By Brian Howey
The Hendricks County Flyer
Wed Jul 17, 2013, 04:49 PM EDT
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are either over or winding down, but the specters of death and justice have taken a disturbing new tandem twist this year with the issues of U.S. military suicides and sexual assaults within the ranks.
Emerging are the corresponding nexus of the two issues. Though there isn’t much data available, a likely link may include sexual assaults that fuel the suicide rate.
The two numbers that have captured the attention of Sen. Joe Donnelly and Rep. Jackie Walorski are these:
- 349 suicides in 2012, surpassing the 295 American soldiers killed in combat in the Afghanistan theater of operations;
- 26,000 sexual assaults within the 1.8 million military personnel in 2012, according to a Department of Defense survey, while only 3,374 cases were officially reported. These ranged from rape to groping and are a 35 percent increase from the 19,300 cases in a similar report issued in 2010.
In May, President Obama reacted by saying, “It is dangerous to our national security. This goes to the heart and core of who we are and how effective we’re going to be.”
Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam POW and former Republican presidential nominee, crystalized the emerging furor by saying he could not recommend the military service for a female.
That is stunning and sad.
Donnelly explained, “This has been an extraordinarily serious issue for a number of years. It is finally at a place where everyone is taking it seriously.”
The entire cohesion on the force is based on the intrinsic trust between soldiers and sailors.
Donnelly said that statistics he has seen reveal that a female sexual assault victim in the military is 14 times more likely to consider suicide than other personnel.
“This is an incredibly damaging action that has caused people to contemplate suicide, to think about it,” he said.
For Rep. Walorski, military sexual assault has become a signature issue. In her second week in office, the Jimtown freshman Republican began working on legislation to help victims of sexual violence. She was alerted to the problem during briefings given to members of the House Armed Services Committee.
March 3, 2014
February 27, 2014
February 26, 2014
There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.
Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
January 28, 2014
Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
January 21, 2014
A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.
January 14, 2014
The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.
January 7, 2014
December 31, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!
April 18, 2014
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