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Dear Decision Makers

Dear Decision Makers,
“I will never leave a fallen comrade.”
Am I the only one who remembers day 1 in reception and seeing that phrase everywhere, on every wall, on every recruiting poster? Am I the only one in uniform that memorized those words???
At what fucking point did it become “I will never leave a fallen comrade….unless”
Forgive me, I’m a little pissed off right now. I just lost a soldier to suicide a week ago and I had to sit there and keep my mouth shut while I listened to officer after officer tell some grieving soldiers “Don’t go it alone.” “We are here for you.” “Ask for help. We’re here” “It won’t affect your military career.”
Sorry, but that’s complete bullshit. Because I’m staring at an email in my phone right now that’s sent to no less than 25 people of various commands and positions that concerned 18 soldier’s careers. God forbid that the medical NCO have to send 18 emails to 18 different commands. Let’s just put a blanket statement out there about everyone’s business to everyone. (Because nothing stops suicidal thoughts more than embarassment)
What was the letter? It was concerning med boards on the 18 soldiers and informing every one of the 25 people that those soldiers were not going to be allowed to train with the unit.
(People’s medical issues are everyone’s business….Every medical professional knows this right?)
What in the actual fuck??
Then they have the nerve to sit there and A) act surprised that a soldier just took his own life without reaching out for help once. (Yes, he was part of this unit) and B) Stand in front of soldiers grieving for his loss and tell them that “Your secret is safe with us, ask for help.” (translation: We’ve got operators standing by to fuck your career up.)
Then bring the very non-combat veteran, CIVILIAN who is allowed to dictate soldiers fates based purely on paperwork out to the field to ask them if they need help.
Are you serious? Do you honestly think that people don’t talk? That the information in small communities is passed around in latrines and over beers and on golf courses, in conversations in the field and at training schools??
Do you think that word hasn’t gotten to the lowest of ranks that if you ask for help, you’re fucked? That it ends your career? Do you honestly think this kid and several other soldiers (22 a day if you’re not tracking) aren’t thinking the exact same thing when they choose to not ask for help and end it all?
What in the hell is in your Soldier’s Creed?? I must have missed the goddamn memo about it being edited and resubmitted with the selfish service clause.
Psst….You…..yes you…who are ending people’s careers because they tried to end their misery before ending their life………..are you aware that veterans and current service members are killing themselves faster and more efficiently than the enemy?
22 of them every day.
Your shit is weak!
You’re doing it wrong slapnuts!!
How about you pull that smart book out of your attic, dust that son of a bitch off, stand in front of a mirror and recite your creed. For once, try to remember that you are a soldier, because there’s a few hundred thousand out there that will never be able to forget it.
~Pitchfork