March 17, 2004

And Still More Death

A story to be noted [link no longer working]:
MONUMENT, Colo. (AP) - A Special Forces soldier shot himself to death during a confrontation with police about three weeks after he returned from Iraq, authorities said.

Chief Warrant Officer William Howell was following his wife around the front yard with a handgun when officers arrived Sunday night in response to a 911 call from the woman. When police officers ordered him to drop his weapon, Howell shot himself, authorities said.

A police officer also fired, hitting Howell in the right arm, Monument police Sgt. Richard Tudor said. An autopsy showed Howell was killed by his own bullet. ...

The military requires troops returning from combat to be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems. The policy was enacted after four military wives of special forces soldiers returning from Afghanistan were killed by their husbands at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 2002.

Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, an advocacy group for veterans of both conflicts, said at least 23 service members committed suicide in Iraq since the war started and six, excluding Howell, killed themselves after returning stateside.
I am almost certain that those statistics represent some underreporting, quite possibly significant underreporting.