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(16,184 posts)
Sat Sep 19, 2015, 09:21 PM Sep 2015

In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another


After the sixth suicide in his old battalion, Manny Bojorquez sank onto his bed. With a half-empty bottle of Jim Beam beside him and a pistol in his hand, he began to cry.

He had gone to Afghanistan at 19 as a machine-gunner in the Marine Corps. In the 18 months since leaving the military, he had grown long hair and a bushy mustache. It was 2012. He was working part time in a store selling baseball caps and going to community college while living with his parents in the suburbs of Phoenix. He rarely mentioned the war to friends and family, and he never mentioned his nightmares.

He thought he was getting used to suicides in his old infantry unit, but the latest one had hit him like a brick: Joshua Markel, a mentor from his fire team, who had seemed unshakable. In Afghanistan, Corporal Markel volunteered for extra patrols and joked during firefights. Back home Mr. Markel appeared solid: a job with a sheriff’s office, a new truck, a wife and time to hunt deer with his father. But that week, while watching football on TV with friends, he had wordlessly gone into his room, picked up a pistol and killed himself. He was 25.

Still reeling from the news, Mr. Bojorquez surveyed the old baseball posters on the walls of his childhood bedroom and the sun-bleached body armor hanging on his bedpost. Then he took a long pull from the bottle.

The Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment saw some of the worst fighting in Afghanistan in 2012, and of the 1200 Marines sent there, 13 have since taken their own lives.

It's an epidemic.
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In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another (Original Post) NuclearDem Sep 2015 OP
It has been an epidemic for a long time. murielm99 Sep 2015 #1
My nephew was a Marine Sgt in Helmand 2010 - 2011, amongst other tough assignments riderinthestorm Sep 2015 #2
Our military needs to stop waterboarding their own troops lovuian Sep 2015 #3
He went through SERE, it would seem. NuclearDem Sep 2015 #4
From my own personal experience, suicide is a bitch Victor_c3 Sep 2015 #5
Happened after WWWII, also.... Bigmack Sep 2015 #6


(30,573 posts)
1. It has been an epidemic for a long time.
Sat Sep 19, 2015, 10:33 PM
Sep 2015

One of my son's closest friends committed suicide after two tours in Iraq. He was 23. That was ten years ago.

His family has suffered some other terrible losses and tragedies in the years since. Yet, they were the first ones on the scene to support us when our son-in-law died.

We were supportive of them, but they did not owe us anything in return. I will always be grateful.

I know these young men wait a long time for help. We are not doing enough to save them.



(23,272 posts)
2. My nephew was a Marine Sgt in Helmand 2010 - 2011, amongst other tough assignments
Sat Sep 19, 2015, 11:45 PM
Sep 2015

Including a deployment to Iraq as well, over the course of an 8 yr career spanning the worst years 2003 - 2011.

He struggles every day with his own ptsd, and the ptsd/suicides of his fellow servicemembers.

Its national crisis and epidemic.



(19,362 posts)
3. Our military needs to stop waterboarding their own troops
Sat Sep 19, 2015, 11:51 PM
Sep 2015

I know a friend who served in Special forces told me he was .....waterboarded ...to prepare him for capture

Nobody is ready or can be trained for waterboarding....but the brain is injured in the process of O2 depletion
Waterboarding is Torture...it's not legal

I won't go into more military programming but other methods are used on other soldiers

Depriving our soldiers of oxygen and air .....saying its to "prepare them" ....is not true
No one can not live with Oxygen.....and that's a "fact" but oxygen deprivation makes you very subservient and causes extreme anxiety



(16,184 posts)
4. He went through SERE, it would seem.
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 12:14 AM
Sep 2015

As someone who went through it as well, I can pretty confidentally say it's not as bad as it sounds. Everything is done under extremely controlled environments--waterboarding, interrogations, and other training is done realistically enough to accurately prepare the students, but restrained enough to prevent any lasting damage.

To be honest, I barely remember going through it myself--the waterboarding, that is.


(3,557 posts)
5. From my own personal experience, suicide is a bitch
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 12:56 AM
Sep 2015

I don't want to hijack the thread, but I served in Iraq and had a pretty violent suicide attempt in June of 2014. I thought my PTSD was bad when i did it, but it's only gotten worse as I keep losing everything that is important to me despite the massive amounts of treatment I get.

Suicide is a tough thing to get over once your mind becomes becomes comfortable with the idea of dying or even wanting death. I sincerely doubt it is even possible.



(8,020 posts)
6. Happened after WWWII, also....
Sun Sep 20, 2015, 09:20 AM
Sep 2015

... and after WWII, too.


And even WWI...
A NY Times article dated June 2, 1922, "VETERANS' SUICIDES AVERAGE TWO A DAY: Legion Official Declares Worst Casualties of World War Are Just Appearing."

Maybe we ought to think this whole WAR thing over. If you add the suicides, the maimed, the poisoned, the mentally crippled.... maybe the casualty rate is just too high.

After the Gulf War, the VA initially denied 80% of claims, and still....21% of Gulf War vets are on disability.
45% of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related.

War... the gift that keeps on giving.

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