22 a Day

“THE RESULTS ARE THE SAME”

by OPOVV, ©2014

(Nov. 24, 2014) — Twenty-two of our Veterans are opting out, as a career choice, as it were, by deliberately choosing to stop the memories by the most permanent means available, every day:  by committing suicide.

Depending what side you’re on, the living or the dead, the word “suicide” either has relevance or it does not. To the living it’s easy: he or she took their own life by “taking the easy way out.” Of course there’s the possibility, even the probability, that if the living were to have the exact same life experience and therefore, memories, as those who killed themselves, maybe such a flippant remark as “took the easy way out” wouldn’t be so carelessly tossed around as if that were the verdict, and the only “rational” verdict possible.

But the world is constructed of contours of many convoluted shades of “right” and “wrong.” Seldom are things what they seem from an impromptu scrutiny. Detailed examination may reveal multiple possibilities whose conclusions may change with time and maturity.

Each suicide is an individual tragedy, to be sure, but maybe all the facts are never revealed. Maybe no facts are revealed. Maybe the act is justified, at least to those who go through with it. Maybe it isn’t as it seems on the surface: maybe the act was an “execution.” Maybe the Veteran deserved to die; after all, we must consider all possibilities. Just maybe the Veteran tried her or himself in the court of their conscience and was found wanting. Maybe the verdict rendered was: “You are hereby sentenced to a lifetime of bad memories.” Or maybe the verdict was the death sentence, to be carried out whenever.

Some Vets suffer from nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night sweating, shaking, and scared out of their wits. All are surprised, at first, that they even remembered or gave it any in-depth thought about what the dream was about in the first place.

Surprise turns to embarrassment, which turns to dread. Vets dreading the night, afraid to close their eyes because waking up from a nightmare is truly a horrible and frightening experience. The worst way to come out of a nightmare is alone, but if you’re with someone it’s hard not to feel ashamed, not of the subject of the nightmare, but that you were, at that moment, 100% vulnerable, open to any sneak attack, unable to defend yourself or your family.

And so, rather than being a burden, many Vets kill themselves because they feel an acute sense of responsibility to those they care most about: the world would be a better place without them. In their mind it’s doing the right thing, the honorable deed.

And so, in conclusion, honor those who have died by their own hand as much as you would honor those who died on the field of valor because, when the dust and smoke have cleared, the results are the same: one dead soldier.

Semper Fi

OPOVV

4 Responses to "22 a Day"

  1. gigclick   Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Read the book “The Element Of Surprise” by Navy SEAL Darryl Young. It is a paperback. The parties in Washington and air conditioned offices in DC will go on whether we are here or not. It is NOT worth sacrificing your life for the people there. Serving your country, the Constitution, Honoring previous Veterans and you fellow service members and God is what matters, not the people in Washington. Most have proven themselves WORTHLESS and do not deserve the jobs they have since they don’t honor the oaths they took and they imprison Veterans that stand for that oath. Veterans need to pull together and become a force in the civilian world and not allow ourselves to be divided by the helter skelter life after Military Service. We paid a price and we need to demand the benefits of that whether they “grant” that or not. Our benefits have been cut enough and it’s time to stand up. Current “illegals” are being given $50k in benefits, most Vietnam Vets had their college benefits pulled after a ten year period even if they were disabled.

  2. OPOVV   Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    An “End Game” would help.
    A stated goal.
    Defining the enemy be a good idea, too.
    How about “Rules of Engagement” that FAVOR our side? I wonder if the Sec. of Defense ever thought of that one, or the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or anyone else on the river?
    Look, my method of warfare worked for me: someone shoots at me, I call in 4 tons of napalm, and while that’s burning I then decide if I want the Navy to pound the place, or maybe give it to the Flyboys, either way, whoever fired at me will have been rendered shredded toast.
    I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Collateral damage? Don’t make me laugh: I’m here, they’re not. It’s just that simple.
    So I say give our troops free reign. Give them whatever they need to kill the enemy and come home.
    End of bedtime story #117.

  3. Stephen Hiller   Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    I hate the phrase “easy way out” – there is absolutely no “easy” way about it. To get to that point is one horrifying journey that no one can understand except the lone individual. It tries to soften the guilt of those left behind, like “he’s better off now”. It’s a bunch of hogwash. When are we going to face the truth and stop the madness? When kings led their troops in battle, things were different. We need to get back to that – then see how many useless wars will be fought. Maybe then we wouldn’t see 22 a day.

  4. Stephen Hiller   Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    I hate the phrase “easy way out” – there is absolutely no “easy” way about it. To get to that point is one horrifying journey that no one can understand except the lone individual. It tries to soften the guilt of those left behind, like “he’s better off now”. It’s a bunch of hogwash. When are we going to face the truth and stop the madness? When kings led their troops in battle, things were different. We need to get back to that – then see how many useless wars will be fought. Maybe the we wouldn’t see 22 a day.

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