the worst kind of news
the army's reported numbers (i got them via the AP) from january are quite possibly going to surpass the total number of combat deaths from ALL branches of the service for the month.
i suppose it's good news that there were fewer than 24 army combat deaths this past month. (24 being the number of suspected suicides currently being investigated, as compared with 16 combat deaths from all branches of the armed services in january). however, the suicide rate for the army represents a stunning number, considering they had only 4 suicides from the same period last year. (there were 128 army suicides confirmed over the course of 2008, which was exactly double the number from as recently as 2004, and that doesn't even include the additional 15 cases still pending investigation, or those from any other branch of the armed services).
altogether the wrong kind of surge.
people who first sent our forces into this swamp with insufficient vehicle and personal armor, and then further ignored the factors which have led to this horrible, tragic and continuing loss of life through mandatory reenlistments and other pressures (sorry if i don't have correct the technical term on the re-ups, but i'm too riled up to go look it up) ought to be made more fully accountable for their craven abuse of power. it makes me blind with frustration that politics would have had us believe that somehow these were the people who were "supporting our troops".
we have a huge debt to pay here, and our insufficiently funded VA hospitals are only one tip of a gargantuan iceberg.