DoD: No condolence letter if soldier committed suicide

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Photo by Chris_Lott via Flickr

Writing on the NPR health blog, Whitney Blair Wyckoff writes that while American soldiers who commit suicide receive full military honors, their families don’t receive a letter of condolence from the White House. It’s a substantial omission because, as Wyckoff notes, “the number of soldiers who committed suicide in the U.S. military rivaled those who were killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan this year.”

Suicide prevention and mental health advocates are circulating petitions to reverse the policy, which is gaining media attention at a time when the military’s attempting to destigmatize mental illness. The administration’s only reply was an e-mail from the Department of Defense stating that “Under the current program, the Secretary of Defense does not send condolence letters to next-of-kin of members who commit suicide.”

2 thoughts on “DoD: No condolence letter if soldier committed suicide

  1. Pingback: H-II Stephen Michael Apatow Speaks Out On Suicides

  2. Pingback: A Progressing Nation: Military Suicide is to be Mourned, too | Veracity Stew

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