type websites. Since it was sponsored through CNNN especially. I consider them to be one of the most non-biased news outlets on the cable. MSNBC is pro-Democrat while FOX is pro-Republican. I perceive CNN as middle-of-the-road.

        May 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  35. Les

    The main error in this discussion is that depression is the only cause of suicides. While a large number of suicidal people are also depressed, many others who try to commit suicide are NOT suffering from depression. A cursory web search will reveal that depression is by no means the only thing that triggers suicide. It is wrong headed to assume that all suicides are depressed individuals.

    Men are more successful at committing suicide because they tend to use guns resulting in irreversible injuries. Females tend to use poisons that are not always successful and oftentimes rendered ineffective by quick medical intervention.

    May 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Kay

      Well...depression *IS* the #1 cause of suicide. Nothing else even comes close. No two ways around it.

      Now, there *are* people with terminal illnesses who make end-of-life decisions who are not at all depressed but, simply, accept the fact that the medical treatments they are receiving aren't actually prolonging their lives but, simply, prolonging theiir dying. These people aren't depressed. They are at peace with themselves and the thought of dying. But we're not talking about these people.

      And there *are* people with certain other mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, who kill themself for pyschotic reasons, e.g. the voices in their heads tell them to. But we're not talking about these people.

      And there *are* people who accidentally kill themselves, such as through autoeroctic asphysixation. But we're not talking about these people.

      So...who do we have left? Well, there's only the "cry for help" category and the "drugs or alcohol" group. But neither one of these are unrelated to depression. Not at all.

      Make sure that *you* aren't confusing depression itself with the many things that can *trigger* depression. Frankly, based on what they've written, *that* is what so many people who are calling suicide selfish and cowardly are doing.

      And make sure you don't assume that depression has to be "lifelong" to be severe. Because it doesn't. It just has to feel that way to the suffering person.

      May 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
      • Les

        Well said. I have been treated for 12 years now for major depression. Thankfully, my treatment team is coordinated in my care and I live a relatively good life. The reason I mentioned that not all suicides are by depressed people is because there really are a few bizarre people out there who have taken their own lives out of spite. Suicide messages have revealed that that was the reason in some cases.

        May 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Denise Carothers

      There is a huge difference between mental illness and emotional distress. Those of us that have been suicidal are usually in emotional distress at that time. Depression is not necessarily the cause for thoughts of suicide. And yes, males "complete" their suicides more often than women because of the method they choose to use. I will never say that someone was "successful" at suicide...suicide is not something we want to succeed at....I choose the word "complete".

      May 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
      • Kay

        Actually, that's a pretty darned misleading statement you made: "There is a huge difference between mental illness and emotional distress". After all, while "emotional distress" covers a WIDER scope than "mental illness", it most assuredly does NOT cover a DIFFERENT scope.

        Are you, perhaps, confusing the differences between 'mental illness' and 'emotional distress' with the differences between emotional and mental pain? I have to admit that it sure sounds like it. And, while I'm certainly not assuming this about you, I know several people who have been through DBT who have just done that because it allows them to deny that they had a...OMG..."mental illness".

        It's pretty sad that anyone would feel that way, but the stigma and ignorant stereotypes of "mental illness" are so pervasive in this country (and we're not alone) that self-stigma is one of the biggest roadblocks people with mental health issues have to face in order to achieve recovery.

        Far too many people assume/believe that having a "mental illness" means that you must have a serious and permanent mental illness (SPMI) like schizophrenia. How stupid is that??? I mean, can you imagine how these very same people would respond if they were told that *they* didn't have a "physical illness" because they didn't have something serious and 'long term' like cancer? That, rather, no matter how sick they were, they were merely suffering from "physical distress"?

        PLEASE remember...I am *NOT* arguing that "mental illness" and "emotional distress" are the same thing. Not at all. I am simply saying that *your* claim...that there is a huge difference between the incredibly misleading.

        The fact is that 1 in 4 Americans will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives, while "only" 1 in 17 will suffer from an SPMI. But recovery from *ALL* mental illness *IS* possible! But the way needed to achieve for everyone that is to eliminate stigma and ignorance.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:42 am |
      • Norman Walters

        Thank you, Kay, for trying to educate these iilliterate people on here. There are so ignornant (uniformed) that no matter how much documented proof you post on here their little pea brains cant accept the facts about psychiatric conditions. Probably most of them are in worse shape that the returning military with PTSD but they are too stupid to even realize that they have a problem. Keep up the good work. Maybe, just maybe, sooner or later you will get through these knuckleheads.

        May 29, 2012 at 3:41 am |
    • Kay

      I am *so* glad to hear that you have a coordinated treatment team...lots of folks aren't so "lucky"...and that you are living a "relatively good life".

      My heartfelt wish for you? That your life just keeps getting better and better 🙂

      May 29, 2012 at 1:20 am | Reply
      • Les


        Thanks for the thoughts. But, as you well know, people with depression have their good days and their bad days. Right now my medicine and my counselors are helping me have more "good" days than "bad". The point of my post was that if you reach out for help- and stick with it- there is a good chance that you can live a relatively "normal" life. This i9sm especially true for people like military personnel. Depression is treatable in a lot of cases so if you think you made need help then go get it. Mine reared it's head ion the military and my unit was blessed with a sergeant that was educated enough to help.

        May 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  36. Freedom - what no one wants others to have.

    Suicide is the last freedom possible for every human being.
    Even those political prisoners in the dungeons of despots can at least dream of this one last freedom to escape their torturous existence.
    Yes, it is selfish. Everything is selfish. There are no selfless acts. Every extension of personal will is by definition "selfish". That should not bar anyone from killing themselves if they want. It is a personal freedom, a personal right, to do with one's own body what one wants within reason. Suicide might bother people, but it's none of their business as death is as personal an event as there is to be found beyond one's life. They risked their lives and should be given a free hand to end their lives if they want within reason.
    What if they had been killed in action? No difference. They would still be dead, but some people are squeamish about death and only want it to be "special" or something. That's unrealistic.

    Soldiers die. This is a known fact. Anyone who cannot understand that a soldier may die at the hands of just about anyone is being unrealistic.
    It's harsh but true.

    It is possible, even probable, that many of those soldiers gave their lives to protect others from their personal problems.
    I'll be doing it myself one day and I don't want a bunch of ninnyhammers saying I can't kill myself if I want to.

    If I need to do it to protect others, I will try to do so. In my case it's likely to have some effect on my choices anyway.
    My life is my own to give or take or toss away. It is my life. If I want to end it I should be able to do so.

    May 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  37. ALL uh

    You can't retract, UN-say your comment monkey boy, we heard you loud and clear.

    May 27, 2012 at 8:02 am | Reply
  38. bill

    Yeah when you are a general with plenty of money to provide for your family for life and a bright future it is hard to imagine those less fortunate and how they may feel. Some people dont want to be a drag on society and have no moral justification to turn to crime. Suicide is an alternative that is best for them. If the family doesn't like it, then they should have helped him sooner. The army, of all people is to blame for suicides fresh out of the military. that apology, the way it was worded was wooden and scripte. i dont believe he meant a word of it. Otherwise he would have taken responsibility, as any true soldier does with those under his command that fall.

    May 27, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • Larry Trickel

      And what makes you think he didn't take responsibility? You now are a mind reader? Speaking of taking responsibility, when has President Obama taken responsibility for his failed policies? Bet you don't find difficulty with that. Military people are much more incline to accept responsibility. The have what is called "Leadership" skills. A Leader gives credit for success to those who helped make it possible and takes responsibility for failures or short comings, even if it is a subordinate that failed. Try applying that definition to President Obama.

      May 27, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
      • Kay

        And how do you know that Obama hasn't taken responsibility for *his* failures? Are *you* a mind reader?

        May 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
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    May 27, 2012 at 6:17 am | Reply
    • Me

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      May 27, 2012 at 7:14 am | Reply
      • Kay

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        May 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  40. krehator

    An ultra capitalist society criticizing others about selfishness. (giggle) Funny how we criticize people who take their OWN lives, yet we let those who ruin lives do whatever they want in the quest for the might buck.

    May 27, 2012 at 5:09 am | Reply
    • Me

      One could argue that by taking your own life, you are ruining others' lives. The example in the article is a good one. A soldier kills himself at home on Christmas, not only forever ruining Christmas for his daughters, but making them go through life without a father. He should be there to teach them how to drive, watch them graduate high school/college, walk them down the aisle at their weddings, etc. I agree that some people get so mixed up, upset and scared that they feel suicide is their only option. But suicide is always a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

      May 27, 2012 at 7:19 am | Reply
  41. sue mc

    tell the rear with the gear GENERAL, that try going through the VA system as enlisted, NPRC lost my records and amits it in wriing and the VA denies my claim because NPRC lost my records. I been waiting 6 years for a VA hearing and been paying the VA for presciption mediciine because NPRC the fed gov LOST my records and aadmits it in wrting. THE VA to the military is not helping and we should be able to sue all, because were told so much bs about how things are supposed to work and there not. I been waint 6 years for VA hering because NPRC lost and admitted losing my medical records. How about you generals fixng the VA ones ion chanrge andn nothing is fixed and still as bad as it was 5 years ago. You write your polticians to the white house they just blow you off, no suicide is probalay the nice way to relive the BS your putting veterans through. Selfishno bit what your doing to veterans is beyond criminal and selfish, This General is another idiot flapping his gums and thats useral for a geral there usally all FUBAR. What we need is a draft so we can start getting like romenys boys to clintons daughter to bushes kids, some of these eleites kids in-but were sure there get out oit by medicalling out, like many have in other wars with drafts-we need these elite kids in the service so when all the bad things thats happening to us, happens to them maybe there fix it instead of giving us lip service and thats what they are doing now. The media ask why, ask a veteran a real veteran -enlisted vet, not a government mouth piece. The best advice keep your children home thats wht the eleites are doing. and the ones getting rich from the war. This is the standard you get from polticians and the VA

    May 27, 2012 at 5:08 am | Reply
    • Kay

      So what happened when you spoke with an attorney who works with veteran and VA cases??

      May 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
      • jimbo

        Probably the same thing that usually happens: the attorney is only out to get their 20% cut with little to no work on their part. Do a search on "Rep for Vets" and see the comments on the services provided.

        May 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  42. Rudyardk

    Like the vast majority who do not – and can not – understand suicide, this guy is speaking from his lack of understanding of what drives one to suicide. It's a matter of how long one can endure what life has brought. It's not so much of a choice, really. It;s a matter of how much despair and pain can be endured. Myself, I know that as long as my Mother is alive, I can not self terminate – I can not inflict that pain on her.. That may change, though I don't think it will. However, with my living with the desire to check out for several years, I can understand that the pain can become so unbearable that there is no option but suicide. Somewtimes the pain becomes so overwhelming that enduring seems impossible. In any event, to those who see suicide as being the act of an act of a weak and selfing person: you don't understand, and I'm glad for you that you *don't* understand. I'm not chastising you. Im just asking you to stop and think and try to understand. It just comes down to giving suicides the benefit of the doubt. When you read or hear of a suicide, don't disparage. Instead, be glad that their pain is over.

    May 27, 2012 at 4:10 am | Reply
    • Nobody

      You are obviously alive, so forgive me if I fail to consider you an expert on the subject of why people commit suicide.

      You should consider that each suicidal person has their own individual reasons to contemplate suicide, and most normal persons would consider those reasons to be ridiculous ,however, to the suicidal person, those reasons are quite real and quite serious. What constitutes pain or despair to one person, may be quite different than what constitutes pain or despair to another, different, person.

      May 27, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
      • Nealb4

        @normal. Your insidious and condescending use of "most normal people" exhibits a clear lack of understanding of the multiplicity of pain to all who live with suicide. Living with suicide includes; survivors, those who contemplate, succeed and fail suicide.

        Of course every situation is different is a given. Survivors become "victims" ... Instead they should be treated as being traumatized and understand the torment of the deceased.

        Unless you understand the unending mental torment of depression... For some a lifelong struggle please do not judge, please do not be so cavalier.

        Buck up, get over it, cheer up, why so blue, it's not that bad. Being told that over and over for more than 40 years! Imagine how it feels on the inside? The misery, the torment, THE NOISE OF TRYING!

        Those who don't understand are the ones who need to stop being selfish.

        May 27, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Kay


      That was a thoughtful, informative post that anyone who *wants* to understand should find extremely useful. Of course, then there are the so-called "normal" people like "Nobody" who cavalierly dismiss the life experience you actually bring to the discussion.

      He literally dismisses you as not being an expert on suicide because you haven't killed yourself! Well, not only did you *not* pass yourself off as an expert but, rather, simply wanted to share your *own* experience with despair...but this "normal" person also apparently believes that the only people who can be experts on the causes of suicide have to be people who killed themselves!! How clueless is that??? (As an aside, I wonder...if he had a brain tumor, would he demand that he can only be operated on by a brain surgeon who *also* has had a brain tumor??? That the brain surgeon wouldn't be an expert otherwise??)

      Sadly, as "Nealb4" points out, "Nobody" *does* act like far too "normal" people do in that they not only can't empathize, but won't even try to understand. They operate from a position of "Because *I* can't imagine must not be real." (And, Nealb4...your post was also very thoughtful and informative. "THE NOISE OF TRYING" will stick with me for a very long time. I hope I can use it to make a difference.)

      Good luck to you! And I hope you find the treatments and therapists that will truly help. They *are* out there. Perhaps there's a CRO in your area? And always, always, always remember...recovery *IS* possible.

      May 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  43. Daniel Bryant

    Laying down your life for someone you love (taking a bullet) is unselfish. Giving YOURSELF a bullet is selfish.

    May 27, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
    • Rudyardk

      You, sir, don't have a clue. I really do hope that you never understand why I said that. No, I'm not a whining pussy. I'm one who live, like so many other, on the borderline. BTW, I'm not asking for you to understand – you can't. What I'm asking os for you to give suicides the benefit of the doubt.

      May 27, 2012 at 4:20 am | Reply
      • Nobody

        You are starting to sound like a whining pussy.

        May 27, 2012 at 8:17 am |
      • Kay

        Sorry, Nobody. It's actually *you* who are starting to sound like a scaredy-cat. Trying hard to macho up here online so that you don't have to admit to anyone...not even yourself...that you have fears of your own.

        There's nothing wrong with asking for help. Nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed, this has been the problem in the military...the one that this clueless general promoted...the totally counter-productive culture that treats soldiers as if there *is* something wrong with asking for help.

        It's unfortunate that people like you and this foolish general don't understand how incredibly destructive false or overwheening pride can be. Or don't understand that, as individuals, Americans are not "superpowers" or "exceptional"...just fragile human beings. Every one of us.

        May 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • krehator

      It's their life. You don't own it. Regardless of the moral question behind the act.

      I think people call it selfish to cover up their own guilt for not doing enough to help. I think it was selfish of other people who stood by and let these people commit suicide because they didn't care.

      What is their answer? Criticize them more. Great. Yep, that's a perfect plan.

      May 27, 2012 at 5:13 am | Reply
      • Me

        Yep, there is no personal responsibility anymore. It is always someone else's fault that someone commits suicide or does something else equally destructive.

        May 27, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • David

      90% of suicides are selfish. I call male bovine excrement on anyone who says otherwise. Those 90% are taking an easy way out while trying to punish those left behind. "See what you made me do?" Garbage. Bullets (self inflicted or suicide by Cop), pills, grills in your room, all lack character. Stick your head in a bucket of water and drown yourself. You have all the time in the world to change your mind. You can't change your mind with a bullet or pills. You can't decide to get help when falling off a building. I agree, if you have to end your life, it should be meaningful. Fall on a grenade, Take a bullet for others. Die manning the radio, calling in the airstrike that will save your platoon. Quick or painless death is selfish. If you can hold your head in a bucket of water until you die, you really, truly wanted to die. I have no respect for anyone who takes an easy way out without calling the hotlines, seeing the chaplain, taking with friends, family, or strangers. You are being a selfish pig. Man up; live to fight for change to the situation that makes you feel so hopeless, so others don't have to feel death is the way out. Make a difference. Being bullied and killing yourself brings a spotlight for about three days. Staying alive and fighting the injustice, making a change, that’s courage. Then you can always buy a bucket and fill it at a service station. Or better, live to find a situation where your death can make a difference. The NFL player who shot himself in the chest, specifically so his brain injuries could be studied had courage. Don’t hurt others with your death; you take away their future, their chance to make someone else’s life better. Seriously, get a bucket, fill it with water, fill out your donor card and sign it, call 911 and tell them where you are, your blood type, and that your donor paperwork is on the desk next to the bucket. Then drown yourself, if all the ways to get help haven’t worked. I respect you then, and only then.
      I want to say that those dying of cancer or diseases, who are trying to make things better or easier for those left behind, the easy way out is fine by me. I respect you. I approve of assisted suicide. But please, pick a way that will help others, donate organs, if safe, donate your remains to science, for study. Remember to get all that together before the end. So many could be helped, with a little foresight.
      And buy that bucket.

      May 27, 2012 at 7:30 am | Reply
      • Kay

        Why don't you just admit that you don't have a clue what ongoing despair and hopelessness feels like?

        And admit that, because you don't know what it feels like, you can't imagine that it's really *that* it "can't* be that bad!

        Hint: Belittling and demeaning people who are thinking about committing suicide...telling them that they are selfish cowards unless, of course, they do it *your* *not* the way to help them. Indeed, it's just a selfish act on *your* part.

        May 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
      • jimbo

        Spoken like a true ass. If someone is hopeless, they don't see any hope in talking to the hotline, chaplain, or even friends. Hope is a two-edged sword: it can provide inspiration or it can be merciless when crushed.

        May 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • Les

        Hope? I don't know if you are aware of it or not but when Pandora opened her box, she closed it leaving Hope inside the box. If you have found the box and let hope out you're a hero for the downtrodden. If you have not found and opened the original box then the discussion of having "hope" is misguided and a wee bit silly. Wishing things were different is NOT the same as hoping things were different. You would be better served by wishing upon a star than seeki9ng something like hope that does not exist.

        May 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • Glh1

        Wow. So you must have superpowers, to have been able to survey all the victims of suicide so you could conclude that 90 percent of them kill themselves for selfish reasons or to punish someone. To know who was suicidal and be able to visit them in the hours leading up to their final act....astounding.

        Get a heart, man. You don't know the pain anyone else is in, and have no right to judge.

        May 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  44. Carole Clarke

    Suicide is not a selfish act but one of desperation. Whether it is due to the cumulative effect of multiple combat tours or a specific incident it is still enough to push someone over the edge. Generals no longer are subjected to live duty on battlefields, they've passed that point years before. There is no drill sergeant in the world that can prepare you for a battlefield. The shock of the deafening sound of exploding ordnance, the smell of unwashed, wounded and dead troops and all the blood, gore and offal, the screams and even the silence. The fear is overwhelming and the memory can haunt you for the rest of your life. My father spent 34 years in an Army uniform and while sociable by nature, he tended to be a semi-recluse after he retired. Decades after WWII he still trembled when he remembered "Smiley", a boy with a lovely smile, whom he saw with his jaw shot away as their unit fought deep into Germany. Or when he remembered the fight for the church bell tower harboring a sniper. The German soldier finally ran down the stairs and came out fighting – Dad got him with the bayonet on the end of a borrowed M-1. When he looked down,he saw that his "enemy" was a 14 year old boy. Nothing prepares you for that. Even then the generals didn't understand what combat could do to men. Patton slapped a soldier who had the shakes – a few minutes talk and a day or two to calm down and the man would've returned to his unit but Patton was too revved up to wait on anyone. You don't get to be a general by being kind. The situation can be handled better now but generals still don't want to bother. Until you write a directive from the President instructing the military on how they are to handle PTSD and that there are repercussions to not fulfilling those instructions, then this will continue. Usuallly a suicide thinker will give warning. You cannot leave it up to them – they should be seen by a psychiatrist and hospitalized for treatment. If the generals don't like it, too bad. Deal with it or have more suicides.

    May 27, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
  45. greengestalt

    Well, it's progress...

    Remember the Okinawa incident, the schoolgirl?

    "They could have just rented a..."

    May 27, 2012 at 12:29 am | Reply
    • Dostoevskiac

      Those were Marines...

      May 27, 2012 at 3:32 am | Reply
      • Kay


        May 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  46. Racee68

    I have one question.... out of all the ones in here posting, judging the General's remarks... how many of you have served a day in your life protecting our country.... stop acting like you are better than thou. He is human, genuine, cares about his troops and if you read his Bio would know that he spent a great deal of time in combat. I am not him and do not speak for him but I too get frustrated when our young troops take there lives. We have programs to help us cope with the affects of war. He works diligently with programs to help prevent suicide and I am sure it is tough and frustrating for him to deal with his Troops opting to take their lives. I am a Soldier and have a son presently serving in Afghanistan... I would serve with General Pittard any day.... oh and I was though of suicide but the realization that it was a selfish act and that my family deserved more is the very reason I am here today, living a wonderful life. Problems in time go away, we have but one life. Choose to live nothing is worth taking your own life, your family and friends love and depend on you. You have a duty to them. 😀

    May 27, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
    • Racee68

      typo correction to my previous response.... "I once thought"

      May 27, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
    • mickey1313

      Race, the only war fought in any persons life time that was for the defense of our nations was ww2. Every single war since then is an illigal war, fought for the soul pourpose of advancing the racist colonial empire , and the top 1% of this evil cespool. So, STFU

      May 27, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
      • justme2323

        Does your list of war include Bosnia and Libya? You are right though, every war since WW2 wa sillegal, not one has been voted on in Congress. This is what happens when you give the Federal Government power, they abuse it. If you allow a 'D' to start an undeclared war (Korea, Vietnam etc..) you can't start complaining when an 'R' starts an illegal war. The solution is to not let any party get away with anything illegal. So let's all do our part to NOT continue giving power to people who want to make the Federal Government bigger in the future.

        May 27, 2012 at 12:57 am |
      • Mike Speakman

        Mickey you sound just like a racist who belongs in a cesspool.

        May 27, 2012 at 2:22 am |
      • Rudyardk

        Like it matters if the war is just or not. Emotional pain is emotional pain. How about a bit of compassion?

        May 27, 2012 at 4:14 am |
      • Me

        Mickey, yes…they may be "illegal" wars. However, Congress did vote to grant the President executive power to conduct combat operations in all the conflicts that followed WWII. But how was WWII in defense of our country? Yes, we were attacked at Pearl Harbor (and only by Japan), but that really doesn't compare to 9/11. If we stayed out of WWII, would it really have mattered to the US? WWII was in defense of Europe and it was absolutely necessary for us to get involved.

        And really, what does that have to do with Race's comment?

        May 27, 2012 at 7:30 am |
      • Racee68

        STFU? How old are you? And are you the self proclaimed expert on which wars are legal and which ones are not. I wasn't speaking of the wars. I was referring to our issues with suicide. Legal or not..... they are wars and our Troops are out there doing what is asked of them. Which war have you fought in? Grow up!!!

        May 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  47. blughst20

    So as far as this idiot is concerned it's still "Get over it". The same sh*t we put up with when we returned from VietNam. To think that this man has been promoted to such a high position in the military and has no understanding or maybe no experience in comming back from Combat. If he has sat behind the lines his whole career they should have put a muzzel on him. If he has been in actual combat he should have a psyc eval because his elevator can't go all the way to the top

    May 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • Smellthebeans

      Uh...because he's BLACK, DUH!

      May 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Reply
      • Rudyardk

        Can you troll leave *nothing* alone? You must lead miserable lives.

        May 27, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • SciGuy

      His elevator is fine, better than those demanding an apology. He nailed this one, told it like it is.

      May 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • DTB

      Yep, he's just "telling it like it is" America.

      No surprise you have people eating others faces off- your country is hilariously stupid when it comes to dealing with mental health.

      May 27, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
  48. blughst20

    I thought we were over the ole "Get over it" sh*t" that the VietNam got for so many years before someone finally figured out that combat is something you don't just "Get over". This general has the same attitude the civilian population had when we returned from VietNam, I would expect better from a military man in this day and age. I am angry and ashamed for my branch of the service (Army) that a man like this has been promoted to his lofty position and would be very afraid to follow him into combat.

    May 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  49. James Teague

    Masturbation and suicide are the 2 most selfish things you can do. No religious connotation assigned, its just selfish.

    May 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
    • James Mom

      Then why do you do it? Havent I raised you well? sent you to school. All i do is cry myself to sleep. not even a mothers day card

      May 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • mickey1313

      If you are being serous, you are f-ing s-t-u-p-i-d

      May 27, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
    • Rudyardk

      I relly hope you're a troll and don't really think that. Even so, you're a cold heart to even write that. What a blight on the human race.

      May 27, 2012 at 4:25 am | Reply
    • joolz

      Look, let's not let the discussion get jerked off course.

      May 27, 2012 at 4:33 am | Reply
  50. Casey

    I believe that most people who commit suicide are mentally impaired when they commit the act. Who in their right mind would kill themselves? People who attempt suicide or commit suicide deserve compassion, not judgment.

    May 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
    • General?

      Casey, I like your attitude, very intuitive. lets take it a step further shall we...What is occuring when entire communities of dolphins beach themselves?

      May 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
      • Casey

        I would guess that the dolphins were ill in some way and were unaware of what they were doing.

        May 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • mickey1313

      one is wracked with pain, perminatly, and there is nothing to do to get rid of it. They are nuts to kill themselves. You are foolish. It should be the same as japan believes. If you are shamed, you should off your self. They even sell suicide for dummies type books.

      May 27, 2012 at 12:52 am | Reply
  51. John Smith

    This Gen X, conservative belief that suicide is selfish is yet more proof positive that the America of today is irredeemable.
    Most of those posing this view have never served nor will they ever serve in any capacity. They do not give a $#!+ and they will never give a $#!+. America, especially GENERATION X America truly deserves the horrible trauma of blood and fire that is coming.

    May 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
    • Mike Speakman

      I'm not a Gen Xer, I served 20 years, my children have both served and suicide IS one of the most selfish acts out there.

      May 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • JoeP

        Some suicides are more selfish than others. Many suicides are not selfish at all (what can a person with dependents owe anyone that outweighs their right to end their own suffering?). Instead of condeming people who commit suicide, and making suicidal people feel even worse about their thoughts, why don't you try to understand why people kill themselves and show compassion for their situations. Suicide is simply the last resort for a person who has run out of coping mechanisms. Will you try to help them cope? You'd have to get down off your high horse first, sir.

        May 27, 2012 at 12:52 am |
      • Mike Speakman

        I've been to that point where I thought suicide just might be the answer. Luckily I came to my senses. Suicide is very selfish, though I do see one exception. The choice of suicide when one is dealing with constant physical pain with no hope of recovery. In this instance suicide is a mercy.

        May 27, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • up yours

      until youve fought in combat and seen people die, then you dont have a damn thing to say about the state of mind of anyone on the battlefield.

      the human brain was never meant to handle the traumatic events of war easily. Theres only so much carnage one can see before they snap.

      Idiots like you and generals such as this tool can sit behind your desk in safety while boys die in foxholes, or live to see their brothers massacred then are screwed up in the head enough to want to commit suicide.

      This reminds me of when the nam vets came home and people here spat upon them, even though the war was not their fault.

      The war machine, those who gain profit from it, and the vicarious pieces of human excrement like you, dont care about the casualties of war, as long as you can sit on your ass, live vicariously watching Jersey shore American Idol sipping budweiser, all is fine in your world,

      If anyone is due for a wake up call, it is indeed you and those like you

      May 27, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
      • Mike Speakman

        Wow, you really are a liberal numskull aren't you. Probably drug yourself out of some dung heap to make those statements.

        May 27, 2012 at 2:32 am |
  52. General?

    This discussion is rather interesting. There are two types of humans, those with conscience and those without. Those without operate on a "need fulfillment" basis. Consequently they WOULD kill themselves for so called "selfish" reasons. However there are those born with conscience, and sometimes it is difficult for those individuals to comprehend those without. When you think their is nothing beyond this existence, and this existence "sucks", you may seek a way out. It is not selfish when a prisoner succumbs to torture, nor is it selfish when they see no hope. Deep down unless you possess a soul, your last thought when all is lost is about yourself.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • mickey1313

      the only type of suicide that is shelfish is when a person has dependents to look after, and you abandon them via suicide. If you have no one to look after, then it is no ones business if you do not want to take part in the BUL###T world.

      May 27, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
      • Rudyardk

        Well said. I, and I suspect that you too, hope that those who don't understand suicide never will.

        May 27, 2012 at 4:31 am |
  53. Selfless Service

    The General is absolutely right. Suicide is tragic! But can be avoided and many lives can be saved if the so called congressman from FL who is acting like he cares (If not for his own re-election strategy) would man-up and confront the war lovers like McCain, Linsay and others that their opaque old ways of thinking is what is causing the suicides. Too many tours of duty on this 120+ degrees areas and these ramacoons still dont want us to come home when the job was already done in May last year (Killing Bin). Please bring the troops home. They already accomplished their given mission. I also serve with honor. Its insane to sit in the air-conditions in congress and asked others to go stay on 120+ degree sun with mopp suit. If Congress is not a lavish place why do these people spend millions fighting to stay there. The so called seat is not yours. Let others also come and enjoy it.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  54. gem

    The General is right bible call it selfishness god says I gave You life you took your own
    life so this is where you stay(hell) God says I am the giver & the taker of life. Jesus is the way the tuth & the light No man comes to the father but through My son Jesus Repent Repent Repent

    May 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      II'm sure the desperately depressed with be encouraged by holier-than-thou attitudes, labels, and dismissive indifference.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Casey

      Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

      May 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Reply
    • SciGuy

      Casey, would you say someone who robbed and murdered a convenience store clerk was wrong? Well, most of us would...are we violating Jesus command to not judge?

      May 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
      • Casey

        SciGuy – A person who robs and murders a convenience store clerk is causing harm to another person. A person who commits suicide is causing harm to themselves. The comparison is not valid.

        May 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
      • General?

        Very good question. I suppose the creator does allow us to judge the MAN. For as a fellow traveler on this earth, he is expected to FIT in. Nothing we do to a man for his crime will harm is soul. if he has one. Most forget the body is simply a vessel. If a man murders, his fellow men have the right to remove him. If he is to be judged for his actions, his ultimate judgement will be layed on his soul, and that we cant judge even if we wanted to, the system is foolproof.

        May 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Dan

      It is always amusing when people quote the bible as if it were fact.

      May 27, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • Get a life Dan

        Its even more amusing when someone thinks their smartass comment will instantly convert believers into non-believers.

        May 27, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • mickey1313

      thiesm is at best niave, at worst (and most oftem) out right f-ing stupid.

      May 27, 2012 at 12:57 am | Reply
      • Dave

        It probably is naive, but honestly if everyone lived their life loving their neighbor as they love themselves, would the world be a better place or worse?

        May 27, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Stacy

      Well gee wiz. If God knows everything then why would he create certain people, that he knew before he even created them, would commit suicide and sentence themselves to an eternity of torture and agony? Freewill you say. Well once again it's God were talking about, and he knew beforehand what the outcome would be. So I say to you, logically speaking, freewill is a myth and God must be a sadist.
      Or perhaps God is more forgiving than you and the good general. If not you can add every soldier that's ever killed another human being ever to your list of the condemned. If I recall the bible doesn't say "thou shalt not kill unless thou is an American" does it?

      May 27, 2012 at 2:51 am | Reply
    • Rudyardk

      If CHristainity spares you the torment of life, then I am truly happy for you. I really am. However, there are many people who do not have that to depennd on. I wish you well, and I hope that you with non CHristains well as you say your Jesus taught.

      May 27, 2012 at 4:34 am | Reply
    • Les

      The bible and what it says is totally irrelevant in this conversation. Individual opinions of cherry picked out of context phrases are even less relevant.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • Glh1

      God never said "you took your own life so this is where you stay (hell)." You should know better than to put words in Gods mouth. Thankfully, God is more compassionate than you.

      May 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  55. HumbleAmerican

    We don't leave our soldiers on the battlefield and we deffinately have to concern ourselves with removing the battlefield from the soldier. Or, we are half-assed cowards.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  56. Anna Nom

    You are all here tonight because suicide scares you. It is scary, and it will keep happening.
    You can accept it like a thoughtful intelligent being, or you can get angry and scared and condemn it. Your words of condemnation won't prevent it.

    The only chance you have of preventing it, is to learn to listen, to accept others' agony and fear, and learn to think on your feet about alternative solutions to a problem that some people can't move beyond.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • SciGuy

      Saying we won't prevent suicide is like saying we won't prevent crime. We may cause some to think twice about it, we may stop some suicides, but no, we will never stopp all suicides.

      In any case the general was spot on; suicide is the ultimate selfish act, the supreme act of self-love over love for anyone else.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply
      • Anna Nom

        Wow, I usually try to behave online, but honestly, I'll risk getting banned from here to say
        " You are one sick pervert FUCK if you believe what you just said". We gotta share this Earth, but I don't have to accept your sick opinion.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
      • SciGuy

        Really, Anna. Have you had your mess today? Are you unaccustomed to discussions with rational beings who don't see life as you do. Get a grip girl. Grow up.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
      • mickey1313

        you are a but plug. I agree with anna 100%

        May 27, 2012 at 12:59 am |
      • Carole Clarke

        Suicide may seem selfish to those who are left behind but not to the person who dies. His act is one of desperation, a moment of unredeemable madness. Why do you expect logic, thoughtfulness and compassion from someone who is so impaired as to kill themselves? It's a moment of sickness not selfishness. Where was everyone while they were in such pain? Why should such a distressed person think first of how others will feel? Where were they when he needed them?

        May 27, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • Rudyardk

        Choosing self love? Choosing self love?!? You have no clue. Not the slightest. I'm not trying to insult you. I am just flabbergasted that you – and so many others – are so incredibly far from underatanding. Bu tthen, I truly hope you never do. I ask onl;y that you don't add to the load.

        May 27, 2012 at 4:38 am |
  57. kmac

    Why havent all you that think suicide is not mental illness going after the drug companies that make anti-depressants. We is the outrage against companies that sell worthless med to millions when all they need to do is "cowboy up".

    May 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  58. Cherie

    The act of suicide in and of itself is a selfish act. If a person is healthy and in their right mind, they would never purposely do this to someone they love. However, anyone who has ever been depressed knows that someone contemplating suicide is not healthy and not in their right mind. I sincerely hope these men and women find the peace they are looking for. And I hope more Americans wake up to the staggering cost of life that these preemptive, offensive, ILLEGAL wars are costing.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  59. Anna Nom

    I'm so stunned to see the military or anyone talk about suicide as a "mental illness"–it's not crazy at all, if you find yourself in such an illogical and painful situation that there is no way out to sanity. The mentally ill don't commit suicide, they run for Congress. The sane suffer, and some of them have to opt out of life to evade the incredible pain of the illogical and hopeless world they find themselves in. Please give our dead the respect they deserve–they aren't damaged, our world damaged them.

    May 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
    • General?

      "the mental ill dont commit suicide..they run for congress"

      Bravo!! Nice comment, if we had a like button, I would have pushed it. One of the top today.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
      • Kay

        No one is saying 'suicide' is a mental illness. They are saying that PTSD and severe depression are mental illnesses. They are saying that people who are mentally healthy don't commit suicide because of feelings of despair and utter hopeless.

        (As an aside, 1 in 4 Americans will suffer a mental illness at some point in their lives, and 1 in 17 will suffer a severe mental illness. Every single one of you knows people living with a mental illness. So, yup, we have politicians with mental illnesses. Abe Lincoln always comes to mind. As does LBJ.)

        May 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  60. JR

    He's not entirely wrong. Men need to start acting like men and quit relying on mommy when problems arize.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      Go to war JR of STFU. I know many Soldiers who have spent half of the last ten years at war – while Americans sit on their fat asses and argue about liberals and conservatives. We send young people into situations they are unable to handle and we breal them. Your comment makes me wonder if my service was actually worthwhile – are you worth defending?

      May 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
    • kmac

      Just how stupid are you.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Reply
    • Anna Nom

      It takes a lot more courage to end one's life that it does to criticize a man and call him names.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • SciGuy

      Unfortunately Larry your service was not worthwhile since we are fighting aggressive wars. Your only worthwhile fighting is when it is in defense of the country. None of today's aggressive wars meet this requirement.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Reply
      • Mike Speakman

        Hmn, so many forget that we were attacked. Then again, by your logic, we should only be fighting people who are here in the states.

        May 27, 2012 at 12:03 am |
      • Dan

        SciGuy, you have a short memory.

        May 27, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • SciGuy

      Yes, Anna, it does take courage. And a very unhealthy dose of unabated selfishness.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  61. Mike Speakman

    This general is entirely correct. Any one who is not in never ending physical pain who commits suicide are the most selfish people in the world.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • ScienceSoma

      And your experience with suicide or deep depression is what? Do you not think people would choose to remain alive if it seemed like a real choice? In my experience, anyone who thinks suicide is deeply selfish has never experienced it first hand. At the time, it seems like death is the only possible way to catch your breath. Mental illness is just as real as any physical illness.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
      • Racee68

        Very wrong you are Science..... i contemplated it years ago and it was the realization that it was a selfish act and a cop out not to mention my religious beliefs that kept me from committing the ultimate sin. I have a responsibility to my family.... they need and depend on me. Nothing is ever so horrible that you have to resort to such a permanent solution. I am a Soldier that has deployed and have a son that is currently deployed. Sometimes we are dealt a bad hand our level of resiliency allows us to bounce back from adversity. Choose to live.

        May 27, 2012 at 12:13 am |
      • Rudyardk

        Well said.

        May 27, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • kmac

      Another idot

      May 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • Anna Nom

      Show us your wounds, apparently you have none. Those who have wounds have great empathy for others who suffer.
      Life asks you to be more humble, to find empathy. Before it's your turn and you find no one there to empathize with you. The wheel turns, it will be your turn all too soon.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
      • Rudyardk

        Well said. However, I'd say that many who deny the validity of suicide are just trying to escape their own pain through denial of the only alternativfe. Not all of them, but some. Let's hope that they never really understand.

        May 27, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • General?

      I think mike was being satirical. Reread his comment.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • Larry L

        I disagree. He seems to be granting a waiver for those who are ill. He has no understanding of those things that cause suicide.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Anna Nom

        Thanks, I'll do that, I'm kind of in scatter shot tonight, have more things to do elsewhere. Appreciate your advice, thanks.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Larry L

      Are your children prepared to see and experience the horrors of war? Have you seen you buddies turned into bits of bloody pulp and rags of clothing? Have you seen children gutted and crying for the last few moments of their short life? Have you gone to sleep at night worrying about going to Hell because of things you did that day? Have you lost your family and home because of multiple deployments to "save" people who hate you? Think about it before you exercise that pie-hole again.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
      • Mike Speakman

        Both my children have served in Iraq, and both have come under fire. I've lost close family members to suicide. Suicide is extremely selfish.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Larry L

        Your family members committed suicide because they could rationally see no other solution. You see it as selfish because you see things as all about you. The fact that your children served has no impact on the discussion. Everybody who serves are somebody's children. Unfortunately, most of the time thopse who serve are not related to the politicians who start the wars, or those who "serve' as cheerleaders rather than players.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Mike Speakman

      I served for 20 years, been in extreme emotional distress considered but never followed through with suicide. Suicide is an extremely selfish act. This political correctness crap has to end.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
      • Larry L

        Big deal. I spent 34 on active duty and a good portion of the last part dealing with the problem of suicide in the Services. Those of you who don't understand the problem are the problem. It's not a game of who's the most "manly" and everybody isn't prepared to endure this osrt of warfare. Good leaders understand the mental aspects of modern war and work hard to prevent suicide. Childish and selfish leaders make the sort of statement you made here.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
      • Mike Speakman

        Work hard to prevent suicide? That is lunacy, once an individual has made that final decision there is nothing to stop them except them themselves. Sure some may seek help, but the ones truly committed to suicide are the ones that succeed. Thinking you can honestly intercede is a pipe dream. Telling the truth is in no way childish. I'd expect better from someone who's served 34 years.

        May 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Glh1

      Why do you put unbearable emotional pain on a level beneath unbearable physical pain? Pain is pain, and you have no right to judge someone who simply cannot keep enduring. Suicide isn't the answer ever, but when someone can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, and makes that horrific decision, he deserves our compassion, not our condemnation. Although I dare say that maybe a little compassion beforehand, and maybe some folks would delay their decision just long enough to get a glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel, and find the strength to go on.

      May 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  62. General?

    Ok guys, this is guest , btw...Cant resist posting tomorrows headline goes


    Fort Bliss (API) After giving what most considered an insensitive speech regarding the elevated suicide rate among todays soldiers, General Pittard was found dead in his hotel room. The cause of death as reported by the local sheriff was suicide. He was found hanging from a beam running across the ceiling. A note left on a nearby desk, saying "I regret the pain I may have caused the families of those who died before me"

    May 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      It can't happen because this General was one of the fools who's given too many speeches and said "hooah" too many times. He believes the cruel and ridiculous stuff he says because as a General Officer, nobody ever tells him he's full of crap.. He should be relieved now. He is unfit to lead. Those of you who support this sort of behavior need to go to war or STFU.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
      • Mike Speakman

        It's become quite clear that the one that needs to be relieved is you yourself. You are a complete loon.

        May 27, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  63. Rallph Smith

    The general is an ignorant ass. Very ignorant. How pathetic is this moron?

    May 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • MK

      Yep, people need to man-up and stop acting like a little girl. Agree with him.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Reply
      • Larry L

        When we send children to war 3-5 times we break them. Our population of ignorant "chicken-hawks" has no concept of the price they pay. It's the Memorial day weekend you ignorant hick. If you're so willing to die for "freedom" in the Mid-East I recommend you enlist and request assignment in the war zone. Don't give me the "sissy liberal" sound bite. I've served longer than anybody you know and understand the problem. This General is an ass.

        May 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
      • Anna Nom

        Man up and learn that compassion and understanding are for all smart and well trained men and women.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Matt McCarthy

      This "moron" is a great leader who cares for and loves soldiers. Maybe his words were "politically incorrect and insensitive (a judgement call). His frustration comes from caring about his soldiers. Trust this guy America. He cares.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  64. wavejump1100

    he is correct suicide is selfish. its the easy way out instead of dealing with your problems. it scars the people left behind.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • Larry L

      A cheap and thoughtless comment from a person with no real understanding of the problems faced by Soldiers who've faced the horrors of war. This General is an example of some of the mindless sociopaths who sometimes slip through the cracks of the promotion system. He should be relieved ASAP.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
      • HumbleAmerican

        I agree with Larry L. And thank you for your service. The General showed his true colors I'm afraid. And to me at least he showed that he is part of the problem. Telling a cornered soldier that contemplating what he veiws as his only choice for freedom, that he is a sissy and selfish for reaching for that disgusting and a complete cop-out. A shirking of the responsibilities to remove the battlefield from the soldier. Which is the same as never leaving a soldier on the battlefield.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Anna Nom

      If only people like you didn't keep causing this problem....

      May 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • Mike Speakman

      The only ones causing this problem are the idiots who kill themselves. These so called experts are all idiots. Suicide IS a selfish act.

      May 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  65. bob searcy

    suicide is not a rational act. if survivors can acknoledge that the suicide victim was mentally ill, even temporarily so, then the feelings of animosity can be turned into forgiveness.. i say this with experience..

    May 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  66. ChuckB

    He is trying to channel Patton.

    May 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  67. Joe

    How do you sleep at night General?

    May 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • joolz

      I'm not too worried about the General's remarks. He is right, but political correctness is making this big stink. He is right to complain. There are two reasons so many suicides occur in the US army today. 1: a war in afghanistan with no clear strategy or metric for winning, leaving troops confused as to the value of their sacrifices 2) the human material the army is having to recruit in the last few years is of a very low caliber, what with moral and physical waivers for substandard performance. They have more personality disorders and therefore had to go to the military to get a job, that job being an extremely stressful one and one of the few careers in which getting killed by a enemy force is distinct possiblity.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  68. Les


    Exactly. And the second rule of Fight Club.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  69. Jake

    My dad killed himself when I was six and I'm not too thrilled with him, either. I don't harbor anger but I do think it was selfish.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      survivors have those feelings.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Candy

      Nobody commits suicide in their right frame of mind. It just isn't the normal thing to do. Something has to snap. It is a desperate act and unless we're in that situation, I don't see how any of us can speculate. And yes I do know what it's like to deal with this because my sister is dead today and she attempted suicide a number of times. Finally it got her.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
      • Anna Nom

        I'm really sorry for your loss of your sister Candy. I have a loved one that I fear for every day. So I know you kind of live in hell and then it's still horrible when it's over.
        I don't think your sister was a bad person at all, I think she just felt a pain that we couldn't provide a solution for. It's not your fault, we all take the blame. Someday we'll know how to help each other and our loved ones better.
        Hang in there, life is about renewal.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  70. Carly65

    The General retracted his statement and issued an apology. Give him a break and quit with all the political correctness! General Pittard should be able to speak his mind about something this important that affects his troops. And from what I see on this thread and others, people no longer have any manners.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  71. jacquesdaspy

    There are more people that just the General that have his attitude. Unfortunatly, too many work for the VA or the US Army as psychologist who are completely clueless about the very subject that they profess to be experts. There are between six and seven thousand soldier suicides every year and even though they have the opportunity, they still don't get it. The VA is the most dangerous opponent that a soldier will ever face. They kill more men in a year, than have died in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Their superior attitude is not justified.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • SonnyB

      @Jaquesdaspy: "The VA is the most dangerous opponent that a soldier will ever face. They kill more men in a year, than have died in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

      Is that an official statistic, or just something that you like to pull out your ass to make you sound smart at a party to someone who'll believe most things people say??

      May 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  72. nik green

    Looking back in history, one can count just *two* wars which can be honestly ascribed to "defending America"... the War of Independence to liberate us from a foreign oppressor, and World War Two, in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – and to help liberate Europe from fascism. All the other wars... dozens upon dozens – have been started for a multitude of *other* reasons – none of which have anything to do with "protecting America and its Constitution".

    Sadly, over the course of American history, so many 10s of thousands of our troops have died – under the impression that they were fighting for their nation, but in reality – misled and lied to by politicians into fighting wars on behalf of big business. Maj. General Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in US history, told it the way it is.... having fought in numerous of these conflicts. His short book "War is a Racket" is essential reading for all proud and patriotic Americans.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  73. Joe

    he should stick to Army stuff and stay out of Media,shut up.

    May 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  74. Tammy

    So can anyone tell me if they still have the rule that if a military commits suicide any life insurance left behind is no longer given to the beneficiaries and the military/gov't. keeps all the money? I only ask b/c if the gov't. and military believes that it's ok and not selfish for one of their pieces of equipment to kill themselves why not give the insurance money to the ppl they made beneficiary?

    May 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  75. Mohammad


    May 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • Balanced

      Wait... isn't Akbar a fish from Star Wars... You praise a fish... It's a Trap!!!

      May 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        it was a drunk too.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • nancy

      God is great? You know what's great? Comfortable shoes are great.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Reply
    • Rallph Smith

      Just like Allah, you are an gods, no masters

      May 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • Dan


      May 27, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  76. nancy

    selfish? you're mistaken.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  77. Citizen Twain

    Stop apologizing for the truth.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  78. web060

    Disgusting....Of couse as he's africian/American(?) nothing will be done

    May 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • SomeRandomDude

      he's black.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
      • web060

        it's American in?

        May 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  79. SomeRandomDude

    suicide is selfish. it really is one of the most self centered acts out there, even more so than masturbating.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • web060

      I guess you would know

      May 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
      • SomeRandomDude

        yeah that's why i said it.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Rallph Smith

      You are fricking stupid

      May 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  80. CAL

    There is nothing wrong with what he said, he didn't need to apologize.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • web060

      Such compasion, such caring....I only hope that someday you are driven to such dispare

      May 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
      • Rallph Smith

        despair, knucklehead

        May 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Richard

      I agree....No need to apologize...He is correct...

      May 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
      • web060

        Someday you may be there, or maybe one of your children, or parent or spouse. Hope you'll be more understanding then.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Citizen Twain

      My brother killed himself and it was the most selfish act he could have done. He destroyed his whole family because he didn't have the courage to face his own life decisions. I will never forgive him.

      May 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  81. Portland tony

    We were not counting all the suicides from the previous big wars WWI, WWII, Korea, and Nam since it wasn't PC. Just wonder how today's statistics would compare....?

    May 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  82. andreadealmagro

    This guy is a general? Some one-dimensional view he's got.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  83. Hiruu

    Can't say that I am surprised by this comment in the slightest.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  84. svann

    Suicide IS selfish. But in our PC world you arent allowed to call soldiers selfish. If it was anyone else it would be ok.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • mickey1313

      svann, suicide is not selfish. You have no idea how hard it is to live with the pain sometimes. It is selfish for people to want those whom are suffering to live on in aganoy. And as far as soulders suicides, maybe thay can no longer deal with the fact that they are terrorists, and murders and assasins fighting an unjust war. Many nazis were hanged at Nunerburg for just following orders.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Reply
      • CAL

        You are an idiot.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
      • Balanced

        Soo... the military and the Men and Women within every branch of it are "terrorists... murderers... and assassins..." Do you live in the USA? If so... then that means you are supporting such activities and have done such since you started to pay taxes, unless you have given up your citizenship. If not a citizen... then it still sounds like ignorance all the same.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • Okie Stater

        That is about the most outrageous statement I have ever read. Mickey1313 should be dragged behind a pickup for a few miles aqnd then be forced to give up his citizenship. But I guess the "terriosts" died so he would have the right to spew this drivel.

        May 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  85. Honest Citizen

    When is the lat time a general was killed in action?

    Easy to talk big when your life is in no danger.

    May 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • web060

      Thank you

      May 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • natedogii

      As a Black NCO that has done time over ther in man made hell I can say that this guy sucks leading from the rear

      May 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
      • Rallph Smith

        I don't care what color or religion he is,....he is an ass!!

        May 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • okiejoe

      I don't know who was the most recent general killed in action, but in World War 2 there were at least 15 US Generals or Admirals killed in action, died of wounds received in combat or executed after they were captured.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • Les

      At least 2 American Generals have died in Afghanistan (non-combat related). 11 US generals and 1 admiral were killed in combat in the Vietnam War. I think that 12 generals were killed in WWII. Many generals have died in combat in our history. A well-known one is General Custer who was rightfully taken out by Native Americans in the 19th century. A quick search of the web will reveal the statistics. Generals DO serve in combat units and many of them have been killed because of it.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
    • Mike Speakman

      This general is absolutely correct in his first comments on suicide. This politically correct crap is totally un-American and has to be brought to an end. All these people denouncing what he said are pure idiots.

      May 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  86. ScienceSoma

    People who think suicide is selfish have never been in a situation in which it seemed the only option, nor have they ever lost someone (or multiple people) to suicide. It is often a split second decision made by someone who feels as though they are trapped inside a concrete room with no doors or windows, choking on pain thinking the only way out is death. Congratulations if you have never had to experience it, much like many people have never experienced near-drowning, but stop assuming that your pontificating about a situation that is nothing more than a theoretical construct to you comes anywhere near the reality of the situation.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • viaquest

      your dead wrong. yes i've lived through it, and yes it's very selfish

      May 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Reply
      • mickey1313

        If the government can take away your rights, you can freely give them up, including your "right" to live.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
      • CAL

        I agree.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
      • Rallph Smith

        you are stupid

        May 26, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
      • Candy

        Well I think it's very selfish of you to think that your diagnosis of the situation (suicide being selfish) is the only answer. That's true selfishness. Got all the answers don't ya?

        May 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • Mike Speakman

        Viaquest is totally correct, I truly don't have any respect for these people who think otherwise.

        May 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  87. drinky

    A general who has spent far too long in his cushy chair in a rear area who has no clue what real combat is like...I'll bet he's NEVER seen any.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Well this must mean he's up for a 4th star! The female in the AF just got promoted to her 4th star, and never had an assignment outside og DC or Ohio. Worst part of it is, she received like 2 stars in under a year. I can't see how these people get pmoted without doing time across the big waters and in the sandbox.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Reply
      • mickey1313

        Agreed, to get any stars they should have to see action in every tour. Easy to make the hard calls when its not there rears on the line.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  88. feline123

    A suicide is a terrible event for the family left behind. Do the families of suicides receive any help, insurance money or any benefits at all?

    May 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • Sirned

      Insurance companies used to pay for suicide. I don't think they do anymore.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
      • feline123

        I meant does the family of a suicide receive any benefits from the military such as the GI insurance, social security survivors benefits, survivor benefits from the military person who died. Survivors of active duty members receive certain benefits and I wondered if those who take their lives leave families without financial help from the military.

        May 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  89. todd

    telling it like it is–that is why you are a general!!!

    May 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Except that he retracted what he said. So he is either the kind of man who shoots his mouth off without thinking and doesn't really believe what he said, or he isn't courageous enough to stand behind the things he does believe because of the backlash. Either way he doesn't deserve your hero worship.

      May 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • krehator

      That's not what gets you the stars. Playing politics is what gets your there.

      May 27, 2012 at 5:02 am | Reply
  90. The_Mick

    My nephew, a sergeant, was sent to clean up the dead from destroyed convoys and then lead replacement convoys in Iraq during the hot times in 2006-7 because officers like this SOB made sure they were excused from doing so. Then, while they told the American people our men/women were on tours of no more than 12 months, my nephew stayed there for 18 months (and 60 minutes showed another Guard unit there for 16 months).
    When my nephew came back, loud noises, etc. bothered him. Bush was solemnly saying he was "honoring our veterans" while threatening vetoes over VA Hospital funding. So my nephew was "honored" by having to take off work, drive from Northern Maine to Boston, 6-7 hours, rent a hotel room on his own dime, and be treated as an outpatient at a VA Hospital.
    So who's selfish Pittard, you f'ing bag of wind sitting behind a desk?
    And what's absolutely selfish is that the politicians don't want to upset the wealthy by instituting a draft, so we totally misuse our National Guard, send soldiers on multiple tours for much longer than the Army's own psychiatrists say is reasonable.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • mickey1313

      All of our current brass are hypocrites. They know da## well the war is unjust, and unnessasary, but they keep sending our youth to die. END THE WAR POTUS it is time to end what the monster bush started. But Obama has proven weak willed against the GOP war machine.

      May 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  91. Sgt Pete

    If the Soldiers had an outlet that was not in their chain of command, they would be more likely to seek and accept help. If that soldier could go to someone that didn't jeopardize that next promotion or training opportunity, that individual might be more willing to get the help needed to overcome the stressors that might lead to the hopelessness and despair leading to suicide. I ask ALL Veterans to volunteer as a compassionate ear. Be a strong shoulder for those that are still in the fight, and assist them in getting whatever help they might need. There are organizations out there that can help, I'm not saying that you will have all the answers, but as a Veteran, (not in their chain of command) they might be more willing to seek out and use the help that is out there. Call your local Veterans Hospital and ask how you can get involved. I found Buddy to Buddy, and I volunteer at a local Guard Armory. Instead of criticizing the General for his comments, or condemning those who might try to end their life, DO SOMETHING! If all you can do is blow smoke with some negative commentary, keep it to yourself. If you have constructive criticism, OK, but, be clear, so it is read as you intend it. To those of you who are serving or have served, I Thank You! To those families that have lost a loved one, I am sorry for your loss. Know that your loss means that our Freedom's will continue. Thank you, Semper Fi.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • Balanced

      Nicely said.

      May 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Reply
    • regarola

      Rep. Rooney just jammed what is most likely a fine officers career for the sake of press and maybe a couple constituent votes, he should be ashamed. Sgt Pete your comment was so very well put.....Rooney take notes.

      May 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • Tsgt. Mike Whitacre, RET.

      PTSD has be down played by military since WWI that all too many says you are a coward or selfish but to best of men that have seen the carnage of war will tell you when the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airman and Coast Guard fights the good battles and has to come home to fighting the VA and those that doesn't have a clue about war they need to keep their mouth shut and help those who have served!

      January 30, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  92. Sirned

    Mental illness is like an invisible cancer. It kills if not treated. Dismissing mental illness as selfish is just trying to brush a complicated little understood disease under the rug. I am confident we are evolving as we learn and talk more about it like we are doing here today. So kudos to all the posts here today. The fact that we are discussing this means we care...

    May 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  93. Squally

    He was spot on with his remark IMO and I agree with him. However, today's military and world in general is far too PC for that kind of sentiment. Should have just kept it too himself.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      I disagree. Political correctness doesn't always account for the backlash that stems from a stupid comment. I do agree that until he has spends a significant amount of time studying the human mind, depression, psychopathology, neurobiology, etc., then yeah, he should keep his opinions about suicide to himself. People with PTSD or depression, or both, have an impaired ability to reason. So quite obviously they don't always realize that they are not reasoning properly. In fact they might even believe they are doing their loved ones a favor by unburdening them with their existence. This is irrational and even egocentric but not necessarily selfish.
      It could be argued that the good general's casual dismissal and categorization of men and women who could no longer bare something he doesn't understand, as cowards, is the real display of cowardice. He needs to educate himself and try to understand why hundreds of his fellow soldiers commit suicide every year rather then take the easy way out and slap a convenient "coward" label on them a`la George Paton. That's what a real leader does.

      May 27, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
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