Tags: BNALL | BNCOPY | BNSTAFF | BNTEAMS | BUSINESS | CECO | CEN

Obama Changes U.S. Condolence Policy on Military Suicides

Wednesday, 06 Jul 2011 07:34 PM

(Updates with comments by American Legion and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in fifth-sixth paragraphs.)

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama, in a change of longstanding government policy, will begin sending condolence letters to the families of U.S. soldiers who commit suicide in a war zone.

“This issue is emotional, painful and complicated, but these Americans served our nation bravely,” Obama said in a statement issued by the White House. “They didn’t die because they were weak.”

Obama said he consulted the military, including the defense secretary, before changing course. Plans for a White House review were announced in late 2009 and began in 2010, spokesman Tommy Vietor said in an e-mail.

CBS News reported the change yesterday.

American Legion National Commander Jimmie Foster said suicidal thoughts are a symptom of post-traumatic stress, which he called “one of the signature wounds of the war on terror.” Soldiers’ deaths “shouldn’t be marginalized in any way,” Foster said in a statement.

John Madigan, senior director of public policy at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said Obama’s policy change sends “a strong message that America will not tolerate a culture in our armed forces that discriminates against those with a mental illness or furthers stigma.”


© Copyright 2015 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
2Share
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved