It was mentioned that it would be interesting hearing from someone in the military regarding this episode, so I thought I would oblige. Originally, I wanted to post this in the Unfilter board, but having not seen one, I guess I'll post here and link it on Reddit.
Time for a copy and paste of my block-o-text:
(never write something up in notepad, it's a formatting nightmare)
Note: I am currently a member of the United States Army serving as an Infantrymen.
Regarding Army suicide (or other personal problems):
On the post where I currently work(which i believe is army wide policy), we are clearly informed to talk to someone, whether that is a friend, a brother/sister in arms, a leader, or our Chaplin. If you want to keep your problems confidential, that's what our Chaplin is for. So long as the Chaplin doesn't believe you are an immediate threat to yourself or others, that's as far as it goes, he tells no one about it, and will direct you to various services the Army provides to help you.
Personally, I believe the suicide issue is more related to how our society is moving along. People tend to stay at home more with the various distractions of life, primarily being forms of entertainment. This has the negative effect of less social interactions which results in smaller support groups as well as making it more difficult for people to actually open up and talk to someone when they have a real problem. People who are married tend to go out even less, and when your spouse is your main support, and that happens to be where your problems are from, and you're in the army so you're probably hundreds of miles from your friends and family back home... Things get difficult.
The primary reason we are told for the suicides, tend to be related to relationship problems. Deployments, money, cheating, and simply trying to readjust when a member comes back, is a huge about of stress for everyone involved. This is without mentioning any permanent problems members my come back with that just change them. Such as injuries, PTSD, or events similar to what happened during the BLACK HEARTS incident (Google it) I actually met one of the guys who was part of the platoon at the time (he wasn't part of the incident) who was crazy, which is probably an understatement. Long story short, some bad things went down in Iraq that he knew about, but someone he had trusted (a leader if memory serves correctly) put a shotgun in his mouth and threatened him to keep him quiet.
Regarding the Facebook post:
I didn't see his post, but if you are saying anything that is controversial and doing it in a public forum where you are highly identifiable is not very smart. I have a personal policy regarding just this type of thing:
1. Never identify yourself with anything or anyone, unless required
2. Never give any extra information, especially if you are highly identifiable, unless required.
It is up to you to decide when and what is defined as required for your situation.
But I digress, being a known veteran, or a current member of any of the services, you have to realize that people will weigh your words differently. First of all it could be seen that you are representing the United States, and second, If you know I serve(ed) the Army, and I express views against the government, it means a bit more than a Food Service employee telling you all the evil of the government. And if big brother comes knockin', these are most likely the reasons he cares.
If you are in the army and have a problem, talk to your Chaplin, (s)he will get you the help you need. NEVER post on Facebook (or similar medium) anything you think could potentially get you in trouble, especially if someone could possibly somehow think you are representing the United States government.
I would also like to note that the Black Hearts event also has a book based on it by Jim Frederick, in case someone is interested.
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I would like to say, I really enjoyed this episode, and you managed to encourage me to write something which I have not done for months. Felt good to write again, I really need to start doing this more. Thanks for providing such excellent shows, keep up the good work.
EDIT: Changed title for accuracy