Of suicides and same-sex commitment

Two notices tumbled into the in-box one atop the other:

The first was the report that, on average, one veteran commits suicide every day.  Every day.  The tragedy of this statistic is only made worse by the fact that experts are at a loss to come up with an explanation and, hence, effective preventive strategies.  Some of the veterans have been deployed multiple times, some have suffered trauma, some have had injuries to the brain from concussions, explosions and penetrating injuries.   A great number, however, have not been deployed.  In all cases, our system is failing them, overwhelmed as it is by the numbers and baffled as to the cause of this enduring, tragic and epidemic loss of life.

The second notice was a report that two congressmen denounced a same-sex commitment ceremony  performed at Fort Polk, Louisiana.  They charged that the ceremony, performed by a chaplain, was ‘marriage-like’ and therefore violated the Dept of Defense policy that only allows same-sex marriages to be performed on military bases in states where this is legal.

The timing of these reports gives pause.  Surely time and effort are better spent trying to figure out how to reach out to troops and veterans so that they do not feel their only alternative is suicide rather than worrying about a ceremony that was not a marriage.  Don’t see  how this violated state laws.  Do see how this could help a service woman strengthen a relationship key to her well-being.

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Filed under chaplains, chaplains, Church-State, military, suicides, veterans

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