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“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration


The life and death of Clay Hunt

March 3, 2013 - One of the leading causes of death for American military forces right now is suicide. In 2012, 349 active members of the Armed Forces took their own lives, more than who died in combat. When you add the suicides among veterans, the numbers are staggering. The VA estimates that as many as 22 veterans a day die by their own hands. Twenty-two each day.

This is the story of one: Clay Hunt from Houston, Texas, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. After four years of a downward spiral, he took his own life in 2011. You'll see him in videos during some of his best times and hear him talk about some of his worst. Hunt loved being a Marine and serving his country and though he had been out of the Corps for two years when he died, Clay Hunt was a casualty of war.

This is Clay Hunt about a year before he killed himself. At 27, he thought he could make the world a better place.

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln
Clay Hunt: "So I'm almost 10 years older than most of my classmates and so that makes it a little hard to relate to a lot of people just cause I have a whole lot of different life experiences than most 40 year olds. You know, I've done, seen things in my life that, for one, most people should never have to see."  read more - resource links>>>
Why Have Military Suicides Reached An All-Time High?


How does a Country HONOR It's Fallen, by Their Own 'Sacrifice' in Taking Care of the Brothers and Sisters They Served With!!

Originally posted to DKos Military Veterans on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:16 PM PST.

Also republished by IGTNT Advisory Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sequester? Tax Revenue = Sacrifice! (11+ / 0-)


    No one has paid a dime, rubber stamped no bid contracts and all borrowed costs, to this day for either war!

    No one has paid a dime for the long term results of, DeJa-Vu all over again!
    A decade plus added to the previous decades and wars of since Korea!

    Deficits rapidly rising with the rubber stamping started Before 9/11, told to go shopping by the previous CiC!

    And the only ones in government doing anything, federal and states, even with all the obstruction, are this Executive Administration and it's Cabinet in helping the Veterans Administration and that will continue, so will the obstruction by the war rubber stampers!!

    “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

    by jimstaro on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:16:06 PM PST

    •  One of the Huge Costs in the Deficit, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear, WakeUpNeo


      That them rubber stampers, and some complicit dems, and especially these tea party  extremist won't mention, though them teabags can't do math nor much of anything but yell and name calling, are the interest rates on that borrowed money, as we continue borrowing, that started, as I said, Before 9/11 then they threw in two more wars of long occupations, abandoning the main missions of why we sent the military into that region, to really empty the treasury so they could tear everything down!!!!

      “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

      by jimstaro on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:41:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We just watched that report (5+ / 0-)

    lot of love among those men. The part when they discussed coming home and seeing the disconnect - we were at the mall while they were in Iraq - made me feel guilty because it was true. I wasn't at the mall, just sitting here bitching about Bush and feeling very angry. Now I don't how to help.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:36:34 PM PST

    •  One Way, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear, hulibow, WakeUpNeo


      Seen as how the rubber stampers of our government were allowed reigns to continue to obstruct and even given more in the states who had already started cutting veterans funding in the early years of these wars because of red ink budgets, is to give, if you can, to groups with successful organization programs like 'Team Rubicon' that have to squeeze this country for donations to keep doing good, instead of All Of Us, through the represented government, not allowing them to seek grants to ease the fight for needed funds!!

      “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

      by jimstaro on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:52:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone that does donate (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gordon20024, llbear, hulibow, WakeUpNeo


      Keep in mind, those of us who've served, or are now serving, do so for the whole country, whether these wars are wrong and few have been right, and not  just because it makes you feel good, like wavin that flag or attending a parade or welcome home, do so because you do understand their dedicated service!!

      And check to see if you have local organizations that have successful programs, those that do know the shortfalls, decades long, of the rest of the country and they fill the voids!!

      “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

      by jimstaro on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:00:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This country loves war (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, llbear, WakeUpNeo

    too bad they don't think much about it once it gets started.

    "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

    by sujigu on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:55:41 PM PST

  •  Answer me this: How do we recognize those who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, WakeUpNeo

    have escaped this life after using up all of their own in military combat?  - I phrase it that way because the friend of a guy in Illinois described the guy as having done that. They had both served a tour of duty in Iraq at the same time in adjoining units.

    I have big fears of giving their families "survivors pay"   thereby encouraging more suicides, and yet . . . where's Yoda when you really need him?

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. Those who want to wage the next war in Afghanistan are condemned to lose it.

    by llbear on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:02:09 PM PST

  •  Brutally Honest and Jarring 60 Minutes Piece... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, WakeUpNeo

    Listening to Clay Hunt's story and watching his friends and family all lament in one way or another that they felt responsible for his death is deeply moving.

    What I took most from the piece were:

    a) the disconnect between the intense engagement by US military forces in Iraq & Afghanistan and the complete detachment from those wars by the American public/media by-and-large (there are always exceptions)

    b) the real life consequences of the VA's obscenely drawn out and byzantine claims/benefits process that leaves our nation's veterans hanging by a shoestring when they should be getting support

    c) We know so very little about how to remedy the long-term consequences of PTSD, head trauma and mental illness in our soldiers when they return from war. Psychiatrists throw pills at them in the hope that something might stick, but the various behavioral and pharmacological treatments we have for these men and women are woefully inadequate.

    As the War in Afghanistan blessedly dwindles to a close, we must make sure to provide our veterans with the same level of resources to fight away their demons and depression as we did when they were fighting in war.

    •  I was Really Surprised, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo


      But after thinking about it maybe shouldn't have been, that it was up, the full section and transcript with resource links as it was airing. Usually they have a time span from airing to posting especially the video.

      I went in to see if there were some pre-show links and story line to grab for posting today when I would have grabbed the video link so I could post on my site.

      It was a Powerful Piece. It accompanies some others especially by the Team Rubicon leaders that were made shortly after Clay took his life!

      “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

      by jimstaro on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 02:16:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary honoring Clay Hunt (0+ / 0-)

    His story carries many lessons for us --- if we truly pay attention.

    FYI, I included information about Clay Hunt's story in another comment thread:

    Two guys who know a great deal about guns

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