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A Soldier's Suicide Note

Posted by libhom Sunday, April 15, 2007

Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name] -- You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff -- no msn support and you don't care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied -- no more. I didn't volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more. Trust is essential -- I don't know who trust anymore. Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs . You are not what you think you are and I know it.

COL Ted Westhusing

Life needs trust. Trust is no more for me here in Iraq.

Suicides of soldiers are tragic, yet not rare consequences of war. However, two things stand out about this one.

1)The suicide note has been made public.

2)The soldier's suicide is not exclusively a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the psychological difficulties that naturally come from killing people and trying to kill people. This suicide results partly from the nature of the mission, the specific war, and the behavior of higher ranking people in the military.

Robert Bryce of the Texas Observer did an excellent analysis of the story, along with extensive background, but I think the suicide note needs to be read on its own first, absent of explanation.

Credible estimates of the number of suicides of Vietnam veterans vary from 20,000 to 200,000, with the higher estimates based on single car accidents and gunshot wounds not reported as suicides. The view of the people making the higher estimates is usually that the suicides were not classified as such to shield the families of the dead. Even 20,000 suicides of Vietnam veterans is tragic and disturbing.

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