Monday, February 9, 2009

Army reports alarming spike in suicides last month

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Army is investigating an unexplained and stunning spike in suicides in January. The count is likely to surpass the number of combat deaths reported last month by all branches of the armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the fight against terrorism.

"In January, we lost more soldiers to suicide than to al-Qaida," said Paul Rieckhoff, director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He urged "bold and immediate action" by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

According to figures obtained by The Associated Press, there were seven confirmed suicides last month, compared with five a year earlier. An additional 17 cases from January are under investigation.

There was no detailed breakdown available for January, such as the percentage of suicides that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan or information about the dead. But just one base -- Fort Campbell in Kentucky -- reported that four soldiers killed themselves near the installation, where 14,000 soldiers from the two war have returned from duty since October.

Some Fort Campbell soldiers have done three or four tours of duty in the wars. "They come back and they really need to be in a supportive environment," said Dr. Bret Logan, a commander at the base's Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. "They really need to be nourished back to normalcy because they have been in a very extreme experience that makes them vulnerable to all kinds of problems."

Officials said they did not know what caused the rise in suicides last month and that it often takes time to fully investigate a number of the deaths. "There is no way to know -- we have not identified any particular problem," said Lt. Col. Mike Moose, a spokesman for Army personnel issues.

Yearly suicides have risen steadily since 2004 amid increasing stress on the force from long and repeated tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The service has rarely, if ever, released a
month-by-month update on suicides. But officials said Thursday they wanted to re-emphasize "the urgency and seriousness necessary for preventive action at all levels" of the force.

Read it all here

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Bus Slogan

I'm sure many of you have heard about the Bus Driver who Refused to Drive a Bus with an Atheist Slogan. Well, there is now a bus slogan generator, and of all the slogans I've seen people create, this is by far what I think is the most appropriate. Whatever you think of the driver's decision, I much prefer this one (although neither on a public bus).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So maybe I will be...

So maybe I will be going to GC.. this could work... So confused

Monday, February 2, 2009

Not going to GC

I just recieved this email from the head of my deputation. I am Lay Alternate 2

I have just been informed that the Diocese will only be able to assume the costs for General Convention for the 4 Deputies of each order, and for the First Alternate of each order (not for the 2nd Alternate). I am assuming this is a cost effective measure taken to counter less income being received by the Diocese. We will talk about this at our meeting on Wednesday (Feb 4th at 6pm).

I, of course, will not be at this meeting because I have to work that night

Clearly no surprise here

You Should Live in a Small City

You are definitely an urban person, but not any old city will do.

You want a city that matches you well. For you, big cities lack individuality.

You prefer a smaller city with lots of personality, local culture, and history.