Apr 20, 2011

Death in Libya and Troop Suicide Tolls

Photographer unknown (please let me know if you know).

Today we mourn the loss of Oscar-nominated filmmaker and photographer Tim Hetherington. It is with great sadness that we learned of Tim's death and our condolences go out to his family and friends for we were honored to have met Tim along with Major Dan Kearney only nine months ago at a private reception following the debut of his film "Restrepo" the Afghan War film of which he co-directed with author Sebastian Junger. The film was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary in 2011.

Here is what we read on an AOL news flash: "Tim Hetherington, and Chris Hondros, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer, were killed in the city of Misrata after being hit by mortar fire during fighting between Muammar Gaddafi's forces and Libyan rebels. Two other photographers, Guy Martin and Chris Brown, were also injured."

You most likely will see these photographers deaths reported this evening on the nightly news and in days to come, but here is something you won't be seeing...

Did you know that on average there are eighteen suicides per day by our OIF/OEF Troops? I have been hearing this for close to a year now, yet I have not seen it reported that heavily. I wonder what the current numbers are?

"The Navy Times reported from 2001 to 2009 the Army's suicide rate increased from 9 out of 100,000 soldiers to 23 out of every 100,000. It was also reported during the same time the Marine's suicides rates increased from 16 out of 100,00 to 100,000. Keep in mind from 2001 - 2009 there was a 76 percent increase in psychiatric drug being subscribed !!!! I also want to mention suicides are even higher when you factor in the Veterans here at home that are taking their lives, Infact just a couple of days ago the ArmyTimes reported 18 veterans commit suicide each day ( http://current.com/1uekg4c ). The attempted suicides rates are even higher than those did in fact take their own life. With these statistics there is a serious problem here, and it needs to be addressed."

Remember this does not include the military action in Libya now - are you outraged? I am - for this is why we do what we do here at Cowboy Up!

Blessings to all who have suffered a loss of their loved ones, our hearts are with you.

Nancy De Santis
Cowboy Up! Director