Nine long years ago, the United States confronted a choice: should the nation accept the challenge of dealing with world wide terrorist groups or should the task be handed over to the 1.5 million serving in the armed forces. We know the answer– instead of meeting economic, military and social needs, the American people turned away and placed the entire burden on the backs of 1% of the population. The American armed forces are stretched thin, they have been compelled to accept burdens no previous force in our history was asked to assume. It is not surprising that suicide rates are the highest ever in our society. June was a terrible month in which there were 32 suicides, 21 by those who were active members of the military and 11 by those serving in National Guard units. AS Colonel Christopher Philbrick explained: The hypothesis is the same that you may have heard me say before: continued stress on the armed forces.” Period!
Suicide rates for civilians is 18 per 100,000 and for the military it is 22 per 100,000. It has been said over and over: the American military can not shoulder the burden alone. It requires a larger armed force and we must institute a draft t ensure equity in society rather than ask those who need economic benefits from the military to be the ones on the front line.