Sunday, February 17, 2019

Suicide brings out the assholes in people...

A couple of days ago, I came across an article in the Army Times about the tragic death of a soldier.  21 year old Private Aaron Mitchell had come home to Nebraska from South Korea after his husband, 21 year old Rich Rosa, committed suicide.  Mitchell was granted leave for the funeral.  Twelve days later, on February 5th, Mitchell was found dead in Valley, Nebraska.  He had also committed suicide.

Mitchell had only been in the Army since May 2018.  He was stationed at Camp Henry in South Korea, where he worked as a mortuary affairs specialist.  As far as I know, there's no explanation as to why Mitchell and Ross killed themselves.  That's not really the point of my post today, anyway.  As usual, I made the mistake of reading some of the comments.  A few were respectful and expressed condolences to the family.  Too many were mean-spirited and hostile.

The very first comment I read on Army Times was this one:

All you people with an opinion on this, if you've never served, you are outside your lane. You often live with lots of other people at very close quarters, little things get magnified, and whether you think so or not, or want it to be, being a homo is a big deal in the military. Less so in some kinds of units maybe, medical units have anecdotally always been an area they gravitate to. The Infantry is a different world from the world the REMF's live in.

There's enough BS in the military without having to deal with this kind of crap. The military does not need the freaks, the freaks need the military to prove to themselves they are normal. In most cases it does not work and becomes an issue for everyone involved. Who thinks the military benefitted by letting Bradley Manning enlist? No one, probably not even him.

Notice this person, who claims to have served, refers to "homos", "freaks", "REMFs", and people needed to "prove to themselves they are normal."  It was this comment, along with others, that caused me to remark on Facebook that I think it's a shame that there are so many people affiliated with the military who are homophobic and/or think suicide is funny.  

One of my friends, married to a general, commented that she doesn't know anyone in the military who is like this.  Unfortunately, I have run into quite a few service members who behave this way and have this despicable attitude.  I also have a gay cousin who honorably served eight years as a Marine officer in the infantry.  Being gay doesn't make a person unfit for military service, nor does it make someone a freak.

This is another comment someone left:

Hey Army Times, don’t pee on my head and tell me it’s raining. Notwithstanding the fact that Oblammer did much to destroy the Espirit de corps of the armed forces with nonsense that you now promote, or what former Justice Kennedy says about the institution of marriage, this homosexual relationship was NOT marriage. It is a moral deficiency now compounded by 2 more moral failings. Suicide is not an option that we should promote...unless and until our betters give their blessing. Then...wa-la, problem solved!

Suicide is a huge problem in the military.  It doesn't just affect homosexuals.  However, if you happen to be gay and in the military, you run into assholes like the above commenter who thinks he's a bad motherfucker being a homophobic moron.  I was glad to see some commenters taking the assholes to task over this, but I am also sad to see that the above comment got five "likes" from like-minded, small-minded bigots.  

I don't know what comes first with these people.  Are they heartless assholes before they get indoctrinated, or does military training turn them into these people?  My guess is that they're ignorant and heartless when they join, since I do know a lot of service members who would never make these kinds of vile comments in the wake of someone's suicide.  What a shame the military doesn't screen out these people... but then, there are quite a few stupid folks who join up because they can shoot a weapon and blow up stuff.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of these two men who died much too young.  Shame on those who lack the humanity to feel compassion for other people who are hurting.

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