Yeah, it is common in military pow wows to blame suicide and depression on anything other than the behavior of the trickle down leadership of the One into the ranks. The interviews will blame a third party (wife problems) or circumstance (depression), and not on whether he was threatened for upsetting the locals because he used self defense, for example.
The government talks about not losing good soldiers but it does because of bad networking of potential or abandoning some potential for politics. It thus is not uncommon to see a commander beg a good soldier to stay while berating him for not covering up his arse, ie. speaking up his mind when unprofessional or irresponsible behavior violating the law occures above. They cannot have it both ways, ie. you cannot keep a good soldier expecting him to carry all the wrongs of the unit on his back and fix everything, including the bad policies and behaviors of the upper ranks. That’s madness. One might as well either leave physicaly, or, as you say, just lose your mind, as a mean to get out.
I had drill sergeants during basic who encouraged me to shoot at insurgents and others who were ready to crush me if “I did not think of the rules of engagement”. The latter were usually considered the jerks because no one felt safe or able to survive around this type of kiss @$$ back stabbing mentalities.
In any case, self hate becomes the norm as a result, ie. a shame to be, say, a good guy, a family man, as opposed to a haji or something crazy and celebrity oriented the way Bin Laden is playing it. So the behaviors deteriorate as a result of poor leadership and a general enforcement of a state of stupor that narrows further down the focus to myopic views of life pushing people over the edge instead of seeing possibilities beyond a day at a time - giving the day a chance to open doors “like in a video game where undiscovered higher levels all of a sudden open up” as one recovering civilian contractor once explained his epiphany when “opportunities” occured as he held on - ie. they decided to stop cock blocking him for some reason and they needed a spot to be filled.
It’s sad to see good men destroyed because of government bull crap and little lies for petty details, and this is why government care of this country is going to be a complete disaster. Government is hired to do a job for the advancement of business, not the other way around.
Alan had a unit of men under him. He was a Sgt, as I recall. He talked briefly about losing some men under his watch, esp. during Fallujah. He rarely talked about actual combat while over there, but he did “zone out” on occasion. I asked him once about basic, and he did mention that his drill was well-liked and respected. I suppose it varies from soldier to soldier.
Well said.. Thank you for sharing.