- Posted February 26, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
a Beer with my Dead Brother
Today is the 4 year anniversary of my brother’s suicide. He was an active duty military member who took his own life. I have no problem talking about his death, so I decided to go to my local wings place and order a beer for him. I don't think people realize the depth of the problem military families’ face when dealing with Suicide; it is so common that it is more prevalent than casualties, I want to raise awareness and bring this to light, and my brother wasn't a coward who took the easy way out. He just had so much stress in his life that the gun seemed like a better option. I just miss him the hardest part for me was seeing the terrible choices he was making and being powerless to stop it.
I don’t blame anybody the army was supportive and understanding how I have dealt with it is to understand one thing "that people are responsible for their own actions" and there is literally nothing you can do to stop a person dedicated to taking their life.
There is a famous story in suicide support group circles it focuses on 2 mothers both with suicidal daughters the first mother put her daughter in an institution hoping they would be able to provide the help she so desperately needed, the second mother didn’t do it and decided that her daughter needed family and watched her like a hawk. Both of these children took their own lives and each mother asked "what more could I have done"
I don’t have the right answer I know that war is stressful and the saying "War is Hell" doesn’t begin to describe it, I think has a society we can face the understanding and face the problem of suicide among our troops head on and make sure they get the help they need. I do truly believe that if we can make a difference, but no amount of program or therapy can help the choice is up to an individual, and we have to influence them to seek the help talking to a shrink isn’t weakness it is a strength.
In my own journey dealing with this event my therapist helped me put it into perspective (even as I write this I feel shame).
my question is simple if you are an active duty military member what experience have you had with suicide and what can we has the civilian public do to help? What resources do you need form the army?