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Senior army officer says struggling veteran ‘failed army’ by committing suicide

dimsum

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I usually take Perth Now articles with a grain of salt (they're like the Sun) but if true, wow.

Cpl Turner was part of 2 CDO, roughly equivalent to CSOR.

An elite soldier who killed himself after developing PTSD during multiple tours overseas “failed the army” because “suicide is unacceptable”, his former commanding officer has said.

Corporal Ian Turner committed suicide in his Sydney apartment in July 2017, after more than 16 years of service and just months after returning from serving in Iraq.

The inquest into his death, at age 35, has heard Corporal Turner suffered a relapse of post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression, which was triggered by experiences on the last of his seven tours overseas.

Lidcombe Coroner’s Court has heard Corporal Turner was deployed on his last mission to Iraq in July 2016 after initially being refused a medical clearance.

The man who pushed for his deployment – known as Colonel AF – was asked before the court on Thursday if he stood by an earlier statement that Corporal Turner had failed the army, and not the other way around.

“That is a tough question … the answer is suicide is unacceptable,” he said. “Killing yourself is an unacceptable course of action and Ian should not have done it.”


Also, from the same inquest, an article from The Australian about how he was deployed "in his best interest" despite showing signs of PTSD and DAG'ing red by ADF mental health staff.

An Australian Army major believed it was in the “best interests” of a soldier he knew suffered from PTSD and excessively abused alcohol to be sent on a tour of Iraq, a court has been told.

Only a year after the decision was made, Corporal Ian Turner took his own life in July 2017 at age 35, leaving behind several notes, including one reading: “Please just let me go. I have suffered enough.”

The inquest into Corporal Turner’s death on Wednesday heard evidence from his superior, known as Major AF, who asked for a review into a medical decision not to clear him for deployment.

Despite knowing Corporal Turner’s “ongoing challenges”, Major AF told Lidcombe Coroner’s Court he thought leaving the commando behind would be more detrimental to his mental health as his sense of self was “intrinsically linked” to his company.
 

daftandbarmy

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I usually take Perth Now articles with a grain of salt (they're like the Sun) but if true, wow.

Cpl Turner was part of 2 CDO, roughly equivalent to CSOR.




Also, from the same inquest, an article from The Australian about how he was deployed "in his best interest" despite showing signs of PTSD and DAG'ing red by ADF mental health staff.



benedict cumberbatch wtf GIF
 

SeaKingTacco

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Yes, but after all of the heat and light on PTSD, you'd think it's not an opinion in recent years.
Like you said though, Perth Now is a shaky source of info, so what actually was said and done may not be precisely what is being reported.
 

Remius

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And what was the relationship that the CO had with that Cpl?

When someone you know commits suicide there can be a lot of anger directed at that person from people that knew him or her. The comment may have come from a place of personal frustration. I’m not defending the words but there may be some some context we aren’t aware of.
 

CBH99

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Like Remius said, it’s possible the comments are coming from a place of pain or anger rather than cold objectivity. Without more info for context, or a transcript even, it’s tough to say.

On the surface however…oooffff. Deployed even after DAG’ing red because of concerns about his mental health? He’s a proven professional with multiple tours - if he needed help, help.

Sad situation all around. I hope you find peace, sir 😔🙏🏻


I think most of us - whether on this board or society in general - know someone who has committed suicide or has attempted it. I’m surprised the old stereotypes about it still exist.
 

daftandbarmy

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And what was the relationship that the CO had with that Cpl?

When someone you know commits suicide there can be a lot of anger directed at that person from people that knew him or her. The comment may have come from a place of personal frustration. I’m not defending the words but there may be some some context we aren’t aware of.

IMHO, anyone who says stuff like that is an asshole. Full stop.

SF troops are historically more prove to suicide than other arms and services, mainly because they tend to spend more time closer to death/ serious injury on operations than anyone else. Their relative scarcity and 'political reliability' e.g., get the job done and don't get KIA as much as others so are safer for various political careers, also means that they don't get alot of time off.

FYI...

A Retired Green Beret’s Analysis and Response to the US SOCOM Psychological Autopsy Study of Suicides among US Special Operations Forces

A study commissioned by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and conducted by the American Association of Suicidology revealed that suicide rates among US Special Operations Forces (SOF) are the highest in the military (about 30% higher than the US military) and are higher than that of the general US population.

Based on USSOCOM records, there were 117 suicides among SOF between 2007 and 2015.

 

OldSolduer

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We can never - NEVER - be truly sure what others are going through mentally. Robin Williams case in point - to the outside world he was the guy that made us all laugh. He was successful, wealthy and it appeared all was good except it wasn't. Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and other famous people have completed suicide.

My word of advice - judge not.
 

CBH99

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Several years ago, I experienced a “living hell” that lasted almost 4 years. I was beyond depressed (to the point where I was eating one bagel, and one bottle of peach juice or iced tea, per day. For a month or so.)

At the gym one morning, while hitting the weights, I started to tear up halfway through a set. Thankfully it was dead and you couldn’t tell as I was a sweaty, red faced mess anyway.

I would go for long walks at about 2am every single night in the abundant parks around where I live. Pray, meditate, think, etc. And anytime I thought “well on the bright side, it can’t get any worse…” - somehow it always did. I learned not to jinx it.


There is a lot more to that snippet above, BUT… I could not be more grateful for that time of my life. I came out of it as a much more “seasoned” person, I had a truly spiritual experience which I can only describe as magical/supernatural, and I learned in a very raw way to never judge. (Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.)


We all know someone, or multiple someones, who have committed suicide. And some of those came right out of nowhere. And from my own experience, I can say - I don’t think everybody who commits suicide actually wants to die. It’s far too complicated, deep, and intricate for any of us to judge someone on.


The man in question served his country honourable. In my opinion, he didn’t fail the army by doing his job. The army failed him for not doing theirs.

0.02
 
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