Thursday, April 09, 2009

Army Recruiters vs Roofing Workers

The suicide under stressful work environment of four Army recruiters in Houston Recruiting Battalion finally reached the attention of national media. In a sense, the Houston Battalion must have suffered higher fatality rate among all combat battalions in Iraq or Afghanistan. However, an Army investigation lead by Brigadier General Frank Turner concluded that all four cases were evidently result of failed or failing relationship. In at least tow cases, the recruiter killed himself right after having a fight with their wife or girlfriend.

Most army recruiters, to be precise 78% of them, are veterans returning from either Iraq, Afghanistan, or both. They must recruit two persons per month. As questioned by one of the recruiters' father, 'How could you be over there and see some of the things he saw and dealt with, and try to hire people to go over there and do that?'.

A man's life is hanging on two chains with heavy burden: his career and his family. The conclusion that should be drawn from General Turner's report is: the recruiters died when the only remaining chain was cut. It's worthless to argue which party is more guilty on the recruiters' deaths. Whether it's the army who cut the first chain in the first place, or the domestic partners who cut the remaining one.

With the economic meltdown, the news were filled with cases of suicide after kill. On the contrary, the four recruiters in Houston did not do any harm to other people. After returning from real battlefield seeing life and death, they were more likely to pull the trigger, without excessive mulling. It's probably the process of mulling that leads to harm to other people.

Survey said roofing workers are the most depressed career in the US. No wonder, they have seen too much out there.

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