Tim Caffery [Black Leaf #40] (02/09/1978 / San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, CA)
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Soldier Suicides, American Patriotism & Hell (Short Essay)
The casualty rate of the War on Terror gets little press. Maybe a little mention of a soldier killed in action. Sometimes killed in an accident, just helicopter crashes for the most part. And I haven't figured it out yet, but on some occasions there are even names and pictures of the soldiers who died. Then there is the seemingly rare report of a contractor killed (it seems to me these reports are always about truck drivers for some reason) .
Numbers hit headlines, depending on the political atmosphere and pressure from nongovernmental organizations that independently monitor the military. Or when the media determines that a milestone has been hit, like 4,500 or 6,000.
But really for the most part American society, as proud they are to go to war (as it is always to defend freedom in one way or another) seems to struggle with facing the effects of wars and the tolls they take on the home front just as much as on the frontline.
I guess it is to be expected that a society that holds the wars they have waged as supernaturally noble to hold their soldiers that have committed, or attempted, suicide to be less than war heroes at the very least. I could push it farther, justifiably, and say that it very possible, very likely, those soldiers are actually considered disgraces by the civilian population as well as the military class.
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