Lifting Ban on Condolence Letters for Military Suicide is Right Thing to Do

Posted on July 7, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reversing a long-standing policy, President Obama announced Wednesday that he will begin sending letters of condolence to the families of military service members who commit suicide.

“This issue is emotional, painful, and complicated,” the President said in a statement. “But these Americans served our nation bravely … we need to do everything in our power to honor their service, and to help them stay strong for themselves, for their families and for our nation.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, suicide is a growing problem for the U.S. military. About 271 service members killed themselves in 2010, up from 151 a decade earlier. A third of those deaths occurred in combat zones.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was one of 10 senators who pressed the White House to change the condolence letter policy in order to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of all military personnel.

“All military families deserve to have the loved ones they’ve lost acknowledged and honored for their service. This change in policy – which I urged – is long overdue and I applaud the President’s decision to give all service men and women who have bravely fought for our freedoms the recognition they have earned. I hope that this change in policy not only comforts military families in Connecticut and across the country, but also acts as a step toward combatting the serious stigma attached to mental health issues that must be addressed more thoroughly and comprehensively,” said Blumenthal in a written statement.

We too applaud the President’s decision.


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One Response to “Lifting Ban on Condolence Letters for Military Suicide is Right Thing to Do”

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Service is service. Suicide is tragedy. Honor the service.

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