I found out last night that a person that I had served with and deployed with took his own life. It didn’t happen to me, so I guess it doesn’t affect me. However, I can’t help but feel a little remorse. He was divorced and had two kids. This, I am sure, leaves many questions for his kids to grow up with and confront. While I struggle with some of my memories, it is worse when you have fond memories of people who later commit suicide.
Suicide is something that I never thought I would consider, but I have had my own struggles with it. Depression, anxiety and life in general can drive a person to take their own life. I don’t know what my friend suffered with or what circumstance drove him to end his life, but he will be missed.
The veteran suicide rate is absolutely ridiculous. When I came home, I had no outlet. So, I moved on to another unit with the same baggage from the last one. It seemed that making peace with what had happened would dull the edge that combat had given me. Anger provided fuel, and when the next deployment came, I was off again. More baggage to deal with and I had no motivation to come to terms with it. I returned to the United States. It was in Colorado that suicide presented itself as a chance to make my ex-wife and children happy. That all my troubles would be over if I ate a bullet. In the depression and anxiety stupor that I was in, suicide seemed like a viable option.
Many of my fellow soldiers seem to fall into this trap. Deployments take a toll on our marriage, spouse, and children. Talking about what has occurred, with people who have never walked in our boots, seems futile. While dealing with all of the baggage of deployments, family separation, and readjustment, life continues to pile on. It can be overwhelming. It is my desire, that all military personnel find peace in this life. That there will be someone they can speak to and work through the baggage that war gives us. Take care.