Moody: Warning Signs of Suicidal Airmen

By: Greg Gullberg Email
By: Greg Gullberg Email

- Valdosta, Ga. - April 25, 2012 -

Two recent deaths are now putting Moody Air Force Base on high alert for suicidal behavior.

Two airmen died this month in possible suicides; one is still under investigation. It's been about two and a half years since the last suicide at Moody.

"People are not made to stand up to that kind of grueling activity. And that's one of the reasons we see as much Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as we have today," said Ed Kent.

Kent is a Gulf War veteran and member of the Georgia State Department of Veteran's Services. He helps military personnel with PTSD cope with everyday life.

Kent sees first hand how suicide is an ever lingering fog over our armed forces. He says our men fighting today face challenges like nothing his generation ever knew.

"Going back and forth to combat zones five and six times... I couldn't imagine that," Kent told Gullberg.

Major Noreen Marsland specializes in Mental Health for Moody Air Force Base. She says suicide prevention is always a top priority, especially now.

"They feel that they don't have any other options. They're looking for a way out; for all the pain to end. We definitely have services available to help our folks," Maj. Marsland told Gullberg.

A variety of services are available to airmen who will admit to having a problem, but many won't. That's where Chaplain Ismael Rodriguez comes in.

"One of the reasons they may come to the Chaplain is to ask for that kind of help, at least for someone to listen, without being afraid that it's going to get out, because of the 100% confidentiality that we provide," Chaplain Rodriguez told Gullberg.

And that support is key for military personnel who are so far from family and friends.

"You're always thinking about your family. You're always thinking about your kids. After a while it weighs on you," said Kent.

Airmen receive annual suicide awareness training throughout the year.

Major Marsland says tell-tale warning signs that someone may be considering suicide include:

- Changing mood

- Changing appetite

- Poor Hygiene

- Giving away possessions

- Threatening Self Harm

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  • by Mother of a soldier Location: Tallahassee on Apr 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
    To your comment "Black flag". You must not have children and if you do shame on you. I have two sons that serve and protect our country. I should not even respond to your comment but for all the families and friends and for the family of the one who took his life that have served and are serving we do not know what happens when one goes to war, as one of my son's has done (three times) so I hope you never find yourself in a situation where you need help. You need to really think about what you say, it does affect many people and again shame on you for saying such a crude remark.
    • reply
      by Black flag on Apr 27, 2012 at 09:27 PM in reply to Mother of a soldier
      Well Mother of a soldier, I was in the Army for six years, and was deployed in Iraq in 2005-2006 and 2008-2009. I started thinking about my comment two or three months into my second deployment. By the way, I have a wonderful two year old son that will never find himself fighting an illegal war.
  • by Black flag on Apr 26, 2012 at 04:03 PM
    Participating in an illegal meaningless war, and killing innocent people is a good reason to kill yourself.
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