Are Military Suicides Doing It For The Money?

United_States_Army_Suicide_Prevention_PosterIt has been well documented that US military servicemen and women have been committing suicide at alarming rates, but now it appears that their motivation may not be entirely due to the terrible things they’ve seen and done: for some of them, it’s for the money. Alan Zarembo reports for the LA Times:

Army Spc. James Christian Paquette walked into the benefits office at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, with a question: Did his military life insurance policy pay in cases of suicide? He was assured that it did.

Less than two weeks later, he shot and killed himself — and his family collected $400,000.

His widow struggles with the question of whether he would have proceeded with his plan if suicide had not been covered. “He just wanted to know we would be provided for,” Jami Calahan said. “It may have been a weight taken away.”

The role of life insurance has not been closely examined in the quest to understand why 352 active-duty service members took their own lives last year — more than double the number a decade earlier.

The suicide rate began rising sharply in 2005. That same year, as casualties mounted in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Congress raised the standard coverage from $250,000 to $400,000, which most service members carry. If they die on active duty, their families also receive a $100,000 “death gratuity.”…

[continues in the LA Times]


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8 Comments on "Are Military Suicides Doing It For The Money?"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Sep 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

    the effects of money technology are far reaching
    it clouds judgement and turns its users into usury puppets

  2. Charlie Primero | Sep 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

    Perhaps the death benefit pay-out should exclude suicides. Thanks L.A. Times for implanting that suggestion in the public mind.

    BTW, this standard military insurance (SGLI) is provided by Prudential Financial, Inc. Military families have recently sued Prudential for shorting them on pay-outs. The cases are usually dismissed in Federal court.

    • InfvoCuernos | Sep 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

      If you exclude suicides, that would exclude just about all the hazardous shit the the military does-it could all be considered “suicidal” at some level.

  3. One side of me wants to call b*llsh$t on this and call out the reporters and paper on this.

    And on the other side, if farmers can drink down lots of pesticides in order to give their families some money in India then I can see someone killing themselves so their families would have a paid-off house and an attitude account to get over their grief with.

  4. jasonpaulhayes | Sep 10, 2013 at 12:37 am |

    No. military suicides are not to collect insurance money but clearly it has happened and perhaps should still pay out.

  5. emperorreagan | Sep 10, 2013 at 8:30 am |

    Could it alleviate one concern for people thinking about suicide? Sure.

    But what else contributes? Access to firearms. Conditioning people to use violence. Failure to properly oversee people who you have conditioned. Macho culture that is slow to accept help for mental health issues. Chains of command that pretend that mental health issues don’t exist. Chains of command that pretend rape and assault don’t exist. Chains of command that do anything the possibly can to defer blame downwards. Tolerance of businesses whose business models are to explicitly latch on to young soldiers and bleed them for their paycheck. You could come up with hundreds of contributing factors for depression and suicide, I’m sure.

    Focusing on a payout to the families of the deceased is bullshit. As they say in the article, “Jacqueline Garrick, the director of the Defense Department’s Suicide Prevention Office, said that most suicide victims were not of sound mind and any restrictions on coverage would be unfair to their families.”

    But focusing on the payouts has a financial benefit for insurers, so I’m sure they’ll do away with them at some point.

  6. Taan Maat | Sep 10, 2013 at 9:30 am |

    good goyim

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