Ranger Up Talks Suicide: An Introduction
By RU Rob
When put together, those seven letters can draw out a range of emotions from fear to anger, sorrow to shame, and everything in between. In recent times suicide has been brought to the forefront of the news within military circles due to the ever increasing occurrence. The sad statistics show that now, more than any other time in our military’s history, our service members are taking their own lives.
So what do we do about it?
There is no easy answer to this question. The stigma that suicide carries with it is one of solitude and secrecy. There is no clear cut answer to solve this problem but I believe the first step is to get people to start openly talking about it, without fear of repercussion.
In the days leading up to Memorial Day, 2013, Blake Powers (Laughing Wolf) from Black Five wrote a powerful article. It really struck a chord with me as I had just lost another friend to suicide. It was then that I decided that if I could rally our writers, we could meet this trend face to face, open the necessary dialogue, and get people talking—the first step in making a difference.
We have rallied and are ready.
What you will read over the next seven days has been three months in the making. The Rhino Den is going to approach this subject the way we do every subject—head on. The writers of The Rhino Den are as diverse as any unit in the military. You will be exposed to perspectives from enlisted and officer; active duty and Veteran; from just about every branch of service and multiple job specialties. We will be providing statistics, personal reflections, and our own thoughts as to why and how this trend is happening.
This is an extremely emotional series for us. Some of our writers faced personal demons in the composition of their pieces and you will experience their pain and anguish. I cannot guarantee that you will agree with everything we will say and, quite frankly, expect to anger a few of you at some point.
There are a few people who deserve mention as we delve into this subject. Karl Monger, Boone Cutler, Deb Boyce, Soldier Hard, and Antonio Centeno are all making huge contributions into the education and fight against suicide. There are many, many other people who are doing great and wonderful things, but I have had direct contact with these amazing people and wish to recognize them as such.
As we begin I hope that you will take the time to share this series with your friends, family, and loved ones. We can only be successful if we keep lines of communication open with each other.
Ranger Up’s – The Rhino Den