I saw this picture and article on facebook and it caused me to think .
They make the claim that 22 vets a day are committing suicide. I only say it that way because I haven't researched it myself, but I believe the number is probably accurate.
I don't want to diminish the horror and loss at Sandy Hook in any way. What happened there was devastating to anyone who has a shred of empathy for their fellow humans. The number of small children killed in a short period was shocking. Twenty little souls were ripped from the lives of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. I consider the desolation I would feel if one of my own children or grandchildren was stolen from my life and I shudder.
I heard the event described as a 'needless loss of life'.
I really had to think of any loss of life being anything but needless, especially a child. But with deeper thought that all of us, at some point, will need to die. Hopefully that will be at the end of a long, happy and productive life.
I think our most needless loss is the suicide of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, even our mothers and fathers who have served their country faithfully. Those who have sacrificed time with their loved ones, career advancement, and even parts of their bodies to stand as an example of our commitment to freedom throughout the world.
(Political comment: I believe our nation still stands for freedom while those who run our country may have other agendas.)
Our service members have volunteered to follow their leader's direction and carry out their missions. Killing another human being is not part of our nature. While we may believe that our children are being desensitized by violent video games, and our soldiers are trained to obey and eliminate the enemy it is incredibly difficult to pull the trigger when you know that figure in your cross hairs is a living, thinking, passionate creature like yourself.
(Ref.'On Killing' by Lt. Col. David Grossman.)
It takes a psychopath, as we have recently seen, to walk into a school, a movie theater or shopping mall and indiscriminately kill. Conversely, the psychological toll to the rationally balanced mind is profoundly crippling.
By not providing our service members the proper and sufficient opportunity to 'debrief' and 'decompress' after combat service we will continue to see a grossly 'needless loss of life'.