Military Families Speak Out in response to new Army report claiming soldier suicide rate is highest in last 26 years.

‘New American’ reported this week concerning the newly released 2006 Army Suicide Event Report which acknowledged that Army soldiers committed suicide last year at the highest rate in twenty-six years. According to the report: “There was a significant relationship between suicide attempts and the number of days deployed.”

Rod Powers, About.com’s guide to the U.S. military, shared the following details of the report:

“The 165-page 2006 Army Suicide Event Report lists 99 deaths by suicide, with 27 of the deaths occurring in Iraq and three in Afghanistan. There were also 948 of what the report terms “serious attempts at suicide.” While the vast majority of the “completed suicides” in 2006 involved males, 10 of the victims were females, the report said. Seventy percent of the Soldiers were under 25, 98 percent were enlisted and 91 percent were from the regular Army. And while the suicide methods included drug overdoses, strangulation and poisoning, the vast majority – 71 percent – involved firearms.”

Military Families Speak Out Co-founder, Nancy Lessin, had this to say in response to the Army’s suicide report:

“It’s no coincidence that troops who are repeatedly deployed to a combat zone in a war that cannot be won and never should have started, are traumatized by the experience.” She added, “This report only shows the tip of the iceberg, as it does not cover those who took their own lives after leaving active duty service. Until the war in Iraq is brought to an end, we think this tragic reality will only become worse.”

Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) is a national organization of 3,600 families who are opposed to the war in Iraq and have loved ones in the military.

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Journalist Andrew Meyer Tasered and Cuffed for asking a question in America?

UFstudent tasered at Kerry speechUniversity of Florida student, Andrew Meyer, is the latest Youtube insta-celeb.

Video of him being restrained and telling a police officer, “don’t tase me bro!” before screaming in pain after a Taser shock, has been viewed over 400,000 times already.

Mr. Meyer was handcuffed and tasered after asking Senator John Kerry some questions during a structured Q and A session following Kerry’s speech in Gainesville this week.

Wire Services report that Senator Kerry released a statement about the event on Tuesday, saying:

“In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way.” Kerry said. “I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted.” See Video by pressing play here:

I think Mr. Kerry was understandably embarased by the police officers’ use of excessive force at his event and I would hope most Americans would agree that what happened should never happen to a journalist in the United States.

I could be wrong, but I can’t believe that there is anything really illegal about a journalist asking hard questions (Click to hear Dan Rather’s view concerning the need for “spine transplants” in American Journalism.), or being a jerk , or even swearing during an interview question. If you know of some precidents that support these officers (click here to see one!) actions please send them my way, thanks. It will be interesting to hear why these officers thought they were doing the right thing. (ever heard of “The First Amendment?”)

The officers involved have been placed on paid suspension while an investigation is carried out.