Stand-down focuses on awareness, knowledge to prevent suicides
February 12, 2009
If a Soldier is injured in combat, would his fellow Soldiers walk away thinking, "He'll be all right; there's nothing he can't handle'"
The Warrior Ethos of "never leave a fallen comrade" would prohibit abandoning a Soldier in need. Yet, this very abandonment occurs indirectly when those fellow Soldiers are not physically injured, but are instead, emotionally injured.
In 2008, 129 Soldiers took their own lives. The reasons for suicide and the faces of these Soldiers vary greatly. Some frequent stressors cited are failed relationships, legal and financial problems, and occupational and operational issues. The faces are different shades and the Soldiers are different genders, ages and ranks.
The one commonality they share is that they did not know how to seek help and no one intervened on their behalf.
To raise awareness of and help prevent suicides, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's senior leaders will meet 9-9:30 a.m., Tuesday to kick off the Army's stand-down on suicide. The stand-down, which begins Sunday and ends March 15, will be followed by a chain teach effort until July 15.