Veteran suicides has ‘devastating effect’ on Aledo family

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An Aledo, Illinois family continues to recover after their 27-year-old daughter, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, committed suicide.

Courtney Rush killed herself on January 3, 2012. Her parents, Rick and Gail Rush, said there were no alarming indicators that their daughter was suffering from PTSD or any other form of depression. However, after they began to peel back the layers, they started to believe their daughter's second deployment to Qatar had a lasting impact on her. Her parents said her job in Qatar exposed her to several dead American soliders.

Cortney Rush

"She told us that most of the KIAs (Killed in Action) from Iraq came through Qatar, so she was one of the people that helped get the coffins off of the planes when they came in," Courtney's mom Gail continued, "That made her very said."

Eight months after she returned to South Carolina from her deployment, Gail received a phone call from Courtney's friend.

"Her friend called me and he was kind of hysterical and he asked me if I had talked to her and that he had heard that she had died," Gail remembered.

"The effects that it has are just devastating," Gail added.

As tears rolled down her face, Gail sat in her living room kitchen, describing the details of her daughters death. Gail, who now runs in marathons and raises awareness for veteran suicides, said the military needs to get serious about their high suicide rates.

"They train these guys and women to go over there, but they don't train them to come home," Gail said.

She added that in the military, a mental illness is looked upon as "weakness and that needs to change."

New government research indicates female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women. The numbers nearly approach that of male veterans, which is startling because non-military females are much less likely to commit suicide than non-military males.

The VA, which compiled 11 years of research between 2000 and 2010, said military women ages 18 to 29 kill themselves at nearly 12 times the rate of non veterans. The data included all 173,969 adult suicides, both men and women and veterans and non-veterans, in 23 states.

According to research criteria, suicide rates are expressed as the annual number of deaths for every 100,000 people. For female veterans, that number was 28.7 for veterans, compared to 5.2 for other women.

For male veterans, that number was 32.1 compared with 20.9 for non-military men.

Gail and her husband Rick said they will continue to raise awareness about veteran suicides, and are hopeful more action will be taken from the U.S. Government and military.

1 Comment

  • Jim Starowicz

    ** Sally Satel Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money **

    “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after Sept. 11″ {And Still None nor Demand There Should Be, Just Attacks on VA Personal, Conservative media hyped ‘scandals’, nothing done from previous hearings!!}

    Facts: Matthew Hoh {former Marine and foreign service officer in Afghanistan}: “We spend a trillion dollars a year on national security in this country.”
    “And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we’re committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we’ve incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars.” 26 September 2014

    Bob Herbert * Losing Our Way * : “And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we’re at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you’re going to war is just crazy. I mean, it’s madness.” Bill ‘Moyers and Company’: Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014

    ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 – * Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans *
    “DeLara’s case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War.”

    Part Two: * A Son Lost in Iraq, but Where Is the Casualty Report? *

    * Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort *

    Add in the issues of finally recognizing in War Theater and more Veterans, by the Shinseki Veterans Administration and the Executive Administrations Cabinet, what the Country choose to ignore from our previous decades and wars of: The devastating effects on Test Vets and from PTS, Agent Orange, Homelessness, more recent the Desert Storm troops Gulf War Illnesses, Gulf War Exposures with the very recent affects from In-Theater Burn Pits and oh so so much more! Tens of Thousands of Veterans’ that have been long ignored and maligned by previous VA’s and the whole Country and through their representatives!

    * Push For VA Privatization, for Corporate Profit, Back on Table *
    Conservative Think, American Enterprise Institute, Tanks Own: “Sally Satel Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money”. Long Time, Vietnam, Veterans Nemesis and Denier
    Giving long time, Veterans nemesis Sally, from the Conservative Think Tank ‘American Enterprise Institute’, another big smile! Giving Conservatives their talking points and the citizens served whole heartedly following their lead as the decades long, wars from, obstruction to the peoples responsibility, the VA budgets, continues! She’s made herself quite infamous and wealthy over the decades with her writings and speeches doing what the country, especially conservatives, wanted in ignoring or out right denying the many issues of Veterans, especially from our, poser, patriotic wars!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

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