EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of blogs from Stop Soldier Suicide team members. Author Adam Buchanan is the Director of Outreach for Stop Soldier Suicide.
Want to know what I have seen as a Soldier? What I have done as my duty? This might be too graphic for some, but there’s something even “worse” out there that drives me to write this.
I have seen many terrible things in war. Explosively formed projectiles, powerful enough to flip over an up-armored military truck, making driving one of the most helpless-feeling experiences of war. As you move through the streets of foreign cities, you hope not to have your number come up.
I have seen men standing on the street corner one second, and the next, disappearing in a blinding explosion of light, deafening sound, dust, trash, appendages.
I have seen men pulling guard duty without a bolt in their rifle because they have experienced too much to bear—even while the war continued to grind on around them. They were unable to comprehend their own misery or maybe were just too broken to care.
I have seen the remains of men, face down in a stream filled with their own blood and body parts.
I have seen lives altered by the violence of the battlefield—scarred from both visible and invisible wounds.
And some would say that I have done many “terrible” things in the name of war. Terrible in some eyes, but not in mine. To exact death on the men who would do harm to my family or yours, if given the chance, was and is part of my duty.
The only thing more terrible that I could do would be to stand idly by as more Soldiers fell victim to violence. Violence by their own hand, rather than by that of the enemies of our great nation. It’s a violence that must be stopped. We have lost too many good men and women on the battlefield. We can’t keep losing these warriors at home. Together, we must Stop Soldier Suicide.