Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rant #129: Something's Happening Here ...

Something is happening, and I am trying to put my finger on it ...

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly killed 13 people at the Fort Hood, Texas, military installation last week.

Authorities are investigating whether suspected serial killer Anthony Sowell may have committed his murders as he moved around as a member of the military from 1978 to 1985.

U.S. Army veteran John Allen Muhammad is set to be executed today for the murders he committed as part of the sniper killing spree in fall 2002.

Does anyone see the pattern that I see here?

All of the above murderers and alleged murderers were military men, with Hasan the only one of the three still in the military when he allegedly committed his acts of violence.

This is scary. We train people to go to war, but for whatever reason, they go to war on American soil, fighting their own private battles.

I know that the military is looking into the stress disorders that have plagued thousands of service members. In fact, at Fort Hood, there has been a high incidence of spousal abuse and other infractions related to war stress.

You have to ask yourself if everyone who goes into the military is truly ready for what awaits them.

Let's be honest about it. Some go into the military for the right reasons, but some go in for the wrong reasons: they are running away from something, they have nowhere else to go, etc.

Does the military really need the latter group? Do they need people in their ranks who are in the there for the wrong reasons?

You would think that some psychological testing would be mandatory before accepting anyone into the military ranks, but I know that is something that is more difficult to do than it appears to be.

What about the service member that is fine going in, but has problems that turn up as he or she serves, which appears to be the problem that Hasan had?

I guess there is no foolproof way to guard against this. The only thing the military can do is to offer psychological services to its service members--and their families too. One without the other is counterproductive.

And it can also do a better job in weeding out those who can't handle the stress, the constant movement, and the overall military life. It didn't do it with Hasan, but it must do a better job in the future, or the Fort Hood situation might happen again elsewhere.

Let's hope the Fort Hood incident is an isolated one, and that those that need counseling get it, and get it fast.

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