Medal of Honor recipients on suicide

| December 12, 2012

The Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C. reports that two Medal of Honor recipients talked to Marines at Camp Lejeune about suicide. Retired Maj. Gen. James Livingston and retired Army Maj. Drew Dix attempted to reduce the stigma attached to PTS and seeking help;

“The strength of the Marine Corps is in the camaraderie of the Corps,” Livingston said. “We are the most unique brotherhood in the world; there’s no bigger brotherhood — no bigger fraternity — than the U.S. Marine Corps.”

Dix took a different approach, reminding the Marines of the resources available to them on base and telling them to take advantage of the programs designed to help.

“You have the responsibility for your actions completely,” Dix said. “You’ve got so many programs in front of you, you’ve just got to take advantage of them.”

Both Livingston and Dix commended the troops for their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying some of the battles, especially the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, are on par with the most historic battles of World War II and Vietnam.

“You are the absolute best there is in the world,” Livingston said. “You aren’t going to let your buddies down, and you aren’t going to let the country down.”

Like I’ve said a million times on this blog, the key to breaking this suicide thing is old soldiers talking to the younger soldiers. We’re the ones who’ve survived our own demons and we need to tell the younger folks how we did it.

Category: Military issues

Comments (6)

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  1. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    There is not a one size fits all solution for this pernicious problem. The stats tell us that more than half of military suicides occur among those who have never deployed. The demons at work on these folks are different, I’m guessing, than the demons who prey on those who have visited hell. Unlike physical pain, even great emotional pain can be relatively easily hidden from others. If you THINK a fellow Veteran is suffering, he probably is. All military are taught basic battlefield lifesaving and I hope (but do not know) whether some instruction is dedicated to saving lives off the battlefield as well.

  2. john Miska says:

    So you served and you are thinking the only option left to you is to kill yourself…… that is your choice to make but before you do that call me at 202 280 7560. I never served on the tip of the Spear like a lot of you guys but hell I was somewhere down on thehandle in the grand scheme of things and I did serve i am disabled and I have been rode hard and put to bed wet. So before you do that whioch cannot be undone call me and let us chat. i am not a professional but as friends will say I can flap my jaws. That number is not a monitored line as it is a magic jack that will email me your message and I will call back within 24 hours. All I ask is that you give me that 24 hours to get back to you. I will tell no one you called me.
    If I am about and I see that line active I will get back to you sooner.
    All I ask is 24 hours to talk to you once.
    I hurt all the time so I am a grumpy old vet most of my best friends are grumpy vets as well….but I am grateful for you guys as I have a snarky 10 year old step daughter and I am grateful I do not have to stand watch at her school because of the job you have done. So call me tell me where I can call back and I will.

    PS Yes I need a fishing buddy maybe you do too?

  3. DaveO says:

    ““You have the responsibility for your actions completely,” Dix said. “You’ve got so many programs in front of you, you’ve just got to take advantage of them.””


  4. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    If “programs” were the answer, drug abuse would have ended long ago. There would never be a repeat DWI. “Programs” allow people to believe something has been accomplished and they’re right. It’s just that the accomplishments have nothing to do with solutions.

  5. Cajun says:

    A attorney specializing in defending vets gave a presentation to our class last month. In it, he asserted that “primitive societies” handled their warriors’ PTS a lot better than civilized ones do. He pointed out the Native American tribes with elaborate rituals, mostly involving counseling by the old men of the tribe (the old vets) of the recently returned warriors. Sadly, I think the hole talk went over pretty much everyone’s head in that lecture hall.

  6. Jabatam says:

    Jonn…absolutely correct!

    John…very commendable!