Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KAA – Another Unneccessary Death that demands Congressional Action

KIA, short for Killed In Action, is used to indicate an individual who is killed during a military operation.
KIA happens due to the enemies action.

KAA is short for Killed After Action.
KAA may be due to our inaction and inattention to the emotional state of our returning soldiers.

Brian Skold enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard on Dec. 30, 1998.
Skold served with the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery based in Montevideo Minnesota and was deployed in Baghdad from late 2004 through 2005.
The 151st lost three men in combat in Iraq.
Skold died on May 27th after a standoff with police.
Members of his family told authorities that he may have been suicidal.

"I don't think the president and the government are doing their job with these young men and women who are coming back from the war zones and trying to turn their lives back to a regular world again," said Don Pappenfus, a Vietnam-era veteran and a Sauk Rapids City Council member, "Something's bothering them, and the screening isn't there."

"I don't know enough about his situation, but it doesn't surprise me that we're seeing more incidents like this," said James Schulze of rural Stewart, Minn., whose son Jonathan, a 25-year-old Marine veteran, committed suicide in January.

Read the complete StarTribune story

As an editorial in the Austin Daily Herald commented :
107 suicides during Iraq operations have been recorded - and that doesn't include suicides by troops after they have returned home. That is a shocking number. Something needs to be done.

The U.S. Army Medical Command Mental Health Advisory Team III released a report that included a number of key findings including :
-- The top non-combat stressors were deployment length and family separation.
-- Soldiers serving a repeat deployment reported higher acute stress than initial deployers.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) reports : At least one in three Iraq veterans and one in nine Afghanistan veterans are facing a serious mental health problem, from depression to anxiety to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These veterans face serious family and employment problems. Divorce, drug abuse and suicide rates are up.

Earlier this month, Democrat James Moran of Virginia introduced H.R. 2219 : "To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to award a grant to a private, nonprofit entity to establish, publicize, and operate a national toll-free suicide prevention telephone hotline targeted to and staffed by veterans of the Armed Forces." Minnesota Congressman Jim Ramstad is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2219 ... Veterans care might be one of the few issues that can – and should - get bi-partisan support.

There is no reason that every Minnesota Congressperson does not become a co-sponsor of this bill. Please contact your representative today.

1 comment:

Erik Holtan said...

What would you suggest?
I really don't think you have any clue as to what care soldiers get when they return. What is "Congressional Action"?
I think doing research before you qoute a story from a different publication would help since the good city council member from Sauk Rapids is out of touch with the current soldier and what they go through when they return.